Almost every new provider who opens a child care business worries about filling their daycare spaces. A full daycare means a full pay cheque! So what is the secret to having a full daycare with a waiting list? Why do some providers find all the good clients while others are constantly looking to fill their spots? Home child care businesses that are always full share some common characteristics. Here is a five part series to help you fill up your daycare spaces.
- Part 1: Have a vision
- Part 2: Be a professional
- Part 3: Advertise wisely
- Part 4: Interview with care
- Part 5: Warm parents hearts
Part 1: Have a Vision
Successful home daycare businesses are owned by dynamic caregivers with lots of positive energy that have a vision of what their daycare provides for their tiny clientele. Having a vision will help you focus on specific goals. Specific goals will help you make decisions, channel your energy and monitor your progress. How do you create a vision? Easy! Picture your ideal daycare set-up in the near future.
- How many clients do you have?
- What does the physical space look like?
- What types of activities are the children doing?
- How are you handling day-to-day challenges?
- What part of owning a home daycare are you really enjoying?
- What are the parents saying about your daycare?
- How do the children interact with you?
After you have identified the key elements of your daycare the next step is to break them down into goals. For example, if your vision included six children of various ages, then you need to decide exactly what ages you wish to accept. Two toddlers, two preschoolers, one kindergarten child and one school age child? Knowing what age categories you are looking for will affect many different decisions you make.
Once you have the goal of finding one school age child you can then devise a plan to attract that child to your daycare. You will find out what school zones you are in, when the school day starts and ends, busing schedules and school vacation times. Your advertising will be specifically geared towards finding a client from your neighbourhood school. School notice boards, school newspapers, neighbourhood community association Facebook page, neighbourhood activities such as girl guides and scouts, neighbourhood sports activities (soccer and baseball) and the nearest school bus stop are all areas where you will target your advertising and networking skills.
Each aspect of your vision can then be broken down into goals you would like to achieve. Each goal can be divided into manageable steps that you can work on until you have achieved that goal. Once all your goals have been achieved your vision will be your reality!
Sounds easy, but what about all the work that goes into completing each step of each goal? Here is a strange phenomenon that kicks into play once you have clearly broken down your vision into goals and are working through each small step of each goal. Opportunities suddenly pop up out of the blue! It gets easier as you build momentum. The opportunities were always there but your focus was on something else so you didn’t really notice them. Be clear on your intentions and organized in your approach to your daycare business, and success with follow.