How To Improve Your Daycare Center
Everyone knows what makes a good daycare facility, but what about a great one? Read more to find out how to get more kids in your daycare!
You run a good daycare and you know it (because their faces surely show it!). Your kids are happy, safe, and learning. Your regular parents leave smiling and return each week.
So why isn't your daycare facility more popular?
You'll find the answer in this list. Read on to see what makes a good daycare facility great in the eyes of your community.
A Great Reputation (Online Reviews)
The most attractive thing about any child care center is a great reputation. The first thing most parents do when looking for quality childcare is to ask around. Daycares that trusted colleagues recommend will be sought out first and usually chosen.
How do you get these referrals? Ask! A marketing study by Bain & Co found that 87% of customers will refer a business if they only ask!
The next best thing to a personal recommendation is a positive online review. Another study found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends.
The first thing you should do after reading this is to get your daycare registered on online directories. Google My Business and Yelp are both great places to receive online reviews. After registering, mention it to your regulars and ask if they'll leave a positive review.
One Age Per Room
A one-year age difference doesn't mean much among adults. But for developing children, it means two different types of children.
You shouldn't put groups of preschool children together if they are different ages. There's no single curriculum that could benefit children of different ages during these early years.
Your children should have separate rooms and separate curriculum for each age. Each room should have different, age-appropriate toys and books to provide a nurturing environment for specific years of early childhood.
Be Structured (And Be Obvious About It)
Kids of all ages need structure in as much of their life as possible. They need it so much that the lack thereof can cause stress and emotional or developmental issues. If those stressed out kids are in your care center, parents will search elsewhere for childcare.
If you already have each day for each age group full of planned activities from start to finish, that's great! Now all you have to do is tell people.
Print your schedules/curriculum out and have them displayed where you greet arriving parents. Post it on your website, if you have one. Always mention it during interviews with new parents.
Knowing the structure of their child's day will give parents peace of mind.
No Child Left to Wander
Even with your well-planned schedule, your curriculum still may not be as structured as you think. Your biggest clue, and parents' biggest red flag, that your structure isn't up to snuff is wandering, lost-looking children.
It may be that the child finished their art project first and is between activities, but parents see a child left to himself and wonder why.
"Why isn't that child doing the same activity as the rest of the group? It looks like he's not sure what he's supposed to be doing. Is no one paying attention to him?"
These are not the questions you want new parents to be thinking on their first visit. To make sure they don't, always have two teachers per room. Always have a backup activity scheduled any time kids may be between activities.
The second teacher handles the backup activity with the children who have finished the assignment. That way, the child always knows where to go next instead of wandering around confused.
Don't Run Too Tight a Ship
When we emphasized the importance of structure, we meant it for the kids, not the staff. Sure, they need rules too. But what they don't need is micromanagement or strict, totalitarian control.
Let's face it: daycare employment isn't exactly the highest paying option available to the general workforce. As such, most of your caregivers are there because they want to be. Don't make them regret it.
Allow your staff a bit of freedom and encourage open feedback and input. Build a great reputation as an employer as well as a daycare owner.
Make a Good Daycare Facility Great With These Tips
Stand out as the most reputable daycare facility for kids, parents, and staff. Use these tips for better success in your child care center. For additional tips on growing enrollment and making your childcare center better, check out our partner's blog - Smartcare.
Want to learn more ways to improve your child care business? Check out our FREE 12 Month Childcare Webinar Series.