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Old 09-09-2017, 10:53 PM
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Question Advertising To "Check Out" A Neighborhood

I'm still in my planning stage of starting a daycare and there is no need for it in the area I currently live. According to research there is some demand for it in an area I'm thinking about moving to. Question is, how much need, and does anyone in that area want a male watching their kids.

I'm thinking about doing some pre-advertising before making my decision as to whether or not that's the right area to move to. Put out about 400 flyers in that neighborhood, advertising a potential new daycare, and see what response I get. I've been self-employed most of my life so know quite a bit about advertising, but daycare is a little different than my other businesses so I'm asking you ladies and gents with experience in the business, and you parents out there, for your opinions.

Do you think it's a good idea to advertise a potential new daycare opening?

Should the ad say I "may be" starting a daycare, or just advertise a new daycare and let potential clients know it's not definite yet?

Should the ad say I'm male, or leave that for anyone who contacts me?

If all goes well, I plan to move Nov 1 and start daycare shortly after.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:48 PM
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I personally would find it a bit odd to advertise a potential home daycare, couple that with the fact that you are a guy and it just seems more odd (sorry!) As a parent I would want someone who is a bit more established in the community personally.

I think it is so much harder for a guy to do something like this. Is there some way to guage interest with an ad? Asking around or doing a survey in an FB group for that community?
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I personally would find it a bit odd to advertise a potential home daycare,
That's the main thing I'm wondering about.

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couple that with the fact that you are a guy and it just seems more odd (sorry!)
No apology needed there. I knew when I first started thinking about this 12 years ago, that I would be at a major disadvantage.

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As a parent I would want someone who is a bit more established in the community personally.
That's what I was planning to do, 2 years ago, but my plans keep getting put on hold. I probably do have to move first and find a different way to make money while I get involved in the community and get known.

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I think it is so much harder for a guy to do something like this. Is there some way to guage interest with an ad? Asking around or doing a survey in an FB group for that community?
That's what I'm thinking about the flyers for. Directly ask the neighborhood if there's interest.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:57 AM
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Mike, maybe rather than flyers try out kijiji? I have seen ads on there a few times with people seeing if there is an interest or need for a new daycare in the area. Maybe have a one page website link describing more what would make your home daycare business stand out from others. Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:22 AM
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I think 400 flyers sounds a bit much for something that isn't definite. What kind of daycare are you planning on running? A small in home I presume? How many are you allowed to have in your state without being licensed? Are you planning on getting licensed? You may want to look into it as that way (at least in my state) your information if put on the county's referral page which here is advertisement in itself. Also the licensing process takes time so factor that in. Do you have all the necessary courses/qualifications it takes to become licensed? Do you have friends with children that can provide references? Parents love that. Do you have friends with children willing to pull their children from their current care to be your first clients? I've found it helps having someone already lined up. No one wants their kids to be the test dummy. Oh and I wouldn't mention being male anywhere in the ad but that's me personally.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by redmaple View Post
Mike, maybe rather than flyers try out kijiji? I have seen ads on there a few times with people seeing if there is an interest or need for a new daycare in the area. Maybe have a one page website link describing more what would make your home daycare business stand out from others. Good luck!
I like that idea. It would be cheaper than putting out flyers.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by storybookending View Post
I think 400 flyers sounds a bit much for something that isn't definite. What kind of daycare are you planning on running? A small in home I presume? How many are you allowed to have in your state without being licensed? Are you planning on getting licensed? You may want to look into it as that way (at least in my state) your information if put on the county's referral page which here is advertisement in itself. Also the licensing process takes time so factor that in. Do you have all the necessary courses/qualifications it takes to become licensed? Do you have friends with children that can provide references? Parents love that. Do you have friends with children willing to pull their children from their current care to be your first clients? I've found it helps having someone already lined up. No one wants their kids to be the test dummy.
If I do flyers, they go by postal route which is usually 350 to 600, so I'd do the route that covers around where I'm thinking about going. It would cost about $60 though and only cover a small area.

It'll be in home, legally unlicensed, maximum 5 kids with 2 under 2. Very little reason for licensing in Ontario, other than the free publicity. The last babysitting I did was 8 years ago, but a couple of the kids (adults now) I babysat said they would give references. That should help.

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Oh and I wouldn't mention being male anywhere in the ad but that's me personally.
That's one part I need ideas on. I don't want it to stick out like a sore thumb, but also don't want it to look like I'm hiding that fact either. I'm thinking, like redmaple said:
Quote:
Maybe have a one page website link describing more what would make your home daycare business stand out from others.
Have a simple ad with just the bare basics, and anyone interested goes to the website. In there they get the details.

I'm not planning to start right out with full time care because that would not start good enough. I'm thinking about advertising home reno in the area I want to move to, get a couple jobs lined up, move, and do part time reno work while doing other things, like after school care, or maybe just tutoring for a while until I get known a little. Even if I don't do daycare right away, I'd like to see if there is a need, and if males are accepted there. It's just like anything else. I know of places where male child care would be frowned on by everyone, but I also know of a couple cities where there are a few of them. Those cities are too far away though.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:31 PM
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I can go by my experience only with a male daycare provider. Our first one for ds was male, before we moved. I loved him Also, his name was Mr. Mike

He was an older gentleman, probably near 60 at the time. One day he asked me if I went to church. I said yes, at the Catholic Church (not anymore, but then, yes). He replied, "It's so odd. All of my clients are Catholic!" We lived in a primarily Baptist area, so not too many Catholics.

Anyways...I guess my advice is to open near a Catholic Church!
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by midaycare View Post
I can go by my experience only with a male daycare provider. Our first one for ds was male, before we moved. I loved him Also, his name was Mr. Mike

He was an older gentleman, probably near 60 at the time. One day he asked me if I went to church. I said yes, at the Catholic Church (not anymore, but then, yes). He replied, "It's so odd. All of my clients are Catholic!" We lived in a primarily Baptist area, so not too many Catholics.

Anyways...I guess my advice is to open near a Catholic Church!
I'm 53 and go to church. The areas I'm looking at in the 2 cities are near the churches in the cities. Not catholic though.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:17 PM
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I wouldn't tell them that you are a male or you will get responses like the one above before even having the chance. I am male and have been doing this for 20 years at an overcrowded center run by a woman

Last edited by Blackcat31; 09-11-2017 at 07:41 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2017, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
If I do flyers, they go by postal route which is usually 350 to 600, so I'd do the route that covers around where I'm thinking about going. It would cost about $60 though and only cover a small area.

It'll be in home, legally unlicensed, maximum 5 kids with 2 under 2. Very little reason for licensing in Ontario, other than the free publicity. The last babysitting I did was 8 years ago, but a couple of the kids (adults now) I babysat said they would give references. That should help.



That's one part I need ideas on. I don't want it to stick out like a sore thumb, but also don't want it to look like I'm hiding that fact either. I'm thinking, like redmaple said:

Have a simple ad with just the bare basics, and anyone interested goes to the website. In there they get the details.

I'm not planning to start right out with full time care because that would not start good enough. I'm thinking about advertising home reno in the area I want to move to, get a couple jobs lined up, move, and do part time reno work while doing other things, like after school care, or maybe just tutoring for a while until I get known a little. Even if I don't do daycare right away, I'd like to see if there is a need, and if males are accepted there. It's just like anything else. I know of places where male child care would be frowned on by everyone, but I also know of a couple cities where there are a few of them. Those cities are too far away though.
I should have read that you were in Canada before posting. I can see not needing to get licensed when you can have 5 children without it. I wouldn't bother either then but from your standpoint of possibly not being able to get clients is it worth it in regards to helping you get clients? Is there a referral list of licensed daycares or anything that would help get your business out there in the public eye? Then I would maybe consider it, you can always drop it later after you get clients in the door.

I just don't see the mailing list thing being an option if you aren't ready to open? Even if you are flooded with calls of interest it sounds like this isn't something you are planning on jumping into right away. As for being a male there isn't much you can do, people are either going to be okay with it or not.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storybookending View Post
I should have read that you were in Canada before posting. I can see not needing to get licensed when you can have 5 children without it. I wouldn't bother either then but from your standpoint of possibly not being able to get clients is it worth it in regards to helping you get clients? Is there a referral list of licensed daycares or anything that would help get your business out there in the public eye? Then I would maybe consider it, you can always drop it later after you get clients in the door.

I just don't see the mailing list thing being an option if you aren't ready to open? Even if you are flooded with calls of interest it sounds like this isn't something you are planning on jumping into right away. As for being a male there isn't much you can do, people are either going to be okay with it or not.
Exactly; don't offer something you aren't ready to do at a set time... when I moved to a different state, I specifically stated when I would be open & where; of course there was a kink in my plans & 2 weeks before I was to open it was discovered I had to move again last minute (black mold in the rental)... lost all but one client that had pre-signed. Took 4 months to get 3 more families after that fiasco
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:06 PM
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Any chance you are involved in the Sunday School group at your church in any way? Maybe you could get a reference there, and also list is as experience working with children.

Often there is a good deal of demand for part time care and odd hours care. Things like before and after care may be a good niche, or people needing early or later hours. Some clients have rotating shifts where they end up needing to pay for full time care in most daycares. So something like marketing to hospital employees may be another option. Maybe check out the kijiji ads or the community daycare sections on facebook for the area you are seeking, see what parents are looking for, or if there are particular daycare needs that need filling. Base your niche on what the area seems to need.

If you go the route of a one page website to start, I would likely include a picture of yourself on there somewhere and maybe your first name, but not right out say you are a male daycare provider. I don't go out of my way to indicate I am a female provider either I would likely include a few short reference quotes if possible.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:22 PM
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I will be ready to start once I relocate, so if I do pre-advertise, it would state the start date.

I think the main thing I'm trying to figure out is if I should "test the waters" first, then decide if I move there, or if I should just "jump right in", move then advertise, and "hope for the best". Very unlikely that daycare will be a main income in a short time, but I need to know if it has the potential in my planned area before I relocate. Otherwise, I could end up relocating, finding no chance of business a year later, and have to move again to another area or city.

Most people are already living somewhere when they start daycare, and they just open there. I'm moving for a few reasons, one of which is no need in my area, so I have the opportunity to move to wherever business might work. That complicates things a bit, or does it. I've decided on 2 different cities. Instead of checking for the need in one of them, maybe I should just pick one and go. I guess the best thing to do is probably try to find out the need in those 2 cities through Facebook, Kijiji, etc, then just move and leave advertising until I get where I'm going.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:33 PM
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Any chance you are involved in the Sunday School group at your church in any way? Maybe you could get a reference there, and also list is as experience working with children.
I was a bus driver at the church I sent to years ago, but moved and the one I go to now usually only has 2 kids going. Where I move to, I may help with Sunday School if they need more help, but that will be after I move and they get to know me.

I do have a very detailed resume that I had an employment agency help me put together a few years ago when I applied at daycare places. I will make that available to interested parents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redmaple View Post
Often there is a good deal of demand for part time care and odd hours care. Things like before and after care may be a good niche, or people needing early or later hours. Some clients have rotating shifts where they end up needing to pay for full time care in most daycares. So something like marketing to hospital employees may be another option. Maybe check out the kijiji ads or the community daycare sections on facebook for the area you are seeking, see what parents are looking for, or if there are particular daycare needs that need filling. Base your niche on what the area seems to need.
That's something I'm thinking about, specializing in off-hours care. It would allow me to work during the day to make some income until I get clients, then I can gradually cut back on my daytime work and go whatever direction is needed.

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Originally Posted by redmaple View Post
If you go the route of a one page website to start, I would likely include a picture of yourself on there somewhere and maybe your first name, but not right out say you are a male daycare provider. I don't go out of my way to indicate I am a female provider either I would likely include a few short reference quotes if possible.
I like that idea, and will include some reference quotes. One family I babysat for from /88 to /97 would give a great reference, but, I haven't had any contact with them for 15 years now.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:14 AM
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I pre-advertised and that worked well for me. I left my job and toyed with the idea of opening a daycare, but I didn't want to commit to purchasing items and going through licensing only to find out I didn't have interested families. I advertised for an immediate opening for babysitting in my home starting xx date in xx school district. I highlighted the aspects of my program I intended to included. In the ad I mentioned the possibility of becoming formally licensed at xx time. I wanted families to understand (1) an immediate service was available, (2) that I wasn't licensed, and (3) that I might become licensed and have a larger group. When my first client reached out, I was completely candid.

I advertised on care.com and a local mom swap (garage sale) facebook page. I was flooded with interest, which signaled it was worth moving forward. I accepted the legal limit for babysitting and wait listed the other families that I thought were a great fit until I was licensed. I did tons of interviews because I thought of it as free advertising (now I only do interviews for open spots).

I did all of these interviews while my home still looked like an adult home (I wasn't even pregnant with my son yet). I remember apologizing to parents and most said something like, "I don't care about any of that. Your program will come. I just care about how you interact with my kid." I still have every on of those original clients and I'm not taking on their younger siblings as they head to school. I think they stuck around because, as promised, my program did come. They could see how hard I worked to establish the program I had envisioned.

As for being a male, I think you will find plenty of families that don't care. My families love my husband and I think some of the kids like him better than me some days! They love that he is able to spend mornings with us and that he comes home on snowy days to have snow ball fights with the kids. I suppose that isn't the same as having a solo male provider, but they certainly see the benefit in his presence.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleScholars View Post
I pre-advertised and that worked well for me. I left my job and toyed with the idea of opening a daycare, but I didn't want to commit to purchasing items and going through licensing only to find out I didn't have interested families. I advertised for an immediate opening for babysitting in my home starting xx date in xx school district. I highlighted the aspects of my program I intended to included. In the ad I mentioned the possibility of becoming formally licensed at xx time. I wanted families to understand (1) an immediate service was available, (2) that I wasn't licensed, and (3) that I might become licensed and have a larger group. When my first client reached out, I was completely candid.

I advertised on care.com and a local mom swap (garage sale) facebook page. I was flooded with interest, which signaled it was worth moving forward. I accepted the legal limit for babysitting and wait listed the other families that I thought were a great fit until I was licensed. I did tons of interviews because I thought of it as free advertising (now I only do interviews for open spots).

I did all of these interviews while my home still looked like an adult home (I wasn't even pregnant with my son yet). I remember apologizing to parents and most said something like, "I don't care about any of that. Your program will come. I just care about how you interact with my kid." I still have every on of those original clients and I'm not taking on their younger siblings as they head to school. I think they stuck around because, as promised, my program did come. They could see how hard I worked to establish the program I had envisioned.

As for being a male, I think you will find plenty of families that don't care. My families love my husband and I think some of the kids like him better than me some days! They love that he is able to spend mornings with us and that he comes home on snowy days to have snow ball fights with the kids. I suppose that isn't the same as having a solo male provider, but they certainly see the benefit in his presence.
Thanks. I will be making some decisions over the next couple weeks.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:58 AM
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Thanks. I will be making some decisions over the next couple weeks.
I realized after I wrote this my response didn't exactly match your situation (I knew where I would be, just not if I would actually follow through with care if I didn't find enough of a need). There is a provider around here that did exactly what I did, but had no idea where she would be. It worked well for her despite the fact she has moved locations a few times already. People seem to just keep following her.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:18 PM
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I realized after I wrote this my response didn't exactly match your situation (I knew where I would be, just not if I would actually follow through with care if I didn't find enough of a need). There is a provider around here that did exactly what I did, but had no idea where she would be. It worked well for her despite the fact she has moved locations a few times already. People seem to just keep following her.
Your response was pretty close. I don't have an exact address but do know what neighborhood I will be moving to, if I do. I'm just working on my final decisions now. By the end of this month, my life will be going in a different direction. Just a question of which direction.
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