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  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home... Tot-Time's Avatar
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    Daycare Open House?

    I was just wondering if anyone has had a daycare open house? Was it successful? Any advice on how to make it successful?

    I have a space that will be available in the near future and I was considering advertising an open house for a couple of hours next weekend. I am very weak at interviewing and I thought this might be another way for families just see if my daycare is right for them without the interview process.
    ~*~ Nicole's Tot-Time Daycare ~*~
    www.nicolestot-time.com

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    I now people that have done it. Some had success when breaking into a new market. For others all that came out of it was finding some daycare friends since the only ones that came to the open house was other curious daycare providers. It doesn't really stop the interview process because rarely do they sign up at the time of the visit but they decided if they want to come back for an actual sit down interview. So all you are really showcasing at the open house is your setting as in trying to sell your daycare space over someone else's daycare space. At the same time it just might work since once you get the people in the door you have a better chance of them wanting to procede. It isn't something I have tried myself but at the same time unless you plan to go all out on a fancy party so to speak to go with it then you really have nothing to lose to do it. Keep your time flexible enough that people have a better chance to fit a visit into their schedule. Think of them having kids so during an afternoon naptime might not be the best time or make it a longer time frame and just plan on hanging out in your basement for the day.

  3. #3
    Starting to feel at home... Tot-Time's Avatar
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    I think I can handle both possiblities I would love to know more providers in my area I know a lot of people but don't have many close friends, so yes it would be so nice to get to know more caregivers.

    I know an open house wouldn't replace the interview process, but to a degree it might, because if a family visitied and discovered that my daycare is too much like a centre then it saves the interview time, or at least that the thought behind it. If they love my home daycare then we proceed to the interview. I find it is so much easier to have an interview with someone I have already met before. It is the first 1/2 hour that a new family is here that my voice is all shaky, my nerves are shattered, I studder etc. If they get through the first half an hour, then I start calming down and able to actually have a good interview, unless the family isn't right for me and then I may remain flustered the whole interview. The trial and tribulations of being really shy and nervous around new people.

    My office is just outside of my daycare so it could be a day to get my office fixed up or me get caught up on old workshops. I am not too worried about timings, I was just trying to think outside of the box
    ~*~ Nicole's Tot-Time Daycare ~*~
    www.nicolestot-time.com

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I am a new provider and I did host an open house just through a parent group I belong to. I had two mothers and babies come and I think it was worthwhile just to help get the word out there if nothing else. Neither of them placed their kids with me, but neither of them were looking for something immediately and did not know yet their exact needs. I am not good at interviewing either and I'm not sure I did any better with the open house. However, it is a way to get people in who wouldn't have come because they are not looking actively yet...then they can spread the word to others if they like what they see. I think you have to try everything you can think of sometimes. I do have two kids now and am just looking for one more, but don't need him/her to start until summer or fall, so I think I have been pretty successful so far

  5. #5
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    ok Nicole to funny, I have the 6 seater runabout. I like it and I don't. I bought it right from the people who make them in the states. But I find I don't use it in the winter so when I do pull it out I forget the strategy I have to use to load it. Heavy in front first and then work my way back. The small black bar keeps getting stuck on mine. Now I have a wheel doing funny things. But everyone stares thats for sure! I like having everyone in the stroller that wayI don't have to worry about one taking off. That I'm paranoid about! I have to say though its fantastic in the winter even in slush!
    Anyway somewhere else on here I've written what I do in interviews you need to read it, not sure where, one of the business daycare sections, I don't know you requested help though. When people come to my house they usually say what a great set up I have, so this has helped me to feel like, well, your lucky to be in my house! I've lost one to grandparents, and my girlfriend same thing. I now have an opening I need to interview for and one in sept. I was getting a lot of mails from ccprn and daycare bear, but now that I'm looking nothing! Its funny how it goes in waves. Oh well, I'm in the middle of renovating, I mean my husband, the basement. Its going to be fantastic, I can't wait. We are in my living room right now, which is working nicely, however I want more room.I don't know where I'm going with this stuff I have to go clean my disater of a house from march break madness, vaccumm etc. I'm all for an open house for c/givers though when my basement is done! Talk tonight! Where are you located Nicole?

  6. #6
    Starting to feel at home... Tot-Time's Avatar
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    Yes, I can fully understand about the loading/unloading issues, I occassionally will forget too and the stroller will tip up,

    Rog berg is really good with replacing / fixing parts with his runabouts so don't hesitate to email him and ask for advice on fine tuning/fixing your wheelse of black bar. My back yard neighbour had her wheel slip off a few times and Rog just replaced the wheel for her.

    I know it is either feast or famine with daycare inquiries. I get tons of emails when I don't have space and then when I there is nothing I have noticed a trend that families are looking 6 - 9 months in advance for care. I found it a lot easier to fill my falls spaces at Christmas than my space in Feb.

    Else than for school aged kiddies I don't get many inquiries from the CCPRN. But truthfully, in the 4 yrs I have been a member I haven't received many inquiries from the CCPRN. I had a space become available last week for the fall and may already have it filled. A family I interviewed at Chrismtas wants it and has agreed to pay the reservation fee. I have 3 interviews this week with families who received my information as an referral and I promised them interviews, so I am crossing my fingers that the space is filled quickly. My last space took me almost 4 months to fill. I'll have to brush up on my interview skills, tonight is my first interview for this space ....

    I am in Barrhaven.
    ~*~ Nicole's Tot-Time Daycare ~*~
    www.nicolestot-time.com

  7. #7
    Starting to feel at home... Tot-Time's Avatar
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    I talked with hubby and decided to go ahead with the open house idea, it does sound fun to meet other caregivers if that is all that showed up btw, if any caregivers are in the area, please do visit

    But then I got thinking ... once upon a time I used to have the street I lived on and well I had to remove that information from my website. I started to have random people, finding my house (I have a magnet on my garage with my daycare name) just showing up at my house and demanding an interview. One time I wasn't even home, my husband tried his best to get rid of them, he ended up telling them what park I was at and then even came to the park for the interview they were so insistent. So, I got thinking, do I really want to have my address on my website so that people can come to an open house? Oiye. Right now I just have my postal code and to email me for a full address, so I might not have anyone anyway, lol.

    I received an email last night from a family that I interviewed at christmas, I told them that I now had a space available and they have expressed an interest to take it, even if it means they have to pay a reservation fee. So, I might just follow through with the 3 interviews I have now and make a decision at the end of the week. One of the interviews is with a cousin of a little who is starting in September and they have expressed an interest in having the boys together. So I am crossing my fingers that the space will be full soon.
    ~*~ Nicole's Tot-Time Daycare ~*~
    www.nicolestot-time.com

  8. #8
    Euphoric !
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    A lot more parents would be interested in an open house when the weather is nicer such as going for a walk and stopping in. Not to mention not having to fuss with boots and bulky coats at the door. Could you wait till later in the spring to do the openhouse.

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