Families are very thorough when they are on the lookout for the right child care center, and guess what... so are potential employees!
When a prospective family or employee is interested in learning more about your business, they are going to do a few things:
Search google or another type of search engine to view your website
Search popular social media to review your posts
Search review and reputation type sites to read or watch testimonials from your raving fans
Search Youtube to watch videos you may have posted about your school
Prospects may likely skip over your business, if during any of those searches:
- Your website is not user friendly or appealing
- You can’t be found online
- Your brand looks outdated
We feel the most important out of all tools that must be maintained and kept relevant is your child care website. Your website is a peek into everything that makes your center great and what sets it apart from the center down the street.
Partnering with the right company to design your website that specializes in child care websites is important...having a site that is custom to your brand is crucial. Make sure you seek out a designer that will custom design a website just for your center and doesn’t just pop your information into the template that they use for every other center.
Child Care Websites
As we continue to navigate this topic, we will talk about:
- What makes (or breaks) a great website (do’s and don'ts)
- Website must-haves or “non-negotiables” is what we like to call them
- How to effectively target both families and teachers with your website
Do's & Don'ts
Knowing what a great child care website should have, and should not have, will make or break how your company (brand) is perceived.
- Have your center name, phone number, hours, and location easy to find on the home page.
- Have a good balance of high-quality photos. You can easily purchase photos via Istock for a very economical price. Though we encourage you to utilize photos that were taken at your school, there are times when a stock photo may be a better option.
- Content should be keyword rich to help ensure prospects find your website when they are searching for care and/or employment.
- Make sure the website has the same look and feel as your center. This is done visually with pictures, colors, and video, but it is also by how you write your content (the voice).
- Consider what the URLs are that you are using and customize them if necessary.
- Make sure you have a clear call-to-action on each page. A call-to-action is how websites direct the user to what you want them to do (tour today, call us, enroll now, apply here).
- Be very mindful about what pages you have in your main navigation and how a user will navigate to where they need to go. The website site map is extremely important and those top navigation items should help the user easily journey where they want to go to find the information they came looking for.
- Make sure your website is optimized for mobile.
- Sprinkle video and written testimonials throughout your website.
- Don't have a single-page website that jam packs everything you want to say about your school on the home page.
- Don't introduce design elements that don’t match your brand (colors, graphics).
- Don't use duplicate content on multiple pages. Search engines such as google will negatively view this, which will hurt how your website comes up in rankings.
- Don't provide your tuition rates on your website. Encourage the user to call or email to get that information so that you can sell them on coming in for a tour. If you choose to offer your tuition rates on your website, make the user complete a lead form to collect their contact information and follow up with them after.
Making sure you follow our simple DOs & DON’Ts tips will be the start of a successful website for your child care center. To make it more successful, be sure to include these non-negotiable pages (or information) on your site.
The ideal child care website speaks to prospective families and speaks to prospective teachers, directors, and other staff. If your website doesn’t already have a Career Page, now is the time to implement one... and you need more than just job postings.
Your career page should include what you are looking for in your ideal candidate. This will help prospects know if they will fit in with your center. You should also include pictures. These pictures should be more than just your teachers teaching. Try to capture moments at staff outings or meetings where you can really showcase what it is like to work at your center.
Additionally, having a way for them to apply directly on our site by downloading an application and having a place for them to upload the application, their resume, and contact info are also great to include.
In the event you are a center with multiple locations, you need to make sure you include a page for each location. This is important because of something called NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number. It is important that the name, address, and phone number of each location is displayed the exact same across all online directories, social networks, and on your website. This helps with SEO and online authority.
These location pages need more than just an address, Google map, and phone number. Also include what is special about each location, some photos of that location, and age groups that are served at that location (if different from the other).
Highlighting your program, what ages you serve, and what each child learns in each age group is important to tell prospective families what their children will be learning and prospective teachers what they will be focusing on.
About Us or History Page
Have a page that talks about the owner, the center philosophy, your core values, and your mission. This will allow families and teachers alike the ability to know if their beliefs align with your center and what makes it special before they even step through the door.
Highlighting the owner or director will also make your center feel more personable and that a prospective families’ child or a prospective teacher will not just be another number.
Contact Us or Enrollment Page
Having a contact us page with a form that a prospective family can fill out to ask questions is crucial. This is your first interaction with a prospect so you need to make sure they can easily and quickly fill it out and you need to make sure you respond within a reasonable amount of time. Having space where they can actually schedule a tour would be a bonus.
It’s an added benefit to include information about how to enroll, what to expect during the enrollment process and how soon you need to do it. Giving this information will allow them to make a decision about whether this process works for them and allows a roadmap about what to do, so they aren’t left guessing.
Child Care Biz Help has had the absolute privilege of designing some dynamic child care websites and each of them are different and special in their own way. We invite you to take a look at each of them to see what makes them special!
Targeting Families & Staff
When you have the ideal child care website, it will speak to both families and staff. As mentioned above, your website will be one of the first things your prospective customer will look at, and first impressions matter.
For families, when we think about speaking to their needs, consider providing them enough information to determine if your center is a good fit for their child and them... but be careful not to overwhelm them with too much information that causes them to bounce off your website.
The balance of what to say versus not say can be one of the hardest parts of planning your website content. The general rule of thumb, provide a high-level overview with a bit of explanation where necessary like the Programs Page.
Also, speak to their pains and how you can solve them. For families, these pains may be:
- I have long work hours or variable work schedules so I need a school that offers extended open hours or offers flexible scheduling.
- My child has special needs and I need a school that can provide the support and expertise we need.
- My child’s school does not transport and I need a child care center that can pick them up.
- I have a child who does not speak good English and needs a school that can speak bilingually.
Each child care center will accommodate various parent pains. Be confident in what you offer and speak to those offerings as if you are solving a problem.
Now to target staff, the career page is most critical. Funny thing is, many child care centers either don’t have a career page or the one they have does not make the company look desirable.
Prospective employees want to know if they will be a good fit with your school and if your values align with theirs. They also want to know:
- What the environment looks like
- Information on benefits
- Why they should choose your school over the one down the street.
The general rule of thumb, let the user get to know who your staff is, how you value them, how you empower and help them grow. This is best shown through the faces of your team on video and pictures.
Ask Yourself These Questions When Building Your Child Care Website
Overall, the journey of building or rebuilding your website can be a daunting one. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you begin:
What is the service you provide?
- Age groups
- Hours of operations and location
- How you will want to be contacted
- Special program offerings and items included tuition
- People don’t have a lot of time. Be clear. Be specific.
Why would your potential customer care?
- Tagline or other statements that sum up your niche
- Details of why choose you over the competitor
- Things about your service that makes it unique or values you abide by
- Visual or explanation of the child and parent experience that can be expected
What should visitors do next?
- Learn more about programs offered
- Go book a tour online
- Give an email address for resources
- Make it clear what action people should take as their next step
When it comes down to it, there are many things to consider when creating or updating your daycare website. We would love to take a look at yours and see if we can offer any suggestions or changes.
Fill out the form below to get a free audit of your website (including SEO) and unlock a special discount for a new website! If you’re a new start-up or don’t have an existing website, now is the best time to begin the process.