Daycare.com Forum

Go Back   Daycare.com Forum > Main Category > Daycare Center and Family Home Forum

Daycare Center and Family Home Forum Daycare Center and Family Home owners, Directors, Operators and Assistants should post and ask questions here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-27-2016, 07:35 AM
Darling's Avatar
Darling Darling is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19
Default Daycare Startup Not Going Well, Need Help And Advice

I run an in home daycare. We completed our state registration in October of last year (5 months ago). So far all I've managed to bring in is one little girl for two days per week. We had another little one for 2 days before her parents put her into a large center. I advertise multiple times per week on Craigslist, and have adds up at every online classified listing site I can find. We are listed on our states CCRR referral list but have gotten nothing through it. I'm active and advertise on Facebook groups, as many as I can find. We have put up flyers and signs in our area.

Our website seems to land traffic, we are listed with Google and Bing. We offer a sign up promotion. Any ideas or recommendations for improvements? www.DarlingDucklingsPortland.com.

I hope this doesn't come across as advertising or pandering. I'm just getting desperate. My husband has been working 2 jobs to get us through until the daycare takes off. Savings are going to run out. I need kids soon or I will have to start making other plans. And ideas welcome.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-27-2016, 08:37 AM
Snowmom's Avatar
Snowmom Snowmom is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 976
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
I run an in home daycare. We completed our state registration in October of last year (5 months ago). So far all I've managed to bring in is one little girl for two days per week. We had another little one for 2 days before her parents put her into a large center. I advertise multiple times per week on Craigslist, and have adds up at every online classified listing site I can find. We are listed on our states CCRR referral list but have gotten nothing through it. I'm active and advertise on Facebook groups, as many as I can find. We have put up flyers and signs in our area.

Our website seems to land traffic, we are listed with Google and Bing. We offer a sign up promotion. Any ideas or recommendations for improvements? www.DarlingDucklingsPortland.com.

I hope this doesn't come across as advertising or pandering. I'm just getting desperate. My husband has been working 2 jobs to get us through until the daycare takes off. Savings are going to run out. I need kids soon or I will have to start making other plans. And ideas welcome.
I briefly looked through the website/pages.

There are a couple things I would change:

1. Your home page: Personally, I wouldn't start off with a picture of your home. Get something to capture interest and represents you or your philosophy. Whether it's PLAY related, curriculum related, outdoor related, family related, etc. You don't even necessarily need a picture, you could do an introduction and describe why your daycare is the best. and invite them to take a look around your website.

2. There are a couple noticeable spacing issues with the text when I viewed it on my laptop (pricing had some major ones).

3. Photos: I would stick to clear, bright photos. Putting interior photos up that look dark can give off a sense of a "dreary home". If you can't lighten them up, then I'd just leave them off entirely. Actually, I'd just stick to a few of your favorite pictures- in my opinion, you don't need to put pictures of your entire home or play space in. Take some pictures of your son playing in the bright outdoor space (if you take photos of other children, make sure you have a photo release!).

4. The "Darling Ducklings Doings": while very cute, definitely take out anything that parents might not be thrilled with... like the being sick part. All I think as a parent is "wow, the entire month of February people were sick...I'm not going there".

Good luck! It takes time to establish yourself. Try putting business cards up in coffee shops, grocery store bulletin boards, libraries. Tell your friends to put out the word- post it on Facebook asking friends to "share" your openings.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-27-2016, 08:55 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

You might not like my advice. I would invest a bit more. Your daycare area seems very spare. It is solely for daycare or for your use, too? I'd get rid of that couch and it would free up a lot of space. It seems bare and cramped at the same time. I don't know if it's the angle, but your backyard seems huge and also with nothing in it. I just just make it look more inviting and kid friendly. I think the biggest issues are that when people come to you, if the pictures aren't making things look different, is they can see there's not a lot of children there. When I see that, as a parent, I think it looks so sad and lonely. As a teacher and provider, I think "This person has no experience". If you have a basement or attic, I would try and put some stuff there and do like a rotating system.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-27-2016, 09:06 AM
Snowmom's Avatar
Snowmom Snowmom is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 976
Default

One other thing/idea.
That white brick wall outside with the rust.
That screams outdoor chalkboard to me.
I would paint that with chalkboard paint and if you're good at drawing, I would draw up a cute chalk rendition of your business name, have the kids stand in front making faces and snap a photo- using that as my homepage.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-27-2016, 09:07 AM
LysesKids's Avatar
LysesKids LysesKids is online now
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 2,401
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
I run an in home daycare. We completed our state registration in October of last year (5 months ago). So far all I've managed to bring in is one little girl for two days per week. We had another little one for 2 days before her parents put her into a large center. I advertise multiple times per week on Craigslist, and have adds up at every online classified listing site I can find. We are listed on our states CCRR referral list but have gotten nothing through it. I'm active and advertise on Facebook groups, as many as I can find. We have put up flyers and signs in our area.

Our website seems to land traffic, we are listed with Google and Bing. We offer a sign up promotion. Any ideas or recommendations for improvements? www.DarlingDucklingsPortland.com.

I hope this doesn't come across as advertising or pandering. I'm just getting desperate. My husband has been working 2 jobs to get us through until the daycare takes off. Savings are going to run out. I need kids soon or I will have to start making other plans. And ideas welcome.
Honey, it can take months to fill spots, we have all been there. Are your rates competitive with others around you for what you offer? What makes you different - parents will want to know.

I looked thru the site too... I don't like that first page - there is nothing on it that says to me Hey, this is an overview of what we offer ( inc ages, perks etc); it's Boring and doesn't entice me to go further into the site. Question? Are you on the food program AND why are you offering snack just an hour before lunch? Make Breakfast start at 8:30 & drop the morning snack otherwise you will be wasting food come 11:30a. Most FP allow for a certain # of hours between meals & snacks.

Another question - why take the Pics with the drapes closed - open those puppies up & let the natural light do it's thing. I also agree that the duckling doings page needs re-work... just my opinion.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-27-2016, 09:09 AM
LysesKids's Avatar
LysesKids LysesKids is online now
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 2,401
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmom View Post
One other thing/idea.
That white brick wall outside with the rust.
That screams outdoor chalkboard to me.
I would paint that with chalkboard paint and if you're good at drawing, I would draw up a cute chalk rendition of your business name, have the kids stand in front making faces and snap a photo- using that as my homepage.
I agree with this... I was going to suggest painting that wall somehow because it looks unkept, but your idea is brilliant
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-27-2016, 10:04 AM
Lovisa's Avatar
Lovisa Lovisa is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 170
Default

Aside from what others have mentioned about your website, I can tell you that it can take a while to get clients. I honestly never got any from Craigslist. Mine have almost all been from either word of mouth or our licensing resource and referral office. I had one client before I was officially licensed last April. Didn't get my second until August. Third was in November. 4th and 5th just last month. Now, several days a week I am full with 5 kids (because one of my own kids counts towards my capacity). So it literally took me 11 months to get here.

I also felt like there were times where I was like dang, no one is calling, did I make the wrong decision? But then I would all of the sudden get an influx of calls. Kinda happens in spurts sometimes
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-27-2016, 10:57 AM
daycare's Avatar
daycare daycare is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Mars
Posts: 16,021
Default

One thing I noticed was lots of cords that are shown in the pictures. I would do everything you can to hide those and not have them exposed.

Also the curtains are very dark and make the room very dim.

The pic of the kids hugging is cute but the huge mess they made would make me think maybe the kids are allowed to just destroy the place.

Lots of cute stuff on for site!!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-27-2016, 11:26 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
One thing I noticed was lots of cords that are shown in the pictures. I would do everything you can to hide those and not have them exposed.

Also the curtains are very dark and make the room very dim.

The pic of the kids hugging is cute but the huge mess they made would make me think maybe the kids are allowed to just destroy the place.

Lots of cute stuff on for site!!
I also think there's too many pictures of your son. I would be thinking it's all about him. Like he's the boss of the children or something. Yes, there are a lot of children of providers in my area who are like that. I also don't like he looks a lot older than the little girl. If you don't want to include pics of the kids, or the parents don't agree, I would show their art work.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-27-2016, 11:35 AM
LysesKids's Avatar
LysesKids LysesKids is online now
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 2,401
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
You might not like my advice. I would invest a bit more. Your daycare area seems very spare. It is solely for daycare or for your use, too? I'd get rid of that couch and it would free up a lot of space. It seems bare and cramped at the same time. I don't know if it's the angle, but your backyard seems huge and also with nothing in it. I just just make it look more inviting and kid friendly. I think the biggest issues are that when people come to you, if the pictures aren't making things look different, is they can see there's not a lot of children there. When I see that, as a parent, I think it looks so sad and lonely. As a teacher and provider, I think "This person has no experience". If you have a basement or attic, I would try and put some stuff there and do like a rotating system.
I agree Just being honest - Something else I noticed when I went back to the OP's website is that the link bar ( about us, Rates, Contact etc) seems to jump from bottom to top every few pages. It needs to stay in one spot for continuity. That drives me batty when I have to keep looking up & down to switch pages.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-27-2016, 11:57 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I'd get rid of the duckling doings. It seems more like your personal blog
You could post menu's, meals, pictures of artwork, pictures of games they created, stuff like that. Only daycare related.
I'd also change the front pic. I'd either post a pic of a logo, an about page, or your tabs
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-27-2016, 12:14 PM
Darling's Avatar
Darling Darling is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19
Default

We are in the process of getting new pictures for the site. More open window pics, hopefully a new design for the front page of the website that looks less like a real estate add. There will probably be less pics overall on the site. And cords will be better hidden.

The idea about moving the couches out won't go. That is our family living room as well as the main daycare area. The family room with the big couch on it is 500 square feet so there is a lot of play room in it. It's just impossible to get a full picture of all the room with the size of it.

Sick blog post was a bad idea. It was just an attempt to explain the lack of postings on the blog. Blog will be cleaned up and more frequently added to. I think it's a good attention getter for the site. It automatically posts to Facebook and draws looks if not business. More clicks moves us up google rankings.

I'm not sure about the formatting problems. I've opened the site on multiple devices. What are you seeing that looks wrong?

I'd love to get the wall cleaned up in the back yard. It's actually the side of our neighbors garage. Now that it's spring I'm hoping my husband can find the time around his work to prep and paint it with chalk board paint. But there's nothing we can do to stop their rusty flashing from continuing to rust. We can't exactly fix their roof for them.

The backyard is huge. Fully enclosed. All safety checked and kid friendly. So how do I take a picture that looks like it's fun to play on without it looking cluttered?

We have a catch 22. We need to look like we have a bunch of kids in our care, but without caring for kids we can't get that experience of pictures.

Our rates are on the low end for our area. We thought it best to start low as a new care provider. And honestly, we only are aiming for 3 kids full time at the max. We really want to keep the kids in personal care.

The snack timing is just because we wanted to list it. 2 meals and 2 snacks available daily. We qualify for the food program but have yet to use it due to lack of kiddos.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-27-2016, 12:41 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
We are in the process of getting new pictures for the site. More open window pics, hopefully a new design for the front page of the website that looks less like a real estate add. There will probably be less pics overall on the site. And cords will be better hidden.

The idea about moving the couches out won't go. That is our family living room as well as the main daycare area. The family room with the big couch on it is 500 square feet so there is a lot of play room in it. It's just impossible to get a full picture of all the room with the size of it.

Sick blog post was a bad idea. It was just an attempt to explain the lack of postings on the blog. Blog will be cleaned up and more frequently added to. I think it's a good attention getter for the site. It automatically posts to Facebook and draws looks if not business. More clicks moves us up google rankings.

I'm not sure about the formatting problems. I've opened the site on multiple devices. What are you seeing that looks wrong?

I'd love to get the wall cleaned up in the back yard. It's actually the side of our neighbors garage. Now that it's spring I'm hoping my husband can find the time around his work to prep and paint it with chalk board paint. But there's nothing we can do to stop their rusty flashing from continuing to rust. We can't exactly fix their roof for them.

The backyard is huge. Fully enclosed. All safety checked and kid friendly. So how do I take a picture that looks like it's fun to play on without it looking cluttered?

We have a catch 22. We need to look like we have a bunch of kids in our care, but without caring for kids we can't get that experience of pictures.

Our rates are on the low end for our area. We thought it best to start low as a new care provider. And honestly, we only are aiming for 3 kids full time at the max. We really want to keep the kids in personal care.

The snack timing is just because we wanted to list it. 2 meals and 2 snacks available daily. We qualify for the food program but have yet to use it due to lack of kiddos.
I still think you should add more things to the back yard. Things like pails, shovels, hula hoops, ect. From what I'm seeing you have two slides, a basketball hoop, and some type of children furniture on your patio. It seems very uninviting. It looks more like a playdate than a home daycare to me. Like "We have this stuff out here, but it's not too in the way". I'm very surprised with the house size. Not from the outside, but how the room is arranged. Is there anywhere you can you put your daycare that the family doesn't go?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-27-2016, 12:57 PM
Darling's Avatar
Darling Darling is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I still think you should add more things to the back yard. Things like pails, shovels, hula hoops, ect. From what I'm seeing you have two slides, a basketball hoop, and some type of children furniture on your patio. It seems very uninviting. It looks more like a playdate than a home daycare to me. Like "We have this stuff out here, but it's not too in the way". I'm very surprised with the house size. Not from the outside, but how the room is arranged. Is there anywhere you can you put your daycare that the family doesn't go?

We have all of that yard stuff, it was just put away in the toy box when we took pictures. Lots of balls, hoops, cars, sand box, water table, etc. It will get drug out before we take pics again.

The daycare is setup to use our large family room, dining room, and a dedicated daycare only nursery/quiet room. We would prefer to care for young kids, under 4 so that's the way we set it up. The home is only 1400 square feet and the kids are allowed into about 1000 of it of you include the kitchen, 750 without kitchen. To maintain livability we kinda have to keep furniture in the family room.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:01 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
We have all of that yard stuff, it was just put away in the toy box when we took pictures. Lots of balls, hoops, cars, sand box, water table, etc. It will get drug out before we take pics again.

The daycare is setup to use our large family room, dining room, and a dedicated daycare only nursery/quiet room. We would prefer to care for young kids, under 4 so that's the way we set it up. The home is only 1400 square feet and the kids are allowed into about 1000 of it of you include the kitchen, 750 without kitchen. To maintain livability we kinda have to keep furniture in the family room.
Ok, that explains a lot. I think as you get more kids you'll see you should have picked a home with a different layout.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:15 PM
Darling's Avatar
Darling Darling is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Ok, that explains a lot. I think as you get more kids you'll see you should have picked a home with a different layout.
Well, we bought the house with location, size, work situation, schools, cost, and our family in mind. We are not aiming to be a center with a dozen kids. This is our home where we would like to care for 3 kids plus our little guy. Daycare setup was never a consideration when we bought it years ago. Thank you for the input, but we can't exactly change the shape or size of our home.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:26 PM
daycare's Avatar
daycare daycare is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Mars
Posts: 16,021
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
Well, we bought the house with location, size, work situation, schools, cost, and our family in mind. We are not aiming to be a center with a dozen kids. This is our home where we would like to care for 3 kids plus our little guy. Daycare setup was never a consideration when we bought it years ago. Thank you for the input, but we can't exactly change the shape or size of our home.
Don't take that personal. I think it looks great.

I have a small house and make it work too.

I hope I didn't hurt your feelings I just wanted to point out things that I saw that I might not be thrilled with if I was a parent or safety issues.

You'll do great, it takes while to get kids.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:26 PM
Blackcat31's Avatar
Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,844
Default

Is there an over abundance of providers in your area?

Do you have other providers you can network with?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:32 PM
Controlled Chaos's Avatar
Controlled Chaos Controlled Chaos is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,128
Default

I think you space looks bright and cheerful I would ask the neighbor of you can paint the wall that faces your yard. I would also take that pic off. It looks like you have a cute play structure, get a pic of just that with a few happy children on it!

Last edited by Blackcat31; 03-27-2016 at 01:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:34 PM
Darling's Avatar
Darling Darling is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
Don't take that personal. I think it looks great.

I have a small house and make it work too.

I hope I didn't hurt your feelings I just wanted to point out things that I saw that I might not be thrilled with if I was a parent or safety issues.

You'll do great, it takes while to get kids.
No feelings hurt. Just saying we can't really change our home. We started the daycare because I was having a hard time taking my kid to care and then going to work. This seemed to be a good compromise. I love kids, I love caring for kids. I just am having a hard time convincing others to give me a chance.

There seem to be quite a few providers in our area. We are 2 blocks from an elementary school so I think that's part of it. I wish I could get my name in front of those school kids parents some how but the best I can do is hang signs on poles that get removed.

As for networking, I'm in a local group on Facebook but I can't really find a productive way to spread my name beyond that. I'd love to get into a network where we can refer to each other but I can't find one. I would prefer kids 3 and under, and other providers prefer older or after school, etc.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:52 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
Well, we bought the house with location, size, work situation, schools, cost, and our family in mind. We are not aiming to be a center with a dozen kids. This is our home where we would like to care for 3 kids plus our little guy. Daycare setup was never a consideration when we bought it years ago. Thank you for the input, but we can't exactly change the shape or size of our home.
I was just wondering if you thought of being a provider before getting your home. Most of us have a way to separate our daycare from our living area. You don't seem to have that and it could cause burn out.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:52 PM
LysesKids's Avatar
LysesKids LysesKids is online now
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 2,401
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
We have all of that yard stuff, it was just put away in the toy box when we took pictures. Lots of balls, hoops, cars, sand box, water table, etc. It will get drug out before we take pics again.

The daycare is setup to use our large family room, dining room, and a dedicated daycare only nursery/quiet room. We would prefer to care for young kids, under 4 so that's the way we set it up. The home is only 1400 square feet and the kids are allowed into about 1000 of it of you include the kitchen, 750 without kitchen. To maintain livability we kinda have to keep furniture in the family room.
If you prefer the under 4's, then get specific with it & cater to that age group; make sure you say so on the website otherwise you might end up with a lot of school age kids for summertime (this is the time parents start looking for summer care).

Is the buy 3 get one free promotion a continuing thing or only for the first month - SPECIFY otherwise parents will be expecting to get that 4th week after every 3 All the time. Also, if you are starting out at the low end of rates, IMO, I wouldn't offer a special discount at all... I found the promos just don't work and I have loads of competition here that are all lower than me. I refused to go low end because of what I offer, and it nets me better clients from the get go.

BTW, I'm using a Macbook Pro to pull up your site on Safari... it's the bright green links section are that I mentioned kept going from top to bottom & vice versa. It only happens when you click a link to change pages.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:54 PM
Jazzii's Avatar
Jazzii Jazzii is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New York
Posts: 76
Default

I agree that the layout of the website might not keep people on it. I had a little bit of a hard time finding the menu as it is very tiny on the bottom. I think you want something that will be a little more out there. You can PM so I can share my website, maybe you will get some ideas??


Also remember 5 months is not a long time, don't get discouraged. Do you have a FB page? You may want to start with that. Something that has helped us IMMENSELY (and i mean 5-10 referrals a day!) is advertising and putting up a profile on care.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-27-2016, 02:09 PM
homeishere's Avatar
homeishere homeishere is online now
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: *
Posts: 41
Default

When I first started out I'd invite my son's friends over for play dates and with their parents permission take pics of them playing in the daycare space. Both indoor and outdoor. As well as my nieces/nephews. That way perspective parents had a better visual of what their child's day would be like.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-27-2016, 02:13 PM
Thriftylady's Avatar
Thriftylady Thriftylady is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,887
Default

For pictures, you can find some stock pictures online. They don't have to be pictures you took. Someone on here shared some with me of no faces, just kids playing hands and feet, in an activity. I think bad pics are worse than no pics!

Totally agree with the chalkboard wall. I would add more outside toys and I hope you inside toys that are not showing. I get money is tight when you start. I have gotten most of my toys and such thorough thrift stores, yard sales, Facebook yard sale sites, etc. A couple of months ago I got a Little Tikes picnic table for $2.50. You have to scour those places regularly.


Space I get that, I have a small home and I frankly don't have any pictures of my house on my site. They just look cramped, because they somewhat are, so I have to sell other things when parents visit.

After that, it took me a year to get my first two full time kids! Now I have them semi full time but they are school age, another sibling set one in school one full time until kindy this fall. I am still looking for a couple of full time kiddos! Hang in there sometimes it takes awhile.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 03-27-2016, 02:26 PM
jenboo's Avatar
jenboo jenboo is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Planet earth
Posts: 2,636
Default

When you take new pictures, try to take them from the children's viewpoint, instead of looking down at everything.
I think it creates better pictures.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 03-27-2016, 02:45 PM
Josiegirl's Avatar
Josiegirl Josiegirl is online now
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Right here
Posts: 8,265
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
Well, we bought the house with location, size, work situation, schools, cost, and our family in mind. We are not aiming to be a center with a dozen kids. This is our home where we would like to care for 3 kids plus our little guy. Daycare setup was never a consideration when we bought it years ago. Thank you for the input, but we can't exactly change the shape or size of our home.
I had 3 children growing up and doing dc in a house smaller than yours. It worked. Can you place your couch against a wall somewhere and open up the interior of your room more? I would also play up the fact you're staying a small child care so you are able to devote more one on one time while children are younger when they need it, to cuddle, to read stories together, keeping a calmer more peaceful environment, etc., etc. When children are 6 weeks-3 yo dcps still want that special attention for their child and it seems by the time a child is 3 yo now, parents are ready for the center or preschool.
Do you know anybody who could get you some tree stumps, logs, or flat stones to create some sort of fun-looking space in your backyard? I can't remember seeing a sand box or water table outside but those are definitely big hits. You have a wonderfully big yard!! I envy you, you have grass.
This summer hit the yard sales and think outside the box.
Also, your nap room, while I understand you need it peaceful and quiet, and you do have some things on the wall, it still doesn't catch the eye. Maybe make things that can hang on the ceiling or even put pictures up there of babies sleeping that they can look at. Do you have an unbreakable mirror you can hang on the wall?
Go to pinterest and search. Amazing ideas everywhere you look.
I started dc when my ds was 18 mo. Mostly what I had was his toy box and toys in the living room. But that was over 33 years ago, times and competition has changed.
Good luck and keep it up! I love the website and agree with some of the changes suggested.
Do you have a handbook or policies you could add to the site?
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 03-27-2016, 02:51 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I would put the back yard as first page because is so great for the children to run around, to fill up the backyard with a small budget I would get a lot of colorful balls (we get great ones at the dollars store that do not seem cheap, we have so many which brights up the yard) plus you can put a lot of trucks and few bicycles or small kids wagons for them to take their dolls on a "walk" in the backyard.

I agree with the suggestions the others posted. The lamp also bothered me (by the kids beds) and the cords.

About the beds, making them seems cozy would be helpful I think with cute blankets or bed sheets covering them.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 03-27-2016, 03:40 PM
Darling's Avatar
Darling Darling is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19
Default

Thank you all for the help. We are going to revamp the website. Look for a new eval post in a week or so.

If we can round up a pressure washer the husband says he can paint the wall with exterior flat latex and it will work as a chalkboard and last longer.

We will emphasize all the toys and stuff we have when we take pics. We really do have a lot, but my husband puts it all away when he's working on the yard.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 03-27-2016, 03:51 PM
Thriftylady's Avatar
Thriftylady Thriftylady is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,887
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling View Post
Thank you all for the help. We are going to revamp the website. Look for a new eval post in a week or so.

If we can round up a pressure washer the husband says he can paint the wall with exterior flat latex and it will work as a chalkboard and last longer.

We will emphasize all the toys and stuff we have when we take pics. We really do have a lot, but my husband puts it all away when he's working on the yard.

I struggle with that part also, as the yard work has to be done! But it will help for pics on the website! Then you can put it pretty much away again.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 03-27-2016, 04:51 PM
CalCare's Avatar
CalCare CalCare is online now
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: California
Posts: 554
Default

I think I would do pictures of activities that really show an certain area of development and then label it that way. For example take a picture of child building with blocks and say something like "Building with blocks promotes Cognitive development. Children develop thinking, problem solving, and they hypothesize and test out ideas plating with blocks."

And as a previous post, better if it's not all one child (your son). You could avoid it by not showing his face. Have his back turned and he is building, show only his hands mushed in playdoh, etc. You can put all the areas of development pics on the "about" page.

Also, "babysat" is used to describe the staff's previous experience with children. Better to just say "cared for" "provided child care for" "worked with children" etc. "Babysat" doesn't sound professional. Maybe write the philosophy very clearly, ex: "At Darling Ducklings, we believe that..... Because of that, we plan our days.... The children's days are filled with.... " And place that information under the actual heading "PHILOSOPHY" .

When you describe your bio (Ashley), I don't think you should say "OUR family... "etc. I think it should be written third person, "Ashley ... is a mother and child provider. She has worked with young children for ... years..." etc. Very professionally explain your education and experience. Same for Sue and your husband.

I guess the main thing I feel from the website is that I don't know how you are with the kids. Maybe if you could explain for guidance methods/ philosophy/policy and the types of activities you would typically provide, etc...

I disagree with some others that the place seems to lived in because, to me, that's how an fcc is going to be. The backyard is going to be your real space. Make a big deal about it. Make various areas in it. Put a shade in one area, a table, chairs with art supplies in an area, a sand and water table in there (all developmental areas: physical, creative, etc)...

Just a few ideas. In honesty I don't think your website has actual problems. These are just thoughts on how to look like you are a professional and look more appealing.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 03-27-2016, 05:04 PM
CalCare's Avatar
CalCare CalCare is online now
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: California
Posts: 554
Default

Actually I couldn't see the patio with the water table etc when I looked at the pics before. I see that now.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 03-27-2016, 05:16 PM
NightOwl's Avatar
NightOwl NightOwl is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,716
Default

Try care.com. I've got two clients from there and I only used the free profile.

A Web designer told me that the first page of your website, specifically the top portion that's visible when the browser first opens, is the most important part. If it's not inviting and eye catching, no one will scroll down or click beyond that page. Just food for thought as you're redesigning.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 03-27-2016, 05:19 PM
NightOwl's Avatar
NightOwl NightOwl is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,716
Default

One more thing, borrow some kids! Lol. If you have nieces or nephews or friends or neighbors, ask if their kids can come give your space a try and allow you to take some pictures. If they don't want pictures published, ask if you can use pictures that don't reveal their child's face.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 03-27-2016, 06:27 PM
CityGarden's Avatar
CityGarden CityGarden is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: California
Posts: 1,460
Default

Congrats on starting your home based daycare --- I am in the process and just know that being where you are now is a HUGE accomplishment.

Now on to the input you requested:

About your website...
  • I tried to look at your site on my iPhone and it was really not mobile friendly so I gave up and decided to follow up when I got home. (Many won't so I would make sure your site is mobile friendly.)
  • I think this was mentioned but I suggest you either drop the breakfast or the morning snack. Parents are not expecting three snacks a day.
  • I don't like the menu bar at the bottom. Also I think a more reader friendly layout would be helpful.
  • The inside and outside spaces look nice. I would suggest photos with better lighting and the outdoor space with toys in the yard ------ a water table / sand area, the play structure area, a trikes and riding area, etc. And as mentioned above you can take actions shots that go along with your program.
  • Host a playdate with some friends of your son or with your friends kids and ask them to sign a release so you can show some children at work/play.


Marketing wise:
  • Have you checked out this article? It seems very reasonable. http://www.daycare.com/news/advertis...r-daycare.html
  • I suggest hosting an open house and inviting the local mom's groups, etc. ---- make the open house like a big old fashioned birthday party complete with sack races, art projects, etc. so you can get some great action shots and get people to meet you and see your space.
  • Maybe post your craigslist ad here and get feedback. I often wonder why some people post on Craigslist with great response and others seems to post every single day leaving one to wonder ----- why would they have to post every single day.
  • I too have heard good things about Care.com Maybe market yourself as a nanny-share alternative since you desire to keep such a low number of children. Check out how she has done so: http://juliapong.webs.com/ not saying you should do that on your website but maybe on Care.com
  • Do you offer infant care? In my area there is a HUGE need for infant care and all infant care in my area has higher rates due to the lower ratio. That might help fill spots.

Don't be hard on yourself. It does take time from what I have heard.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 03-27-2016, 07:52 PM
nanglgrl's Avatar
nanglgrl nanglgrl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,572
Default

I admit I didn't go to the website but I have read what you posted here. You say you're on the low end of rates and that you have a sign on bonus for the first few months. I would get rid of those. When you're too cheaply priced and offer lots of deals it looks desperate and parents might automatically think you aren't a good provider because you don't charge as much the median rate in your area. When you offer lots of deals and charge less than the norm you get crappy clients in my experience.
Another thing, watch how much you post on social media, again too much can look desperate. People start ignoring your posts and think "maybe she's a bad provider so nobody goes there" or "maybe she keeps losing clients". When you do post less is more. I used to post ads listing everything I offered which was what the majority of parents in my area were looking for and I would get few to no responses. Then I just started posting "home daycare opening, contact me for more details!" Then they would email me and I would send them a link to my website and business Facebook page.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 03-27-2016, 09:42 PM
CityGarden's Avatar
CityGarden CityGarden is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: California
Posts: 1,460
Default

I wanted to add I went to your business facebook and all of the pics were of the same young boy who I assume is your son I would try to diversify that.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 03-28-2016, 09:04 AM
LindseyA's Avatar
LindseyA LindseyA is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: New York
Posts: 200
Default

I love the concrete wall and chalk paint idea! I would be very tempted to make a water wall or something as well. Also, with the photo issues, can you invite some of your son's cousins, or friends or neighbors over to play so you can snap some pics? I had the same problem at first, with just not having enough kids to take pictures with! As you get more enrollments, there will more opportunities to update your photos. I also have a nice large sign in my front yard. I have gotten most of my clients from that alone!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screenshot_2016-03-28-11-51-30-1.jpg (16.6 KB, 12 views)
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 03-28-2016, 09:19 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If you plan to rearrange and re-take pics, be sure to gear your toys and equipment to the ages that you want to attract.

If you are taking pics without children, set each area up as if you are ready for the day. Keep in mind the ages you are trying to attract, so a mat and foam blocks for infants, a sunscreen or umbrella to provide shade, find a place to hang a baby swing or two.

If you are taking pics with children, don't show faces. Show backs or hands or legs & feet. Again take pics with children of the age you are trying to attract.

When your messages are mixed it just confuses people, so consistently show what your plans are.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 03-28-2016, 10:10 AM
thrivingchildcarecom's Avatar
thrivingchildcarecom thrivingchildcarecom is offline
thrivingchildcare.com
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: California
Posts: 393
Default

Actually, I have a few ideas for you:
1. Try offering and advertising more services, i.e. part-time, half-day, etc.
2. Reach out to other child cares. I know that sounds crazy, but no one can take in everybody. They might refer to you if they can't.
3. See if you can accommodate non-typical schedules by offering non-traditional hours.

If you would like a whole list of recommendations, send me a PM with your email and I can forward it to you.

Hang in there!
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 03-28-2016, 12:07 PM
Serpentine's Avatar
Serpentine Serpentine is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15
Default

I'm in the same boat!

Licensed for 3 and only have 1 part time kid. I got my license January 2015 and started advertising April 2015.

There are a crap ton of providers in my area :-( I though for sure someone would prefer my small group setting but I think it's actually a turn off!

Best of luck!
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 03-28-2016, 02:05 PM
MotherNature's Avatar
MotherNature MotherNature is offline
Matilda Jane Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,117
Default

It does take a while to get started, but some things I noticed,froma quick glance:

Very clean! That's a plus.

There's nothing to do in the backyard. A tiny climbing structure..not fun.

Cords! Some tied up by a lamp, and one hanging down to the ground.

Some may be turned off by forced air vents along the wall, but nothing you can do there.

On the about me page, you switch tenses, from me & we in the first paragraph, to writing in the 3rd person in the others.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 03-31-2016, 09:36 AM
nothingwithoutjoy's Avatar
nothingwithoutjoy nothingwithoutjoy is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 1,027
Default

I sympathize. I've got a great reputation and have been doing this for ages, but even still, I've got fewer kids than I want right now. Dry spells come.

I do have a bit of advice. I think, even though your business is new, you want to show what it will be like full, not what it is now. When I was starting up at home, I used photos from my previous classroom to show what sort of things I do. I also think it helps parents to envision the day if you use more photos of the day in action, and less of just the space. I would definitely try to get some shots of kids at play. Borrow kids! When I started, I had an open house to share my space. Then I used those photos (friends' and neighbors' kids). You don't need to show faces; it can be kids from the back or close-ups of their hands, or samples of their work.

I'd also suggest scrapping the enrollment bonus. Stuff like that sounds to me like "if you manage to make it all the way through three weeks you'll get a deal!" as if you're assuming you'll have turnover every month otherwise. I'd assume kids will stay with you for years once you've got them, and present that expectation.

Definitely highlight the fact that you only want a few kids. Some people would really prefer that.

I have been finding that most of my new parents come through facebook. For that reason, I try to post something there every day. Again, I aim to show what I want to have--not what I've got. I am currently working to shift from a younger group to an older one, so since my facebook page's goal is advertising (it's not how I communicate with enrolled families; they have a private blog), I mostly show photos and work samples from my older kids, not the really little ones. Fake it 'til you make it!

Also, my first group came almost completely from my open house. I advertised it for free in the newspaper by offering it as an "event" for toddlers and their families. I put out snack and a few sample activities, ran a slide show on my computer, and gave tours and answered questions. Four signed up that day. Try it!

Good luck. I know how stressful it can be!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
daycare layouts, decor, starting a daycare

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:05 AM.



Daycare.com         Find A Daycare         List Your Daycare         Toys & Products                 About Us

Daycare.com
Please read our Disclaimer before continuing.

Topics pertain mainly to the following States:

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming