• Pricing your service (What is my time worth?)
• Promoting your service (How do I tell others about my program?)
This book will cover all of these points and more.
The goal of marketing is to reach parents and compel them to purchase your services.
To do this you need to focus on meeting the needs of parents and their children.
Parents want a safe, high-quality provider for their children that will enable them to
work and support their family. Providers must keep the needs of parents and children
foremost in their minds. This book will help you identify the needs of parents and
children and how you can meet them.
Many providers think about marketing only when they have an opening to fill.
Marketing is not something to do just when you’re starting your business or when
you have an opening. It is not something to stop doing once you have a waiting list,
because one or more of your families could leave without notice. It should be con-
ducted every year you are in business. Successful marketing is about keeping your
current clients happy and offering the kind of care your future clients will want.
Marketing your child care program is a never-ending process. As time passes, the
needs of parents change. Twenty years ago, few parents were seeking care for their
infants because they stayed home to care for them. Today infant care is in great demand
because of the tremendous increase in single-parent and dual-career families. It is im-
portant to keep up with changing needs in the child care field so your program will be
successful in the future. This means asking a lot of questions of other individuals and
organizations that can help you market your program. We will show you how to work
with other organizations and individuals such as Child Care Resource and Referral
agencies, child careregulators, competitors, employers, and more in chapter 7.
Marketing and the Quality of Child Care
Operating a high-quality child care program is the foundation of all your marketing
efforts. You may be able to attract parents to your program through your promotional
efforts, but without a quality program you won’t be able to keep them. Many family
child care providers go out of business each year, in large part because they weren’t
offering high-quality care. Providers who use this book should always keep in mind
that what they are marketing is their high-quality program, not their house, their
backyard, or their computer. Ahigh-quality program means child-centered activities,
nutritious meals, individual care, and a safe, homey environment run by a trained
caregiver. Part of your marketing job is to help educate parents about what high-qual-
ity child care looks like. (See the Skills list in the Appendix.) Chapter 2 describes
how to identify and communicate the benefits of your program so parents will under-
stand why they should enroll their child with you.