Communication with parents can be broken down into two key areas:
- Communicating with the parents of children you already care for
- Marketing and advertising: attracting new parents to your setting
Part of the business of being a childminder is learning to do both things well. You need to be good at attracting new parents to your setting, but once they are with you, you need to continue to remind them why they made the best choice in choosing you to be their childminder.
In an ideal world all parents and childminders would communicate perfectly and we’d all have great partnership working with all parents, but in reality this is not always the case. Building partnerships takes time and ongoing effort and everyone needs to keep working at it.
Some parents are easier to work with than others. “Sam’s mum couldn’t care less,” is unfortunately how many childminders feel about the parents they work with. The key challenge as a childminder is to ask yourself instead: what can I do to encourage Sam’s mum to work with me more?
The key points about communication with parents are that:
- Parents are experts on their child – so we need to tap into their knowledge.
- Practitioners are experts on learning and development – but we won’t succeed with any child if the parents don’t continue what we do at home.
- Effective parenting can take many different forms – the more we respect that, the stronger our relationship will be.
- Effective communication can take many forms – it is up to us to be flexible in our approach because we are the professionals.
Children benefit when the people most involved in their everyday care and learning have good, meaningful communication. If you set up a good working relationship with parents, so that you are both on the same side right from the beginning, then this will make it easier to work through any more challenging conversations that may arise later on.
10 Mistakes Childminders make on Parent Questionnaires
Do you send parent questionnaires? This article helps you avoid some of the common mistakes that many childminders make when they send parent questionnaires. [more]
Communication with parent musts. Check you are doing these things in your setting [more]
What sorts of things do you send home in your settings? [more]
If you can’t name 10 reasons that childminders are better than nurseries, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you lose business to them – article challenges you to look closely at how you promote what you do to parents to keep their business [more].
Products that can help you to improve how you communicate with parents
The Communication with Parents Pack contains all the tools you need to improve how you communicate with parents or learn to do so in an outstanding manner. The pack includes tackling more challenging forms of communication like when you have concerns about a child’s development, dealing with late payment, or giving notice. The pack also contains detailed marketing information to help you to attract new business including making a step-by-step plan to ensure that the all-important first visit goes well.