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  1. #1
    apples and bananas
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    The waiting list... it works!

    As those of you know who have been following my recents posts know, I've terminated a family due to lates... and a bunch of other red flags... but the termination letter focused on lates.

    I keep an active wait list. I almost always advertise and when poeple want to meet with me I take the time and meet with them. If I don't have space but find them to be a great family I put them on my wait list and contact them closer to the required date and let them know if I have space or not.

    Well, I interviewed a couple back in May for September care. At the time I had an immediate spot, but did not feel comfortable taking a holding fee for that long. So, I kept their information around. No sooner did I send the termination email as I recieved an email from this family asking if anything had changed and if I had space.

    They're perfect! Great family, fantastic hours and better yet... they start in 3 weeks. If I didn't take the time to interview this family I'd still be searching for a replacement stressing over income. Turns out I'm replacing my termination quicker then I even wanted to!

  2. #2
    Expansive...
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    That's awesome news!
    Satisfaction Guaranteed or Double Your Kids Back!!

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    That's great! Congratulations!

    I'm not going to keep a waiting list any more because I had a surprise in June and so contacted everyone from my waiting list but only one family came in for an interview. I don't keep my ads up unless I have a space. I find interviewing the most exhausting part of this job so I only do it when I absolutely have to fill a space.

    I just had the most wonderful thing happen though and someone who lives practically across the street found me and came in for an interview for my September space and I haven't even advertised!

  4. #4
    apples and bananas
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    That's fantastic momof4! I love when clients find us and we don't even have to look.

  5. #5
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    That's nice!!! And I LOVE that feeling when months pass by and people contact you AGAIN to see if anything had changed because they're very interested still. I've gotten a few of those emails, and it makes me feel great (even though I don't have the space, lol!)!

    Congrats on a fresh start with a new family!

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  7. #6
    Expansive... dodge__driver11's Avatar
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    Yay Apples that's great@!

    Good news!

    All the best with your new family.

  8. #7
    Expansive... Judy Trickett's Avatar
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    Hmmm.....see, I have pondered this concept too. I love the idea of a waiting list but the way you do it makes more sense - meeting with them and THEN putting them on the list. You see, I know lots of providers are contacted and just plop the name on the list but unless a parent has met with you and has been "sold" on your daycare then they aren't likely to respond to a contact from you just because you put their name on the list. If they haven't been "sold" and are sitting there in anticipation of your call (because you are their first choice) they will likely have already secured care elsewhere.

    I often wondered how much more effective a waiting list would be if you actually met with the people before hand, "sold" them on your daycare, and then had them waiting in anticipation.

    I have been thinking of doing this for a long time but the thought of actually meeting with parents I might not potentially have room for makes me shudder - I mean, who wants another interview to to do? ACK!

    But, yep, I get what you are doing and glad to see it actually works in practice.

    Congrats!

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  10. #8
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I have done the waiting list thing both ways ~ when I started out I did the whole interview and tour in order to go on the waiting list so that I knew that everyone on it was 'seriously' interested in my program and I wanted that 'pool' cause being new to self employed I was in that 'fear mode' of what if current clients all terminate on me ~ so my first year I interviewed anyone and everyone who contacted me even though I did not NEED to ~ just in case .... but the reality is that I was NEVER able to help any of those people out cause none of my first clients turned over for well over a year and by the time I had space their kid was already settled in a program somewhere else.... so all those hours of after hours unpaid work was wasted.

    So I switched to if someone contacts me and I am full I offer to keep their info and if something 'changed' I would contact them .... I was able to get 'one person' this way who had not found alternative care when I finally had a space to offer them and that was because the kid was home with 'grandma' and did not really NEED childcare mom just wanted some extra stimulation a few days a week and she had not found anything that she 'liked' so she came interviewed and signed on .... I have had others who contacted me every month 'asking' how things were even though they had never met me ..... but for the most part all the majority of others who had needed care for X date had gone off and found care and I just take them off the list anyway ~ with only a few minutes of my time wasted with a phone call or email.

    Ultimately ~ even if someone has met you and really liked your program if they have found care elsewhere unless it is 'really bad' they are going to just accept the status quo and stay where they are.

    I will also admit that if I interviewed someone 6 months or a year ago for a spot and put them on my waiting list I would want to 'interview' them AGAIN because clients priorities and thinking can often CHANGE over that time and we might no longer be an ideal match for care ... aka the ideals a parent holds for an infant might not be the 'reality of practice' with their now 2 year old.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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  12. #9
    Euphoric !
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    Judy, I agree with you, but I don't want to conduct any interviews if I don't have to, so I can't see doing that. I'm done with the waiting list idea and from now on I'm just going to tell people no thanks but help them find other providers in our city. Once you start advertising you get responses from people who are currently looking, so why bother? That's my decision for now.

  13. #10
    apples and bananas
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    Let me clarify what I do exactly.

    I interview those perspective clients who are looking for care 6 months or so down the road. It's not like I interview client that needs care in 2 weeks and I'm full. Also, I'm just passing my first year. I HATE doing interviews too. The extra cleaning, the time away from my family at night, the hopes that my children are going to behave themselves. UGH! But, I feel it's really important in an area with lots of providers to set myself apart. So, that mom that is due in November who is calling around for daycares now... I interview. Because the fact is... if I don't have room for her when she needs it, she will know someone at sometime who will ask her if she knows any good daycares. And if I sell myself right, she'll mention me.

    I won't keep a list forever. I hope I get to the point where people find me even when I'm not advertising... but for now... that's how I'm going to get to that spot.

    Everyone's different and everyones area is different. Not everyone needs to do it. It's just working in my neck of the woods.

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