You’ve polished your home daycare, made sure you’ve got all the materials and now it’s finally time to start winning over potential customers. How? By giving a great home daycare tour.
Here are the only 7 steps you’ll need to make the customers fall in love with your in-home daycare. Hopefully you’ll be charmed by them, too.
Step 1: Schedule the tour and make a strategy
You want customers, but you definitely don’t want a revolving door of the potential ones. Open days are great and we definitely recommend implementing them, but it’s necessary to give a home daycare tour – one family at a time.
It gives you the opportunity to get to know the parents and the children. When you have an open day, there’s a lot of people (especially if you’ve spread the word) and it can be hard to see who will be a good fit.
So it’s best to make a home daycare tour strategy.
When do you want to schedule it? Is it during a work day so parents can see what your daycare is like in practice, or during the weekend so you can talk to them in peace?
Keep in mind that nothing works like proof so if you can schedule the tour during the nap time, that works perfectly: both for you (you can focus on the new family) and the parents, who will see other kids having fun in your daycare.
Before the tour, prepare all the brochures and policies so the parents have the terms in writing for future reference.
Step 2: Talk about the daycare (but mention yourself, too!)
When you give a home daycare tour, don’t just show the facilities and explain the curriculum. Tell the parents something about yourself, as well. If you “click,” they’ll definitely be satisfied customers.
What are your interests? What is your (professional) background? How does your daycare tie into everything you do?
These are all important questions that will help the parents understand who their child’s caregiver is, and at the same time, you’ll be able to learn more about them.
Step 3: Get to know the child
Ideally, you want the parents to bring their child along for the home daycare tour. You can see how the child behaves from the get-go and see if they are a good fit.
This is especially important if they are changing daycares. It’s important to know what the reason is. Is it something regular, or is there an issue with their child’s behavior?
All kids are great kids, but some may not be a good fit for your daycare. No matter how much you don’t want to, know when to say “I’m sorry, but there are better child care providers for your child’s needs.”
Be very diplomatic about this. Show that you come from a place of compassion, but stand your ground.
Step 4: Show them around and point out examples
Take the parents and the child on a brief walk around your home daycare. Explain which facilities are used for what purposes, and in which measure. This is also a great time to explain your curriculum in practice.
You can highlight your daycare’s safety as one of the most important features, as well. Point out all the measures you’ve taken to make your house perfectly safe for the kids.
The home daycare tour should be centered on what makes your home daycare different from every other, and there’s no better way to show it than by taking a quick walk around and pointing out examples.
Subtly, of course.
Step 5: Address their concerns
Most parents will have questions, no matter how thorough you are and what materials you give them. That’s completely normal and don’t let that put you off (especially if you’re a beginner).
There’s a lot to take in during a home daycare tour, which is why it’s good to respond with examples.
For example, if they ask about safety – mention all the measures you’ve taken (e.g. grates on A/C units in the outside play spaces).
In case of curriculum, explain how you introduce kids to science, art and reading. What activities do you do with them?
Finally, it’s good to have policies down on paper and included in the contract. Offer to go over the materials again if the parents seem stuck on one or two things in particular.
Step 6: Repeat what makes you special
Just like their child is special, so is your daycare.
You may have a program that focuses on nurturing creativity in the youngsters. Most parents understand how important that is, especially when you show them concrete examples of how you encourage it.
If you use technology to make parents’ lives easier, mention that. Everyone loves it when you go the extra mile to make their day-to-day simpler. For example, Hopping In lets parents book extra care or drop the spots they don’t need. That gives them flexibility, so don’t forget to mention it (or try out Hopping In free first).
Say what makes you different, and the parents will appreciate the reminder.
Step 7: Stay in touch
Not all parents will say “yes, sign us up ASAP” but that doesn’t mean you have to forget about them as customers.
Since you’ve probably gotten their email address, you can send them a brief survey after the tour. What did they like, what didn’t they like, and what concerns do they have? Offer to explain instead of risking miscommunication being the reason why you didn’t get a customer.
If you have an email newsletter, you can even keep them notified about changes and activities in your daycare.
With enough time and both your daycare’s and their child’s growth, you may just meet in the perfect middle of what they need and what your home daycare can offer.
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