Marketing for child care can be simple in some ways and tricky in others. Driving around town (I live in a very small town on the border between Washington and Idaho) I see various child care signs. Some of them are simple….ABC Childcare 123…..or a cute name with a picture on the sign.
When I was looking for child care for my children I knew all of the resources to use. I was well versed with the local child care resource and referral agency (R&R) – not only because I understand R&R’s and know what they do….but also because the local phone directory accidentally listed my business as an R&R…that took a few months to fix! Yikes! The number of calls I received was huge.
But, beyond calling the R&R and asking the typical things, like ages served, hours of operation, etc., I wanted to know which programs had good local reputations. I asked my friends, I read the signs (and crossed those with misspellings in their signs off my list) and called the providers so I could take a tour and meet them. I also asked for their references (former parents from their program who would be willing to talk to me).
Another thing I did was contact our local elementary school. I spoke to the Kindergarten teacher and asked her which preschool/child care program were the most Kindergarten-ready children coming from. She told me that she had never been asked that question, but she readily had an answer. Since Kindergarten-readiness was my top criteria, I enrolled my children in that program.
If you don’t know the local Kindergarten teachers, you might just want to go introduce yourself and find out if they think your students are Kindergarten ready!