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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Beginner Daycare- How to Fill My Spots!!
TSDaycare 04:53 PM 10-08-2009
I just recently opened a daycare Sept. 1. I have not had much luck filling my spots, I get calls for prices but that is about as far as it goes. I am in a central location in our town, and the daycares near me are full, so what is my problem? I based my prices fairly according to the other centers around me. I quit my good paying job to stay home with my kids, but I am really starting to worry if we can make it like this. I know it has only been a month, but how long does it usually take to get people? I have 1 before/after right now, that is it. I need help!!!
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mac60 03:53 AM 10-09-2009
When I started my daycare, I had my spots full before I quit my job. Unfortunately, you may have made the wrong decision in quitting your job right now with the economy so low.

The only thing that works where I live is newspaper ads and word of mouth. That is our only options here. No where to post flyers, etc.

Good luck, as the dc business is struggling too with so many layoffs.
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Unregistered 06:17 AM 10-09-2009
I need help with this too. What are some sure fire ways to advertise and get clients? I have been on Craig's List, put up flyers . . . I need HELP! Is there no one looking for child care???
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AmandasFCC 07:21 AM 10-09-2009
Word of mouth is key. I've had the same problem in filling my spots right now. My problem is I'm new in town and all the people I know have infants or toddlers. I'm only allowed 4 under 2 and those spaces filled up immediately. It'll happen as your name gets out there as a quality provider.

Also, in my area, I advertised in the paper for 4 months and only a couple of my calls in that in entire time came from people who saw me in the paper. Referral agencies are gold, so be sure to register with one
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sarahtheresa02 07:52 AM 10-09-2009
I did the same thing as you. I quit my good paying job to start my home daycare. It's been something I have wanted to do for a long while and I wanted all my attention focused on the daycare start up.

It took about a month of inquiries to finally start filling spots. Things were tight until then. Now I have full enrollment and have to turn people away. I started by posting an ad on Craigslist. If you post a professional ad with a picture of your set up you will most likely start receiving calls. 2/3 of my parents came from Craigslist. I also advertised with our local online newspaper.

Word of mouth is great. My parents often ask if they can refer me to a friend. I have to tell them that I am full right now but that when a position opens up I will have them spread the word.

Be patient. I know its hard but if your rates are competitive and you keep at it all will be ok.
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GretasLittleFriends 08:47 AM 10-09-2009
The majority of my children came from ads. I ran an ad in the paper, and I posted a flyer in several different locations. The one that did the most good was at the laundromat. Two of my children are now here by word of mouth.

Be patient and good luck!!
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laundryduchess@yahoo.com 09:51 AM 10-09-2009
possibly take 5-10 dollars off your rate for the first two families? Then you will have a base clientelle and you can charge more for other families. You would be amazed that a parent will go for a 5 dollar cheaper rate if they get the chance. Not everyone rates have to match. and..... None of my families know the others rates. Not many of them pay the same. Because one family Ive had over 12 years,.. they just kept having kids! they still pay 78 bucks a week. But the newborn I just signed is paying 120.
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Michael 01:52 PM 10-09-2009
Suggest you also list your facility on Daycare.com
https://daycare.com/php/start_new_signup.php
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Chickenhauler 12:59 AM 10-11-2009
Talk to the local schools, realtors, etc. Most of them keep a list of "service providers" on hand for people who are new to the area to make life a bit less hectic.

My mother used to get more daycare business just from having her name on the list at the local elementary school than any ads, flyers, etc.
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Unregistered 12:35 PM 10-22-2009
I think the biggest problem in the states is that everyone seems to want to quit their job and run a day care. It takes a special person with proper professional education to do the job right. I for one have never worked in a -for-profit centre; the thought of trying to make a buck off children doesn't make sense. Come to Ontario, visit non profit centres run by educated teachers and look at our 100+ name waiting lists. Just because you are a parent or "like kids" does not make you an effective early childhood educator. geez...
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Unregistered 03:38 PM 10-22-2009
hhmmmm I think the poster in Ontario sounds rather ignorant so I won't even respond to such a false statement..As for needing to fill your spots..Sell your business, tell parents when they call what you have available, as in meals included, arts and crafts and pre-school if thats included in your program and when they ask what your fees are tell them that the rest of your policies including your rates are discussed during the face to face interview based upon their needs, if they ask why you won't give them the prices just tell them that you are protecting your business and you have no idea if the caller is a real parent looking for care or another daycare provider checking you out..If you have a good set up and the parents are impressed they will sign up for that extra $5 to $10, easier to sell it when they can see it ya know? I wouldnt lower my fees if you think that you are worth the pay you originally came up with charge them that..You're worth it..
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cuddlebuggz 06:26 AM 10-23-2009
I may be able to find some advertisement solutions for you if you could tell me what area you are in and what state. I have lots of online resources for daycare ads...FREE!! My childcare is now by word of mouth but at first I had to advertise like crazy. You just need a few reffering families but let me know where you are and I will try to help you out!
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hcmom 08:14 AM 10-23-2009
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I think the biggest problem in the states is that everyone seems to want to quit their job and run a day care. It takes a special person with proper professional education to do the job right. I for one have never worked in a -for-profit centre; the thought of trying to make a buck off children doesn't make sense. Come to Ontario, visit non profit centres run by educated teachers and look at our 100+ name waiting lists. Just because you are a parent or "like kids" does not make you an effective early childhood educator. geez...


Sorry to inform you, but this is false.
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Unregistered 08:26 AM 10-23-2009
I just spent $50 in advertising in my local paper for FOUR days. I have so far received no calls. I have a great setup and a college degree in early childhood education, but still, absolutely no calls. I tried calling realtors but none of them have any type of referral sheet for new families. We have no Welcome Wagon (maybe that went out in the 1980s), and hardly any bulletin boards in this city of 150,000 people. I am making a whopping $10 a day at my job as a medical editor (absolutely no work coming over), and I am in a bad situation. I am going to place flyers in a couple kids consignment shops, but beyond that, I just don't know what to do...and I can't keep dropping $50 for advertising every week. I would love some advice, and Cuddlebuggz, if you have any advertising info, I'd be grateful!
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sunny 09:31 AM 10-23-2009
Have you tried...
1. Having an open house?
Make people in town aware of the date and time (evening hours work best) invite them and their kids in to look around, play with toys, color meet the teachers and so on. Advertise with a big sign in front of pre-k or in newspaper. Have all the visitors sign in and leave an email address.

2. Offer buy 1 get 1. Offer 2 weeks for the price of one. It's tough on finances but if it gets people in the door it's worth it.

3. Send some pics. of the new daycare into local newspapers and see if they will put them in. Sometimes they just need space to fill...

Hope these help
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cuddlebuggz 11:03 AM 10-23-2009
I agree, an open house is a great one!! Offer tours and give parents a NO REGISTRATION FEE COUPON when they sign up their child for care by the following Friday!! You could also offer some Parent's Day Out Dates with the holidays coming up....friends may shop together and bring their little ones and when the kids love it so will the parents!!

When kids like Daycare PARENTS WILL TOO!!!!

Have a sign made for your yard that there are a few openings
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Michael 01:17 PM 10-23-2009
Spending $50 for something that only lasts four days is inefficient in this day and age. Spend $5 a month and place your info in Daycare.com's database. This is not a shameless plug but a necessity in today’s internet age. Global reach for $5 a month.

If you do list with us, suggest you place, in the first two lines of your description, "10% Off First Week if You Mention You Found Us on Daycare.com!

That line serves three purposes. First, people will mention it even if you give them a $1 discount, ! Second, it tells you from where your leads are coming from. Otherwise people will tell you they found you on the internet. Third, those first two lines come up in the search summary and will stand out like a sore/green thumb.

If you do list with us let us know and we will give your info a look over in order to best maximize your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

https://daycare.com/php/start_new_signup.php

Good luck!
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Unregistered 02:38 PM 10-23-2009
I'm in VA and would love some info cuddlebugz!
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cuddlebuggz 08:51 PM 10-25-2009
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I just spent $50 in advertising in my local paper for FOUR days. I have so far received no calls. I have a great setup and a college degree in early childhood education, but still, absolutely no calls. I tried calling realtors but none of them have any type of referral sheet for new families. We have no Welcome Wagon (maybe that went out in the 1980s), and hardly any bulletin boards in this city of 150,000 people. I am making a whopping $10 a day at my job as a medical editor (absolutely no work coming over), and I am in a bad situation. I am going to place flyers in a couple kids consignment shops, but beyond that, I just don't know what to do...and I can't keep dropping $50 for advertising every week. I would love some advice, and Cuddlebuggz, if you have any advertising info, I'd be grateful!
I will work on that and get back to you,I apologize I just saw this post this evening, should be able to find some info for you by tomorrow..where in Montana are you..
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cuddlebuggz 08:53 PM 10-25-2009
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I'm in VA and would love some info cuddlebugz!
Where in VA? Need a little more location to find good ideas for you, I will look into and have some more for you tomorrow but a closer proximity would help..
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Unregistered 11:26 AM 10-26-2009
I'm in Billings, Montana. Sorry! I never thought to tell you the city : )
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cuddlebuggz 01:02 PM 10-26-2009
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I'm in Billings, Montana. Sorry! I never thought to tell you the city : )
I will have something for you by the end of the day..
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Unregistered 02:39 PM 10-27-2009
Hi,
I'm in Fairfax, VA! Thanks! zip is 22033
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Chickenhauler 11:17 PM 10-27-2009
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I think the biggest problem in the states is that everyone seems to want to quit their job and run a day care. It takes a special person with proper professional education to do the job right. I for one have never worked in a -for-profit centre; the thought of trying to make a buck off children doesn't make sense. Come to Ontario, visit non profit centres run by educated teachers and look at our 100+ name waiting lists. Just because you are a parent or "like kids" does not make you an effective early childhood educator. geez...
Or could it be the reason that you have such long waiting lists is supply and demand forces on that segment of the market?

Is it very hard to get a DC license in Ontario?

I bet you make a "profit" personally.....I doubt you put all your expensive education to work for free. You can call it a wage, but any way you cut it, you're "trying to make a buck off children".

C'mon, we're talking about teaching little kids their manners, social skills, numbers, colors, and the basics here....this isn't rocket science or brain surgery. This is one level below Kindergarten. Sheesh.

IMHO, I would never put my child in any DC center, I feel that a healthy home day care setting is much better. Kids will have plenty of opportunity to be a sheep in the herd in life, why start them out so young?
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