Here are some examples of how family child care providers handle this:
* Post a wish list on their bulletin board giving examples of gifts they would like to receive: supplies, toys, gift cards, cleaning products, etc.
* Ask parents to jointly pick out one big gift (jungle gym, nice easel, etc.) that they can all contribute towards
* Ask parents who don’t have as much money for donations of their time to help their business
* Ask parents to make donations to other organizations (Toys for Tots, food drives, etc.) instead of gifts
Some child care providers are uncomfortable posting a wish list because they don’t want parents to feel obligated to give any type of gift. You should not do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Often child care providers establish a wish list when there is a history of parents giving them gifts and the provider wants to take the opportunity to get something practical to help her business and the children.
Parents Night Out
Some child care providers offer their parents a Parent Night Out. The provider offers a free evening of child care so the parents can go Christmas shopping. This is something that single parents especially appreciate. One provider I know offers a free evening of care in exchange for the parent helping her out when she offers a free evening of care for another parent. The provider says that she does this so the parent can get a better idea of what it’s like caring for multiple children. She says that afterwards the parent usually appreciates more the work she does!
How do you handle parents giving you Christmas gifts?
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: djinkers.com
For more information about marketing, see my book Family Child Care Marketing Guide.