Developing clients for any business is not an easy task; this is no different for opening a daycare. Daycare clients can be difficult to find. Selling a service such as a daycare service, is about selling YOU. This means, parents and children need to WANT to interact with you, they need to believe in you and they need to be comfortable with YOU. In this article I will show you what daycare clients are looking for and provide you with ideas and resources to develop this part of your business successfully.
Connections can be made through social media, advertising and word of mouth. What prospective day care clients are looking for and how to connect with them are: personality, dependability, consistency, safety, educational resources and one of the most important ones these days is contact or “drop in’s”. Using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook Market Place can be very successful. Flyers placed in a local area of 20 miles will be most successful; these will attract your local clients as well as those that travel to your area for work.
Understanding these concepts of attracting daycare clients
Social media is an exceptional resource. This will get your information out to thousands and ten thousands of people with one click of the button. By sharing your business and desire for new clients to your family and friends, this will also be seen by their friends and families and their friends and families and so on.
Facebook Marketplace is another part of the same social media site. This part of Facebook, allows you to reach others in your area or areas that you select with services and products for sale. Here you will reach people that you may not be on your main page.
Flyers are another very inexpensive way to reach out and connect with prospective clients. Placed within a 20 mile radius will give you access to local clients as well as clients that need daycare services working in your area. These Flyers can be placed in Gas Stations, Restaurants, Local Convenient and “Mom and Pop” stores as well as Banks and the Post Office.
So now you are getting calls for Prospective Clients. Here are some of the things they will be looking for next.
It is very important that the client likes your personality and the personality of any employees you may have. You have to be kind, gentle, understanding, easy to talk to, a communicator, intelligent, efficient, be open to new ideas and above all they need to see your love for children and their well-beings as well as the betterment of their lives.
What this means for you, is actually very easy. Just show the clients on the phone or in person when interviewing them that you are happy, you maintain a safe environment, you are willing and able to discuss with them any concerns or questions they may have, even if the interview runs longer than you had hoped it would. Stay focused on them and what they are saying.
Give them all the information about you and your services upfront, scheduling times for meals, nap times, if applicable, what educational aspects you implement for children in regards to the ages they are asking about.
Safety protocols you have in place to protect their children while they are in your care this has become so much more relevant today than in past years, make sure they know that they can call or text you anytime to check on their child, or “drop in” without notice while their child is there. Especially new parents who may be leaving their child in someone else’s care for the first time, they need to feel that you have nothing to hide. We will touch on this more in the next section.
We have seen the world change; we have all been devastated with the news of neglect on daycare providers who have that allowed children to leave with whom they believe is a parent or grandparent, and the negative outcomes this can cause. Have safety measures in place to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
ONLY allow a child to leave with someone you know is allowed to take them. To do this, require the clients bring grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, brothers, sisters or whoever they will be allowing to pick up their child from your care, to meet with you in person. Keep a file for each child with this information inside, in case there is ever a question.
Require ID from anyone that picks the child up that is NOT a parent you have met. DO NOT always assume that because the child knows his or her mom or dad that both parents are allowed to be picking them up. Make sure you have met BOTH parents together either before or at the first day of drop off, this way you will know that they are both in agreement that the child can be picked up by either of them.
Allow contact and “drop in’s. This gives parents a personal feeling of safety for their children, knowing they are able to stop by without notification and call or text anytime they want and you will respond.
Are you available during the times they need you. Advise a new or prospective clients of any times you know the daycare will be closed. This means your personal family vacations, your personal doctor’s appointments, and any other times you won’t be available.
This allows new clients to have the means to adjust their schedule, if they are able, or to find a temporary solution with adequate time.
Do you have schedules in place for daily activities, meal times, educational times and nap times? This is important to new clients so they can understand when their child will eat, sleep and play.
This is important to prospective clients so they can try to continue the schedule they are used to throughout the week, at home on weekends, holidays and during times the daycare may be closed.
It is so much harder on a new parent who doesn’t have this information to understand why their child is behaving the way they are at certain times of the day, especially if they are newborns, babies and toddlers who are unable to communicate with them, that “hey mom, Ms. Barb gives us a snack at this time and I am hungry” or “hey, mom, Ms. Barb has a take an hour nap at this time and I am tired.”
This will depend on the age of the child. Many parents are looking for a daycare that can offer educational resources, such as story time, learning colors, numbers and the letter people.
Social skills are an important aspect of day care providers. A child needs to learn how to engage with other children and adults.
Knowing that their children will continue to grow and learn and prosper in your environment, gives new client peace of mind.
- Will clients require me to be licensed and bonded in my state (if applicable)
Depending on the state you live in and even your local government, licensing and bonding may be required and expected. You can find out if your state or local requires this by going to: https://childcare.gov/consumer-education/child-care-licensing-and-regulations
- Are there any additional places I can advertise
You can advertise in your local paper, on your local news channels, the radio and sites such as Care.com.
These options can be costly. But if the others are not working as you would like, it may be an option to spend money to make money.
- Why aren’t my Flyers working
If your Flyers are not receiving the feedback you were hoping for.
Make sure they are colorful, this is eye catching. Using color will make you stand out as a day care provider to prospective clients.
Is there a “Who we are section?” This will give prospective clients an immediate insight to who they are calling.
Is there a “What we offer section?” This will give prospective clients an immediate insight to the things you can offer their children.
Did you include your Phone Number, Cell Phone Number and Email address? There are times parents will remember to contact you at work or driving. So it is important to have several different types of contact for them to utilize at their convenience.
Flyers are meant to be a cheap version of advertising and also to be short and to the point. For a service such as Daycare, prospective clients require more. For someone to leave their child with someone they do not know, or have not received word of mouth by other clients, it is ESSENTIAL for them to WANT to call you.
Remember, a parent NEEDS to know YOU, trust YOU and believe in what YOU have to offer them over any other Daycare provider out there.
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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