5)Contact your local family child care associationand ask if you can join or at
least attend the meetings.
6)Based on what you’ve learned, define the type of program you want to offer,
describe how it will meet the needs of families, and start telling everyone about it!
We hope that this book will help you take these steps for your business. Whether you
are just starting out or have been in business for many years, these basic steps will be
About This Book
This book contains a wealth of marketing tips and suggestions, but not all family
child care providers have the same need for these ideas. If you are just starting out,
you may need to fill four to six openings, whereas if you have been in business
awhile you probably only need to fill one or two openings at a time. Do not attempt
to try all of the marketing ideas in this book. If you are looking to fill one opening,
start small. See page 112 for 10 low-cost marketing tips. It is not necessary to make
extraordinary efforts at marketing. Many providers gain new clients based strictly on
word-of-mouth from their current clients. Such providers should focus on marketing
to current clients (see chapter 4). Other providers may need to spend much more time
and money on marketing and will want to use more of the ideas in this book. Many
of the marketing ideas presented here may be best carried out by family child care
associations and other support networks. You may want to present some of these
ideas to your group for them to implement on behalf of its members. This book is
meant to be used selectively over a long period of time.
This book can help you if you are just starting out or if you have many years of
experience. It discusses how to market to prospective clients (chapter 3) and current
clients (chapter 4). It includes many ideas about how to promote your program if you
have little money (chapter 5) or if you have a lot of money (chapter 6). It identifies
the key organizations to approach that can help you market (chapter 7). It has a
lengthy discussion of how to set your rates (chapter 8). It also offers some answers to
questions about how to compete against a fancy new child care center and against
unregulated providers (chapter 9). Finally, the Appendix contains samples of forms
and checklists you can use as part of your marketing program.
Not every idea in this book will appeal to every provider. We encourage providers
to think carefully about how much marketing is necessary for their business. We do
not encourage providers to adopt dozens of new marketing tips at the expense of
spending less time caring for children. Not every idea will work in your community.
Sometimes the same marketing idea that failed this year will succeed next year. This
book does not offer an in-depth marketing plan for your business. It is meant to be a