One key element to finding success at your child care center or program is to involve your teachers in your parent tours in order to really integrate them into your enrollment building machine!
Teacher-parent interaction is often an overlooked piece of the puzzle when evaluating the strength of your tours. No matter how great of a job the director may do on the tour, the teachers are what really sell the program at the end of the day. If a parent doesn’t get a great feeling from the teacher of a child’s potential classroom, it can cause a big red flag and you could lose the enrollment. This makes it essential to invest time with your teachers to set expectations and train them, so they know what to do when a parent walks into the room on a tour.
What I find works best is to have a process in place where the director takes over the classroom for just a couple minutes so the teacher can take the time to engage with the parents. That starts with a warm handshake, which is professional and sets the tone, direct eye contact, a smile, and an introduction from the teacher, followed by a quick minute for the teacher to share something special about her class.
Most schools do not have a process for an introduction. A parent will walk into a classroom and observe while the teacher won’t acknowledge the parent or director, going on with business as usual and creating an awkward feeling situation. Sound familiar? You have some homework to do!
Take a minute to look at your tour process when entering the classroom. Does the parent have a chance to interact with the teacher? Is the teacher trained on what to do? Has she practiced and role played on what to say and what she wants to share with the parents? Some great topics for teachers to quickly discuss or share are kid’s artwork, lesson plans, curriculum, something fun or humorous, or special events. If you can communicate with the teacher that this is their time to really shine with parents and be proud of what they do, you’ll soon see them rise to that level!
When you involve the teachers on the tours it makes a huge impression and creates a much more positive experience for everyone involved. So get out there and train your teachers, role play, and set expectations for them so your tour can be the best that it can be and you can see your enrollments grow!