How to Increase Your Daycare’s Enrollment
COVID-19 has drastically impacted the childcare industry — and nowhere is that more apparent than in program enrollment for daycare.
For many centers, it’s been nearly impossible to get numbers back up to pre-pandemic capacity, much less get families on a waitlist for upcoming semesters.
At LifeCubby, the team behind our childcare management software is full of former early childhood pros. As a result, we know first-hand how difficult it can be to attract new families to your program during normal times, much less on the heels of a global pandemic.
That’s why we’ve put together these tips on how to increase your daycare enrollment and get parents enrolling their child in daycare again.
Introduce a referral program.
Research has shown that word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to increase business, and enrollment for daycare is no exception. Incentivize parents to tell their friends and family about your center by creating a referral program that rewards quality leads. This can be something as simple as a discount for every person they bring in, or something more complex like a points system that rewards continual leads.
After you’ve launched the program, be sure to provide parents with easy-to-reference material about how the program works and consistently remind them about it so it’s always top of mind.
Ensure you’ve got a working website.
With so many parents relying on web research when enrolling their child in daycare, having a working website is crucial. Take the time to invest in a clean, professional-looking design that features all of your services and highlights any differentials about your program. Create a page to showcase family testimonials and be sure you’ve got an up-to-date list of your current staff and curriculum. You also want to make it as easy as possible for families to contact you, so feature your phone number and other contact information prominently.
Once you’ve got your website in place, set aside time each week to go through and update any outdated or irrelevant information.
Register with your local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency.
There are more than 400 CCR&R agencies across the nation and parents often view these groups as trusted resources in the childcare space. Once you’ve joined the one in your area, you’ll be able to include your center in any online rosters available. Most agencies also offer a host of resources for partner programs, including low-to-no cost trainings and ongoing professional development opportunities that could be beneficial to your program’s staff.
Offer frequent open houses and tours.
Instead of just describing your program to prospective parents, give them the opportunity to see your staff in action via weekly in-person tours and open houses. If possible, have printouts about your center’s enrollment process along with branded swag for them to take home. End your tours with a question-and-answer session and give families your contact info should they have any questions after they leave. Finally, for those families who can’t make an in-person visit, consider offering a virtual open house option where you give video tours of your facility.
Institute free registration.
Another great idea for how to increase your daycare enrollment is to host a registration drive. Select a month (or couple weeks’ span) and offer new families free registration if they sign up during the time period. Advertise the drive on your website and social media channels, in addition to sharing the information with relevant groups in your area. By eliminating the registration fee, you’ll not only attract new parents but help sway those who might be on the fence.
Reach out to key people in your area.
Real estate agents are a great contact to have when trying to attract new families to your program. Reach out to realtors that often sell in your neighborhood and see if you can include a flyer or discount card in new-home kits for their clients with children. Next, contact the HR departments at local businesses to let them know about your program and see if you can provide collateral for new (or existing) employees who might be interested in childcare services.
Expand your offerings.
If possible, hire extra staff to allow for early-morning and late-evening care options — or institute monthly night hours so parents can enjoy a date night worryfree. In addition to expanded hours, partner with organizations in your area that can provide extracurricular opportunities at your center including dance lessons, music lessons and more. By offering hours and services unique to your area, you’ll be able to set your center apart from the crowd and boost your enrollment for daycare.
Invest in software that makes your center stand out.
When it comes to increasing your enrollment for daycare, being able to tout the latest and greatest software is a huge bonus. By investing in a childcare management software (like LifeCubby) for your program, you can offer parents the gift of connectivity. Through our app, parents can do everything from receiving photo updates in real-time to paying their tuition in a few clicks – perks that can be deciding factors between you and other nearby centers.
Want to learn more about how to increase your daycare’s enrollment with LifeCubby? Click here to schedule a free demo today!