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Telephone Interviewing- Turning phone calls into enrollment

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Telephone Interviewing- Turning phone calls into enrollment
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Phone Calls are your first steps into interviewing a prospective client.  This also gives you the opportunity to be more selective before setting  up a in person interview.
 
PHONE INTERVIEW
(make copies and keep near phone to fill out when you do phone interviews)
 
Date: __________      Referred by:________
Name:  __________   Phone #:_________
Address:_________
Full Time  _  Part Time _      Days needed:
  M   T   W   Th   F
Hours needed:_______
Looking to start care by:  ____________
Children's ages:  __ M  or  F     __ M  or  F  __  M  or  F
Have they been daycare before? 
Yes    or    No
   If yes, Reason for leaving previous provider:______
   Previous provider:  _____________
 
What are your Day Care needs: __________________________
What are your Day Care expectations:  __________________________
What duration of care do you need:   Long Term    Temporary
 
Does your child(ren) have any special needs, such as medical or dietary:  Yes    or    No
    Please explain:  __________________________
 
 POINTS TO COVER
+ Fee  (disclose now if the fees are paid in check or cash)
+ Hours of day care are:  
+ Days we are open are:
+We are closed for the following holidays during the year,  (and if holidays are included in fee state so now)
(if you have  registration fee, or deposits state so now)
+Provider Vacation,  let them know what dates you plan to be off.  (if you do not charge for your personal vacation time off tell them now,  or if YOU DO charge let them know now)
+ Lunch and snacks are provided (unless child                                 has food allergies)   (if on a food program, state so now)
+ I am CPR  and 1st aid certified
+ Sick Policy:  flu, temp 101 or higher, vomiting, strepe throat, diarrhea, sore/discharging eyes, communicable diseases, undiagnosed/oozing rash.
(Children cannot attend if ill and contagious,  if your contract states that you are still paid regardless if child is present or absent, state this to parent now there are no deductions)
+ There will be occasional short field trips
(only if you do these things,  if you do not take the kids off premises, state so now)
Promote my day care (anything extra you do for your daycare, example,  parents day,  pot lucks, holiday get togethers, parent involvement, parent volunteer time at day care,  any awards, recognition's you might have, 
if accredited say so,  any education in Early childhood development,  how the kids interact with each other,  etc. don't be bashful)
Activities (such as home preschool program if you have one, learning environment, arts and crafts, etc.)
Story time
Indoor / Outdoor play areas
Walks
Trips to the park (if you do this, let them know)
Let them know now if this is a structured or non structured environment.  and mention other activities:
lessons are still taught through activities such as circle time, calendar, weather, music time, games and songs, arts and crafts, numbers, letters, shapes, etc.  (example)
Each child gets individual attention:
our enrollment here is a maximum of ______kids
This is a FAMILY childcare, the children are involved in family type things such as helping to prepare lunch, clean up time, birthday celebrations, etc. These are self help learning activities.

Do I want to meet this family:    Yes    or    No
Do they want a personal interview:    Yes    or    No
Interview Date:_______
Time:  __________
Be sure they have directions to your home.

Some questions they might ask you:
How many children enrolled now?
The age group of the children enrolled
how many of each age group
Types of outdoor equipment you have,
indoor toys or equipment
How long in this business,
references to call now before setting up interview,
License number so they can check you out in advance (have this written down on your interview sheet, a long with references so it's handy when they ask this. 
Have you had any citations.  (if so simply state them in simple terms not always necessary to go into full detail)
Do you have children of your own there?
What are their ages?
What types of meals do you serve?
Do you have a helper?
Who is this person?>
Can I drop in any time I want during the day (all states have an open door drop in policy, so you have to say yes, but I always let parents know, that
1.  Lunch, and nap times is not always best: Kids will stop eating lunch if parent shows up, and people coming in and out during nap time can disrupt the group, and wake them up. 
2.  If you come and your child becomes upset because it confused him into thinking it was time to go home, would you be willing to take him?
Something to think about when you drop in because kids don't understand that you are leaving again,  and can become very upset, making his miserable, and emotionally stressed. 
(always make sure you speak of their child and what this does, never what it does to you, they could care less)
Do you keep your doors locked?  If yes, Why" I thought we are allowed to drop in anytime.
It is wise to keep your screen, or security screen locked at all times, or door with a peep hole.
YOU ARE ALLOWED TO DROP IN, BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU CAN'T STOP AND KNOCK FIRST, OR THAT I CAN'T LOCK MY DOOR.  I ANSWER QUICKLY SO THAT IS NOT A PROBLEM.
FOR THE SAFETY OF THE KIDS, DOORS AND GATES
WILL BE KEPT LOCKED AFTER ARRIVALS.  THIS IS TO PREVENT A CHILD FROM WANDERING OUT THE DOOR, OR GATE, IT ALSO
PREVENTS SOME STRANGER FROM JUST WALKING IN.
I am sure you have heard about the person who walked into a
center and took the whole center hostage a couple of years ago?
WE UNLOCK THEM AGAIN BEFORE PICK UP TIME, 
All parents do knock before entering so I can see who is at my door, plus respecting that it is still my home. Since I will answer my door in a timely fashion, it is obvious I have nothing to hide or worry about.  However, I must keep the safety of the
children first and foremost.  I am here alone with these kids, or it's just me and my helper.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING FOR MY CHILD?
DO YOU HAVE SOMEPLACE TO KEEP HIS SUPPLIES, i.e., diapers, wipes, spare clothes, or do I bring them daily?
 
(Possible Parent questions continue)
EXPLAIN YOUR ILLNESS POLICIES TO ME MORE>
EXPLAIN YOUR FEES TO ME MORE
DO YOU TAKE CHECKS OR CASH? 
IF ONLY CASH, WHY NOT A CHECK.
To avoid delays on checks that can be held up to 10 days for clearance, or avoid receiving a check that might bounce, we only take cash.  You can bring it in a money order or Bank cashier check, you will receive a receipt.
 
IF A PARENT ASK FOR ADVISE TO HELP HER IN HER SEARCH FOR CHILD CARE, GIVE HER THE ADVISE, IT OPENS UP MORE COMFORT BETWEEN YOU AND HER AND COMMUNICATION. 
number for licensing
___________
 
Final note from Pat:
I hope this information helps you with your phone interviews with parents, and parent questions.  Use the girl scout motto.
"always be prepared
 and remember the more professional you conduct your daycare, your interviews, and how you handle the business end of the day care the better the parents will treat you. 
To be treated as the professional you are you must conduct yourself as a professional.
 
 

More tips:
 
 PHONE INTERVIEWS WITH PARENTS:
 Parents get just as nervous up as we do sometimes.  Most the time you will find yourself giving the information to the parent before they ask for it. As a provider here are some key things to do:
 Be relaxed
be confidant,
 
when there is hesitation in the voice of the parent continue feeding them information:
(have a paper and pen to jot down notes.)
Tell them right away
-Your Hours of service
-days you are open
-Registration fee or deposits that you require
-if you have a meal program
-if you have a preschool program, Be sure to detail out your program.
-License for how many? 
-Be prepared to give parents your license number,
-and references even over the phone
-how long you have been in day care.
(Save giving them your fees till last.  Try to avoid fees and encourage the parent to come visit you. However if they insist on the fees then give that to them last.)
Questions to ask the parents:
-Age of child
-how many kids,
-full or part time
-Has the child had previous day care experience?
-If so Where at
-Reason for leaving that day care?
-Any thing special you need to know about the child
i.e. health, medications, ADHD, Disabilities,
etc. 
-Single parent or married parent
(it's nice to know, because obviously a two parent household can pay the fees easier, and arrive on time to pick up easier.
A single mom might need to let you know some issues with her
If a single mom, find out if they are on a subsidy program of any kind, or paying on their own.
-Find out if there are any issues regarding the father of the child. 
-Does he participate and pick up as well, or any restraining orders you need to be aware of.
-Talk about the child or children openly with her, as they relax they will release more clues on their child and behavior, and home life. 
- Beware of warning signs, in what she tells you. 
-Listen to the background noise and what her child is doing and how she responds to the child.  You can pick up a lot of behavior indicators by listening carefully.
If you are interested. Set up an interview.
 When setting up your interview
-Set up an interview as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more chances this parent will find day care elsewhere before she can come visit with you. 
-If it's a parent you are hesitant about then set up a much later appointment. 
- This gives you an out.  Especially if a parent  is needing to find day care ASAP.  This will hopefully give you an out.
-Never let a parent know they are the only interview. 
- It's best to let them think you have other interviews before them.  This allows you an out later if this interview turns out to be something you don't want you can easily call up later and tell her a previous interview has signed up and given a deposit. 
DEPOSITS:
This is important to save a spot for a parent.  Let them know there are deposits.  A interested parent will put a deposit down.  They are less likely not be a no show later after you've saved the spot a couple of weeks.  Make it a NON-REFUNDABLE deposit.  This also helps weed out undesirable parents as well. 
-Get references from the mom, 
 Name and number of previous provider.  Hopefully she will share this information.  If it's a provider you know personally you might get more information on why the child left.
- Keep the conversation flowing. 
-Don't give the parent to much time to think about it.  If you are interested in this parent then keep her relaxed talking to you and set up that appointment.
  Remember 
- You are selling your services, so be a salesperson. 
 The Interview:
-When they come to visit, it is nice to have a brochure or flyer ready to give them on your business:
-It will tell the parent something about
You the provider, 
-about your Program
-References, fees, registration fee, hours and etc. Logo, address, phone number
 your flyer or brochure will remind that parent of your day care. Make it bright and cheerful.
NEVER RELEASE YOUR CONTRACT AND HANDBOOKS
until you know the parent is signing up or has given you a  deposit or registration fee .  With the fee in hand they can take the paper work home.  
REMINDER:
Be just as prepared to answer these questions if they are asking you instead of you just feeding them the information. 
Good luck and success. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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