As a daycare center owner one of the fundamental questions you face is what kids and families you want at your school. Potential parents who seek out your daycare center online, in person, over the phone or by word of mouth translate into future full classrooms. When a potential parent takes the step of applying to your daycare center there are three vital questions you need to ask. These questions ensure that the parent and their youngster(s) are a good fit for your daycare center.

Tailor the application process to highlight the best potential parents and families

By asking the right questions you can make sure the best parents and families are sending their kids to your daycare center. You want to find families who are enthusiastic and dedicated and in line with the values and curriculum of your daycare center. You want to have a good line of communication with parents and healthy relationships. As a daycare center owner you make sure to have staff with high morale who are very dedicated.

Potential ParentFinding parents who are also committed and engaged in the learning process is the other piece of the puzzle!

1. Why do they want their kid to go to your daycare center?

This seems basic and it is, but it’s very important. Finding out why a potential parent picked you can give you all sorts of insight. Leave a space for a longer answer. This can let you know the importance of location, curriculum and other factors in attracting a potential parent. Did your highlight of your daycare center focus on safety attract them? Or maybe it was your curriculum and expertly-trained staff and great facilities? It also lets the parent express any particular reason they want their kid at your daycare center. Opening up a dialog like this is a great first step and is a must-have on your application.

2. All about the kids

At the end of the day we all know that a daycare center is all about the kids. Your application has got to ask questions about the child’s needs, interests, talents and any additional info. Additional info could include everything from allergies, dietary restrictions, schedule specifics, or other notes. Is their youngster more of a self-starter who likes to play alone or do they thrive best in a group? This can help you find out how great of a fit their child will be. Finding out about the needs of prospective kid who might be entering your daycare is just as important as getting to know their parents.

3. Great expectations

Expectations are the basis of any business relationship. That includes with potential parents. Ask them about their approach to parenting and expectations of your staff and curriculum. Describe your daycare center philosophy. How often do they expect staff to be in contact? Do they mesh well with your system of feedback on kids? This question about expectations is best worded to gauge the attitude and needs of the potential parent.


Another thing: bring up the option of flexible booking to book and drop spots with future credit for dropped spots at some point in the application under a Frequently Asked Questions section.

Take a look at our tips on how to boost child care enrollment and preschool marketing strategies that will help your school stand out.

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

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