When searching for childcare programs for their children, families have many options making it harder to decide which program to choose. As a daycare owner, you can make the decision easier by ensuring your childcare program stands out from other childcare programs in your area. The key to standing out from other childcare programs is differentiation. To differentiate your childcare program is to become distinct in characteristics. Six action steps you can take today to differentiate your childcare program from other childcare programs include:
Do a google search or search your licensing agency website to find out who your competitors are in your area. After you do a search list 3 to 5 of them on a notepad. Your competitors can be direct (other daycare providers) or indirect (nanny or babysitter).
Research information about each competitor by googling them, visiting their website, or calling them to learn about their program benefits. After you have enough information, you can determine their strengths and weakness to understand how to compete with them. A benefit is how the services you offer will meet the family’s needs. For example, “I am licensed” is a feature, but “My program meets the state’s health and safety standards” is a benefit.
In addition, find out what services your competitors aren’t offering or services they’ve overlooked and consider offering families that service. For example, if several childcare programs in your community only provide care for children from ages infant to five, you may want to consider providing afterschool care.
Offer a unique service based on the information you learned about the other childcare programs in your area. Unique services could include field trips, swimming, gardening, bringing in a gymnastics or ballet instructor to teach children, or staying open a little longer one day a week to give families time to run errands.
Once you figure out how to differentiate your childcare program, it’s time to start marketing. When marketing your childcare program to families, highlight how it’s different from other childcare programs in your area.
Provide the families you serve or plan to serve with an exceptional customer experience when they call to learn more about your childcare program or when they schedule a tour.
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