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Unregistered 08:18 AM 10-05-2011
Im going to be a new director at a day care center. Enrollment is way down ... lookin for ANY advice on how to work on this or advice on ANYTHING that I should or would want to know. I want a successful start and to make a good impact ... Thanks!!
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Cat Herder 09:53 AM 10-05-2011
Put out a nice suggestion box, have parents fill out anonymous suggestion forms to drop in, then take them into consideration.

Most likely that will isolate your centers weak areas.

It is possible you just need a bit of a PR Makeover.

If your clients are internet savvy you can do a "survey monkey" online form. My kids school just did those, they were pretty easy to use.
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laundrymom 11:58 AM 10-05-2011
my best advice,.. become your employees ALLY, not their boss. Get your hands dirty, help them in routine tasks, listen when they complain. Actually HEAR them. Give your center an edge. Offer something noone else does. It can be something as small as,... mass texts if dc is closed for weather, having bimonthly public service person visits. Like, having the animal shelter come and show kids how to pet a dog, have a dentist come to instruct brushing, firefighters, to show the gear. Anything to get your current parents BRAGGING about their childs center. You know how it is,.. when you make one Momma mad she tells 5 people,.. when you make her day happy she tells 10. Offer a parents night out once a month,.. pay your staff time and a half ,.. charge a fee and let the kids stay 4 hours over, feed dinner, do something fun and watch a movie. Market it as a date night. Make sure to revamp you outside entrance. Pot some planters, paint the mailbox, put new no smoking signs up, Paint bright colored shapes on the front walk,... like a huge 18 inch triangle in purple, a square in red, circle in orange,.. etc,...

the kids will hop, the parents will notice, it will make them look twice. =-) looking twice may hav ethem mention it to sue, who she chats with at break. Sam may hear them chatting and say,.. hey Im looking for childcare,...

send out a "happy to meet you" letter to every parent enrolled. invite them to a coffee hour after daycare one night,.... 30-40 minutes to meet and chat with you to share any concerns or issues they have. To get your face in their mind,..

revamp their sign in sheets, even switching to a simpler and slightly larger font with the same wording looks fresh and inviting. change the smell of the floor cleaner. or the deodorizer.

do small things well to make a large impact.

Good luck!!!!!

Originally Posted by Catherder:
Put out a nice suggestion box, have parents fill out anonymous suggestion forms to drop in, then take them into consideration.

Most likely that will isolate your centers weak areas.

It is possible you just need a bit of a PR Makeover.

If your clients are internet savvy you can do a "survey monkey" online form. My kids school just did those, they were pretty easy to use.

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Cat Herder 07:25 AM 10-06-2011
The best employee motivation/retention program IMHO was a peer nominated "Caught in the Act of Being Awesome" program.

When your co-worker did something kind, thoughtful, innovative or otherwise exemplary you would fill out a little "Caught in the Act" stationary sheet and drop it in a locked hopper (maybe get a matching set of boxes for the front office, one for parents suggestions one for employee nominations).

On the first of each month the votes were tallied for the person with the most nominations. That person got a $50 cash bonus envelope (and public acknowledgment on a bulletin board out front for parents and employees to see).

$600 never bought us so much motivation.... (works great for school aged programs for students, too )
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mismatchedsocks 07:42 AM 10-06-2011
Offer incentives to parents or employees who refer and sign on a child.

Find out what in your program stands out above all others, do you provide transportation, have homework club, accredited, indoor playspace, security system, low teacher ratios? Whatever it is, go from there. Talk that up.

Get out in public. i have had 10 calls, for 12 kids in the last week, and I am not even advertising publicly. Three were at a local elementary school where we do drop offs and pick ups, have sign for our car, and 3 families asked for fulltime for little one and b/a for older one.

Get the word out by mouth, tell everyone you know, tell them to tell people. advertise on craigslist, hand out business cards, have open house.
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