For the busy childcare center director, getting involved in community events may seem unnecessary or too burdensome; there are some great reasons, however, to consider reaching out to the larger community. The benefits can extend from current families to prospective ones, and being active in your local community can be one part of your center’s larger marketing picture.
Why get involved?
For starters, greater involvement will help you grow your relationships with current families and increase parent engagement. See our previous post for more information about ideas for increased family engagement. On the business side of things, reaching out to the larger community can be helpful, too. Being involved will make more people aware of your business, your childcare center’s name, and the center’s offerings to families. Build up a good reputation in the community, and center enrollment will grow, too! The more your center is involved in the community, the more your business will be seen as an expert in the childcare field and one the public seeks out when they need your services.
Looking for more ways to increase enrollment? Check out our Marketing 101 Guide!
Ways to be a partner in the community:
- Hosting community groups: Consider opening up your space after hours as a community gathering place—for anything from parenting groups to clubs to private parties. You can even charge a fee for some extra income (bonus!).
- Providing referrals: Keep a list of recommended community businesses and organizations (of which you think highly, of course) that you can provide to families looking for services and resources. Those businesses will appreciate the word-of-mouth marketing and will hopefully will return the favor.
- Offering your services: If you are offering your center’s space for community events, go one step farther and offer childcare to attendees (even if they’re not current center families). On-site-childcare is always appreciated and may help boost attendance.
- Coordinating education workshops: Open up parent education nights, special guest speakers, and center festivals to the general public. You’ll bring in families who may not otherwise have checked out your center. Make sure to have information about your childcare center’s services and benefits available at the event.
- Participating in events outside the center: Have a booth at farmer’s markets, festivals, or celebrations. Offer a family-friendly activity (think art projects, face painting, etc.) and, again, have information on-hand about the center for prospective families.
By getting involved in your local community, your childcare center can strengthen relationships with current families, build awareness of your center’s services, and come to be seen as an expert in the childcare field. Don’t forget to include the benefits of your software management system like Smartcare as one of your center’s selling points! Prospective families will appreciate the built-in parent communication features and real-time child updates. Sounds like great reasons for getting involved!