Aaargh!!!! First meeting with potential parents!
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  1. #1
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    Default Aaargh!!!! First meeting with potential parents!

    Hi All, so I subscribed to childcare.co.uk last week and I've sent out a few messages. Heard back from one mum today enquiring about care for her two children, 5 and 8 years.

    I can accommodate the hours she's after as well as the holiday care for the summer and we've arranged an initial meeting for tomorrow except now I'm nervous!

    What do I need to cover tomorrow, the basics to cover in a first meeting?

    So far my list says:

    Days and hours
    Fees
    Holidays

    But I cannot think of what else?!?

    Please help me, this is my first parent meeting and I'm now feeling increasingly more nervous!

    Thanks in advance! x

  2. #2
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    Make sure you go through what you include and do not include in your fee.

    I tend to find with a lot of parent the conversation just flows naturally.

    I always give parents a little note pad and pen to jot down notes as we are talking. I also do the same, as when they are talking things pop in my head to say and I don't want to forget.

    I ask parents to think of the questions they want to ask BEFORE they get here and have a list ready.

    Just remember it is not all about them interviewing YOU, you are equally interviewing them.

    Good Luck

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    relax

    ask the children what they like doing/activities/clubs/hobbies/school etc

    discuss with parents what you do about meals - do you/parents provide?

    brief run down of your policies

    ideas you have for activities/days out in the holidays and after school.

    ( plus discuss retainers/deposits etc along with fees )

    I always ask parents to fill in a 'prospective parents form' which has their name & address & contact details ( phone, mobile, email ), childrens names/DOB, days/hours of care required and start date required and say that I will be in touch shortly to offer them a space ( I usually off the space on the spot ) but ask them to fill out the form so I can create a 'paper-trail'. I then send the parents a letter offering the space, with a form to return accepting the space along with a deposit.

    good luck xx

  5. #4
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    Thank you both for the help!

    It is very useful. I did ask mum to think of any questions she would like to ask or things discuss.

    I think I'll knock up a prospective parents form tomorrow to have handy.

    I think I'll relax once they're here and we get nattering.

    I'm now trying to think what "easy" activities I have to hand for the boys to do while they're here? Any suggestions? They're 5 & 8!

    xx

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    :-) welcome x

    Do you have lego? Or knex or other type of construction toy? I find it usually goes down well with most children.

    Some paper and pens ... stickers? Maybe an already folded paperplane or fortune teller? or two!

    My boys would love cars and trains with road and tracks.

    They might just want to sit next to their parents and listen! But if something is available they may be tempted to go and play.

    Xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    :-) welcome x Do you have lego? Or knex or other type of construction toy? I find it usually goes down well with most children. Some paper and pens ... stickers? Maybe an already folded paperplane or fortune teller? or two!
    Totally genius ideas! Why didn't I think of these? Lol! You've done this before haven't you

    I'll get the knex out, the mega blocks are easily accessible anyway and paper and pencil crayons/crayons are to hand also.

    May be temped to make up some paper aeroplanes too for them to decorate and fly if they wish.

    I'll also keep a football handy if the weather licks up slightly with a view to them playing football in the garden if they wish.

    Thank you again! You've really helped me to get my head in gear!

    xxx

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    :-) welcome and I hope it all goes well for you x

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    Some good advice there. I'll just add a few "don'ts": -

    Don't feel you have to do everything at the first meeting. Make it clear that the first visit is not an end in itself, but should merely be the start of a process. This helps keep everything relaxed, and takes away the pressure of having to get everything done in a relatively short space of time. If the parents know they can have a 2nd visit, or phone you with any questions they think of later, then you'll look more the open, helping CM, and not look like a double-glazing salesman trying to rush for a signature.

    Don't go over the top in trying to win over a client. The vast majority of problems which crop up in CM-client relationships come out of money/arrears or from not being clear about expectations before the arrangement began. I think a lot of parents leave the 1st visit thinking they'll have everything their own way, cos the CM has been desperate to please and/or come across as a wonderful person. Do you want to set up a good, viable arrangement now, or do you want to promise the Earth and then get angry when the parents expect you to deliver on those promises?

    Don't forget: you are selecting the client just as much as they are selecting you. This can come as a shock to parents, especially if you're the one who calls them to say, "thanks, but no thanks." You don't have to make an offer to everyone who steps through your door. Ask the questions you want answered, and remember to keep your ears open just in case the alarm bells start to ring.

    Don't get rushed into an answer to every question. We all want to appear to know everything. But prospective clients frequently pop up with questions for which a CM is unprepared. If you feel you have to give an answer straightaway, you'll almost certainly muff something or commit to a request you'll later regret. Just remain unflappable, and say, "let me think about that and get back to you." Better to get something right slowly than wrong quickly. It that doesn't satisfy, then you probably are looking at parents who will prove in time to be rather pushy and excessively demanding.

    Don't let the 'caring' aspect squeeze out the 'business' aspect. We all want to look like the perfect child-carer, who had that little bit more 'chemistry' with children than the last setting these parents visited. Truth is, any damned fool can hold a baby, and that's not primarily what CMing is about. I've learnt the hard way that the lo isn't always (ever?) going to magically accept being played with by the new, weird stranger in the strange weird house, and trying to force it can be entirely counter-productive.

    And finally, one "do" - be yourself (everybody is is already taken.)

    Hope this helps and all the best for this and all future visits.

  10. #9
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    Great advice everyone! I was just about to post the same question as I have my first ever visit tomorrow too! Felling excited and nervous! xx

  11. #10
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    Well I'm completely prepared, the nerves have settled and...

    I've just had a text from mum to say she's been called into work and can we rearrange! Grrr!

    Ah well gives me a little more time to prepare any extra bits for Thursday

    xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL View Post
    Well I'm completely prepared, the nerves have settled and... I've just had a text from mum to say she's been called into work and can we rearrange! Grrr! Ah well gives me a little more time to prepare any extra bits for Thursday xx
    Good she called
    To let u know, minders have been known to be left
    Standing! Pain when you are all organised and geared up in your head though!!

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by murphf View Post
    Good she called To let u know, minders have been known to be left Standing! Pain when you are all organised and geared up in your head though!!
    That's what I thought to be honest, at least now I have a little time to put together a list of things to discuss.

    Any suggestions?

    xx

  14. #13
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    [QUOTE="JKL;1365880"] That's what I thought to be honest, at least now I have a little time to put together a list of things to discuss. Any suggestions? xx[/QUOTE

    Fresh out of a confrontation with one of my mums over sickness today.. Discuss your sickness policy!! It's probably the one which will cause you most heartache if it's not clear from
    Word go! Parents will push it,!!

  15. #14
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    I definitely will! Thanks murph!

    So many things to try and remember and bl00dy typical my printer has just started to run out of ink!

    xx

 

 

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