Having a website for your center is a great way to generate new leads and keep families informed. Ensure that your site is easy-to-use, search engine optimized, and can be accessed on desktop or mobile devices. This should be a central hub for information about your business, programs, and center operations. For more information about why you need to regularly manage your website, check out this article by Procare Solutions.
Another important online platform that you probably use everyday is Google. Have you or another staff member created a Google My Business listing for your childcare center? This is a free profile on Google that can help you get noticed across the web, particularly by individuals near you who are looking for childcare resources. Click here to learn how to set up your own listing quickly and easily.
Finally, a type of online tool that some of you may not be familiar with are childcare listing platforms. Childcare listing platforms are websites and apps that create a place for providers to detail their center’s business information, current availability, program details, and more at little to no cost. Parents, then, use these sites to find reputable childcare services in their area at the click of a button. Winnie is a leading platform that actually pre-populates a listing for your center to reduce the amount of work you have to do when claiming your free account and it integrates seamlessly with ChildcareCRM to ensure that all parents who inquire for more information about your center are then moved to one centralized location.
Stay in Contact with Families after Initial Inquiry
Once a parent has inquired for care, it is recommended to contact them seven times to achieve a maximum probability of enrolling. But, what communication method is best for these seven follow-ups? Given the average Millennial spends 5.7 hours on their mobile phone each day, it should come as no surprise that one way of “meeting millennial parents where they are” can be achieved through text communications. Compared to email, open rates for texts are as high as 98%, and on average it only takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text.
For more information about why your center should rely on text messaging to communicate with today’s parents and what to send when you do, read our article all about texting and the power of emojis!
Optimize the Enrollment Process for Higher Conversion Rates
Another key part of the enrollment process is scheduling tours with prospective families. In ChildcareCRM’s Building Blocks for Success report, it was discovered that scheduling a tour within 24 hours of initial inquiry increases the likelihood of enrollment by over 30%. Whether you include a form on your website that allows parents to select their desired tour dates or you have someone ready to call parents within 24 hours to schedule a tour, it’s essential that you find a way to make this process as painless as possible.
Additionally, it should be noted that when it comes to tour scheduling (such as having a web form that allows families to choose their own tour dates), self-service is one way of ‘meeting millennial parents where they are’. By allowing prospective parents to schedule a tour on their own time and at their convenience, it helps to increase the likelihood of enrollment and decrease chances of a no-show.
Next in the enrollment journey is registration and paperwork. Keep your registration forms up to date and find ways to make them easy to fill out. Part of providing a streamlined parent journey in a world that’s now faced a global pandemic is ensuring that families have easily-accessible and contactless options. For example, do you still use printed registration forms or have you found a way to digitize this step in the enrollment journey? Whether you decide to fax forms, email them, or use software such as DocuSign, AdobeSign, or ChildcareFORMS, having a digital forms process can save you time and help you generate more enrollments for your center. At ChildcareCRM, we highly recommend finding software that can digitize your forms and store them online so parents can sign them at any time, anywhere.
Ensure Post-Enrollment Communication Keeps Parents Engaged
There’s no question that for childcare businesses to see success, they need to maintain strong connections with the parents of the children they serve. Once a parent enrolls their child, how do you keep them engaged - especially during a time like now when in-person contact is discouraged? This is where a parent engagement app comes in.
Parents want to be immersed in their child’s day, and they value regular communication from their child’s center. With the right parent engagement app, you can meet parents where they are (on their phone) to relay a variety of information, such as:
Particulars on upcoming events
Details on a child’s learning progress
Photos and videos of a child’s day
An overview of a child’s daily activities (i.e. naps, diaper changes, food eaten, etc.)
With a parent engagement app, centers can also create professionally-designed newsletters, send messages to parents individually or en masse, and enable contactless procedures like check-in/out and payments.
Parents appreciate the ability to do everything related to their child’s care needs in one place, and centers love that they have fewer communication channels to manage. Plus, some parent engagement applications, such as that offered by Procare Solutions, are fully integrated into a childcare management system to streamline every administrative and business task the center has.
Sierra Rossing is experienced in Content Marketing with a proven track record in marketing strategy, graphic design, copywriting, and social media management. Sierra attended the University of North Texas where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Spanish. Sierra is passionate about helping to grow companies and guiding them as they build their brand and establish their marketing message within their desired marketplace.