Children are their families’ most precious treasures. As such, when families search for a childcare solution, they have lots of questions.

Families aren’t just looking for a school; they’re looking for a child-rearing partner who will nurture, educate, and protect their most valuable possession. That’s what makes researching a childcare facility different from researching a new appliance. Reviews, web copy, and social media are important, but they’re usually not enough to satisfy all families’ concerns.

How you and your staff address families’ most common questions on tours either shows them your school is their ideal parenting partner… or sends them running to your competitor.

Common Questions Families Ask (and How to Respond)

As an owner, you already know the most common questions families ask during tours — but does your staff? More importantly, do they know the best way to answer those questions?

Your entire staff needs to know how best to address families’ worries, both on a tour and over the phone. The right way to do this isn’t by having a canned answer prepared. Here are some best practices:

  • Start by asking about the family’s experiences with childcare. This helps build rapport, and it gives your staff time to identify the families’ pain points. Use this information to craft a meaningful, personalized reply.

  • Anchor each answer to the child’s benefit. Most schools have the same features and offerings, but it’s the benefits of your features that set you apart.

    We call this the “so that.” For example, if a family member asks about your lunch offerings, “We serve vegetables every day” isn’t a wrong answer, but “We serve vegetables every day so that your child can receive their daily recommended vitamins, minerals, and fiber” is stronger.

  • Include stories in your answers. For example, when a family member asks about your biting policy, they may remember your explanation that biting is developmentally appropriate in the two-year-old classroom, but they’re more likely to remember a story about how you handled a biting incident last week. Facts tell; stories sell.

Now that we’ve covered best practices, here are the eight most common questions families ask while on tours, as well as the best ways to answer them.

Infographic: The 8 Most Common Questions Families Ask on Tours

Question #1: What’s your teacher turnover rate?

Families want their child to enjoy a calm, consistent environment. They don’t want their child to get used to one teacher and then suddenly have to adapt to a new one.

If you can’t answer this question with a number that beats the general average, focus on your teachers’ strengths instead. If the child’s prospective teacher has a superpower, bring it up. “Your child will be with Miss Gilman. She’s a potty-training wizard!”

You can also discuss your teachers’ career history, accreditation, and training. Finally, if you have any sweet child success stories (how a teacher helped a shy student make a best friend, etc.), share them.

Question #2: What’s the teacher-student ratio?

A family member with this question wants to know how many people will look after their child. Families are looking for anticipation of their child’s needs, and an overwhelmed, overworked caregiver can’t give their child the attention they deserve.

If your facilities exceed the state-mandated minimums for staff, mention that. If not, explain how you go above and beyond in other ways and mention your teachers’ superpowers. Explain how your teacher-student ratios work and walk families through your policy on floaters.

Question #3: What’s included in your tuition?

When you compare your facility’s tuition to that of a neighboring childcare center, is the comparison apples to apples? Your competitor might look cheaper at first glance, but do they have add-on fees? Are there fees for snacks, diapers, or extracurriculars?

The best way to address tuition-related questions is by referring families to a printout or web page. Explain your fees clearly and concisely, and mention that not all schools provide such transparent pricing.

Question #4: What meals and snacks do you serve?

Families with picky children want to know that your facility serves palatable, kid-friendly meals. Others may want a clean menu without highly processed foods. Families with special dietary needs may need an allergy-friendly environment.

Soothe their worries by highlighting your mealtime policies and the reasons you have them. You might include that you use meal time to teach table manners, if applicable.

Question #5: What are your emergency protocols?

When families ask about your emergency protocols, they want to know that their child will be safe with you. They also want to know how you’ll contact them in an emergency.

Be upfront about how families receive communications. Do you call them? Do they receive an email or text? Does emergency news appear on your website?

Then, share how families should contact you when they have an emergency, such as when they need to send someone new to pick up their kids.

Question #6: Are you licensed?

A family member asking whether you’re licensed is concerned about their child’s safety. They want the peace of mind that comes with a licensed school in good standing.

Provide a site where families can check for past violations. Be transparent with this information, even if you don’t have a clean record. Explain how self-reported violations work and that you do it because your policy is to go above and beyond.

If you have past violations, be prepared to answer some difficult questions. Honesty is important, as is an explanation of how you’re resolving any black marks.

Question #7: What’s your potty training policy?

Families want to know that their child’s school will work with them on potty training, not against them. This is especially true for children with potty training difficulties. Some families may leave potty training entirely up to the school.

Explain how your potty training system works, especially if promotion from one grade to another depends on successful milestones. Talk to families about how you’ll work with them to teach their child, with an emphasis on consistency.

Mention that, for the best results, families must reinforce potty training lessons on the weekends when their children aren’t in your care.

Question #8: Where can I find your calendar?

Families have a lot to worry about outside of school, and the ability to plan and work around important school activities is an enormous help. What do they need to do each day to make sure their child is ready for school? 

Talk about any communications you send, if applicable, like newsletters and emails. How do families keep up to date on their child’s education? Where can they read any news? Do you keep a yearly calendar? Where would that calendar be, or how can they get one?

Preparation can only bring peace of mind, so make sure prospective families know how to access these resources.

How to Leverage Common Tour Questions

Answering common questions in person or over the phone is an excellent start, but that’s not all you can do.

The best way to value families’ time is to build your answers into your website. If possible, leverage them in your email and marketing campaigns, too.

If you’d like help updating your marketing to answer these questions, schedule a Power Hour. Our marketing experts are on standby, ready to offer their skills.

Quote Card: The 8 Most Common Questions Families Ask on Tours

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