It is that time again! Many of you will be meeting with parents in the upcoming weeks. Parent interviews are very important since they provide both daycare workers and parents with the chance to verbalize the expectations they have. For many, this interview is stressful. We have prepared an agenda and an explanation of the content of the interview which will ensure you are well prepared. It is a great idea to prepare a letter inviting each parent to attend the interview. You can include the agenda. They will surely be interested by the points you have listed and look forward to meeting with you.
1. Presentation of the daycare worker
2. Presentation of the parents
3. How does the daycare function?
4. How does the group function?
5. Activity planning
6. Developmental stages
7. Services provided
8. Distribution of documents
9. Question period
Have a nice evening!
Content of the interview
Presentation of the daycare worker
Tell parents about yourself (without too many details of course): Do you have children? What are your passions, hobbies, etc.? Tell them about your professional background: Do you have specific training? What is your work experience? What motivates you to be a daycare worker?
Presentation of the parents
Ask parents their name, their children's ages, and their profession. Ask them if they wish to be involved in the daycare. Do they have a special talent which could be useful (sewing for example)?
How does the daycare function?
Discuss the general rules which apply to everyone: meals, educational outings, hours of operation, late payment fees, etc. Explain how daycare workers rotate throughout the day or what happens if you are absent.
How does the group function?
Present your typical schedule. Explain that this schedule can vary according to the needs and interests of the children within the group. When you read the schedule explain each period. Present the tools you use to the parents: responsibility charts, workshop charts, etc. Be sure to mention your expectations and have parents voice theirs too. Clearly state the methods of communication you want parents to use: communication journals, telephone conversations, email, etc.
Parents are always interested in what their children do at daycare. Explain the method you use to plan your activities: through observations, spontaneous interests, seasons, special occasions, themes, etc. Show them the model you use to plan activities or compile observations. Show them where you display your activity planning chart. Mention how often it is displayed.
Children all evolve at their own pace but there are certain specific elements for each age group. Parents will be reassured when the various steps occur if you have mentioned them beforehand: aggressiveness, biting, potty training... Distribute charts explaining the development levels of each age group.
Services vary from one daycare worker to the next. Discuss the involvement you are comfortable with. Mention your availability to answer questions as well as the level of support you are willing to provide. You can give them a phone number to reach you and specify the times when you are free to answer their calls. Remind parents you wish to work in collaboration with them. You want to form a team and work together for their children's well-being.
Distribution of documents
Parents love reading about topics which concern their children or their daily life. You can provide them with various articles of interest. Prepare a list of items which must be included in children's bags depending on the season. Remind them that all items must be clearly identified with their children's names.
This period shows parents that you value their involvement and that you listen to them. Have a list of questions on hand to start the discussion since parents do not like to break the ice. Be an active listener.
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