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  #1  
Old 10-19-2017, 07:40 AM
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SnowGirl SnowGirl is offline
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Default Finally Licensed And How To Recruit??

Hi everyone! Long time no see! I am finally licensed and rejuvenated, and now I'm wondering about recruitment.

Before this I had a very small group due to ratio requirements for unlicensed providers, and now I'm looking for two families simultaneously. I've never had to recruit to the community at large because families were referred to me by current families or neighbors.

I just posted my first ad on a closed Facebook group for my town and received interest from six families, however I'm running into age issues (I already have my two under two), location issues, and then there are some families who don't get back to me after I say price (I'm charging the same as other providers around me, I did the research).

I'm just wondering if I'm impatient. I got licensed on Monday, put an ad on Facebook Tuesday, have spoken with six families and interviewed with one, and still no new enrollees.

How long did it take you to fill up when you were freshly licensed? Any tips of where to advertise? I try to avoid Craigslist. My area is very much in need of providers so I know the families are out there!
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:12 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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When posting on Facebook it's best to post in a group specific to finding child care that includes both providers (usually they also include nannies and babysitters) and parents.

When I post an advertisement I add the specific age that I have an opening for so if you haven't done that yet maybe try that. This way only the families with children in that age range will respond.
"I have 2 openings for children ages 2-5 years. All infant openings are full" etc.

I know you're in a hurry to fill your spots but I might consider taking your time and then letting the new child and yourself adapt before adding another child. So maybe waiting a little bit between children isn't such a bad thing. I'd be worried about adding several new children all at once and the time it would take to level everyone out if half of my kids are new kids KWIM?

As far as people not contacting you again after finding out the price ...
  • They could be fishing for a lower price
  • They could be interviewing/talking to other child care providers and just haven't had time to reach back. Most families take a couple of weeks to decide especially if they already have a dayacare. They may not be exactly happy with their current daycare but nt in a hurry to switch etc.

If you got licensed on Monday, posted your ad on Tuesday and have had one interview and it's only Thursday you're definitely being impatient

Usually for me filling one spot takes me 2 weeks from the time I post my ad to the time I enroll the new family. When I first got licensed it took me 3 months to almost get full and another couple of months to get that last client in. It could take anywhere from 3-6 months to get full and in may cases most providers have a difficult time staying full.

Do you feel comfortable posting your address? If you are, a free listing on Google Places is SUPER helpful. I get about 3-4 calls a week that stem from my Google listing even if I'm not advertising, most people search online for daycare.

One reason why I think I get a lot of traffic from my Google listing is because I have my website listed and the parents get more info from their. They see photos of my space, can read my handbook, see the FAQ's etc. Do you have a website? They're not hard to create and typically if you keep them under 5 pages (Home, About, Program, Parents, Contact) they're free. Use a site like Webs.com, Wix.com etc.

Are you adding images to your ad? If not you may want to try that next (but don't post new ads too frequently, it'll make you look desperate). You don't have to post a photo per say but you can use a colorful image with your info in text. I use Canva.com and use their free features. They have pre-made layouts that look great that you can use for your social media ads. I added an example below for you to look at.

And also have you looked to see if you have a local child care association in your county? And what about your local child care resource and referral agency? Both should have referral lists that you can sign up for that get sent to parents when they look for daycare. The listings should be free but you may have pay for the membership to be in the child care association.
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2017, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
When posting on Facebook it's best to post in a group specific to finding child care that includes both providers (usually they also include nannies and babysitters) and parents.

When I post an advertisement I add the specific age that I have an opening for so if you haven't done that yet maybe try that. This way only the families with children in that age range will respond.
"I have 2 openings for children ages 2-5 years. All infant openings are full" etc.

I know you're in a hurry to fill your spots but I might consider taking your time and then letting the new child and yourself adapt before adding another child. So maybe waiting a little bit between children isn't such a bad thing. I'd be worried about adding several new children all at once and the time it would take to level everyone out if half of my kids are new kids KWIM?

As far as people not contacting you again after finding out the price ...
  • They could be fishing for a lower price
  • They could be interviewing/talking to other child care providers and just haven't had time to reach back. Most families take a couple of weeks to decide especially if they already have a dayacare. They may not be exactly happy with their current daycare but nt in a hurry to switch etc.

If you got licensed on Monday, posted your ad on Tuesday and have had one interview and it's only Thursday you're definitely being impatient

Usually for me filling one spot takes me 2 weeks from the time I post my ad to the time I enroll the new family. When I first got licensed it took me 3 months to almost get full and another couple of months to get that last client in. It could take anywhere from 3-6 months to get full and in may cases most providers have a difficult time staying full.

Do you feel comfortable posting your address? If you are, a free listing on Google Places is SUPER helpful. I get about 3-4 calls a week that stem from my Google listing even if I'm not advertising, most people search online for daycare.

One reason why I think I get a lot of traffic from my Google listing is because I have my website listed and the parents get more info from their. They see photos of my space, can read my handbook, see the FAQ's etc. Do you have a website? They're not hard to create and typically if you keep them under 5 pages (Home, About, Program, Parents, Contact) they're free. Use a site like Webs.com, Wix.com etc.

Are you adding images to your ad? If not you may want to try that next (but don't post new ads too frequently, it'll make you look desperate). You don't have to post a photo per say but you can use a colorful image with your info in text. I use Canva.com and use their free features. They have pre-made layouts that look great that you can use for your social media ads. I added an example below for you to look at.

And also have you looked to see if you have a local child care association in your county? And what about your local child care resource and referral agency? Both should have referral lists that you can sign up for that get sent to parents when they look for daycare. The listings should be free but you may have pay for the membership to be in the child care association.
THANK YOU! This was full of really good advice and a lot of it I hadn't considered before.

I came up with a really good game plan for vamping up my website, getting my daycare decorated better, and improving my overall marketing. I might come back here to ask for thoughts on my blurb and photo choice.

I did use a photo of me and my own children, it seemed to get a good response. I paused before posting wondering if it seemed a little unprofessional, but at this point in my career, I want to stay pretty casual since I'm simultaneously raising my babies (3 and 1 year olds).
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2017, 02:12 AM
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If there is daycare need, have you tried placing an ad in your hometown newspaper? Or create a poster to place in public places that allow those types of things. You could add some of those tear-off slips at the bottom.

IIRC I've only actively put my name out there once and that was an ad in the newspaper. Most of my dcfs come from 'someone that knows someone that knows someone'. Both of my most recent dcfs have come from former dcfs of years(and years!) gone by. A few have come from my local resource and referral agency. Make yourself seen, heard, active in your local area. Enter parades with your kiddos and march with banners, take your dcks(or your own) to the library and talk yourself up. Do you ever come across places where you can donate things and put your name in; I always put my dc name. My local library, at Christmas time, has a tree up with books they'd like to have donated. When you donate a book, they offer you a place where you can say who donated the book and they'll enter it in the front of the book(I've also donated books 'in memory of'). All of these kinds of things will keep your dc name 'out there' and you never know who will see it.

Sometimes it can take awhile for new parents to be the brave ones and try a new dc. Don't get discouraged. Just be active in your community and talk yourself up. You could always consider an open house. Locally, there are family events offered such as Messy Play Day and dcs can participate; good time for a big bright friendly poster.

Good luck!!
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:20 AM
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From the time I first advertised via web sites and flyers on poles, it took about 7 months to fill not of my spaces. Got my diet sign about 2 months in. But I was new and no one knew me. My daycare references were 10 years old and from a separate province. It took a while but it was worth it.

Now I get most of my calls from websites or my lawn sign (highly recommend this). As well as returning family's.
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2017, 07:48 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowGirl View Post
THANK YOU! This was full of really good advice and a lot of it I hadn't considered before.

I came up with a really good game plan for vamping up my website, getting my daycare decorated better, and improving my overall marketing. I might come back here to ask for thoughts on my blurb and photo choice.

I did use a photo of me and my own children, it seemed to get a good response. I paused before posting wondering if it seemed a little unprofessional, but at this point in my career, I want to stay pretty casual since I'm simultaneously raising my babies (3 and 1 year olds).
This forum is always great for feedback like that. I felt "blah" about my space and posted photos and everyone was really helpful in pointing out things that I had been living with for so long that I wasn't really seeing them. I changed it up a bit and my space feels different in a better way. It's a process but it's great to have a fresh pair of eyes take a look at something (space, website, policy etc) and give feedback
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2017, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
If there is daycare need, have you tried placing an ad in your hometown newspaper? Or create a poster to place in public places that allow those types of things. You could add some of those tear-off slips at the bottom.

IIRC I've only actively put my name out there once and that was an ad in the newspaper. Most of my dcfs come from 'someone that knows someone that knows someone'. Both of my most recent dcfs have come from former dcfs of years(and years!) gone by. A few have come from my local resource and referral agency. Make yourself seen, heard, active in your local area. Enter parades with your kiddos and march with banners, take your dcks(or your own) to the library and talk yourself up. Do you ever come across places where you can donate things and put your name in; I always put my dc name. My local library, at Christmas time, has a tree up with books they'd like to have donated. When you donate a book, they offer you a place where you can say who donated the book and they'll enter it in the front of the book(I've also donated books 'in memory of'). All of these kinds of things will keep your dc name 'out there' and you never know who will see it.

Sometimes it can take awhile for new parents to be the brave ones and try a new dc. Don't get discouraged. Just be active in your community and talk yourself up. You could always consider an open house. Locally, there are family events offered such as Messy Play Day and dcs can participate; good time for a big bright friendly poster.

Good luck!!
Thank you for those ideas! I love the idea of getting involved at the library etc. Our library is really close to my home! We also have a k-12 catholic school just about a block away, so I might see if there's a way to advertise to families with little siblings.

I called another provider who lives near me and we talked for a long time. She said her best families have been through the state referral and the stars referral. My state requires us to participate in the stars, so I'm already in that system (once my license finally gets processed, I just learned that it is going to take even longer than I thought. Sigh)
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2017, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupadia View Post
From the time I first advertised via web sites and flyers on poles, it took about 7 months to fill not of my spaces. Got my diet sign about 2 months in. But I was new and no one knew me. My daycare references were 10 years old and from a separate province. It took a while but it was worth it.

Now I get most of my calls from websites or my lawn sign (highly recommend this). As well as returning family's.
Hmmm...I wonder if my neighborhood/town will allow a sign. I do like that idea! I could also get a car magnet and make my husband drive around with it (I don't do transportation myself)
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:28 PM
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SnowGirl SnowGirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
This forum is always great for feedback like that. I felt "blah" about my space and posted photos and everyone was really helpful in pointing out things that I had been living with for so long that I wasn't really seeing them. I changed it up a bit and my space feels different in a better way. It's a process but it's great to have a fresh pair of eyes take a look at something (space, website, policy etc) and give feedback
We are doing a LOT of work revamping my playroom (it's been in use for over a year even though my daycare just got licensed, and I never really set it up exactly how I wanted to). I will take pictures for feedback when I have some of the spaces how I like them!
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SnowGirl View Post
Hmmm...I wonder if my neighborhood/town will allow a sign. I do like that idea! I could also get a car magnet and make my husband drive around with it (I don't do transportation myself)

Mines just a very simple sign that I ordered from Vista print so the coat was low. It's not huge about the size of a political add lawn sign.
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