5 Tips For Having A Successful New Student Tour At Your Preschool or Childcare Center!
As early childhood educators we have so much on our plates with the day to day routine of caring for little ones! Making sure you have a successful tour into your program is one of those many task we have to do.
Accepting new students into your program is a very exciting time. Watching your childcare/ preschool community grow is priceless. With all the excitement that comes from accepting new students, it can also be overwhelming. You want to make sure you communicate clearly about school policies and procedures, sick days, the curriculum, your schools philosophy and so much more.
So much to cover in so little time, and even after the interview is over your left wondering did you cover everything? Keep reading to see my Top 5 Tips for having a successful tour at your preschool program or childcare center
The Important Stuff
The most important of them all. When interviewing new students for your program, it is crucial to make sure you cover the basics of your program in a short periodd of time. Leaving out important details can sometimes result in parent teacher miscommunication and that is something we want to avoid if possible.
So what is the important stuff? Every program is different and what is important to your program may not be for others. Here is a general idea of some of the things to consider covering;
Hours of Operation
Sick & Absent Policy
Payment Schedule + Fee Schedules
I use a one sheet template, that had boxes around what I need to make note of and cover while doing tours. I usually hold this in my hand with my clipboard as I do tours. This keeps me on track and anytime I think I didn’t cover something, I just take a glance at my “ the important stuff” sheet.
Getting multiple calls for tours in a week can be very exciting and overwhelming. Leaving you to wonder who did I speak to, and what time did I schedule that tour again?
I asked myslef the same questions more often than not! After over scheduling a few tours, I knew I had to do something about it!
I use the “ Tour Scheduler” to help me stay on top of my weekly tour visits. this helps me know who I should be expected and a brief summary of what we talked about over the phone or via email.
Click Here to get your “ Tour Scheduler”
New Student Packets
Nothing beats doing a tour, and not having any take home packets for the new families. I know we live in a digital age, where everything can be emailed or texted. However parents want something physical that they can refer to when they are home, and reviewing your program.
What should be included in the new student packet? Your in luck, continue reading to see my top 5 things that I always include in every packet for new students.
What to bring on the first day of school form
Your Tuition rates and school closures schedule
Anyone that has worked with little ones know they can sometimes be shy, and reserved when in an new environment with unfamiliar faces. With time kids tend to become more comfortable. They want to feel safe, and apart of the enviomrnet.
Its very important to interact, and talk to the new student if they accompany their parents at the tour. Spend an ample amount of time speaking with the little one and asking them about what they like. Depending on the child, sometimes placing your hand on their shoulder or simply asking for a high five can really help shy little ones warm up to the idea of being in a new environment.
Be clear in your communication. This is a huge one, as we all know more miscommunications come from not clearly communicating. So try to be direct and clear when telling parents about your school policies and procedures. There is nothing worse than having to go back and tell parents about your school policies after they have already enrolled. Doing this can sometimes end in parents feeling frustrated and blindsided.
Make sure they know what to expect out of your program out the gate. Its not enough to just say it either, you should have a well written Parent Handbook that goes in depth about what to expect from your program. The handbook should cover the following, but not excluded to;
Sick days / absence
school curriculum and philosophy
Tuition Rates + Late Payment Fee
Late Pickup Policy