In order to develop and maintain an effective childcare business, the right strategies and tools must be in place to accomplish specific goals. A goal is a desired result that a director or owner plans to achieve by committing to a vision for the future success of the childcare program. But before goals are established, the objective(s) must be determined. For example, the objective is to fill 20 slots. Once the objective(s) has been established, take some time to set some goals. When setting goals, develop SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Specific means to set precise goals with dates and times about when those goals will be achieved. For example, increasing income and filling slots fast are less specific than filling 20 slots within the next four weeks.
Measurable means how the success of each goal will be determined. Some goals can be measured with a simple no or yes, while other goals are better measured in metrics. For example, did I enroll 20 kids in the past six weeks? Yes or no or Week one, I enrolled five kids; in week two, I enrolled three kids, etc. The goal is to ensure that each goal’s success can be measured.
Attainable implicates what actions will be taken to achieve specific goals and to have the proper resources to succeed. Are the actions achievable? What actions will be taken, and what resources are needed? For example, I will use Facebook ads to let the community know I am accepting applications. I will need a Facebook business page and a credit card or banking account to do this. Do you have to take training to learn how to set up Facebook ads?
Relevant is focusing on the goals that align with the overall program objectives. For example, will you have a job fair or carnival if you decide to have a community event? Correct, you will have a carnival because it will attract parents with children and aligns with the overall objective to fill 20 slots.
Time-bound is making sure the timing to achieve goals is realistic. For example, to fill 20 slots within six weeks vs. filling 20 slots in one day. Incorporate a way to achieve goals with low effort and high priority. For example, to let the community know about your childcare program (high priority) are you going to use Facebook ads (low effort) or pass out flyers at the mall (high effort).
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