Getting out of the startup phase for your daycare is a great feeling. You have the proper staffing, you’re bringing in ample tuition payments to turn a profit, and things are running smoothly.
But when it comes to daycare management, there’s always something you can do to improve your service and reach your full potential. Once established, you’re ready to start managing a waitlist for enrollment so that your center is always at its optimal capacity to maximize its potential.
Ready to take your program to the next level? Read up on these seven daycare management tips that help you transition from good to great.
7 Daycare Management Tips to Level Up Your Center
Increasing enrollment and offering parents more options for programs and learning opportunities for their children require additional effort once your daycare program is up and running. Here are seven ways to level up your center.
- Ask Parents About Their Pain Points During Parent-teacher Conferences
You might think that you’re doing great in serving parents and their needs. But in reality, there might be a few policies or procedures that annoy parents. Take time to listen to your primary customers.
Parents want to be empowered with information to care for their children at the day’s end and reinforce their education at home. That means offering a day-end summary to share these helpful details with parents and offering a parent portal where they can log in and see more details about their child’s educational experiences and developmental milestones. Or parents might want better parent-teacher communication to gain more significant insights into what their child does throughout the day or how their mood is.
- Automate Tuition Payment Billing and Collection
While it might look like you’re doing great as you move from a startup to an established business, things can change quickly if you have overdue tuition bills or fail to bill a parent properly.
Inadequate billing procedures quickly lead to bad debt. And once a tuition payment is overdue, you’re less likely to get those payments. Plus, many centers that don’t use automatic billing tied to attendance miss out on covering their expenses when parents pick up their children late and have to pay overtime to keep teachers caring for those children.
And if you’re still early in your daycare management experience, you might not even realize you’re missing out on billing these scenarios. Please read up on our case study about how Children’s Workshop brought in an extra $8,000 per year by automatically billing late pickups.
To automate your billing practices, you need childcare software connecting attendance to tuition billing. Some systems are better than others and offer you more flexibility to bill based on your custom rate charts and various scenarios, including sibling discounts, subsidy payments, etc.
- Increase Your Quality Rating Improvement Score (QRIS) with Your State
For decades, parents didn’t have a straightforward way to compare one daycare center to another. Now we have the Quality Rating Improvement Score (QRIS) to help daycare centers stand out thanks to superb programming, educated teachers, and more.
A QRIS rating helps parents find programs that meet high standards and compare one program to another. They are based on the following criteria, though each state interprets the requirements in its way.
- Provider and staff training and education
- Curriculum and activities
- Safety and health
- Child-teacher ratios
- The program’s business practices
Review your state’s criteria and begin applying for your QRIS rating or look for ways to level up that rating.
- Offer Flexible Attendance and Value-added Services
At some point, you’ll likely plateau in enrollment and income. Finding new ways to extend that income with various programs and value-added services can be an excellent way to keep growing.
Evaluate offering picture day and allowing parents to purchase different shots in addition to the standard one to make this a money-generating activity. Host a weekend event or homework help sessions to welcome older children during the school year. Design special summer programming to attract parents who need a break when school is out.
A great way to increase profitability is to do flexible scheduling. This is more than just allowing for part-time attendance. It’s the art of knowing when children arrive and leave each day and scheduling your teachers strategically. The more data you have, the better you can optimize staffing to lower expenses, increasing your bottom line.
- Review Your Learning Philosophy
How strong is your curriculum? Are you doing arts and crafts without thinking through the fine motor skills they develop? Do you have an opportunity to do more repetition with letters and numbers to help children memorize and learn these essential skills?
The curriculum isn’t just about celebrating holidays and special times of year in the classroom or going from circle time to lunch to art. You have to think about developmental milestones and how your curriculum supports those as children grow.
- Complete an Annual Net Promoter Score Survey to Understand How You’re Adapting and Growing
While you might think you’re doing well right now, you probably don’t know how that compares to last year or even 4-5 years ago when you got started. There might be aspects of your center that you’ve overlooked while growing attendance and ensuring you’re hiring the best teachers.
Completing a net promoter score survey annually will help you measure the same benchmarks year-over-year to see where you have opportunities to grow and improve or what you’re doing well.
This offers a tangible way to review progress toward goals and ensure you’re focusing on all the right customer service aspects of your business to delight parents.
- Market Your Center Effectively
Once you’ve made it past the initial phase of getting your name out there, you might get comfortable and ease up on your marketing. But you want to constantly get in front of new parents to keep enrollment full and optimize your center’s opportunities.
You should never stop networking and marketing your center, no matter how full enrollment is. That’s not to say you should spend tons of money on marketing when you have no open spots. Still, you do want to engage in activities that keep your name out there to ensure that if a parent moves their child to a new center or graduates out of needing daycare, you have another student lined up to fill the spot.
Don’t forget to share important details with existing parents too. You might not think about marketing to current customers, but retention is essential for a good marketing plan. This includes regular newsletters and tactics for showcasing the value you provide your customers.
iCare Software supports these seven functions of daycare management that help you take your center to the next level. Schedule a demo to see how our technology helps you grow your business and improve your profitability.