Every childcare centre owner wants to work out how to pack their waiting list with parents desperate to secure their little one a place. You want to ensure your centre is the number one choice for parents in your area, and that it has an outstanding reputation within your community.
Of course, this is difficult to achieve if only the parents of children who currently attend your childcare centre are aware you exist.
It’s so important to work towards establishing yourself more broadly in your area, so that prospective clients — such as soon-to-be parents or grandparents — are aware of your childcare centre before they even begin to seek one out.
Here’s how to go about it.
Community events are a fun and effective way of announcing “we’re here!” to the people in your area. Make the most of your building to host events for the children, their parents and — where it’s appropriate — the wider community.
For instance, an exhibition of the children’s art, a festive show, or a summer fair could be great fun for the little ones and their families. Yet, for other events — from themed discos to fundraising soirees — there’s no reason not to get the whole community involved.
Sometimes you just have to get down to some traditional marketing. Platforms such as Toddle or Care for Kids are great resources for parents. Ensure you’re putting your best foot forward for your service’s listings.
Email outreach is a highly productive way to connect with prospective clients. Consider building a newsletter list that people can sign up to on your website to share a little about what’s going on each month at your daycare centre and to advertise events.
Go further and offer those who sign up to your newsletter tours of your centre or meetings to answer any questions. Both of these tactics will help to build trust and get your name out there. Once prospects are engaged and want to find out more, you can begin using phone calls and text messages too, for a more personal feel.
This might sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. Fortunately, Kidsoft integrates with ChildcareCRM, which helps daycare centre managers to coordinate all of the above activities. Using this integration, you can connect with new families at the right time and engage them through emails, calls, and text messages on the tool’s easy-to-navigate sales and marketing platform.
Build Your Social Media Presence
Given that many of your prospective clients will spend hours on Facebook each day, your email outreach efforts should be accompanied by a strong social media presence. Create a private Facebook group that parents whose children are members of your childcare centre can join.
Additionally, consider launching another group to share news and events with a wider range of people, and to interact more broadly with the local community. It is of course important that you don’t share any information on social media that could put any of the children who attend your daycare centre at risk.
When it comes to developing a strong local reputation, it’s hard to beat word of mouth. Some of this will happen naturally as parents chat to their friends about the benefits of your daycare centre. But why not speed this process up by offering incentives for referrals?
For example, if one family successfully refers another family, both parties could get a day or a week at your childcare centre for free. Other rewards could include gift cards, children’s’ toys, or indulgent hampers for the parents.
Engage in Smart Networking
Networking can be time consuming and take you away from your day-to-day tasks, yet face-to-face interaction with your community is instrumental for reputation building. This is why it’s vital to be smart about how and when you network. Where will your time be the most valuable, and where are your prospective clients most likely to hang out? Consider attending groups for new mums and dads, going to events run by businesses catering to children, or collaborating with local primary schools.
Try these five tips to get the word out about your centre, and for even more support in streamlining your business, check out how Kidsoft can help.Pla