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Professional Development

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How to Communicate Effectively with Licensors

Monday, 23 September 2013 00:00

Depending on your state and where your afterschool program is located, your program may need to have licensing in order to operate as an afterschool facility. In order to do that, you must know how to communicate effectively with the licensors you will be working with. Here are ten tips to help you do just that:

 1. Establish individual relationships with licensors. Supervisors, directors, and site staff should feel comfortable with licensors visiting from the state licensing agency.

2. Be honest with the licensor. Whatever licensing challenge your program is facing, provide details and documentation that includes just the facts.

3. Be solution-oriented, not blame-oriented. If your program cannot meet a licensing regulation, for whatever reason, do not blame external factors (i.e. your supervisor, your staff, the environment etc.). Ask for help and find a solution!

4. Introduce yourself to your licensor by phone, mail, or e-mail. Licensors are often out in the field. Upon introduction, find out when your licensors "office days" are so you will know when to reach them.

5. Regular meetings with licensors, at their office or your program, are important to institute a tradition of communication that will remain even when licensors change.

6. Find opportunities to communicate with licensors even when you do not have a scheduled appointment (i.e.: send invitations to a holiday party or open house).

7. Volunteer to be on a committee or task force working on school-age child care licensing rule changes. This work is important because it is not done frequently. Your opinion counts!

8. Ask a licensor to provide training to your staff. Reviewing school-age child care regulations, along with a question and answer session, offers staff the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their state's requirements.

9. Use your licensor as a resource (curriculum, equipment ideas, etc.). Licensors are ofter former directors or teachers. Their experience may benefit your program.

10. Join NAA! Associations such as NAA include resources and connections to carry the message for the school-age child care field.

Source: Jill Brown, Licensing & Compliance Advisor, Champions. E-mail Jill at jbrown@klcorp.com.