As the owner of a child care business, you know that each family’s first day at your center is an important one. On this day, you introduce parents and children to the people and services at your facility as you help them become acclimated to your program. Your primary goal is to help new parents and their children get settled in as quickly and smoothly as possible. This is where the importance of implementing an effective daycare orientation comes into play. 
A well-planned and clearly executed orientation program can help establish positive relationships with families from day one. Start each new school year with confidence, and follow these tips to help you host an impressive orientation for your daycare center.

Be prepared

Adequate preparation goes a long way. Before orientation day, make sure you have carefully prepped everything you need ahead of time, including a detailed agenda, printed materials for families, and name tags for everyone in attendance. 
Think about which important topics need to be covered, and make sure you allocate enough time for each. You don’t want to rush through any portions of your orientation or leave anything important out. 

Be organized

An effective daycare orientation needs to be well-organized and flow smoothly. This means starting on time, staying on track, and being clear about the expectations set between parents and your center.
Think about how you want the day to unfold, and create an agenda that will help you stay on track. It’s helpful to have a sign-in sheet for each family as they arrive so you can keep track of who comes and how long they stay. 

Welcome parents and make them feel comfortable

Making a positive impression begins the moment parents set foot in your daycare center. Be sure you assign staff members near the entrance to greet families warmly as they arrive. Also, ensure your staff are ready to answer any orientation-related questions parents may have.
During your orientation session, take time to get to know each family. Share information about your daycare center while also learning about what parents are looking for in a daycare program. This will help you personalize your orientation specifically for them. 

Incorporate fun as parents get to know each other

Daycare orientations are an excellent opportunity for parents and families to get to know each other. You can create the perfect venue for parents to connect by incorporating fun activities and some ice breakers at the start of your orientation session. This will set a positive friendly tone and help your guests warm up to each other before the main portion.
For example, you can ask parents to introduce themselves and their children with a fun fact about each of them. Or you can also have parents work together in small groups to complete a short activity. 

Present important things parents need to know before the first day of school

Daycare orientation is all about helping parents and children get ready for the first day of school. This means you need to present key information to parents so they can prepare their little ones accordingly.
Some of the essential topics to cover may include: 

  • An overview of a typical day at your daycare center
  • What to expect on the first day of school
  • Rules and expectations
  • Information about your staff (including photos)
  • Emergency procedures


Introduce your daycare curriculum and philosophy

One of the most important aspects of any daycare center is its curriculum and philosophy. During orientation, take some time to outline for parents what your daycare center stands for. Share the reasons why you believe in the approach you have chosen, and how your methods can benefit their children. 
This is also a good time to introduce parents to members of your daycare staff. Share some information about your employees’ backgrounds, experiences, and the types of activities they will be doing with the children. 

Thank parents for their time and send them off feeling ready for the first day of school

Your daycare orientation will be a success when parents leave feeling confident and ready for the first day of school. Take a moment to thank them for their time, and let them know that you are there to address any of their questions or concerns. 
Before parents leave, ensure they have all necessary paperwork in hand, as well as any other items they may need including your contact information. Send them off with a smile and a feeling of readiness for the year ahead.
Hosting a well-executed daycare orientation can help establish strong relationships with your families right from the start. By following these seven tips, you can run an impressive orientation that will set a positive tone for a successful school year. 
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