Marketing Your Program

To put it simply, whether you are just starting out or are well-established, you have two basic responsibilities when it comes to marketing your child care business: making sure parents know about it, and convincing them to choose yours over the competition.

Here are the basic elements of a good marketing plan:

Identify Your Target Audience
Once you know the age of children you provide services for, consider what geographic area you should market to. From how far away will parents travel to use your services? Is your program or center geared toward families with specific values or beliefs, financial circumstances, or curriculum preferences? Narrow down your potential customers as best as you can.

Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition
In order to convince parents that their child(ren) should be with you rather than another provider, you need to demonstrate what sets you apart and/or makes you better.

Does your child care program:

  • Offer a specific educational curriculum?
  • Provide supplemental activities such as language instruction or classes for parents?
  • Employ staff who hold special credentials or have unusual skills or talents?
  • Have accreditation, or has it achieved other awards that note exceptional quality?

Describe your business:

Whether you are preparing a brochure, writing text for a website, or describing your services verbally, you need to carefully define the features and benefits of your program.

When you talk about the features of your child care program, you are telling parents about all the basic, important details (just like you would describe features of a car). For example: days and hours you're open, class size, age of children you provide care for, whether meals or snacks are served, qualifications of staff, descriptions of the space, what the curriculum will be, etc.

When you talk about the benefits of your child care program, you are selling your unique child care services to parents. Focus on how you will improve or add value to the lives of children and their parents. For example: maybe parents will be able to relax knowing their child is in good hands, and get to work on time because you are reliable. Perhaps their child will flourish due to your exceptionally caring staff and creative learning opportunities.

Marketing Tips!

Ask happy parents for quotes about your child care services that you can use in your marketing material.

Promote Your Business
The most effective marketing for your program is parent-to-parent, "word-of-mouth" advertising. However, if you have multiple vacancies in your program and no waiting list from which to fill them, then this strategy is not working well enough for you, and you need to take action.

Consider implementing some of the following ideas:

  • Make sure your business information is up to date in the Council's Parent Referral Database and call to let us know when you have openings, add a new service or change your hours or fees.
  • Develop professional marketing materials that represent your business well. Business cards are very inexpensive, and a great start. When you're able, also consider a flyer, brochures and a website.
  • Ask current customers to refer family members, friends and coworkers. Give them brochures, flyers and/or business cards to share.
  • Introduce yourself to local business owners who service families with young children, and provide them with written materials about your program.

To make a good impression on potential clients:

  • Keep the outside and inside of your center or home clean, uncluttered and inviting.
  • Make your entryway welcoming and professional by clearly displaying your credentials, daily schedule and children's art.
  • Record a positive, professional message on your telephone answering machine, and clearly identify yourself and your business. Always answer the phone in a courteous, professional manner and again, clearly identify yourself.

When parents contact you for the first time, ask how they heard about your child care business, so you can determine where your leads are coming from, and better allocate your resources in the future.

Contact Us

Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc.

313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, New York 10583

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

Phone: (914) 761-3456
Toll-Free: 1 (844) 387-7525

Fax: (914) 761-1957

Email us

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