Working with children is a rewarding experience. Daycare and childcare businesses are an integral part of many families’ lives. Reliance on before school, after school, and summer programs is necessary for working parents.
Increasing enrollment in your kindergarten childcare programs starts with developing a focused vision. Steps to support your vision should include high-quality programs of your daycare, the unique aspects of your daycare, and your relationship with the community. Marketing your daycare is essential for growing your business.
In some locations there are a number of daycares from which families can choose. To stand out from other childcare businesses, you need to promote yourself. Let families know how much their child or children will flourish in your facility. Continue reading for ideas on growing your enrollment.
Develop Your Vision
Defining you and your daycare’s mission statement is a great first step. This will provide the framework for most of your decisions regarding your business. As part of this process, you need to brainstorm all the details you envision about your program. Picture each day of the week, hour of the day, and time of the year.
Get large flipchart paper and markers. Start mapping out each day. Visualize a child coming to the door of your facility. List what happens at that moment. Continue step-by-step. Develop the routines of each day. Take those lists and add how various times of the year will change or impact the routine of each day.
Once you have these lists, go back through, and group similar ideas. Eliminate suggestions that do not complement others. Then add in the variety that you will offer. You want to develop a brand that sets you apart from other daycares.
From these great ideas, create your mission statement. These couple of sentences will frame out who you are and what you and your team stand for. Who and how you hire will be aided by following your mission statement. The programs you offer need to align with and develop your vision.
Making decisions utilizing your mission statement as a guide will create your climate and culture at your daycare. Building your team around a defined vision will help ensure you hire talented teachers and caregivers. You and your team can cultivate a nurturing environment for before school, after school, and summers for a kindergarten daycare.
Creating your brand will lets you define your business. Families spend a significant amount of money on daycare and want to spend it wisely. Most importantly, families want to feel that their child is in a safe and caring environment.
Learn how to write a Mission Statement for your daycare.
Before, after, and summer school programs are important to complement all students’ school days. Kindergarten is such a key milestone in a child’s education. What your daycare offers to supplement the local schools’ curriculum is a vital component to include in your programs that you offer families.
Kindergartens will have been or are going to school, so the support they need is to help build skills to attend in the classroom. However, these young four- and five-year-olds will be tired. They are up early to get on the bus or walk to school; then they are sitting in the classroom all day.
However, they will enjoy greater success if they are able to play and work with others, follow expectations set by adults, and show a readiness to learn. When you are developing your programs consider what the children have already done at school or will be doing at school. Building programs that balance physical movement, stress reduction, and structured playtime will help the children flourish.
Grab those sheets with all the brainstorming that you used to create your vision statement. The ideas and visualizations you had for each part of the day, day of the week, and time of the year are your gems of ideas for programs for your daycare. Group similar ideas. Use those groupings to begin your brainstorming again.
These ideas will offer a multitude of suggestions on which you can build your programs. All programs implemented should support your mission statement.
Uniqueness of your Daycare
Continuing to develop upon your vision statement, you need to determine offerings that make your daycare unique. If you are not already fully immersed in your neighborhood, now is the time. Learn about the needs of the families that would consider sending their children to your daycare.
- Do the parents work shifts?
- What are the languages spoken?
- Do children need access to green spaces?
- Would learning to grow plants be a benefit?
- Do the children need to develop their fine or gross motor skills?
- Would it benefit the children to be in a minimalistic technology zone?
Continue brainstorming a list of all the possible development and growth areas for children in your daycare’s neighborhood. After your first brainstormed list, select all the ideas that support and develop your mission statement. These are the areas for you to create programs, train your staff, and market your daycare.
Your daycare is an extension of the child’s kindergarten and home. Immersing yourself and your daycare in the community is an essential step in increasing your enrollment and fulfilling your mission statement.
Meet with local school officials. Ask what the most critical development needs are for the kindergarteners in their schools. Many schools see a lack of children’s readiness for the school day as a hinderance to learning. Use the information from the schools to further expand upon your programs.
Work with the local school bus companies to determine how your facility can be a stop on their routes. Be sure to have the correct paperwork completed by families and your facilities so the children can safely and seamlessly board school buses to and from your location.
Summer programs can be designed specifically for each child when you work in concert with the local schools. When you know the areas in which children need more support as they start kindergarten, you can offer a summer readiness program for those children. Children attending your facility will enter kindergarten with a greater opportunity for success.
Additionally, your daycare can supplement the work done during the school year. Areas in which children need more support before entering first grade can be woven into your summer after kindergarten program. Children who do well in the early grades of school are more apt to continue to grow in school.
Market Your Daycare
Now, you have a fabulous mission statement, great programs, unique offerings, and a relationship with the schools. Next step, let the area you are located in know what a special daycare facility you have to offer.
When people are seeking information, their first step is usually to a computer and typing in a search question. A social media presence is essential. It establishes your business as an integral part of the fabric of the community. Using a website to show your vision and programs will distance you from competitors.
Marketing yourself on social media requires some knowledge of searching and algorithms. Your website and its postings need to include SEO (search engine optimization) terms. This boosts the visibility of your website.
Another approach to consider is creating an informational brochure. This can be shared with local realtors, churches, and schools. Information in the brochure should highlight your vision statement, programs offered, uniqueness, and knowledge of the local area. The brochure should connect people to you through your website.
Contacting local businesses is another option. Their human resources department might be willing to share information about your business with people they hire. It will enhance the company’s presence in the area and offer another benefit for new employees.
Furthermore, reaching out to local social service agencies is another opportunity to grow your business. They may be aware of families whose children need daycare and a supportive learning environment like yours.
Share all the good you are doing on social media!
Is there a difference between preschool programs and daycare?
Yes, there are differences between preschool programs and daycare. Preschools focus on academics and preparing a child for school. Whereas the primary focus of childcare is to provide a nurturing environment for a child while the child’s parent or guardian is at work.
Are there benefits to sending children to daycare?
Yes, at well-run daycares, children interact with others outside their immediate family. This provides a time for children to develop their ability to socialize. Learning to share and playing with others will help children develop skills to interact with others throughout their lives.
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.
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.