Your daycare is about to open or you just had your grand opening day. But now you have stumbled into one problem.
There are not enough children enrolled at your facility.
This can be concerning because you do not want your daycare to fall under financially when you have only just got started in the business.
But do not fear! There’s a way out of this problem.
Here 4 steps to take if your daycare has not enrolled enough children.
- Ask parents of currently enrolled children to spread the word.
- Start a referral program for your daycare.
- Hold an enrollment and daycare tour event.
- Market daycare enrollment on social media.
1. Ask Parents of Currently Enrolled Children to Spread the Word
Your best free marketing tool as a daycare provider are the parents of the currently enrolled children at your facility. While you are ultimately serving the needs of the children during the day, the parents are actually your customers. Portray a professional, fun, and safe environment to the parents and you have got yourself a new enrollee.
Maintain Your Daycare’s Professional Appearance
Maintain the following at your daycare to get a good word from current parents to new parents seeking childcare services.
- A clean and childcare certified facility.
- Highly trained staff who are knowledgeable of how to work with children and properly care for them.
- Caring and helpful personality of the staff.
- Children are on a set routine in all classrooms.
- Have a high-quality daycare curriculum where children are also educated at the facility.
How to Rally Help from Your Daycare Parents
When you send home paper newsletters to parents or send them electronic notifications via your daycare app, ask parents to spread the word about your daycare by:
- Sharing their experience with your daycare on social media. Ask them to tag your daycare’s social media page in the post.
- Talking to family and friends about their child’s daycare experience at your facility.
- Giving parents who wish to help some of your business cards to pass out to potential parents of new enrollees.
- Assign parents a referral link from your company’s website to share with family and friends via text message or social media post.
2. Start a Referral Program for Your Daycare
With that being said that parents are a key marketing resource as a daycare provider, consider starting a referral program to bring in new enrollees.
Especially early on in your daycare’s first weeks of operations, starting a referral program would be integral for your success. Even though you will be providing discounts to parents of currently enrolled children for every successful referral, it will balance itself out with the tuition you are charging for new enrollees. Think of the exchange as an investment into your facility’s financial success.
Outline the Terms and Conditions of Your Daycare Referral Program
Create one of the heading links on your daycare website to read “(Daycare Name) Referral Program”. List the terms and conditions of your referral to read something like this:
The (Daycare Name) Referral Program rewards parents of our currently enrolled children to help new parents seeking childcare services learn about our daycare. In return, we would like to give you (insert amount of reward, for example, $30 credit) towards your next tuition bill for every friend that successfully signs up his/her child for daycare services at our facility.
Sign up for your personal referral link below. Share it via text message, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Once we successfully enroll one of your friend’s children into our facility, you will receive a $30 credit on your next tuition bill. There is a limit of 3 referrals per month.
For parents who are having some financial trouble with tuition and still in the process of receiving state, daycare assistance would definitely benefit from this referral program. If these parents find just a couple of friends per month who sign up their children for daycare services, that’s a $60 credit towards the next tuition bill.
How Many Daycare Referrals Should I Allow Per Parent Per Month?
Depending on your facility’s maximum capacity, you can lower or increase the referral limit per month as shown in our referral programs terms and conditions example. While you want successful referrals to occur, you do not want it to come to a point that you go over your maximum capacity.
Once you reach your daycare’s max enrollment, update your referral program page to reflect that it’s currently on hold until current children graduate from your facility. Make sure to post an update on your social media pages as well when this first happens.
A Referral Program Helps You and the Parents
A referral program helps you to not only get more enrollees into your facility but also helps parents of currently enrolled children to shave money off their tuition bills and make it easier on them financially.
3. Hold an Enrollment and Daycare Tour Event
Early on in your daycare’s opening process, consider holding enrollment and daycare tour events at least once a month at your facility.
Spread the word via social media, newspaper clippings, flyers throughout the community, and whatever other ways you think is best to market the event.
What Can I Do During an Enrollment and Daycare Tour?
During an enrollment and daycare tour event, you can:
Give a Professional Introduction to Establish Credibility and Trust
- Start your event by introducing yourself as the owner of the facility.
- Have your Head Teacher (if possible) beside you for credibility purposes, so parents know who is in charge of the curriculum for the facility.
- Hold the event during daycare hours, so parents can see how teachers and aides interact with the currently enrolled children.
Discuss Key Points About Your Daycare
- What are your daycare’s mission and vision?
- What was your motivation for starting your facility?
- Depending on the ages of the children for the tour, touch on the curriculum topics for each age group in attendance.
- Explain the classroom routines for each age group.
Give a Trial Run for the Kids
- Allow parents to bring their children to the facility for them to try out the classroom in which they will be potentially enrolled.
- Have children participate in the classroom’s activities for about 15-20 minutes while finishing the tour with parents.
- Have parents meet the child’s potential teacher.
- Answer any other questions that parents may have after the tour.
- If a parent expresses interest in enrollment, give him/her a paper enrollment packet to fill out right there and then or to take home, fill out, and bring back to the facility.
- If the parent prefers, send the enrollment packet to their email to fill out electronically.
Learn the five things parents are looking for when touring your daycare HERE!
4. Market Daycare Enrollment on Social Media
Besides parents being a key marketing tool for you, social media will be your other best friend in marketing your daycare no matter what it is you want to tell your community about it.
Promote enrollment on your daycare’s social media pages like crazy. Post once a day about it, so new followers on your social media page can see the information.
While it may seem repetitive, it is actually effective. When people see the same message enough, they may start to actually consider doing what the message is suggesting. Hence, if followers see enough of your same posts about enrolling at your daycare, they may just actually consider it.
How Should I Word My Daycare Enrollment Post?
A social media post could read something like this.
Are you looking for a childcare service? Come to (insert your daycare name here) where we treat everyone like family.
What makes (daycare name) unique?
- Our astounding Daycare Curriculum introduces basic colors, numbers, ABCs, and reading to toddlers ages 3 and under.
- Our interactive Preschool Curriculum to advance learning for children ages 3 and older about the world around them via science, social studies, mathematics, phonics, and more.
- Our highly trained, fun staff of Teachers and Aides love to help the children learn and grow.
Find out more information about our daycare by visiting our website.
(provide the hyperlink to the website here)
Get the Ball Rolling on Enrolling More Children into Your Facility!
Try taking these steps to enroll more children into your daycare facility today. It will take some time, but your daycare will eventually get close to max capacity as long as you keep up the enrolling efforts.
How much staff should I hire as I get more daycare enrollees?
Base your hiring on the teacher to child ratios prescribed by your state. You must be sure you are within the parameters of these ratios so that you do not get fined by state inspectors. If you find that you are getting more children of a certain age group, but you do not have enough Teachers and/or Aides to accommodate this spike in enrollment based on the ratio, it’s time to hire more staff.
How do I create a daycare referral program?
This resource can help you to learn more about how to create a daycare referral program and how to properly document it.
Creating a Child Care Referral Marketing Strategy – ParentSeek (childcaremarketing.com)
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
To learn more on how to start your own daycare checkout my startup course and documents here.