You might find yourself in a situation where you give many tours of your facility but get very few new enrollments. It’s troubling and all that time giving the tours should pay off. So why aren’t you getting tons of enrollments with parents choosing you? Here’s a look at some of the factors parents look for and how to optimize your center.
Interact with the children
During your tour, make sure that your teachers are interacting with the kids. Independent play is important for a child to learn, but parents want to know that their child is in a caring environment where they’ll get stimulation and interaction with their teachers.
This is especially true in the infant room. Wailing babies won’t give parents a sense of comfort. Have your teachers hold the children or play on the floor with them throughout the day to provide that interaction babies need and parents look for.
Look at the tenure of your teachers. If they never see children start in their classroom and graduate, you might have a problem. It’s normal to have some turnover, but when parents realize that their children will have no consistency with caregivers, that doesn’t make them feel good about choosing you over your competitors.
Have regular conversations with your teachers to ensure they are getting all they hope to out of their work. While giving tours, highlight the tenure of your teachers so that parents know that their child will have that consistency of a caregiver they know.
Alignment on parenting methodology
Parents are passionate about how they are raising their children. This varies from how they choose to discipline – or not discipline – to how they select the food that their child will eat.
The more you can align with parents and follow their home rules while the child is at school, the better. You need to have your own policies around how you do things, but there are areas of flexibility where you can allow the parent to provide guidance on the care you provide.
Lack of communication
During a tour, talk with parents about their expectations on communication. Be sure that your teachers allow time at drop off and pick up for you to interact with the parents. Answer questions, share how the child’s day was, collaborate on behavioral trends both the parent and teacher are seeing, and more.
The more open you can keep the lines of communication, the better for your center’s long-term viability. Parents want to know that you will be their partner in child rearing.
The bar keeps raising higher and higher for what children learn in the years leading up to Kindergarten. Even beyond that, afterschool care or wraparound care where children have time and space to work on homework and apply what they are learning in school can take some burden off of parents.
Your curriculum could be the driving factor behind why parents aren’t choosing your childcare center. Take time to evaluate the planning you put into your curriculum and strengthen it wherever you find gaps.
Impress parents during tours with your technology. Childcare management software can prove open and honest communication along with tracking for developmental milestones. Contact us to learn more.