Phone Contact: What Parents Want to Know
Parents want to know if your childminding service will meet their basic requirements: location, cost and number of children. Parent queries usually start with a phone call.
If you can’t talk because children need your attention, let the parent know and arrange a time to answer their call.
Initially, parents will typically ask:
- How long have you been a childminder? If you are just starting out, say so. Parents don’t always go for experience.
- Where is your service located? Give a specific area but only give your exact address when arranging an interview.
- What are your opening hours? State your regular hours clearly. If you are willing to be flexible, say so.
- How many children are you currently caring for and what are their ages? Keep a list by your phone so you can answer easily.
- How much do you charge? Try not to answer this until the actual interview: i.e. ‘It depends on what you need.’ However, many parents narrow their search based on fees. If it’s the first question asked, give a straight answer. It will either fit in with what they want to pay or not.
- Are you registered with Tusla?
- Do you have pets?
- Are you a smoker?
- Do you have references?
- Do you have back-up care? If you do not provide this, make sure the parents are aware of your policy right away.
- Are you willing to sign a contract? Because you are a professional childminder with a business, it is important that you treat it as such. Some parents may bulk at the thought, but it is the only way that you have to protect yourself.