Filling child care spots in the summer is an issue for most daycare owners. But just because enrollment goes down between June and September doesn’t mean you should lose revenue.
Here is how you can keep your daycare up and running, even if everyone’s thinking about pools and popsicles.
Hold the Spot!
The most popular practice for filling daycare spots in the summer is to charge a holding fee.
This works great if you’ve got parents who’ll get the whole summer off but come September they’ll need their spot again.
If you’ve made your daycare special, parents will be happy to reserve a spot for their kiddo.
However, this is something you should advise them of. If this is your policy, add it to contracts and use every channel to remind parents in due time.
Even if some parents back out, their notice will give you enough time to regroup.
With summer comes the season of summer camps, but not every parent is a fan of sending their child to a totally different environment. The kids might also be too small.
However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want the activities that come with summer programs. If you’ve noticed an enrollment drop and/or know that parents will not be sending their child to your daycare full-time, use that knowledge to help you plan a summer plan.
Create a special summer daycare program as a way of filling daycare spots in the summer. Include a variety of different activities; pool visits and field trips are a favorite.
This can also be a great way to attract new customers. If they like your daycare for your summer program, chances are they’ll consider it for full-time care.
Adapt and Thrive
Demanding full-time care or nothing from parents may work during the school year, but filling daycare spots in the summer requires more creativity.
Start researching the summer needs of your customers. Will the parents be working normally or get a few days off? What’s their schedule looking like, and how can your daycare help?
The best way to keep up (or even improve) your bottom line during the summer is to stay in touch with your customers and adapt to what they tell you.
If their needs require you to implement half-days instead of just full-days, you should think about adapting.
Take a look at what other daycares in your vicinity are doing, too. Even if you can’t do the exact same thing, you may get ideas that your customers (existing and new ones) will love!
Summer is a strange time for everyone involved with child care: parents get some time off, but not three months, and child care providers are stretched thin trying to keep their business running.
And in filling daycare spots in the summer, flexibility works like a charm. Whether you start a summer camp program or start offering half-days, it doesn’t have to be hard.
Hopping In helps you offer daycare-on-demand without fuss. It displays your daycare’s availability to parents who need extra care so they can book the spots they need.
If you’re a full-time care business, you can switch to half-days easily.
You can even get started right now since Hopping In is risk-free, and market your summer availability through it.
If the summer enrollment drop is making your daycare suffer, it’s time to explore other options and start planning for success.
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