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INCREASE PARENT SATISFACTION THROUGH FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

Increase Parent Satisfaction Through Family Engagement

Parent satisfaction is important because it's a key factor in evaluating the effectiveness of services and has become an important dimension to measure the performance of businesses like child care centers and tutoring institutions. Overlooking parental satisfaction can have a negative result on a company's growth especially if the typical client is a minor or child.

Research has shown that the more satisfied parents are with a service the more likely they are to continue the service. If you own and operate a child care center or a tutoring company make sure to build parental satisfaction. One way to increase parental satisfaction is through family engagement. The more parents feel engaged with their children's education or child care program the more satisfied they become. Family engagement is one of the best ways to improve parent satisfaction.

HOW TO BOOST FAMILY ENGAGEMENT IN A CHILD CARE CENTER

Fostering family engagement differs from business to business and environment to environment. It's necessary to understand the unique conditions associated with an industry and how those conditions impact parents, children, engagement and ultimately satisfaction.

Day care and child care centers provide an early childhood program for young children. This occurs during the day when parents are at work. These types of businesses, while not frontline education institutions, are still tasked with developing key milestones for young thinkers. Milestones can be as simple as learning how to get their shoes and coats on for recess, waiting patiently for their turn to talk or treating their peers with kindness and respect.

Many may consider these skills to be 'life skills' or 'soft skills' and rarely put much value on them. Parents may not understand they are teaching these skills to their children every day. It's something they do without thinking about it. On the other hand, these skills are the 'bread and butter' of child care centers. These are exactly the type of skills and instruction children under their care are required to learn and master.

Communication between daycare centers and parents regarding skill development is paramount. Those centers that communicate effectively will engage their parents and ultimate lead to higher levels of parental satisfaction.

Here are 3 ways to improve family engagement within a child care center:

  1. Offer childcare during meetings, at-home conferences, or tutoring: Accommodating parents with busy schedules can help them stay involved in their child's care. By offering childcare during meetings, at-home conferences, or tutoring, parents can participate in their child's education without worrying about finding a babysitter.
  2. Offer parenting classes, reach out to new families, showcase parents' involvement, and establish parent advisory groups: Providing parenting classes can help parents learn more about their child's development and how to support them. Reaching out to new families and showcasing parents' involvement can help build a sense of community and encourage other parents to get involved. Establishing parent advisory groups can also provide a platform for parents to share their ideas and feedback.
  3. Demonstrate commitment, caring, respect, responsiveness, and good judgment: Building trust with parents is essential for boosting engagement. Demonstrating commitment to the child's well-being, caring for their needs, showing respect for their culture and values, being responsive to their concerns, and using good judgment when making decisions can help build trust with parents. This in turn will help you attract more parents to your child care center.
Family engagement leads to greater amounts of satisfaction

HOW TO BOOST FAMILY ENGAGEMENT FOR A TUTORING COMPANY

There are many parallels between daycare centers and tutoring companies as both seek to service children with respect to milestones. With regards to tutoring those milestones are more education based rather than development based. Nonetheless, parental satisfaction is no less important and engaging the family continues to provide dividends to all participants involved.

What many owners of tutoring companies don't understand is the need for parents to be involved in their child's studies. Complicated subjects and changing curriculums have made this process difficult. It's all too easy to 'hide behind' the subject expert and allow them to do their thing. That may work for a time but eventually the family will grow skeptical and question their allotment of funds.

If you currently operate a tutoring company you may have observed these phenomena. Have you ever noticed a dollar ceiling? Is there a dollar amount when you start to see student attrition in your business? During my time operating a tutoring business I noticed a drop-off in services around the $640.00 mark. That's about 16 hours of tutoring. For me, parents would start to question the validity of my services. It's not because my tutors were bad. On the contrary, I would routinely hire teachers and other tutors with post-graduate degrees and I paid them very well.

I mistakenly equated subject competency with longevity and that was a big mistake!

You see, it doesn't matter how talented the teacher or tutor is if the parents don't know what's going on. You certainly can't expect their child to be an advocate for you and your business. No way! In many circumstances the student isn't a willing participant. A recalcitrant child combined with parental doubt will slowly but surely lead to the termination of your services.

But all is not lost.

Reach out to parents and get them engaged in their child's learning. Make sure they know what is happening and understand it. Make sure you take the opportunity to get to know them and their child. This may seem like a waste of time but it will lead to greater profit in the long run. You can make more money by attracting more clients but eventually you will hit a 'wall.' The secret is determining how to keep your existing clients for as long as possible and family engagement is the way to do it!

Here are 2 ways to improve family engagement within a tutoring company:

  1. Organize events and workshops: Hosting events and workshops can be an effective way to connect with parents and discuss their child's progress. You can organize events such as a "technology night" where you discuss the online curriculum students are using in the classroom so that parents can gain a better understanding.
  2. Offer at-home parent-teacher conferences: At-home conferences can be a great way to connect with parents and discuss their child's progress in a comfortable and familiar environment. This will set you apart from the majority of your competition. Parents can sense when a company is only interested sales. In fact, your initial consultation with the family should be for a FREE consultation.
Try hosting workshops to improve parental satisfaction through engagement At-home parental meeting to boost engagement and satisfaction

HOW TO BOOST FAMILY ENGAGEMENT IN ALL INDUSTRIES

The following methods for boosting family engagement incorporate the use of software. Software is an excellent tool for boosting family engagement because it is readily available (when cloud-based software is present), allows for multiple entries using login credentials and can be programmed to execute mundane tasks with 100% consistency and efficiency.

Just think about all the e-mails and calls you get in a single day. If you are not yet using software, you are likely answering a lot of questions on a consistent basis. This is not necessarily bad. Each e-mail and call is an opportunity to get to know the family better. I get that. But consider what you can't do when you are doing these things.

A perfect world is one where you can reach out to parents more consistently while many of those daily questions are answered for you. Sure you could hire an executive assistant but how much does that person cost? $2000 a month? More? How about answering commonly asked questions in a policies and procedure PDF and post it to your client's dashboard? When you get a question that is already answered you can direct them to the software and the documents area. Easy right? Not to mention software is like an executive assistance but at a fraction of the cost.

Here are two other ways software can save you time so you can focus on family engagement for the purpose of improving parent satisfaction:

  • Make a parent's portal available: A parent's portal gives parents access to their child's information when it's convenient for them. Don't underestimate this feature. You never know when a parent must have a piece of information only your business can provide.

    Parents today lead very busy lives. It's not uncommon for a parent to be wading through their child's correspondence with a school or other program during the late hours of the evening to discover they need proof of tutoring. Consider their frantic reaction when they discover the information is past due.

    Something as simple as a parent's portal could solve this problem. When they get what they need easily and quickly your business scores a win. If they can't get what they need you'll be hearing from them in the morning, early morning. Not a win! The easy solution is a parent's portal.

    Provide parents a portal to their childs information
  • Send reports by the tutor after every session: We have a large number of tutoring companies using our software. We know those tutoring companies who send after-session reports and those who do not. Want to guess which businesses make more revenue per client? You guessed it; companies who send parents a progress report at the end of each session routinely make more revenue per client.

    What a shock! Problems occur when you require the tutor to write up the report and send it to the parents. Under normal circumstances tutors will fulfill this obligation approximately 10% of the time. What! That's right. You read that right. 10% of the time tutor's will send a parent a progress report.

    You have to provide incentive for tutors to send these reports. Software solves this problem easily! Within the Bizstim system if tutors want to be paid they must complete their sessions. Completing a session means they must complete a progress report. When the tutor completes the report and saves the session the system will automatically send the report to the parents.

    It's that easy! The tutor gets paid and is happy. The parents are happy because they know what is happening in their child's tutoring. You, the business owner is happy because you made some money and you managed to make both the tutor and the parents happy too. Win, win.

SUMMARY

If you want to increase parent satisfaction via family engagement make sure to do the following:

  • Offer childcare during meetings, at-home conferences, or tutoring
  • Offer parenting classes, reach out to new families, showcase parents' involvement, and establish parent advisory groups:
  • Demonstrate commitment, caring, respect, responsiveness, and good judgment
  • Organize events and workshops
  • Offer at-home parent-teacher conferences
  • Make a parent's portal available
  • Send reports by the tutor after every session
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COMMENTS

Can you think of other ways to increase family engagement?