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Use Your Clients' Name

The other day I received mail from a company I've done business with for years. They're a local company and I know everyone's name. I thought they knew mine, but the letter - one thanking me for my business - was addressed "Dear Valued Customer".

How dear am I to someone who doesn't appear to know my name?

Addressing your clients as "valued customer" shows them the opposite of what the phrase intends. It comes across as , "Even though you have chosen to do business with me rather than my competitors, I can't be bothered to recall your name."

When Dale Carnegie wrote his famous book "How To Win Friends and Influence People" the first thing he advised was to learn the other fellow's name and use it.

Because we all love to hear our names. Even those who profess not to like theirs. Its our identity and we can't help but respond to it. We have been conditioned to do exactly that from birth.

In every communication, from personal chats to emails and print ads, use the person's name. It shows respect, attention, interest, concern and a bit of honor and dignity.

After all, that's what you want in return, isn't it?

Dads and Child Care

Today fathers tend to be more involved in the day to day routines of their children's lives than ever before. The options of working from home and more flexible employment often provide fathers with greater opportunities to be more involved in child care services. Certainly, child care facilities see more dads dropping off and collecting their children.

However, does this mean that dads want to be more involved in your child care services?

A prudent provider will be sensitive to dads who are stretched for time already with work schedules and outside demands, and look for ways of embracing a greater role for fathers in children's lives while respecting their time and other commitments.

Can you make dads more informed about their child's day without giving them a 15 minute blow by blow description of the child's day when they collect them? How can you support and make them feel welcome and valued?

Not All Parents Know Child Care Is Tax Deductible


Since not all parents know that the money they pay for child care can be applied to their taxes, you can make your facility an even more valuable asset to them by letting them know. Simply copy and hand out the pertinent parts of this article.

You can also further aid parents by providing them with a year end statement, if you are not doing so already. Always advise parents to save any receipts you provide.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the Child and Dependent Care tax credit applies to child care, day care, summer camps and after-school programs.

The child care tax credit is a percentage, based on income, of the amount paid for child-care expenses incurred while working. The percentage can be as low as 20 percent and as high as 35 percent. Child-care expenses can be applied toward the credit up to $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for more than one child.

Five Things Parents Expect From Child Care

Parents will judge your child care by how well it delivers the things they most want for their children and themselves.

For most parents, those things are competency, credibility, responsiveness, empathy and some tangible assets.

Competency means that you can do the job and are capable of handling anything that my arise. Do you project the image of someone who can, and will, insure the safety, well being and enlightenment of their child? Do you convey a knowledgeable professionalism and a calm demeanor?

Credibility is consistently doing as you say, delivering what you promise and providing what you assured the client you would. Parents expect you to be as good as your word, whether written or spoken.

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