I have been involved with Daystar Childcare since I was six years old. As a matter of fact, some of the daycare’s original toys were stolen from my personal collection. My mother has served as co-director for the entire 10 years in which the daycare has been open. My brother also worked there for a short period of time after he graduated high school. When I was younger, I attended the daycare periodically when my mother was working. Even today, I still go there to hang out with friends that currently work there, and to play with some of the kids that I have grown to like.
I have decided to evaluate Daystar Childcare on three different criteria; safety, customer service,
and value. When I say safety, I mean exactly what it sounds like; I want to know what Daystar Childcare is doing to keep their children safe. I also want to know the concerns that parents have, if they have any at all with leaving their children at Daystar. What I want to know about customer service is what Daystar is doing to keep their parents and children happy. Finally, I want to learn about the value of Daystar Childcare, what I mean by value is the cost and profit that Daystar brings in. How often are they in the red? To get this information I sent out 11 surveys to be filled out randomly by clients of Daystar. I also conducted and interview with one of Daystar Childcare’s two directors. Hopefully by writing this evaluation I will have a better understanding of running a business, and hopefully Daystar Childcare will receive some constructive criticism.
Daystar Childcare provides childcare for families mostly on the eastside of Indianapolis. Some of their children actually live right across the parking lot at a women’s center called the Care Center. They also have a kindergarten located on the same floor as the daycare. Some of Daystar’s kindergarten students attend the AM kindergarten and are then just placed straight into the daycare until the afternoon when their parents can come pick them up.
Daystar Childcare is located at 57 N. Rural Street on the near-eastside of Indianapolis, just north of the cross at N. Rural Street and E. Washington Street. Their phone number is 317- 261- 0831. The daycare is open Monday thru Friday; its hours are from 6 AM to 6 PM. They are owned by and also share a building with Englewood Christian Church. They are in a relatively poor neighborhood, but are kept safe by the police station across the parking lot. At all times, there are at least two police at the station who are easily accessible in case of an emergency. A good number of the houses of the neighborhood are owned by Englewood, so they acquire a lot of business from their members.
In terms of safety, I am looking at the daycare’s ability to keep its children safe from abductors, and anything that may put the children in danger. I also want to know if the facility is a safe environment.
In most aspects, Daystar Childcare is a very safe place to send children during the workday. Daystar is run mostly by women who attend Englewood Christian Church regularly; the advantage of this is that they know who should and shouldn’t be going in and out of the building. “The children are watched carefully by their teachers. Anyone that we do not recognize is asked to show ID. If there any problems, the police are called,” said Laura Dyke, co-director (personal interview, February 13, 2007). Even though these precautions are taken, some parents still have concerns about how safe their children are when the teacher is not looking. One client stated in her survey, “At times you find kids wondering to the bathroom by themselves, without staff supervision.”
I had also wondered what they were to do in case of a fire or a tornado; I quickly learned that in every room there are directions on where to go and what to do in case of these situations.
At the end of the day, I would consider the safety at Daystar a definite strength. Out of eleven surveys, all of them said they were either “comfortable” or “very comfortable” with the neighborhood Daystar was located in, and all of the surveys said that they were “very comfortable” with leaving their children with the staff at Daystar Childcare. With near constant supervision and a very safe environment, the likelihood of something happening to one of the children is extremely small.
When investigating customer service, I was looking for the amount of thought that Daystar puts into their client’s desires. I wanted to know what they do to make their facilities more inviting to young children, and what they do to make their services more appealing to parents.
Daystar childcare is a relatively small facility, but they make the most out of the space that they do have. Every room always has more than enough toys for the amount of kids that are present each day. Eight out of eleven surveys said that the daycare had “plenty” of toys for their children to play with while they are there. Daystar is also very helpful with their hours; if there is an emergency, it can be arranged to have one of the staff take the child home with them. Thorough contact information is collected for such a situation. Their basic schedule covers the typical working day, with a little extra time just in case. When asked, on a scale of one to ten, one being not at all, and ten being extremely, how polite is the daycare staff, all eleven answered with an eight or above, six of them with perfect tens. One thing Daystar does need to work on is acquiring feedback from their existing clients. Even though “there is know way of knowing if all parents are completely satisfied,” (L. Dyke, personal interview, February 13, 2007) monthly surveys would be a great way to keep in touch with what clients think they should be getting in terms of customer service.
From my own experience, the daycare staff is filled with some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. I spend hours out of my day at the daycare deep in entertaining conversation with the diverse personalities that work for Daystar. I definitely consider the customer service at Daystar a selling point for future clients.
In value, I wanted to know if Daystar provides a good quality service for a price that is affordable by the people that reside in the neighborhood in which it exists.
Daystar provides childcare at a cost that is affordable for the working class family. If a family can not afford childcare they accept vouchers from the State of Indiana. It is a program called C.C.D.F. They also have arrangements with Indianapolis Public Schools. Parents that do not receive assistance may qualify for a multiple children discount (L. Dyke, personal interview, February 13, 2007).
All of the eleven surveys (with the exception of one no response) said that Daystar Childcare was cost efficient considering the amount of income they take in. They try to stay as affordable as possible by looking at the market rate and trying their best to remain on the low end. Ten out of the eleven surveys said that the quality of the service they receive is worth what they pay. In ten years, Daystar’s profit margin has ranged all over the board, and only twice have they ended the year in the red (L. Dyke, personal interview, February 13, 2007).
I believe Daystar Childcare is of great value to the community in which it is located. They do all they can to keep their service at top quality and at top affordability, while still trying to maintain a profit.
I think that Daystar Childcare is a business that cares a great deal for its clients, as well as its client’s children. They take all the necessary precautions to keep their children safe, and do everything they can to keep them happy as well. Their service is affordable and well worth the money that is paid.
They do however have some areas in which they need to improve. Such as, safer access to bathrooms would improve the safety of the children and also create a sense of security in the minds of parents. Also, it would greatly improve the quality of the business’s service if they had surveys that monitor the satisfaction of the client so that they may improve in areas unrecognizable to staff.
In the end, Daystar Childcare does a great job in their chosen field. They connect with the children in a way that some parents couldn’t. If or when I become a parent I will definitely utilize Daystar Childcare as my main childcare provider.