Summer’s coming. If you’re running a family child care business and experiencing the famous summer enrollment drop, it’s time to use your main advantage: flexibility.
Our five tips for increasing summer enrollment in your home daycare will help you deal with all the key stages: planning, research, marketing, operations and feedback.
1) Research your way to success
If parents notified you their child won’t be using your daycare’s services as much during the summer, look into causes.
Is it because they are obligated to pay full tuition although the child won’t be spending the whole day in your daycare?
Do parents have the whole summer off and want to spend it with their kids?
In order to make a plan for increasing summer enrollment in your home daycare, you need to know why the drop is there.
It’s also good to “stake out the competition.” What’s happening in other daycares similar to yours?
And most importantly: why do big child care centers experience enrollment drops, and how can you help their customers?
2) Make a great plan
Now that you’ve realized what the problems are, it’s time to start thinking about what you can do.
As a home daycare, your big advantages are that you are:
Focus on the flexibility. Big daycare centers are systems where there is little leeway for improvisation – it takes ages to adapt to changes.
The fact that you are a small business will be amazing for increasing summer enrollment in your home daycare.
Do the parents (which you’ve researched in step one) need more flexible care? Do they want three hours of care instead of eight?
Put all the main customer demands you’ve noticed on paper, and see where your daycare fits.
Offering different care than the one you usually provide can seem like a logistical nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be if you organize it well.
If you use Hopping In, offering flexible child care is no problem.
It displays your daycare’s availability to parents looking for extra care and helps you fill your empty spots. It’s a great solution for increasing summer enrollment in your home daycare, and you can use it throughout the year.
Hopping In helps you execute your summer enrollment plan so you can focus on keeping the parents and kids happy.
It doesn’t hurt if you add a popsicle or two into the mix, either.
4) Marketing tips
Now that you’ve got a plan and know exactly how you’ll stay on top of all the bookings, it’s time to attract the customers.
Use all of your existing marketing channels first.
If you have an email newsletter, notify your current customers and potential customers of your summer plan.
You can tell them that referrals are welcome, as well. Every parent knows other parents who are having trouble with summer child care.
Another great way of increasing summer enrollment in your home daycare is to utilize local marketing. Flyers and signs work like a charm, as well as other strategies you might have forgotten.
5) Feedback after increasing summer enrollment in your home daycare
The main thing to remember when increasing summer enrollment with new tactics is that you can keep them up all year long.
And if your customers loved your daycare in the summer, they’ll stick around for fall, winter and spring.
Just show them that you listen, and do everything you can to help. In return, your home daycare will thrive even in the summer.
Author: Hopping In Blog
Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.
To contact him or for media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org