5 Minutes Of Heaven During The Day

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It can’t be all work and no play right?  I find myself sitting at my desk or walking around the Center and eating lunch on the fly.   Here are a few things I do to get away from it all….even for a minute…well 5:

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  • Sit in a chair in your office – other than your desk chair – and eat lunch there.   Keep away from electronics or work related items during this time.   Tell the staff you are taking 5 and to wait until (and name the time to call)…but if it’s an emergency interrupt!
  • Go for a 5 minute walk.
  • Bring one of the magazines you leave piled in your home you don’t have time to read and leave it at your desk.   Take 5 minutes to read it.
  • Go outside or sit some place comfortable and put head phones on and listen to some music for 5 minutes.
  • Bring a book and leave it in your car or at your desk and read for 5 minutes.

5 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot….but during the kind of days we have when we are always pulled in a lot of directions 5 can provide us with the break we need.

So do me a favor, take 5 for yourself each day….or a few times during the day and I bet you’ll feel refreshed and ready to jump right back in.

Go take 5,

Lawn Marketing – What Is It?

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Have you ever heard of lawn marketing?  I hadn’t either until I made it up when I needed a new idea to draw in clients when we were opening ScribbleTime!   Keeping your now enrolling sign up all year sends mixed signals to your potential clients.   Why are they always enrolling – is something wrong?   Keeping it up all year also does another thing that works against you – it becomes a permanent fixture on commutes to and from work and once something is always there we tend to not see it.   Do you read every sign every day when you drive by?

Take the sign down and replace it with something that will get their attention.   Have the kids create an art project for out there like pin wheels or decorate the front of your Center.

Follow our Lawn Marketing board by CLICKING HERE and let us know what inspires you to put on your front lawn to market to new clients!

Teachers Standing Around?

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One of the biggest turn off’s to Parents and potential clients on tours is walking in and seeing a Teacher in a classroom full of children just standing there not talking to the kids.   From the outside looking in they look not engaged and like they don’t want to be there.   From the inside the Teacher could be struggling with what to do and how to engage – some new Teachers get nervous – some veteran Teachers forget how important it is.

stopteachersfromstandingaroundThis will help:

  • At your next staff meeting discuss how important it is to engage with the students by asking open ended questions.
  • Provide the Teachers with what you expect when they engage and give examples of open ended questions.
  • As a Team brainstorm open ended questions and have someone write them all down.
  • Type up all of the open ended questions and distribute to your Teachers.

This will show your team what you expect, it’s fun to brainstorm on projects and see them in action!  When you see someone doing this correctly stop them and say it in front of everyone.   Write them a note and hang it in the lobby.   Leave them a note on their time card or locker.   This reinforces the behavior to keep happening!

Get A New Client By Sharing

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Consistent posting on Facebook will get more likes which will get you more of a reach.   A reach is how many people see it.   I like your post….all my friends saw I liked it….multiply that by 10 people…20 or even 50 and think about the reach.   We share simple photos and will get a reach of 500 – 1,000!   Two or three times a week doing that and I’m in front of 3,000 + potential clients for FREE.

getanewclientbysharingWe’re making it so simple even those without time can do it..promise!   Share the quotes from these three boards with your clients by picking 1 quote per day for 5 days a week and see how it helps.

For quotes Mom’s would like CLICK HERE

For quotes Dad’s would like (Mom’s like them too!) CLICK HERE

Quotes everyone likes CLICK HERE

Follow these boards to help you keep up with your posts…we are filling them up with new quotes every day.
Share to shine in your community!

Communication is Key….and can build enrollment

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Do you ever have wonder what the best way to communicate with your Parents is because sometimes not everyone seems to get the memo?   When we opened we decided to have Orientation Meetings with the Parents in our Pre-K and Kindergarten program so they know what is expected to help prepare their child for the next big step.

communicationiskeyitbuildsenrollmentThe first year we invited the families with their children to our Center to have the meeting…big mistake.   You couldn’t hear over the children – they were just running around and really excited we were all together.   Year two we decided to have the meeting on a specific night, we had the kids play in the gym, and we met with the familes….and it went well with about 60% participation.

Then we learned about http://www.freeconferencecalling.com/   It’s a free conference call in number – PLUS you can record it!   Here is the plan:

  1. Sign up for a free conference number
  2. Invite your families to call into the number at night when the kids go to bed – we do them at 8:00 pm.
  3. Discuss a topic – either train them on something – give them an update – share how the classroom is run during the year and what they can do to help their child during the year to prepare for Kindergarten.
  4. Record the call and email it out or provide it to families who couldn’t attend.

Parents will love the communication and they will tell their friends how innovative you are and how well you communicate.   The word gets out how your Center shines in your community….it all it took was  a free call in line and 30 minutes of your time!

Build enrollment through communication!

Dealing With Difficult Parents

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Do you get nervous when a Parent starts to get angry at you?   It’s so uncomfortable when a Parent starts getting heated on a topic.     It could be over a tuition bill, or something a Teacher did…or didn’t do…a comment someone made….you name it a Center somewhere in the country has had to deal with it.   As Directors you may or may not be comfortable in situations like this and know how to handle them.   Here are some tips for you to use, you should also consider sharing this at your next staff meeting to help Teachers deal with these types of situations:

  • Acknowledge that you understand why the Parent is upset – even if you don’t agree on the topic you can agree that they are upset.   “Kim I see you are upset about us not following your child’s schedule in the infant room.   We did skip a bottle and I’m sorry that we weren’t more careful.   I understand the schedule and will make sure that it is followed.”     By apologizing for the error you show them that you take ownership of the problem.
  • If a Parent gets really upset and there is no calming them down even if you have apologized you can do two things.  The first is if you are the highest ranking person at your Center – such as the owner or the Director –  you can say “Kim I’m really this happened at our Center today and I am going to make sure your baby gets their bottle tomorrow.   I know how upset you are and I understand.   Let’s follow up tomorrow night after we see how the day goes.   Is this ok with you?”   Here you continue to acknowledge the error and accept responsibility but now you are putting an end to the conversation but making sure it continues the next day.   By setting up a time to discuss tomorrow you are showing you aren’t just passing the buck but you are taking ownership.
  • If it ever comes up, and I hope it doesn’t, that a Parent gets so irate you can’t calm them down.   It’s good to have a plan with your staff.   We have gotten to step 1 and thankfully didn’t have to keep going.
    • A Parent is really upset and you have tried discussing it with them but now they are visibly aggravated, not speaking very nicely to you, and might even be making you nervous.    End the conversation.   “Kim I have taken full ownership of this problem and promise to follow up with you to make sure it’s fixed.   I think that it’s best to end the conversation right now because I don’t like the words you are using with me.  Let’s talk tomorrow night.”   This should end the conversation.
    • If it continues to be elevated say something like “I’ve asked if we can continue the conversation tomorrow night and I now need to ask you to leave the Center.”
    • If they refuse have your plan in place.   Our plan is that we keep the doors of the office open and call the local police department to assist us in having the Parent leave.

While thankfully Parents don’t normally get this heated it can happen.   We are taking care of their most prized possession and we need to understand this is why things can get really intense sometimes.   But you also need to be mindful that it’s not ok to talk to you like this and if you ever feel uncomfortable you need to deal with it.   There are other clients out there if this one leaves because they are mad and other clients will understand that sometimes things aren’t perfect but they need to have faith in us that we will take care of their concerns.

Take action today and make up an emergency plan for situations like this with your team.

Friday the 13th isn’t so bad when you have a check in

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Do you spend quality time with your Teachers?    I don’t mean just walking through the rooms and saying hi or asking what’s going on this weekend?   Or checking in with them on the fly to see how the kids are doing.

fridaythe13thisntsobadBy quality time I mean sit down and invest sometime into them?   Try implementing check in’s – a scheduled meeting with a Teacher where you are not interrupted and you can just sit and discuss how things are going as an employee at your Center.   What are their personal goals?   How can you help them meet these?    Share the things they are doing really well.   Leave this on a positive note and don’t critique them.    Follow through with any promises you made during this check in.

Do these check in’s every 3 months.  This builds relationships – motivates your Teachers – and strengthens their commitment to your Center.

Lead on!

408….It Will Amaze You

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You might not believe this… Last year I testified at the Massachusetts State Senate hearing on the topic of implementing a child care union in our State.   I spent some time before my testimony thinking of how I can explain every single thing that goes on in Centers from across the country to a group of people that might not understand the work we do every day.

I thought about what we do for one child a day…..and then expanded it to every child in the Center and what do you get?   11,987,040…that’s right.   As a child care center Director with 113 students at my center each day we perform 11,987,040 tasks in one year!   On average that’s 408 tasks per child per day on average.   I lead those days….crazy to think of it all.

Think about from walking through the front door – teaching – snack – diapering – parents – business partners – cleaning – paying bills – the list goes on!      So take 408 and multiply it by the number of students you have each day.   That is what you lead on a daily basis.   If you take that number and multiply it by 5 (5 days in the week) and then take that number and multiply it by the number of weeks you are open (52 for a full year program) that is the total number you lead each year!

Pause for a second and don’t feel overwhelm – feel pride on what you can do!

Center’s Shine When Leaders Lead.

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Do you think you are leading your Center or reacting to the day to day?   Everyone can achieve excellence at their centers because excellence is a choice.   It’s purposeful planning to have an excellent Center….reacting to day to day issues as they arise without a plan is not going to get you your dream Center!

For example your Teachers could be forgetting to tell Parents they are running out of diapers for their child.   Parents are always complaining to you that it’s last minute.   You could just let it go and react every time a Parent complained or every time a Teacher told you a Parent forgot again!

Or you could make sure your Center shines in your community and take initiative!

Leaders spend time anticipating problems and fixing them.    To lead your Center you would notice this was a problem after a complaint or two and put in place a process.   A simple fix could be you train your Teachers verbally and in writing that when a child has 2 days of diapers left a ticket you designed goes in the child’s cubbie or bag letting the Parents know that this.   Now the Parent has two days to get the diapers to you instead of rushing to Target tonight!

Lead your Center to success!   This is what builds enrollment.

Shine on!

I love him!

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Do you know how much I love John Maxwell??   He’s my favorite author and speaker.    I listen to him as much as I can while I’m working and this is one of my favorite quotes.

ilovehim“The first person you lead is you.” – John Maxwell

It’s important if you want to lead the Teachers in your Center and motivate them you need to lead yourself first.   Learn as much as you can, try new things when what you are doing isn’t changing anything, and make a commitment to consistently gain new ideas!   Check out this video by John Maxwell on his 5 Levels of Leadership – you’ll know why he’s my favorite!

Click Here To Watch The Video

If you your State licsensor lets you approve your own trainings then this one is 30 minutes and it’s so worth it…plus it’s free!

Let me know how you like it below!

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