Every parent wants the best for their little one attending daycare and it can be a stressful time getting used to leaving their precious baby in the care of others. For that reason the centre can receive many concerns and complaints each day which means, at times, the Centre Manager and Educators have to deal with some difficult parents and situations.
Most days parents’ concerns are small and can be dealt with straight away. This could be anything from lost clothing, a child not sleeping or their routine not going how the parent has wanted it to. In these cases it is best that the Educators listen closely to the parents’ requests and try their best to follow and act upon their wishes. Parents know their children best and if they want their routines to change, have started potty training or changed their diet for example, educators should listen and support them.
Other concerns and complaints can be a lot more serious and a lot more stressful for everyone involved. If a parent has made a formal complaint about an educator or another child, the Centre Manager needs to take this very seriously and listen and react to the parents the best they can. All complaints need to be documented in great detail and reported if necessary.
If a parent is upset or angry it is best to try to deal with the issues privately away from Educators, children and other parents. The Centre Manager needs to remain calm and try to deescalate the situation if tensions are high. By remaining calm they will give the parent a chance to have their concerns and worries heard and this itself can help the situation.
Once the parent has voiced their concerns the Centre Manager can talk the parent through the next steps of the process, that is, documenting all the concerns that the parent has mentioned, speaking to any educators involved to get an insight to what may have occurred and how they can help or deal with the situation better if it were to happen again. Once the Centre Manager has completed all necessary documentation and taken educator accounts, if necessary, they will report back to the parent on how they are dealing with the situation moving forward.
Room leaders and educators also need to know how to deal with unhappy parents and need to be confident enough to give information concerning their children no matter how difficult this may be. Sometimes less experienced educators can get help and support from their Centre Manager, Room Leaders or the Responsible Person to speak to the parent especially if they know the information may make the parent upset. Educators should begin by speaking to parents about the children’s day and passing on daily information, for example, about how they slept and what they ate which should increase their confidence while talking to and dealing with parents.
Centre Managers, Room leaders and Educators should try to remain professional and show integrity at all times while dealing with parents and difficult situations. Sometimes putting themselves in their shoes and think about how they would feel in that particular situation can help. Educators may not always agree with parents however sometimes it is best to listen and help as much as possible than to argue a point and make the situation worse.