But if you’re prepared in advance, and can actually answer those questions without parents ever having to ask them, you won’t find yourself having to defend your answers. You’ll simply be stating how your preschool runs, and at the end of the tour, every parent should have the majority of their preschool questions already answered!
Help Alleviate Parents’ Concerns
It’s all in the delivery, folks! And after answering literally hundreds of questions myself, I’d be an idiot if I didn’t learn a thing or two about how to carefully craft what I say to alleviate a parent’s fear and help them feel at ease with putting their child in our care.
And at the root of most of these questions, a parent is really asking: “Is my child going to be safe in your care?” And you can’t answer that question point blank, because that fear will never be alleviated with a simple answer. It will come over time, as parents develop confidence in your program and abilities, and that confidence will only develop if they see that YOU are confident about your program and abilities!!! This is a very important point, so take note.
The Beginning of The Tour
Before the family arrives, set out chairs in a comfortable location in your home or preschool. Pull out a few toys for the child(ren) to play with while you chat with the parents. Be sure to have on hand:
- Yearly Calendar
- Policies & Procedures Handbook
- Registration Form(s) with clipboard and pen
- Any other materials you’ll hand out to new students (i.e. T-Shirt, Welcome Package, etc.)
Don’t have these yet? Get our Fabulous Preschool Forms here.
When the family arrives, greet them and bring them into a sitting area for the tour. Then ask the parents, “What are your goals for (name) for preschool?” This is a great opportunity to make sure that they have appropriate expectations that you can fulfill. Listen to their answers, respond positively to each of their goals, and talk about how you’ll help meet those goals. Then say, “For most families, it’s their first experience with preschool, and they’re not quite sure what questions to ask. So if it’s okay, I’d like to tell you all about our preschool, and hopefully along the way that will answer most of your questions. Sound good?” Usually they’ll happily nod their heads.
The Middle of The Tour: Top 10 Questions To Answer
Then you move into a 20-minute time period of talking about your preschool. To teach you how to sign up preschool parents, I’ve listed below the top 10 questions that you MUST answer during your interview/tour BEFORE a parent even asks them. Remember, you’re in charge of the interview, so take charge and answer the questions in your own way depending on your situation. Feel free to include additional information into that 20-minute period as well. I’ve included brief sample answers below to the top 10 questions to answer:
- Are you licensed with the state?
By getting and maintaining my CPR/1st Aid certification, state licensing, and continuing my education, we show my commitment to excellence and to providing quality education to your child.
- What education and experience do you have to teach preschool?
With our knowledge and degree in Early Childhood Education and several years’ teaching preschool, your child will learn and grow in a caring environment with developmentally appropriate activities and positive behavior to model.
- How many children will be in my child’s class, and what is the staff/child ratio?
With our small class sizes of only 8 children in each class, your child will feel more comfortable in his/her class and will gain close friendships with the other preschoolers. Similarly, our low staff/child ratio of 1:8 will help your child get lots of 1-1 attention from us.
- What is your teaching approach: Teacher directed or child initiated? Activity- or worksheet-based?
Because we have a good balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities, your child will learn to follow directions as well as play independently. And with our activity-based curriculum, your child will enhance his/her learning by using all 5 senses.
- Do you have an open-door policy?
Our preschool has an open-door policy: meaning that you can pop in at anytime without calling first. We believe that once you see us teach, you’ll love us even more!
- What will my child be taught?
Preschool is not only a time for learning important Pre-K concepts and preparing for Kindergarten, but also for learning important social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills.
- What is your daily schedule?
We have a consistent routine each day, so your child will feel confident with their place inside the class. Our familiar routine helps your child to understand what is coming next, which often facilitates easy transitions from activity to activity. (Briefly go over schedule.)
- Do you take field trips?
We take several field trips through the year to help help your child grasp fun concepts not possible within the classroom, such as seeing baby lambs walk, hearing a fire truck’s horn, or visiting a Dentist. Use this time to quickly review the yearly calendar.
- How will you keep my child healthy and safe?
We have distinct policies and procedures set up regarding health and safety, so your child will benefit from being in a safe, clean environment. (Review common practices.)
- What is your discipline policy?
We follow a 3-step process to help children learn conflict resolution skills. We first monitor the situation, to see if the child can work it out him/herself. If not, then we’ll ask the child(ren) what is wrong, and help him/her use words to work through the situation. If the situation does not get resolved, then we’ll redirect the child(ren) into another activity.
The End of the Tour
Remember how you told the parents previously what would happen during the tour? They’ve seen your preschool. They’ve seen your personality. They’ve learned about your preschool. Now it’s time to finish the process.
Once you’ve finished your spiel, ask them if they have any other questions. Usually most families, say, “No, you answered everything.” Then smile and say, “I try to.” Or, if they have questions, answer them as needed. Then smile broadly and confidently and look them directly in the eye as you say, “Would you like (name) to come to our preschool?” Usually most families energetically nod their head and say, “Yes!” Sometimes spouses might look at each other for that quick “I loved it – are we good to go?” hidden look. So once they say “Yes” then say, “Great! Just go ahead and fill out this registration form, and you can make your $50 registration check out to (preschool name).”
Hand them the clipboard with the materials on it, and say, “I’m going to play with your child for a few minutes while you fill this out.” This is a great opportunity to get to know their child, and for the parents to see you interact and play with their child. When the parents are almost done, start cleaning up with the child by singing a fun clean up song.
Once they’ve given you their form(s) and payment, hand them their materials and remind them to read through the Policies & Procedures handbook thoroughly before coming. If the first day of school is still a ways away, remind them that you’ll be in communication with them before then so they know what to expect. Walk them outside and say your cheery goodbyes!
I hope that as you take charge of the interview, you’ll be able to confidently craft the answers to these questions before they’re even asked! Your confidence will shine through as you become more skilled at how to sign up preschool parents, and parents will be so grateful that you answered all their questions!