We’ve had the pleasure of speaking to many, many parents to better understand their child care search. One of the things we’ve learned is that parents are routinely disappointed with the lack of response when they reach out to child care programs.
“I reached out to ~20 or more child cares via email. I only heard back from maybe 6-7.” — Parent
We know you’re busy– you’re simultaneously the director, teacher, cook, cleaner, school nurse, and more. But this is a really important insight when thinking about how to run a better business.
How you can set yourself apart from the program down the street
Set aside 15 minutes every day to respond to parent inquiries. Right away, this is going to set you apart from other programs who take days to respond, or never respond at all.
These inquiries may go nowhere, but you’ll be establishing yourself as a business owner who is responsive and on top of it. This is the signal you want to send to parents. We know that parents are looking for strong communication with their child care providers. And it starts during the search.
Make communication seamless
When you use Wonderschool’s set of tools to manage your business, parents will be able to contact you through your website. Those messages will be delivered to your Wonderschool app, making it easy to keep track of communications. No more giving out your cell phone number or switching between email, text, and voicemails. Manage all of your parent communications in one place.
Make communication meaningful
“When it comes to childcare, we are all just trying to find the one that’s the right fit.” — Parent
The less time you can spend on the logistical stuff, like finding a time to tour, the more time you can spend starting to build a relationship with this parent. This business is all about building strong relationships, and that starts when a parent is just in the research phase. You want to make sure the family will be a good fit for your program, so you’ll be doing yourself a favor, and saving time in the long run.
What if I’m full?
You should still respond! You can say something quick and easy like:
“Thank you so much for reaching out! At this time, our program is full and I don’t expect to have any openings until September. Would you like me to put you on our waitlist and contact you when a space is closer to becoming available?“
This will build your reputation as a responsive child care provider and business owner, and parents won’t forget it.