You know how daycare works: your center provides a safe and fun place for the children to wait for their parents’ arrival from work. But there is more to it, especially if you want to make your daycare run smoothly (and at optimal levels). That’s where getting parents involved in daycare hops in.
Clear and infrequent communication may be good for your nerves, but if you want to make your daycare even better, it’s time to get the parents involved.
Why involve parents?
Don’t think that getting parents involved in daycare means you’ll be spending more time on the phone with them than managing your daycare.
On the contrary, you want them to get to know you. Enrolling your child into daycare is a matter of trust before anything else, and knowing who the owner is helps a lot with putting parents at ease.
As with everything, the personal touch matters. And by getting parents involved in daycare, you create customer loyalty that beats any online review.
How to involve parents?
How you are going to start getting parents involved in daycare depends on your center. Every owner knows best what their clients need, so keep the families in mind.
Simple ways of getting parents involved in daycare
Sometimes the best way is to give them what you know they need: more time and more money.
If you use Hopping In, you can help them with both. The program displays your daycare’s availability clearly so parents who need extra time for their kids can book it in a few simple steps.
This is a great way to show understanding for changing circumstances and practically offer daycare on demand without changing work hours. If there is an extra spot, the parents can book it, and you can earn the revenue you thought you’d lost.
In case of absences, Hopping In lets parents drop spots if their child can’t make it to the daycare. You can also offer them partial tuition credit if the spot is rebooked, helping them get some of the money back.
You can get Hopping In immediately, and it’s a good way to start getting parents involved in daycare. It doesn’t require a lot of bonding events, but it shows you care about them as well as your business, and you’ve found a way to make everyone happy.
Holidays & festivities
You can use holidays and festivities like Teacher Appreciation Week to improve your relationship with parents.
With Teacher Appreciation Week, notify the parents of the activities through a newsletter or a mailing list, and help them come up with something they and their kiddo can work together on. Gifts go a long way, but if they DIY them, they can get some quality family time and show the appreciation for the teacher at the same time.
Holidays are great for bake sales but sometimes that just takes away from the precious bonding time, so you can organize an event for parents and kids (or parents only) where they can catch up and network.
These events are great places to ask questions that don’t fit surveys or 2-minute chats during drop-off and pickup. For parents, you are the person behind the scenes who makes sure the daycare is running smoothly.
And by getting parents involved in daycare in this way, you can help them relate to you on a more personal level.
Sometimes, you’re just going to need a fundraiser to improve your daycare.
You can use Hopping In as a year-long fundraiser, or take a look at other options.
Bake sales aren’t the only way of getting parents involved. If you’ve been establishing a healthy relationship and getting parents more involved in your daycare, chances are you’re going to know what their particular specialties are.
You can use that, and if you really “clicked,” they won’t mind volunteering their time to help your daycare.
Sharing the (good) news
Like we already said, having a house/mailing list is great for quickly sharing news among parents. Don’t let changes catch them by surprise. Instead, notify them and ask them for their thoughts.
If you decide to get Hopping In, which helps you split the profits with parents and manage extra bookings and absences, make sure you notify them. You never know when a parent with clockwork schedule may need some more time. If they want to be notified when a spot appears, make sure you explain how Hopping In’s waitlist feature works.
Generally, updating and explaining new features (even those as simple as fire drills and software like Hopping In) goes a long way in getting parents involved in daycare. You’re taking care of their kid, but it’s good to know that you can help them, too.
Benefits of getting parents involved in daycare
If you’re the one who needs help, getting parents involved in daycare means you’re going to get the help with more ease.
By helping the parents as much as you can, be it with Hopping In that allows them to get more time when they need it (and giving you extra revenue when you need it) or some downtime with other parents and you, they’ll want to help you when you’re in a spot.
Getting parents involved in daycare is much more than just asking for their go-ahead on every change. In fact, it’s about cultivating a healthy atmosphere of trust and a dynamic that makes sure everyone’s satisfied: the kids, the parents, and you.
Simple things or more elaborate ones, they’ll take you where you want to be: a place where new enrollments are coming just by word of mouth alone.
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