Top 5 Tips for Anyone Starting a Childcare Service
Owning and managing a childcare business can be rewarding and yet challenging. The female Labour force participation rates have strongly impacted demand for childcare services. The primary driver is the encouragement of women to go back to work after giving birth. This movement of labour has presented a long-term opportunity as more families use Childcare services-catching the eye, and interest, of corporate companies. This need is creating a tremendous entrepreneurial opportunity for people who love children and want to build a business caring for them. If you wish to start a childcare service, here are 5 tips for starting a childcare service.
Childcare generates additional benefits for the community as a whole, securing the industry’s future. These benefits include better socialisation, passage to school, and enhanced performance in the early years of primary school. In light of this, the government has developed the National Quality Framework (NQF). The NQF has placed more importance on educational services within Childcare, changing the perception of them as just child minding services, but rather as professional early learning institutes.
Investing in yourself
You are a great asset, so you should always cultivate and expand your skills through professional development, training and personal growth. Apart from attending training sessions, you should join professional associations of childcare providers. An example might be The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA), it is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia’s children. You may decide to look at some Small Business Networking Meetups in your area.
Employing staff who are not only passionate about what they do but are qualified to deliver care to children of all ages is a must. Qualified Childcare Workers have a firm understanding of how to provide a high level of professional care to children, including putting steps in place to encourage positive behaviour, promote healthy eating and nurture creativity. It is important to consider that people working in a childcare service, may be required to complete a first aid qualification, anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma management training.
Parents want the reassurance that their child is in the care of qualified professionals. By ensuring you hire staff with a childcare qualification, you are strengthening both your services and your company reputation. The National Quality Framework (NQF) sets out the minimum qualification and educator to child ratio requirements for children’s education and care services.
Getting feedback from parents
As a childcare professional, you should invite your parents to your service; there, they can review the degree of care their children are receiving. Ask the parents for their feedback; based on their inputs, you should develop concrete improvement plans. Occasionally, you may invite national consultants to analyse the performance of your childcare service and get constructive feedback. When a parent enrols their child in your childcare service, it is essential to encourage and nurture the relationship that will develop over time. Communicate fully and provide parents with regular updates about their child’s achievements and performance. There are multiple Apps available that help parent’s anxiety of leaving children in care. Your child’s educators can send you real-time updates, photos and videos throughout your day. In the world of childcare, there is no more significant marketing consequence than when one of your parents recommends you to one of their friends. Nothing you do can match that level of trust. Likewise, there is nothing worse than an unhappy parent telling people to stay away from you.
Monthly newsletters are also another great idea to keep parents informed of the kind of projects that have been taking place in the childcare service and serving as a reminder for any upcoming events or news.
Differentiating your services
It is all about positioning yourself in the competitive marketplace as a reliable, unique childcare service. Whenever the competition in your area rises, you should feel positive about that – in such times, you should create a business that is entirely different from that of your competitor. In a way, develop a childcare service that will be trusted by parents; then only you will attract their attention and get more business. Also, try to be different in handling parent calls. For example, when a parent calls, create a record that will include the caller’s name, the child’s age and name, and the house address. Now, whenever the parent comes to the facility for a tour, you and your team should refer to the child by her/his name.
Word of mouth is one of the most potent ways to get your childcare business name out there – never underestimate the power of opinion. Back up word of mouth with a professional digital marketing presence to ensure a good review on Google or Bing.
1. Design an Assuring, Clean Childcare Website
Your website is crucial for your marketing; much of your advertising and social sharing will support interactive online chat creating the ability for people to comment and build brand awareness. Your website introduces your childcare service, to a virtual tour, and spurs people to act. Visitors to your website want to get a feel for your childcare service – a genuine feeling. Having a professional photographer take some images of within the childcare service is essential; use them on your website and social media. If you cannot do that right away, try to use commercial images that better communicate the emotion of real life. You are better off presenting something that looks like a Snapchat story than obviously staged stock photos.
2. Use Infographics
The internet is increasingly visual. When you convey information with quick visual aids, you will reach more people. Infographics work well for this.
3. Social Media
Social media is an essential channel for childcare services, and lets you share both information and visual content. Set-up pages on Facebook and Instagram and post regular updates. All of these channels are perfect for highlighting the character of your service, talking about new activities/curriculum, and for sharing parenting and early education tips.
4. Create a Video
Many childcare services want to encourage parents to take a tour. A short 3-minute video can highlight security, show the atmosphere of classes, let you introduce staff, get a parent testimonial, and review curriculum.
So, with these 5 tips, you are on the road to operating a successful childcare service. However, in case you need some professional help, there are many consultancies offering childcare management solutions to make your business grow.