• It will take longer to fill child care openings. This means providers will have to
spend more time and money on advertising and promoting their program.
• Child care programs that have good business skills and the ability to communi-
cate with parents will be more likely to succeed.
• Although the overall demand for child care will continue to grow slowly, the
greatest growth in the population of children under the age of six will be from
children of non-Caucasian origin.
• There will be more children in child care from single-parent households.
• There will be an increase in the number of family child care associations, net-
works, and support groups. Those not a part of these groups will find it more
difficult to be visible to potential customers.
• More parents will be looking for objective standards of quality when they are
choosing a child care program. They will want programs that can demonstrate
that they are educating their children.
• Welfare reform is here to stay. Its impact on family child care could be contra-
dictory. In some states it will mean more government regulations such as train-
ing requirements. In other states it may undermine existing regulations.
These trends indicate why marketing is so important to family child care providers.
Because providers operate out of private homes and are largely invisible to parents,
they have a special challenge when they try to market their program. Child care cen-
ters and school-age programs operate out of clearly identifiable buildings and store-
fronts that are easy to find. This book will help providers to be a little more creative
than their competition and thus become more visible to parents.
What if you wanted to become a family child care provider but knew absolutely
nothing about running a family child care business? How would you begin to find
out what you needed to know to be successful? Here are the first steps you should
1)Find out what parents want from their child care provider. Talk to parents who
now use child care or are looking for child care.
2)Identify who are the best providers in your area and meet with them to learn
how they do it. Ask a provider to be your mentor. Volunteer to work in another
provider’s home for a few days.
3)Approach the organizations that work with providers and ask their staff what
they know about what makes a successful provider.
4)Get training in child development from a local school or through your Child
Care Resource and Referral agency.