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.