Business relationships have to include clear communication and mutual respect. But eventually, some issues are going to come up. There will also be day to day things you’ll want to mention. Here’s some ways I’ve learned that help to avoid conflict with daycare parents.
Put It In Writing
Create a Handbook for Your Daycare Parents
In this day and age, you really do have put everything in writing. Cover your butt!
Put all of your policies in writing. Give them to your daycare parents before you care for their child. Make them sign off on your handbook. Then you can fall back on it
if when they have an issue with the way you do things at your business.
Remember, this is your business, and you are in charge.
Set the rules beforehand so that you and your daycare parents are on the same page.
Daily Notes…Or Not
My daycare is small and I like to chat to the parents at pick-up time. I’ve never felt like I needed to use daily notes, since I usually replay the day for them anyway.
Plus, my parents and I like to text back and forth when we have something to mention.
So I added a line to my contract to cover my state regulation about daily communication. Would you rather text or email than send home a paper note, too? Feel free to add this into your contract like I did.
I understand that I will receive access to the secret Facebook group “Shannon’s Daycare” where I will receive weekly communication and resources from the facility. I understand that in an effort to reserve resources and meet each parent’s communication preferences, I will NOT be provided printed materials as a regular form of communication unless initialed below. Parents of infants and toddlers receiving daily reports will receive text message reports if the line for electronic communications is initialed, or a Parent-Teacher Journal if paper communication is preferred.
Make Your Daycare Parents Love You
You know that saying, “The customer is always right”? Well, it’s technically not true. But I’ve spent a lot of time working in retail (prior to daycare). And I can tell you that it is important to make your client like you.
You don’t have to like the daycare parents. Which is great! Because that’s just not going to happen all of the time. But put on your sweetest face when they’re being annoying, share some personal ways you relate, go out of your way to accommodate them now and then, and be likeable.
When I worked in sales, I was taught to make the client like me. Why? Because expanding your relationship that tiny bit makes them feel a personal connection to you. Then usually they’ll also feel morally obligated to hear you out.
When Conflict Arises with your Daycare Parents
Nip it in the bud!
Some daycare parents will feel entitled to take advantage or blow up no matter how much you’ve done for them. And the longer you let it go, the more the tension will grow.
If a client is taking advantage of you, or if you are having behavioral issues, things will only get worse the longer you put off taking care of it.
Trust me on this. I’ve let things slide too far and chances are the daycare parents don’t want to hear the info at any point in time. So you might as well get it over with. Don’t let them walk all over you.
Being assertive means being clear and firm.
This does not mean you don’t have to be respectful! Remember, these people write your paycheck.
You need to find a balance between sticking up for yourself and your business. But don’t forget to treat your clients like human beings.
You’ve taken the time to consider your policies and put them into writing. Now stick to them! Don’t let daycare parents guilt you into changing your policies on the spot.
If and when you have a rude client, do your best to stay calm. Time may show that certain daycare parents do not fit well with your business. And it’s absolutely okay to break up with them. Just don’t burn any bridges in the process!
Now, you do not have to be a pushover. But biting your tongue in the heat of the moment and responding with an even tone means that you can later stand up for yourself. Because wouldn’t you like to know that you handled the situation maturely, even if they did not?
Comment below if you have any questions or other rules for communicating with parents!
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