Tours are one of the most important conversion points during the childcare enrolment process. It’s essential that you equip your centre directors and childcare staff to encourage families toward enrolment.Focus on ways to standardise and enhance the tour experience by ensuring your entire team is onboard about yourpickup and drop off routines, your centre programs and curriculum, and last but certainly not least– your health and safety policies.
Find the Right Tour Staff
Tours can be difficult for some staff members. Tours require an individual to be comfortable speaking with strangers while also being highly knowledgeable of your centre programs and policies. A newer or more reserved employee might find it hard to be confident and support the centre during a tour. Find 2-3 staff members who are both willing to offer tours and are the right fit for your centre’s brand and personality. Spend time training and equipping them with the information they need to put parents at ease and provide optimal tour experiences.
It’s best advised that you inform your team members as quickly as possible about touring families who might come through to the centre. Whether you want to inform educators each morning or on a weekly basis about potential tour appointments, developing a consistent cadence gives them time to prepare their rooms for those families and leads to a better experience for everyone involved.
Remember, if your educators are not prepared, this will decrease the chance of families enroling at your centre. It can be quite obvious to families when there is a lack of communication and preparation for their arrival. This can indicate a sense of disorganization or uneasiness for parents who may already be concerned about entrusting their child(ren) to someone new.
Provide Childcare Center Tour Training
Team meetings are a great time to review the expectations for every educator during a tour. Topics for discussion should include:
Ensuring children’s rooms are reasonably tidy at the start of each day and especially during designated tour times.
Being attentive to the families. This can be as simple as saying “Hi” and smiling and/or waving.
Policies about allowing the touring families to engage with the other children and activities in the room.
Here are 5 questions each staff member should be prepared to answer – whether they are providing the tour or not:
What kind of topics are children learning in this room?
How long have you been an educator?
My child loves [X interest or hobby], do you think you can accommodate to their interests?
What do families love most about being in your room?
What measures do you enforce in your room to keep children safe and healthy?
Manage Tour Scheduling
To allow the best experience for yourself and the touring family, tours should be limited based on the centre’s routine. For example, hours from midday to 2pm would not be the best time to tour a centre if children are encouraged to have their rest time during this period. The centre won’t look it’s best, children’s routines might be disrupted, and families won’t be able to experience the whole facility.
Let parents know your tour availability dates and times on your ‘Book a Tour’ page. If a parent asks to schedule a tour during a timeframe that isn’t ideal, provide an alternative time for their tour so they can get the most out of the experience.
Meet Families' Expectations
During tours, you will encounter a few different types of families. However, many are looking for similar things, such as:
Safety and Health Measures
During the tour, point out specific items such as gate locks, pin code entry, sign in sheets, or your COVID-19 regulations to show parents that you are following proper safety and health measures every day.
Enroled Children’s Satisfaction
It’s essential that you can showcase children’s engagement with centre activities during tours with prospective families. Aside from happiness and interest, children’s development and achievements are also important points for families.
Quality Curriculum and Programs
Present to families where their child will learn literacy and numeracy skills, where their child will experience their sensory skills, how they will further social skills, and more.
Centre tours are one of the best and most important marketing tools at your disposal. They offer the highest conversion rate to enrolments and help families gauge whether your program will be a good fit for their child. For parents, a tour is the first impression they have of your centre and often the last step before they make the decision to enrol.
Pikka Turangan is an experienced marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the childcare industry. She is highly skilled in communications, copywriting, marketing strategy, campaign management, and event management. Pikka received her Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) with a focus in Marketing from Queensland University of Technology. She serves as the Marketing Manager for ChildcareCRM's Australian market.