Moving into the second half of the year and a new financial year can often feel like a new start. It’s a time when you might be looking at your goals as a childcare service, assessing the way you do things and what your centre needs. It’s been a challenging and unusual year that’s for sure, with a lot to adapt to — but early childhood education remains an essential service for our communities. After all, providing childcare enables parents to continue to work and gives young children access to high quality early childhood education during these crucial early years of development.
As you’re assessing your goals as a childcare centre, chances are one of them will be how to attract families to your centre. How can you show families in your community that you are the best option for their children?
With Covid-19 restrictions meaning that we need to maintain physical distance, there are still ways you can create a culture that makes your centre irresistible to families. You can use these ideas to increase your enrolments and ensure your childcare centre thrives now and into the future.
Show off online
While open days aren’t advisable right now, you can still show off your amazing centre in a safe, virtual space! Get your centre on Facebook and Instagram, share photos, do video tours and host Q&A sessions with your followers.
You can schedule these as events and use social media advertising to reach more families in your local area. Be mindful of using photos of children from your centre online – you can get written permission from parents or take images and videos that don’t include children’s faces in them.
Make your point of difference shine
What makes your centre special? What do you do differently? Find your point of difference and make it stand out in all your marketing. If you can identify what makes you different from the other centres in the area, you have a better chance of attracting families who will be committed to your centre.
The idea is that these families’ values and goals for their children will align with your centre’s outcomes. Centres who run our Bonkers Beat programs frequently incorporate messages about how special their centre’s focus on music and wellbeing is!
Inspire your team
Working as a team to develop new ideas to attract families to your centre is a must. Try brainstorming with your educators about how you can increase occupancy. If families are leaving after one year, discuss why you think that might be and what you could be doing differently.
Don’t forget, if you need an extra helping hand to stand out, our Bonkers Beat programs could be your solution! For Ellina’s centre, occupancy was sitting at around 60% before she started showcasing her point of difference to the community: “Since promoting the Bonkers Beat music program at our centre we have reached just over 95% capacity”, says Ellina. That’s a 35% in only eight months!
Low occupancy doesn’t need to be the new normal or the end for your centre — take action and change things for the better!