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How To Encourage Staff To Talk To Parents


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Hi all

Just need some ideas...its for out of school club.


We have asked staff numerous times to ensure that they meet and greet parents when they arrive at club to pick up their child. So many parents on the last questionnaire said staff never aknowledge them, even smile,they could get their child and leave without any staff saying anything to them!


Parents do have to sign their children out and its different than a pre school etc when the children all leave at the same time as at school club parents come whenever. Numerous times the committee have asked staff to keep hold of the signing in and out sheet so that parents have to find a staff member and therefore hopefully encourage conversation. However, it lasts for a week and then the sheet is back on the side.


I am aware that the staff team is young and some do not have the confidence should it be always down to the manager/deputy? Can you think of any other way? We have said it doesnt have to be anything major but this is the time that messages from school may have to be passed on to.


The other thing to consider is that staff are actually playing with the children when the parents come too (or should be!!)


One committee member is really fed up with this as we have been asking for staff to do this for ages and she says we should now threaten with disciplinary procedures.


Just wondered if anyone else had any ideas/views?



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I found it was a 2 way street.. we had comings and goings all day at different time and parents sign in and out at pre-school.. we did however always ask parents to put on the signing in sheet if it was to differ from the normal booked times... ( always under not over the hours booked) that way we were able to allocates someone to be responsible for ensuring we actually spoke to the person collecting...


but we always asked parents to ensure they spoke to a staff member before taking a child - easier for us with a locked door they had to ring a bell and have it unlocked anyway.. but could you do something similar asking parents to also ensure they just verbally tell someone they are there and collecting..and asking the staff member to talk to parents at that time.. it should be a two way thing and not completely up to staff to always make sure they are free... so why are they not helping and talking to staff on collection..


signing in sheet could be relocated to further in the room so parent has to pass through to get to it -

have a staff member countersign the sheet to say they know the child has been collected..


really just thinking out loud.. and giving ideas.. none of which may be practical or work.. just ignore them..

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Hi Inge


I know what the committee will say...its not up to parents! They even said as much at one meeting as they said it shouldnt be down to parents to have to remember to sign their children out.


Thanks for the suggestions so far

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Hi i think if i was a parent coming in i would like to be acknowledged with a smile, hello or something.

As you say you have a team of young staff could the Manager and Deputy model how it could/should be done.

Are you able to have a show and tell week, where the children bring their parents over to a table or area with items they may have made, built, or would like to share with them when picking them up. Placing a staff member/members in the area too for discussions with them.

Its a really hard one with an after school situation because as you say parents/carers come to collect at differing times and they may also have to dash off quickly.

If the signing out sheet gets put on the side who does see that they sign out? [That could be a great chance to engage with a parent].

Even if its hows your day, ......has had a lovely time playing with.................

Not sure if that is any help at all.

Wishing you good luck with this. :o

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I would have thought talking to the parents would be a fundamental part of the job tbh in any kind of setting. Just a quick "**** has had a great time today - he loved the football game" or something like that. I am at a loss why they would not do this. I would be threatening further action if they did not do it and as a parent I would not like the set-up of not being spoken to. HTH :o

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Well it's kinda difficult for any of us in preschools to appreciate as I would imagine we are all behind locked doors.

As a parent I wouldn't think much of a place where I could walk in and get my child and no one even says hello? How do they know the right child has gone with the right parent? how do they know if the child has not wondered off or gone with someone else.


As a staff member responsible for someone elses child I would be livid if a child was taken and I wasn't told.


I think it is partly a two way street here. It certainly is up to parents to announce to staff they are taking their child but equally it is up to staff to make parents feel comfortable and that they are approachable at all times. Surely even just 'hello, how are you? is a start or would suffice.

You cannot tell parents what to say or do but you can say no child will be released unless a staff member is informed and signs them out.

Staff can be reminded of job descriptions which surely must include liaising with parents. What do they do just all of a sudden notice a certain child has gone or just stand and stare when a parent takes a child? how do committee know this? Are parents complaining?

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we sign out our children and make a point of having one staff member around for meet and greet and passing messages on from school etc. how do you build up relationships with families ?

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