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3 Important Dates in The Enrollment Probationary Period

Following a child’s start date, most parents give you a ‘probation period’ of 2-3 months to see if they made the right decision for care. These important deadlines include essential steps to ensuring your enrolled families remain happy with their choice and ultimately, turn into advocates for your center. 

Post- Start Date

The First 30 Days 

The first 30 days are essentially your second first impression. Your families have seen your center from an outsider's perspective as they toured either in-person or virtually, but now they’re seeing the center from the inside as a parent/guardian of an enrolled child. They’ll begin to have all-new concerns and questions about your drop-off and pick-up schedules, your staff, your fee structure, and more.  

Families are extremely subject to churn at this point as they haven’t yet established a level of loyalty to you or your center. It’s important to treat them with extra care and get them connected to staff and other families as quickly as possible. 

The First 60 Days 

Similar to the first 30 days, families may still not be fully committed to your program. But unlike the first 30 days, all their main questions should have already been answered. This is where concerns may begin to arise. If they don’t like the way things have been going during the first month, they may begin to voice those opinions and concerns. However frustrating that can be as a business owner, it’s actually more dangerous when they don’t share their feedback... If they’re willing to communicate with you about what changes they’d like to see, then they’re probably willing to stick around and make it work.  

Make sure to solicit parent feedback with an email survey just after the 30-day mark. Furthermore, try to touch base with them via phone or in-person for a more personalized conversation about how the parents and/or child are feeling about your center. 

The First 90 Days 

We’re almost to the finish line! If parents are remaining enrolled until the 90-day point, it’s safe to bet that they’re here to stay. This is when all concerns should be resolved or at least communicated about why they cannot be resolved either at this time or possibly ever.  

This stage is also when you want to ensure that you’re turning families into advocates for you and your center. Engage and connect them with your star parents who are already excellent referral sources for you. This will encourage them to spread the good news about your center in the community. 


Download the step-by-step guide for childcare to boost your enrollment retention rate and learn how to ‘wow’ your enrolled families. 

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