This blog was initially published on Dec. 14, 2021, and was updated on March 7, 2023, with new information.
As elementary schools close for spring break, many working parents are struggling to find child care. This comes at a time when many child care centers are under-enrolled. In fact, the 2023 Child Care Management Software Industry Trends Report from Procare Solutions found that 58% of centers are not at full enrollment!
If your child care center has the capacity to take in more students, this time could be a great opportunity for you to boost revenue with a potential influx of temporary students!
It’s an opportunity to grow your customer base and become the go-to for child care services for parents who are looking for a new option.
Let’s take a look at what to consider and how to be successful in this endeavor.
Show Off What Makes Your Center Special!
Of course, you can highlight what makes your child care center great in a tour. But accepting kids during a set time period when school is closed really gives families a true idea of what their children who are not school-aged can learn and do when in your care.
That’s why caring for temporary students is a great way to show off your child care center. You can spotlight your ability to exceed expectations when parents are put in a tight spot and deliver top-tier child care.
Some of the families you’re serving during the holiday break will be first-time customers. This is your chance to make a great impression.
Use the break as an opportunity to showcase your flexibility and the competency of your staff.
If parents see what great care and education you’re able to provide during this small window of time, you’ll boost the chances that they’ll come back during spring break or other holiday breaks next year – and they could even move their children to you for full-time care.
Develop Relationships with New Parents
Providing a safe environment for kids to learn and develop, even if just for a week or two, can be challenging when there is a lot of demand and limited space. Parents will appreciate any child care center that can meet their expectations and the interactions that you and your staff have with the parents can bear fruit in the future.
Effectively managing your child care so that the experience is as good as it can be for parents and children who only get a glimpse of your operations can be the first step to new opportunities.
You know that word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool in the child care industry. Parent chatter about positive experiences with your center, especially when your center comes through in a pinch, can lead to new customers who want to learn more about what you do and how you can help them.
One way to keep track of prospective parents is through Procare’s Leads Insights feature. It uses an insights funnel diagram to help you visualize how prospective customers are moving toward enrollment, from start to finish.
You can choose a series of statuses to help you track leads. The funnel shows you how a family goes from being interested in your center, to touring it, to being admitted and ultimately enrolled, which is the bottom of the funnel. (Waitlisted families, for instance, would be at the top of the funnel.)
The funnel shows you the percentage of leads that convert from one status to the next, as well as the average time a prospective customer spends in each status.
Another way Leads Insights shows how your customers move from showing interest to enrolling is through an easy-to-follow pipeline illustration, which is a snapshot of leads by status for a given date, allowing you to compare one date to another:
Be Flexible and Be Prepared!
You must be flexible if you want to handle more students. Managing your classroom and all of these moving parts that come along with it might call for the adoption of new activities and processes.
With temporary students in your care, your regular schedule likely will be altered. This can be difficult for the kids who are in your care year-round and for your staff.
With Procare, you can view child-to-staff ratios anytime, in real time. And you can set up alerts to get notified when your ratio is off:
The Live Room Status dashboard helps provide a snapshot of information that tells you the number of students a room holds, how many students and staff are signed in as well as the staff-to-child ratio.
And if you want to learn more about how you can grow you business, download the 2023 Child Care Management Software Industry Trends Report. Your peers in the industry provided insightful data from a Procare Solutions survey conducted in late 2022 that will help you achieve your goals and learn more about:
- Software usage
- Parent and family engagement
- Curriculum and early childhood education
- Challenges being faced
- And more!
Be ready for all the opportunities that come your way with Procare! Request a demo today to learn how Procare has helped hundreds of thousands of early childhood professionals streamline child care management.