build parent teacher trust for child care centers

7 Ways to Build Trust at Your Child Care Center

When it comes to child care, the most important consideration for parents is whether they trust the center that they will be sending their kiddo to. After all, their child is the most important thing in the world to them, and they will be entrusting you with their well-being and development while they are somewhere else and focused on other tasks. The last thing you want is for parents to be stressed throughout the day because they’re not sure if their child is in safe hands.

Unfortunately, there is not one easy thing you can do as a leader to gain a parent’s trust and then forget about it. Trust is the sum of many small parts, which work together to increase your credibility. The reality is, you’re always just one mistake away from losing the trust that you’ve worked so hard to earn. That’s why it’s so important to regularly do things to earn — and keep — your customers’ trust.

In this article, we’ll go over seven tried-and-true techniques to enhance trust between parents and their child care providers.

Be Open & Honest

No one likes secrets being kept from them, and this is no truer than for parents. They want to know exactly what’s going on when it comes to their children, and the less you hide, the more confident parents will be that they are in the loop with everything they need to know.

When people do not get the full story, they will begin drawing their own conclusions, which can get out of hand quickly. This is why it’s better for the truth to come directly from you. Even if it’s not a great update, it will still build their trust in your commitment to open communication. Own up to mistakes and explain how you will ensure they won’t happen again. It may be tempting to sweep things under the rug, but parents deserve to know what’s happening with their children, and communicating all of this will help to hold you accountable and improve your services.

Become Licensed & Accredited

Becoming licensed or accredited by a local government agency or association is an easy way to communicate that your center meets a certain level of standards. Officially recognizing the quality of care at your center demonstrates your commitment to providing great child care and will help you ensure that you are following all best practices.

More than a “nice-to-have,” licensing can be a deal-breaker for many parents when evaluating child care options. Without it, parents will wonder why you have not taken the steps to become licensed, and may think that it is because you would not pass the test — not exactly a great way to increase their faith in your business.

Collect Reviews

Just like restaurants and hotels, online reviews are helpful resources for parents to research how others in their area feel about the local child care providers.

Chances are, your business has already been collecting reviews on review sites like Google Maps and Yelp.If you haven’t been actively inviting happy customers to leave positive reviews, your business may be misrepresented by unhappy customers who have vented a frustrating experience in an online review.

By encouraging all of your happy customers to write a review, your page will be an incredibly valuable resource to showcase all the great work you do and make you more trustworthy. Whether you casually ask parents at pick-up, include a mention in your newsletter, or add a link in your email signature, there are many ways to solicit positive reviews.

Accept Parent Volunteers

What better way for parents to be reassured by your quality of care than by letting them participate in it? It’s one thing to interact with your staff at pick-up and drop-off, but quite another to spend extended time throughout the day with them. Volunteering will allow some parents to see first-hand how great your team is, and other parents will be reassured that one of their own has seen and can vouch for your quality of care.

When accepting volunteers, just make sure that you don’t compromise your services by giving parents, who are untrained in early childhood education, responsibilities without guidance from a trained ECE. Think more along the lines of chaperoning on field trips rather than running activities.

Be Proactive

The less last-minute scrambling or messaging you do, the more confident parents will be that you have a good handle on things. Giving parents a heads up that they will need to bring more supplies soon, upcoming closures, new or departing staff, and upcoming events will cut down on surprises, keep parents in the loop, and provide them time to voice any concerns before it’s too late.

Provide Daily Reports

An easy way to solve the mystery of what exactly goes on all day is by showing parents exactly what goes on all day. Send parents a thorough daily report explaining what activities their child participated in, how much they ate, when they napped, when they went to the bathroom, how their moods changed throughout the day, and all of the other details they want to know.

sample daily report in himama

To avoid catching up on reporting during breaks or after hours and relying on memory, HiMama allows teachers to digitally record observations throughout the day in realtime in just a few taps. These records will then automatically be compiled at the end of the day and sent to parents where they can view on their smartphone, tablet or computer.

Use Assessments to Show Progress

As your daily reporting builds up over time, look at the big picture to show how children are developing across all of their important skill sets.

sample assessment in himama

This will allow you to clearly show parents how your center has helped their child progress, and dive deeper into each section to review all of the evidence that you have collected. This report is also an easy keepsake for parents to reference and know that they made the right decision to trust your child care center!

Ready to improve trust with parents at your child care center? Fill out the form below to see how HiMama can help today!

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how to build trust at a child care center with parents

Michael Keshen

Michael writes for HiMama's early childhood education blog and ECE Weekly newsletter. When not developing content for early childhood professionals, he can usually be found out and about with his wife and daughter exploring all that Toronto has to offer, or playing music with his karaoke band.

One comment

  • Thanks for also talking about how having ample nap time is also important when planning to find the right childcare education service. I want to look for a good service like that because because I will be going back to work after years of being a stay-at-home mom. Being able to find a good childcare service will help a lot in adjusting to this shift.