Marketing any business is tough and developing a marketing plan for your child care center can be extremely challenging if you haven’t done much marketing in the past. However, it’s the only way you’re going to grow your business. Word of mouth is great, but it rarely produces enough business to fill a center.
So what critical features should a child care center marketing plan include to increase their business?
Identify your customers
- Who are your target customers? Take a look at your neighborhood. What are the couples and families like? These are your potential customers so the better you understand what they want and need, the better you can cater to them. How are they currently addressing their child care needs? What can you offer them that they are not getting now? What services do you offer that would persuade them to bring their children to your center?
Marketing strategies for your child care center
- Can you tell prospective parents the top two to three benefits of your program?
- Research the competition. What makes them great? How could they improve? Is there a gap in the market you can fill?
- Are your prices consistent with your benefits?
- How do you show that your program adds value and benefit to parents?
What are your key messages?
How do you make your child care center stand out from the rest?
Here are some examples:
- Many of our teachers have been with us more than five years, which provides your child with consistency while at the center.
- All teachers are required to pass a criminal background check as well as a child abuse and neglect report. All staff are trained in CPR and First Aid and have 15 training hours in child development each year.
- Hot lunches introduce the children to balanced meals as part of our commitment to health and wellness at every age.
- Our classrooms are full size and offer a variety of learning experiences based on the developmental levels of the children enrolled in the class. Curriculum is developed around the ages of the children in the class and is designed to promote self-learning and exploration of their environment.
Parents want to know how a program will meet their needs and those of their children. Information provided by First Children’s Finance defines the difference between features your center offers versus the benefits. Features focus on the providers while benefits focus on the children and parents.
As an example, rather than saying, “my hours are from 6 am to 6 pm”, you could say, “my program fits with the schedules of working parents”. Parents want to know much more just than the features; they want to know more details about the benefits you offer.
First impressions are everything in the child care industry.
When making decisions about their children, parents often act on emotions rather than reason. So the feeling they have when they first contact or visit your program will make the decision for them.
Running a one-time marketing campaign will not work. A marketing campaign must be long-term with the understanding that you’ll have to reach out to potential families again and again over a period of time before seeing any results. This also means trying different strategies over months at a time. Marketing strategies will never work if just done one time.
Develop a Marketing Plan For Your Child Care Center Today!
Our next article will explore ways in which you can be more creative when marketing your child care center and programs.