Daycares are fun to operate. The kids are growing and developing in the classroom and the teachers enjoy aiding the children in their learning experiences. You even like to pop in the classrooms to see how the kids are doing. Even the kids love to see you visit.
While a daycare focuses on growing and developing the children, there’s still professionalism and business etiquette to follow. Here are 7 professional tips for running your daycare startup.
- Advertise on social media.
- Train and empower staff.
- Use management software.
- Meet the parents’ needs.
- Hold kids’ focus groups.
- Update your handbook regularly
- Hold recruitment events.
Implement each tip in an in-depth daycare success plan that will increase your revenue and enrollment rates.
Advertise On Social Media
Advertising your daycare business on social media is the most important professional tip to follow. Small businesses succeed the more they are involved on social media platforms. Try the following platforms when beginning your daycare’s social media marketing campaign.
Include pages on your website such as:
- About Us
- When did your daycare originate?
- Your daycare’s backstory.
- Mission and vision.
- Contact Us
- Daycare’s name
- Phone number
- Fax number
- Daycare Handbook
- Give a summary of the handbook.
- Provide a pdf link to the daycare handbook.
- Blog (can use WordPress website and combine with WordPress blog)
- Downloadable pdf form for parents to print and submit in-person.
- Electronic form that can be filled out and submitted via email (if applicable).
- Parent Portal (for parents to pay daycare bills online)
- Pick a payment system. This will depend on the management software you choose. You can try:
- For more information on the top POS systems for daycares, visit here.
- Pick a payment system. This will depend on the management software you choose. You can try:
Make a Facebook business account to advertise recruitment events, upcoming special events, and maybe some “thoughts of the day”, or share articles about child development.
To take your online presence even further, create a blog using WordPress hosting (find this service on DreamHost). You can discuss blog post topics such as:
- How children benefit attending a daycare at an early age.
- The importance of early childhood development.
- Milestones for each year for toddlers aged 1-3.
- List posts such as “8 Summer Craft Activities to Do with Your Toddler” or “6 Science Experiments That Toddlers Will Love”.
Create an Instagram account and put pictures of the teacher’s updated bulletin boards with the children’s work on them for parents and friends and family of the children to enjoy. It can be a free marketing tool to attract other parents to enroll their children at your daycare.
Train and Empower Staff
Your staff members are the bridge to the children’s learning at your daycare. Take care of them and they will take care and teach the children even more effectively and responsibly.
Train and empower your staff members by:
- Hosting regular staff meetings on a weekly basis.
- Do quarterly training seminars to be sure staff is adequately caring for and educating the children.
- Always provide constructive criticism in the workplace.
- Maintain professionalism and courtesy with your staff and it will be reciprocated to you.
- Give them the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.
- Art supplies to help the children create.
- Lots of books for story time.
- Toys for the children to play during center time.
Use Management Software
Daycare management software is very important for running your business because of how much more efficient and effective your every day operations will become just by using it.
Management software helps you to:
- Input children’s information such as age, special instructions, family contacts, and more.
- Take payments online from parents.
- Keep in contact with parents with real-time updates in the classroom using the software’s smartphone app.
- Keep records of payments from every parent electronically.
- Send newsletters to parents over the software’s app without having to print and send home physical papers.
- Saves time, money, and supplies by converting everything to electronic communications.
Try daycare management software such as:
- Hi Momma
Check out our top 5 daycare management software blog post here.
Meet the Parents’ Need
Meet the parents’ needs (and their wants secondarily) to run a successful daycare startup. While you are physically servicing the children during the day, you are ultimately serving the parents because they are the individuals who are in need of child care as they go to work.
Follow these tips so you can meet your parents’ specific needs for using your daycare services.
- Send a parent survey asking what is the best method of payment for them (cash, check, money order, online payment with a debit, credit or prepaid card).
- Conference with each parent along with their child’s teacher every couple months. Ask the parents their needs and concerns and the teacher can meet them.
- If a parent is having trouble making on-time payments, come up with a reduced monthly payment plan to reduce the balance. Also give them resources to help them with financial assistance so that they can still be a part of your daycare family.
Hold Kids’ Focus Groups
You and your staff are with the kids every day. Ask the kids questions about what they want to learn and tie it into the Early Childhood Curriculum.
Remember in Daddy Day Care when the daycare daddies held a focus group with the children and they all voiced what they wanted to learn? Try an approach like this in your daycare.
In each classroom, maybe during snack time, have your teachers ask the kids what they want to learn about. Teachers can list their answers in a notebook and then type them up and send them to you and the Head Teacher via email.
When the Head Teacher makes the weekly daycare lesson plan, the suggestions from the kids can be incorporated based on the theme being done for that week. For example, if Julie wants to learn how bubbles are made, the Head Teacher can have one day include a science activity on creating a bubble solution and then testing it the next day.
Hold regular “focus groups” once a month with the kids during snack time to see what else they want to learn at that current point in time. Children’s minds are always growing and changing, so a continual follow up is best to make this activity effective.
Update Your Handbook Regularly
Your daycare’s handbook is the backbone to your startup. It lays out all of your daycare policies including enrollment process, health and safety guidelines, and how your daycare handles sending sick children home and welcoming them back into your facility after a specified recovery time.
Be sure to update your handbook regularly as your daycare evolves. You could realize a policy that you forgot to add that maybe other daycares have in their handbook. When you update it, be sure to publish the revised version on your website. Send out a mass email to parents letting them know how they can access the update handbook for their records and personal reference.
Due to COVID-19, all daycares have updated their health and safety guidelines sections to reflect the new drop-off and pick-up processes that will keep everyone safe from the virus.
Hold Recruitment Events
If you have a large capacity still open in your classrooms, hold recruitment events maybe every few months. Children continually grow and transition to the classroom with kids the next age up. This means there are eventually more openings as the children transition to higher aged classrooms.
Hold your recruitment events by:
- Taking a weekday during daycare hours to give potential parents and their children a tour of the daycare.
- Have the children on the tour “try-out” their classroom by giving them 30 minutes with the other children.
- Hold a Q&A session at the end of the recruitment event.
- Follow up with parents via email with an enrollment application and your contact information.
- If you do not get an answer back within 3 business days, place a phone call to see what the parents think about your daycare and if they will be enrolling their child.
Ready, Set, Care!
As you start to implement these professional tips, you will get into the routine of thinking like an expert Daycare Owner with the utmost business expertise. It’s time to ready, set, care for all the children at your facility in a professional, engaged manner.
- Can my daycare have a Pinterest account?
Absolutely! If you are running a daycare blog, you can actually link your blog posts to your Pinterest account with compelling pictures to increase readership. Blogging and Pinterest really go hand-in-hand.
- How can I communicate better with parents?
Communicate better with parents by:
- Keeping your line of communication open on the daycare management software app.
- Regularly updating parents on upcoming events at the daycare so that they can readily prepare themselves and their children for it.
- Sending out monthly newsletters, so parents know what the children will be learning about that upcoming month.
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.
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Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Childcare Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online daycare business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a childcare business owner, I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to retain clients, find good employees and keep the business growing all while trying to stay competitive.
That’s why I created Daycare Business Boss: I want to help childcare business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.