Stuff that Bugs Parents about Kids Programs This Time of Year

Man and Giants BugsWith summer approaching and fall right on its heels, everybody who has anything to do with kids is BUSY and trying to accomplish A LOT.

“This time of year” is really any time of year when sessions or programs are starting or ending. And at those times, parents’ two top pet peeves seem to revolve around communication with kid’s programs staff.

Find out more of what parents say they’re looking for in our 2016 Parent Survey with over 1,400 respondents.

Friendly Reminders

We know staff is finalizing schedules, prepping supplies, and fine-tuning agendas. And we understand how frustrating things can be for those in the customer service role. But our goal is to help you grow your organization and that means passing on a friendly reminder about communication with parents. [1]

#1. PARENT PEEVE: A staffer who is rushed or rude.

Parents complain that staffers rush their inquiries and phone calls to the point of being rude, especially this time of year when programs are busy hiring staff, managing registrations, and finalizing programs.

PROGRAM SOLUTION: Prioritize relationships.

What’s more important in your office than developing relationships with parent customers? Train your staff members to treat parents as graciously in May and June as they would in October. Inquiring parents must sense your eagerness for their questions and calls and NEVER feel like an imposition. According to Camp Consultant Services, electronic telephone answering or routing systems can be effective ONLY if:

  • the messaging is updated regularly
  • calls are returned immediately
  • the system is user-friendly and without flaw 100% of the time

BOTTOM LINE: Customer inquiries must always receive an immediate and polite response. (Even if the customer is wrong or rude.)


#2. PARENT PEEVE: Careless mistakes in written communications.

Why does it matter? Mistakes on websites, social media, emails, or other written communications suggest that your organization is careless and not attentive to details. Not the message you want for those entrusting their kids to you, right?

PROGRAM SOLUTION: Establish an editorial process.

  • Use spellcheck, but don’t stop there …
  • Confirm grammar, punctuation, and correct word usage. If you’re unsure about what you’ve written, edit the copy to say the same thing in a different way.
  • Read copy aloud.
  • Find an objective proofreader (someone not working on the project—preferably someone with editorial skills).
  • Check out our helpful resource for writing and editing.

BOTTOM LINE: Refuse to let carelessness or busyness diminish the reputation of your organization.


We’ll take a look at the flipside of this coin soon, addressing these challenges from your point of view. Stay tuned!


[1] Joanna Warren Smith, Camp Consulting Services (Register for free monthly hints for camp directors.)