Helping Grandparents & Grandchildren Prepare for Early Childhood Assessments

Grandparents that are assisting their adult children with child rearing or raising their grandchildren may face a new challenge in understanding the early childhood assessment process. Some grandchildren that are in their care may need an early childhood education assessment for special education. There are grandparents that are unfamiliar with this process so this article will explore some hints to help grandparents have a smoother experience with the early childhood assessment process to determine special education for their grandchildren or young children in their care.

Supportive Programs

First, grandparents may need to familiarize themselves with the types of programs in their communities that provide early intervention services for young children. These early intervention programs start working with children who are very young and then help the grandparents make a referral to early childhood assessment clinics in the school district and community.

There are also grandparents who may need more intensive help and sometimes seeking the assistance of a social worker may help grandparents who need additional services and resources. For example, grandparents with hearing impairments or second language issues may want to request an interpreter for the assessment and eligibility determination meeting. There are also agencies that provide transportation for families who need help getting to the assessment. Grandparents may need to ask questions and find out about these additional community services that could help both the grandparent and the young child complete the assessment process more efficiently.

Wellness Issues

Second, grandparents will want to consider the child’s wellness on the day of the testing. There are times an appointment is rescheduled when the grandchild is sick and just can’t participate in the testing because he or she is not feeling well. Grandparents can help in encouraging the grandchild to be well rested and have a good night’s sleep before the day of testing. It is important for the grandchild to have a breakfast or at least eat something before participating in as much as three hours of testing. It is not unusual for young children to be ‘fussy’ when they get up much earlier than they are used to and have not eaten any breakfast. The child will be asked to complete a wide variety of testing tasks such as working with blocks, pointing to pictures, saying words, answering questions and even complete medical screenings with the school nurse. If the grandchild is well rested and fed they are more likely to be responsive in the day’s testing process.

Paperwork Completion

Third, grandparents are often not prepared for the large amount of educational paperwork to be completed prior to the early childhood assessment. There are times grandparents forget to bring the child’s birth certificate to verify information and check the correct spelling of the child’s name. Grandparents often need to show custody papers if they are the legal guardian of the grandchildren. If the grandparents are simply helping the parents with babysitting (while the parents work) they may need to bring a note from the parent giving the grandparents permission to participate in the assessment (testing) process. Grandparents should not be afraid to request assistance if they have difficulty reading information or are visually impaired. There is often a staff member or someone available to help read and fill out educational forms. In addition, some school districts want the paperwork completed on a computer or electronic devise so grandparents may need to request help in this area as well.

Time Issues

Fourth, time issues may be big factors that impact the completion of the assessment. If grandparents want to speed up the day’s appointment at the assessment center it is really important to arrive a few minutes early. There are often a variety of clinicians (school psychologist, speech therapist, school nurse and teachers) with many scheduled appointments throughout the day. Running even 15 minutes late can throw all the appointments off schedule and even cause the grandparent to reschedule an appointment if the grandchild misses or is late for the first appointment. If the grandparent needs to rush to work and the assessment cannot be completed, the last appointment may need to be rescheduled. Rescheduling appointments in very busy school district assessment centers can take weeks to reschedule and delay the opportunity to complete testing and possibly impact their educational services and placement of the young child in an early childhood special education program.

Grandparents may need to be aware of how long it takes to arrive at appointments. A grandparent taking bus transportation to the testing center may need an extra hour or so to get to the testing center or clinic. Sometimes just assisting a young child with dressing, preparing a diaper or changing bag and snacks before the assessment takes longer than expected. For example, a young child using a walker may take a longer time to get across the parking lot from the car to the assessment center. Time issues seem to be a really big factor in helping the early childhood assessment process to run smoothly.


Grandparents often are a wonderful support for grandchildren and families in attending and completing the early childhood assessment process to determine if there are delays or a need for special education services. Any support for the young child that helps him or her feel good about going to a new place and working with unfamiliar adults will help the child feel more comfortable about the testing experience. Sometimes just simple things such as having a good breakfast and rest can go miles in helping the child adjust to a new situation and different surroundings. Grandparent support is essential and helpful in completing the assessment of the young child and making future educational decisions for grandchildren and children in their care.

Restaurant Training – Waiter & Waitress Training Tips For Customer Service – Hospitality Education

Did you know that approximately 14 percent of your customers will not return to your business because of food quality and 68 percent because of service quality? So, doesn’t it make sense to train your waiters and waitresses to deliver superior service to win your customers back every time?

To gain the competitive edge today, you have to do much more to place your restaurant on the “favorites” list. One way is through personalizing service for each type of customer that comes to your business. For example, selling and service techniques employed for a family with children are different from that which would be delivered to elderly customers. The same holds true for business customers versus vacationers. It is never safe to think that your restaurant service staff will inherently understand these differences. Unless trained, they are most likely to offer one size fits all service.

Teach your waiters and waitresses to be observant and follow the tips below to help assess the needs of your customers:

•Time limitation (leisurely or time restricted)

•Mood (celebratory, romantic, stressed)

•Age group (children, teenagers, baby boomers, seniors, geriatrics)

•Purpose for their visit (social, private/intimate, or business)

•Gender (male, female)

Since approximately 80 percent of communication is conveyed through facial gestures and verbal and non verbal body language, as opposed to the actual words, teach your service team to focus on the following areas:

•Verbal Language (voice tone, rate, inflection, speech, pronunciation, and grammar)

•Body Language (eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and movement)

Look for telltale signs of a customer in a rush such as looking at their watch, looking around or rubber necking, talking quickly, crossing their arms, or tapping their fingers. Also, closely observe your customers’ image (e.g. clothing, accessories, hair, makeup, etc.). This can also provide you with many clues about their dining needs.

Here is an exercise to share with your service team. It lists various types of customers and ways to customize service for each customer category. During a pre-shift meeting or company training session, review this exercise with your restaurant service staff.

Customer Types and Service Suggestions:

1. Celebrating

-Since celebrating customers usually have larger budgets, suggest higher priced items along with party-spirit foods/drinks and a cake to recognize the occasion

-Congratulate the celebrating customer and focus on their main event

-Be social unless serving a couple desiring privacy

2. Elderly

-Since many elderly customers are on a limited income, guide them towards value-oriented foods and recommend light, soft, and less spicy foods

-Be patient and speak slowly, project your voice, and listen carefully

-Refrain from acts which can be construed as condescending or treating them like children

3. Family (with children)

-Offer high chairs and booster seats

-Be prepared to make kid-favorite suggestions and easy to eat finger foods

-Offer something to occupy the child’s attention (game books, crayons, crackers)

-Be patient while the family orders and give the children the opportunity to place their order themselves

-Sincerely compliment the customer about their children

-Ask the child kid-friendly questions

-Place drinks where spills are less likely and remove obstacles (e.g. vases and centerpieces)

-Quickly clean spills and keep the area tidy

-Deliver extra napkins

4. Romantic Couple

-Guide the couple towards a booth or secluded area for privacy when seating them

-Suggest higher priced items along with wines, champagnes, and exotic desserts, since romantic couples and people on first-dates usually have larger budgets

-Deliver highly organized and efficient service

-Minimize your conversation and allow them privacy, without hovering over them

5. Business

-Suggest higher priced items, since many business people have business accounts and set allowances

-Suggest items that are prepared quickly and inform them if their selected order requires a long preparation, if they are on a business lunch

-Deliver highly organized and efficient service and ensure their order is delivered promptly

-Minimize your conversation and allow them privacy without hovering over them

Please Note: When serving alcohol, train your staff to be aware of the signs of intoxication and avoid overselling alcohol. Teach your staff to refuse alcohol sales to any minors.

Other customer types include customers dining alone (the solo customer), disabled customers, teenagers as customers, customers who are in a rush, first-time customers, and customers who dine in large groups/gatherings. Again, each different type of customer has “specific” service needs. Along with recognizing the category customers belong in, the above service suggestions are meant as recommendations and are not set in stone. Always, be sure to fully assess every dining customer by closely observing verbal and body language to determine how to positively interact with them. Mike Owens, General Manager of Brick Oven LLC, located in Topeka, Kansas, says, “Using the above examples in role-play scenarios is a highly effective method to properly train your service teams…it helps them fully understand the importance of tailoring their service versus delivering the same canned service to everyone.”

“Service” is not just about delivering food and drinks to the table-it is giving the customer much more than he/she expects. Implementing a solid training program that focuses on personalizing service will set you apart from your competitors. Exceeding the needs of each customer with customized service takes a little extra time. However, it is worth the effort. When the customer wins, everyone wins and it’s a triple play-more money for you, increased tips for your service staff, and happy customers that become loyal patrons and refer their friends to your business.