How to Increase Enrollment in Your Childcare or Preschool

How to Boost Preschool Enrollment in 2019

Are you looking for new ways to increase enrollment in your child care center or preschool? We asked the most successful users on the brightwheel platform for their top recommendations. Here are our six best tips to boost enrollment for the upcoming school year:

Use your parent community as a resource

Increasing enrollment is challenging when you're the only one spreading the word. Create a formal referral program by offering your families a discount for referring parents to your program. Give your happy families an incentive to refer their friends by rewarding them with a discount or cash reward.

Also, help families connect with each other to build a strong community. Hold regular family events for not only showcasing your children’s activities or work, but also for getting to know each other. Many of your families may be first-time parents and will thank you if you help them connect with other new parents. Just be mindful of the fact that not all parents can attend events held during the workday, so be sure to offer evening and weekend get-togethers, as well. Host picnics, potlucks, or coffee klatches so families can spend time together, strengthening the relationships that are also being forged during the school day.

Have a high-quality website

One of the best ways to increase enrollment in your child care or preschool is to put your best foot forward. A professional website creates a great first impression and gives your prospective families a glimpse into your program. If your online presence is top notch, it signals that your business is too! Share photos of your facilities, program offerings, and staff profiles with their pictures. Offer expertise on your website, to communicate that you are a modern, high-quality child care provider. You can do this by having a blog, and also by curating child development and parenting resources, and related early education news.

preschool-enrollment-image-1Go digital to modernize your program

Child care software has transformed early ed in recent years and child care providers aren't the only ones benefiting. Even if your families don’t want to see much technology in the classroom, you can bet they rely on tech in their day-to-day lives. Early ed platforms like brightwheel help you engage your families with digital photos and updates of their child while allowing you to manage your classroom, record activities, track student progress, etc.

Instead of sending papers home in backpacks, share information the way most modern parents prefer: via their smart devices. Offer secure, digital check-in for parents’ peace of mind and ease of drop off and pick up routines. Automated online tuition payments can also be a large draw for busy parents, instead of having to hunt for the checkbook at the end of every month.

Technology may not have a direct effect on your enrollment numbers, but it can have a big impact on parent satisfaction, which can lead to more referrals down the road.  

Offer flexible and comprehensive options

Today’s working parents will appreciate being able to drop-in early or stay late as needed. They’ll also jump at the chance to take advantage of “date night” care, such as monthly pajama and movie nights. If possible, you might even try offering care during summer and spring breaks and promoting these benefits in your marketing materials.

Another fantastic way to boost enrollment in your program is by developing partnerships with local enrichment offerings such as yoga, music, sports, or art classes. These special features can be offered as part of the regular day, or can be scheduled add-ons in the afternoons. The more your families can rely on you for all of their educational and childcare needs, the more satisfied they will be with your program.

Always be marketing

Spreading the word and marketing your preschool should be top of mind and continue year round, regardless of whether your current rosters are full. The best programs in town have been around for many years and have built a strong reputation, but that doesn’t mean that a newer program can’t also compete and succeed. Social media is an increasingly effective channel for small businesses to reach potential customers. Also, be sure to participate in local parenting and child-friendly events for regular visibility in your community.

Open your doors on a regular basis

Our final tip for increasing enrollment in your child care center or preschool is to offer weekly tours and frequent open houses. Though it can be disruptive, be sure your tours include classroom visits, where prospective families can see your high-quality staff and program in action. (Pro tip: If you do this on a regular basis, it won’t actually be that disruptive as your children get used to visitors in the classroom.)

Also, partner with community organizations to bring regular visitors to your preschool. The more people visit your preschool and peek inside, the more people will know about it, and the more they'll spread the word. 

Further reading:

Interested in learning more about how brightwheel can help delight your parents and manage your center? 
Download it today or book a demo with us!


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