Some people hate the idea of being “trendy.” It’s a word that implies that something is here one day and gone the next. But if you’re avoiding certain childcare trends in your center, you might be the one that’s here one day and gone the next.
To help you stay up to date and competitive in the market, here are the 7 little changes that will make a big difference for your childcare center.
- Clear curriculum planning and communication of that curriculum to parents.
Preschool education is being sought after more and more, often viewed as the new kindergarten. Parents want to know that their children’s knowledge on letter recognition, colors, numbers and more will match that of their peers when it comes time for more formal schooling. Therefore, you need to make your curriculum clear and communicate with parents on where their children are at as far as meeting their benchmarks for the year.
- Social skills and problem-solving tactics.
No parent wants to be called to the principal’s office regularly for children who struggle to interact with their peers. Provide time throughout the day that allows for independent play, 1-on-1 play and group play so that children learn these different dynamics.
- Offer flexible meal options.
Parents are super busy. Sometimes they end up at your facility with not enough formula or a forgotten lunch for their toddler. Set yourself apart as a premier center with outstanding customer service by helping to fill these gaps when they happen. Keep a variety of formula on hand so a parent doesn’t have to rush back during their lunch break to bring you more. Have a simple lunch option for your toddlers that you can keep on hand to help parents out on those hectic days.
- Update your facility.
Yes, updates can be expensive, but if your books are all missing pages and your carpet looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in a year just because it’s so old and stained, it’s time to make some serious changes to your facility. Parents will notice these minor changes and be more likely to talk about you to their friends and colleagues in a positive way if they see constant improvements to the environment that they leave their children in.
- Hire true teachers and not just babysitters.
If you’re marketing yourself as a preschool center and telling parents that their children will reach a certain proficiency level in learning, ensure you have the right staff to make this happen. There are some astounding childcare providers out there who have no idea how to help a child through learning a new skill. These individuals are not ideal for your center if you’re marketing yourself as more than just a caregiver. Be sure you’re truly hiring teachers who know how to manage a classroom.
- Evaluate the security of your facility.
The trends in school safety are sad because schools have become a target for tragedy over the last few years. Experiencing tragedy at your facility is a reality you don’t want to face, so take some time to review the security of your facility, including regular background checks on your staff. You might even want to pay a consultant to come in as an expert to review your facility for vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities could be something as simple as an accounting software hack or as devastating as an intruder seeking to harm one of your students.
- Add technology to your facility through childcare software.
Parents are constantly connected. On their mobile phones they can easily go from checking work email to catching up with family and friends on social media. With this ever-connected mindset, parents expect to be connected to their childcare providers much the same way. Provide parents with the tools to do so by adding childcare software to your facility to be able to message and share photos with parents throughout the day.
The childcare centers that are most successful are those that are constantly growing and learning from what’s happening in the industry. Your childcare center could even lead the way when it comes to trends if you’re constantly looking for ways to improve.