If you run a home daycare and you find that you often have spots that are open and you want to know how to fill them just follow these three simple steps. By identifying strategies to keep your home daycare slots filled, you will keep yourself from losing money throughout the year. It may not seem like a big deal that you have a spot open for any period of time, however small amount of money adds up to large amounts of money over time.
- Market consistently.
Do not place ads and fliers on the Internet or in the community only when your spots are open. You should have ads, fliers, and business cards circulating at all times. This is the number one mistake that home daycare providers make when it comes to marketing. If you wait until your spot is open to start marketing and it takes you weeks to fill it, then you're guaranteed to lose money. However, if you are always marketing then you always be in contact with parents and prospects. So much so that you can start a waiting list. That way, when it's time to fill your empty space you already have someone to fill it.
- Offer incentives for referrals.
Talk to the parents of the children that you already care for. Offer them attractive incentives to send new parents your way. Word-of-mouth marketing works the best and it is absolutely free. You can offer parents a small discount off one week of care for their child or a $5 or $10 gift card to a local gas station or store.
- Market directly to your target families.
Instead of placing ads and hoping that someone sees them, why not go directly to the source? If you live near a large employer such as a hospital or university, then take one afternoon to distribute cards or fliers directly to them. Print off 200 fliers and distribute them on the cars in the parking lot of the hospital or university.
Hopefully, you will start to be creative about what other ways you could market consistently. Over time, you will find that you have built up a wait list that you can fill your home daycare spots with. Even if you are not able to build up a weight list, the parents in your area will become familiar with you, which will make it much easier and faster to fill your empty home daycare spaces.