The world that does not need child care services shall never exist. Parents need support mechanisms long before a child enters school. Many of these programs add special educational components that help children to:
- Learn letters, words and colors
- Identify stranger danger
- Socialize and much, much more
Having developed – with the best child care professionals around – continuing education and related training materials for child care providers, I have held conversations with literally thousands of them. Often these conversations center on business strategy while others on serving needs of their communities. Here are four, (4) items I have found that require more attention than most others for the independent child care center.
A. Disconnected from Neighborhood
Far too many centers have opened or entrepreneurs have purchased existing programs without knowing or understanding the dynamics or demographics of the areas where they exist. How many households are within ten, (10) miles of your program where children lives within the age groups you would like to serve? An amazing number of providers have not collected this information or may not even know how.
Without it, it becomes difficult to quantify a growth pattern or to organize an effective long-term marketing and outreach strategy.
B. Lack of Service Innovation
Innovation is the usage of that which is new, creative or diverse. This might include a latch-key program. Generally children are not allowed to be home alone before at least age 10. Therefore, if mom and dad work till 5 and are home by 6, the community needs places where children can gather, get homework done, play games, mingle with friends and have a snack from perhaps 3:45 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The national average from private providers is about $35.00 per week, per child. So while its not wealth 50 kids means $7577.50 per month and I bet this can handle the utilities, rents, mortgages and more for tons of child care centers.
Add to this the number of centers that allow themselves to be used in the evenings for student musical practice and tutoring. This adds to income, building security and engages more families.
C. Inconsistent Marketing Programs
If you serve children ages 3 months to 10 years, and you know there are 14,355 households in the 6 zip codes surrounding your program with children in these age groups, are you in touch with them? Have their parents seen your newsletter on at least a quarterly basis? Have they seen your testimonials that speak to your innovative approaches to serving the community?
Click Here for Sample 1 of how your newsletter should look (1 page)
Click Here for Sample 2 of how your newsletter should look (1 page)
Click Here for Sample 3 of a 4-pager to demonstrate competence serving multi-ethnic populations
When you combine this with your search engine and related content campaigns you are managing on-line or paying my team to manage for you, your marketing now has consistency which is the road to growth.
D. Lack of Specialization
- Asperger Syndrome
- Juvenile diabetes
- Childhood obesity
- Cystic Fibrosis
and other conditions.
These programs that cater to children with special needs integrate the learning process with the intervention of nurses and other professionals in order to serve the entire child. Pediatric physicians including pediatric oncologists are among the visiting professionals to these programs along with physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors which turns the center into a true relief mechanism for parents and a specialized, stabilization center for the child.
Within the walls of Child Care Training & Resource Center, Inc. we busy ourselves developing strategies, networking with child care providers and executing comprehensive, often rather inexpensive marketing and business diversity plans. Be careful allowing these key four, (4) success ingredients to escape you. Life is too short to either expect or embrace failure simply because we ignored the obvious.
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