By Melissa Fiorenza
Childcare center owners, managers, assistant managers, staff: you know way more than I do when it comes to running a business and making all sorts of parents happy. But if you’ve ever wondered what moms talk about when we’re trading notes on our kids’ daycare centers, this post is for you. To get people bragging about your place…
…invite families in. We love when parents, grandparents, and other guardians are invited to celebrate the big holidays with you and the kids—whether it’s a Halloween parade or a quick Valentine’s Day bash, we try our best to make it out of the office for those special moments.
…let the kids get wet. When I first heard a friend mention how her center’s teachers will get students all dressed up in their swimsuits and let them splash around in a sprinkler outside, I was hoping mine would too. (Fortunately, they do!) Going that extra step to let kids be kids on super hot days is so awesome.
…upgrade your daily report system. It should come as no surprise that my center offers MAX, the software created by Child Care Center Software. The MAX mobile app enables my husband and I to check in on our kids via phone throughout the day, and it is the best. Shameless promotion? Yes. But it’s also a firsthand review from a self-proclaimed helicopter mom, so you can trust me when I say “Your parents will love this thing!”
…sign up for WatchMeGrow. My center is the only one in the area that has video cameras installed in each room. Yes, video cameras. WatchMeGrow is a service that allows me to log in and literally see my kids in their rooms or on the playground, at any time of day. I can’t wait to be able to tell them when they’re older that I was always with them, watching them be silly, learn, and grow up before my eyes.
…encourage your teachers to write welcome packets for parents. The last thing I’d ever want to do to a childcare center teacher is to give them extra work—I think they have one of the hardest and most important jobs in the world—but every time a teacher has given me a welcome packet at the start of my son’s transition into a new room, I clung to those sheets with love. It’s so nice getting to know a little about the teacher, what their room structure is like, and what I can do to help make the transition easier.
…offer healthy snacks. It’s amazing how many centers I hear about that use the term “nutritious” a bit too loosely. If your monthly menu is filled with healthy bites, that’s a parent’s snack time dream. (Especially when all your kid wants for dinner at home is M&Ms… at least he had a banana at PM snack!)
Us moms could certainly go on, but these are a few things that often get high praise at the water cooler. Want to know more? Ask your parents! We like surveys, too 😃
Melissa Fiorenza is a writer, author, and ever-worrying mom with two kids in daycare. She has been published in/on Health, Prevention.com, Ladies’ Home Journal, and All You magazine, among others. She currently works full-time at a higher education marketing agency in Troy, New York.