Principles of effective teamwork in childcare help to promote proactive communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Skills such as taking turns, listening skills, teamwork, conflict resolution and leadership are essential elements of every child’s growth.
When team members cooperate, support and respect each other, it helps the childcare team achieve common goals. Each member contributes to the workspace, but the whole group is responsible for its success. Understanding each other’s roles and responsibilities enhances your ability to communicate effectively. In Dora the Explorer, Dora always asks for help from her friend Boots, and together they work as a team.
Each childcare team is unique, with its own members, meeting time and culture. Regardless of your team’s size, setting or methods of communication, there are a few key principles that allow your childcare team to run smoothly and reach its goals. Below are 14 key principles of effective teamwork in childcare that you could incorporate in your workplace:
Oftentimes, teams in daycare will need to work together when appropriate to improve the care and education for children. In some cases, the team may have individuals with different skills but working towards the same goal of improving the current system or meeting children’s needs. This is why the principles of effective teamwork in childcare are so crucial to a successful childcare program.
Cross-functional work involves a team of individuals with a variety of skills, but working towards common goals like childcare workers, teachers, speech and language therapists, counselors, etc.
Here are a few good examples of teamwork:
Willingness to Share Expertise
Complement One Another
Rise and Fall Together: When the success of one is dependent on the success of all, team members are more likely to do what needs to be done to pull up those around them
Clear and Proactive Communications
Effective communication with parents and teachers is a critical part of your job as an educator. Good communication builds understanding and trust, which leads to successful collaboration to support children’s wellbeing and development.
Workplace communication is also essential for the success of a daycare. A clear and effective communication system allows everyone to be on the same page. This helps to enhance productivity because each party (management, co-workers, etc.) will be able to remain updated on internal matters. Below are examples of proper communication you should incorporate into your daycare.
There are times when you may need to communicate with your colleagues to complete projects on time. To do this effectively, it is key that you know how to handle your team.
Show your teammates how to do things or give them new ways to complete tasks. Work with others, either in a group or as individuals; share responsibility for tasks and complete them using accepted practices.
Teamwork often entails guiding each other through steps and taking turns shepherding team members.
The team works together to establish goals that are realistic and achievable. These goals reflect the child’s and family member’s priorities and can be clearly articulated, understood and supported by all members. Identifying and building common ground is an essential step in the collaborative process of negotiation. As a professional, identifying your goals is one of the first steps. Make sure to follow these three steps before setting and sharing goals with your staff and parents.
Create a mission for your daycare team that you stand behind. The mission will become the sole purpose that drives everything the business does. Our mission is simple: We want to help children flourish in their individualism.
Strategic Goals are the reason we get up in the morning. They move the company in one direction, and if they’re achieved, they help the business achieve the mission.
Tactical Goals (Team and Individual):
Tactical goals are the specific, immediate results you will achieve. From learning new skills to creating a new daycare service and making a sale, your tactical goals will help your childcare team be successful.
Although the question may seem straightforward, you are probably aware that defining roles and responsibilities in a childcare environment is not always easy. Defined roles are important principles of effective teamwork in childcare. It’s vital to define a person’s role in the business and make sure that each one fulfils his or her specific obligations. It is a serious matter with serious consequences if not handled correctly, especially when managing children. Strategic planning is crucial before making any decisions that will affect the company as a whole. To avoid confusion, ensure that each team member knows what their role entails and what is expected of them.
Trust in the workplace promotes an atmosphere of security and respect among employees. Rewarded with a feeling of attachment, they come to regard the organization as their home. This improves communication between both the employer and the employee, thus creating competitive advantages. If you want honest feedback and ideas, trust is the foundation that underpins an effective childcare program. It allows an open environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves as well as listening to other team members.
Measurable Process & Outcomes
It’s important that your childcare team works together to make sure they always learn and improve. Use any feedback you’re given and make sure any successes and failures are shared. This can be a useful way to grow from possible mistakes or build on what’s working to allow you to provide the best possible care for the children.
Early educators have taken center stage, and that is a good thing. More people than ever before are recognizing how important early education and child development are to all of us. However, it is easy for early educators to feel that the spotlight is too hot. One of the principles of effective teamwork in childcare is being accountable for creating environments and facilitating learning opportunities that support child development and learning in daily schedules. Not only is being accountable important in the childcare realm, but equally important in any workplace environment. Here are ways to be more accountable:
Participating in discussions, tasks or team-building activities.
It’s important for the whole team to contribute to an ongoing review process. As part of this, you should check that the children’s care meets your group’s goals. Team members will feel more creative and motivated if they feel their voice is being heard.
The group depends on the abilities of each team member, so work hard to create a supportive environment and motivate one another to do their best. This will, in turn, help your staff motivate the children.
Working together as a team helps us achieve our goals and provide the best childcare possible.
Childcare teachers’ words and actions can have a big impact on the children. Infants and toddlers will be looking for positive role models. As a teacher, you want to make sure that your body language is respectful when you are dealing with troublesome behavior from children. Also, allowing your employees to display disrespectful or degrading behaviors will result in a poor workplace culture and will likely increase employee turnover. Examples of how to show respect in a daycare to children and staff:
It’s simple. Effective active listening skills are essential to establishing a professional work environment and effective teamwork.
The team must show an open mind and genuine interest in the views of others. They should never be hostile towards the ideas of others, and they should always be respectful of the knowledge acquired by fellow teammates.
When you value individuals on the team, alignment with company goals happens naturally. It’s as easy as listening and adding your own take on what was said.
Commit to Excellence
Keeping kids safe and healthy is important in a high-quality childcare center. In addition, keeping children safe and healthy helps children develop skills they need for success in school and in their lives. It’s important that all staff are always committed to excellence and holding a high standard in the workplace.
Take Advantage of Communication Technologies
Communicating with parents is one of the most important aspects in an educational environment. By using collaboration technology, you can create a more effective and productive relationship between parents and teachers. In this electronic era, adopting technology to better communicate has joined the list of principles of effective teamwork in childcare.
Encourage Shared Leadership
Shared leadership involves maximizing all your staff’s talent in an organization by empowering individuals and giving them an opportunity to take leadership positions in their areas of expertise. Shared leadership builds an environment of trust and respect for each member. When teams define their goals, responsibilities and tactics, they are motivated to succeed. Incorporating leadership and collaboration in the childcare setting allows a team to share a sense of purpose and responsibility to ensure the learning and well-being of children is always the key purpose.
Incorporating patience in a childcare setting is crucial. Losing your temper repeatedly, whether at a child or in reaction to minor troubles, can be a pitfall that children learn to emulate. Having patience in childcare is one of the essential principles of effective teamwork in childcare.
Flexible and Open Mindset
Agreeing on a common goal is essential. But in terms of our children, it shouldn’t be at the cost of suppressing alternative ideas and opinions. Having differing opinions leads to having more ideas, making our childcare teams more ambitious and inclusive; a diverse team is its competitive advantage.
Diversity is important in all workplaces, but especially in daycares. By understanding diversity, children will be able to form positive relationships, especially with other people who do things differently to themselves and their family. Children’s natural curiosity needs to be nurtured and extended to include their friends in the setting. That’s why it’s important to consider diversity in a childcare setting.
Diversity is a simple fact of life. Our everyday experiences are shaped by the people we meet and the communities that produce us. Diversity offers a range of benefits in every setting. For our kids, these benefits are a bit more distinct. Here are a few reasons why diversity is an essential element in childcare:
Increased creativity and innovation:
Students are surrounded by people with diverse knowledge, skills, and expertise whom they can call upon in all situations.
When students are exposed to diversity, they may overcome the empathy gap that develops between young children and teenagers.
Preparation for future diverse settings in adulthood:
Students are likely to have many different experiences with people. They will be exposed to a wide variety of people, different types of work environments and a variety of cultures as they go forward.
Looking for More Time Saving Resources?
Planning, building and designing a daycare daily schedule takes time, which you and your staff are short on. Avoid the stress of starting from scratch. Check out these daycare schedule templates our team built to simplify the task for you. These schedules are printable and easily editable PDFs you can share with parents looking for greater insights on what their child’s day at your center looks like.
If you are looking for the best employees to work in your child care organization, you need to know what to look for. It can be challenging to find the right staff, but you can do it if you follow a few test principles. Make sure you know how to recruit daycare teachers and retain top employees..
Read our comprehensive guide that will outline everything about recruiting staff for child care. We will discuss what qualities to look for in candidates and how to find them.
How to Enhance Your Work Environment When Recruiting Staff for Child Care
What Qualities to Look for In Candidates?
How to Find Daycare Teachers?
How to Go About Interviewing Candidates?
How to Ensure the Staff Integrates Well Within the Child Care Setting
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Child Care Staff
How to retain daycare employees
Questions for Daycare Teachers
How to Enhance Your Work Environment When Recruiting Staff for Child Care
When recruiting staff for child care, it’s essential to remember that the work environment you create is vital in attracting top talent. No one wants to work where they feel uncomfortable or unhappy.
So, before anything else, take some time to evaluate your current state and make improvements if necessary. Here are a few tips on how to enhance your work environment.
Create a positive and welcoming atmosphere. This includes having a clean and organized workspace, providing adequate breaks and lunches, and being friendly and communicative with employees.
Offer competitive salaries and benefits. Top candidates will be looking for jobs that offer good pay and benefits, so make sure yours does!
Promote professional development opportunities. Employees want to feel that they are constantly learning and growing, so offer them training and development programs that interest them.
Provide a good work/life balance. Everyone needs time for themselves outside of work, so make sure employees have the opportunity to relax and recharge.
What Qualities to Look for In Candidates?
During your search on how to recruit daycare teachers, it would help if you looked for many qualities when recruiting staff for child care. First and foremost, you need to find individuals passionate about working with children.
They should be patient, caring, and enthusiastic about helping kids learn and grow. In addition, it’s crucial to find employees who are reliable and responsible. They need to show up on time every day and be willing to work hard.
It’s also essential that they have
the necessary skills and experience required for the job. Finally, you will want to find people who are friendly and outgoing. They should be good communicators and be able to work well with others.
What Qualities to Avoid in Candidates?
There are also some qualities that you will want to avoid when recruiting staff for child care. First and foremost, you should avoid hiring anyone who has a history of violence or abuse.
In addition, you should stay away from candidates who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. It’s also essential to avoid employees who are not reliable or responsible. Finally, you will want to steer clear of anyone who is not friendly or outgoing.
Furthermore, you should avoid hiring anyone who isn’t qualified. The candidate should have the necessary skills and experience to succeed you’re seeking. This means they must be able to:
Work with children of all ages
Follow safety guidelines
Handle difficult situations
Deal with challenging behaviors
These are just some examples. By no means is this list exhaustive.
How to Find Daycare Teachers?
To find daycare teachers, you must know where to look. The best place to find potential candidates is online. Many websites allow you to post job openings, which is a great way to reach many people.
You can also search for candidates on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Another great resource is employee referral programs. If you have current employees looking for new opportunities, ask them if they know anyone who would be a good fit.
How to find daycare teachers is by attending job fairs. This is a great way to meet many people in a short amount of time. You can also network with other child care providers in your area. They may be able to refer you to some qualified candidates.
Finally, don’t forget about recruiting events. These events allow you to meet potential candidates and discuss the position with them. They can be a great way to find qualified individuals who may not be actively looking for jobs.
How to Go About Interviewing Candidates?
Once you are finished recruiting staff for child care, you can start interviewing them. The best way to do this is to conduct phone interviews first.
This will allow you to narrow down the pool of candidates and move on to the in-person interviews. During the phone interview, you should ask questions that will help you determine if the candidate is a good fit for the job. Some of these questions for daycare teachers include:
Why are you interested in working with children?
What experience do you have working with kids?
How would you handle a difficult situation with a child?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Once you have interviewed all candidates, it’s time to decide. Look for individuals who possess the qualities you outlined in your job description and are a good fit for the child care team.
It’s important to remember that the best candidate may not have the most experience, so don’t be afraid to give someone a chance if they seem like they would be a good fit.
How Not to Interview Potential Daycare Employees
Bad interview techniques can doom your search for the right daycare employee before it begins. You might be tempted to ask personal questions or grill candidates on their weaknesses, but these tactics will only turn people away.
Furthermore, you should avoid asking about a candidate’s family or personal life. This is not relevant to the job, and it may be seen as intrusive. You should also avoid making assumptions about someone’s qualifications based on their appearance or age.
The best way to interview potential daycare employees is by asking questions that will help you determine if they are a good fit for the job.
Ask about their experience working with kids, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they handle difficult situations. Stay away from personal questions and make sure you are respectful during the interview process.
How to Retain Hired Daycare Employees
Once you have found the perfect employees in your quest on how to recruit daycare teachers, it’s essential to do what you can to retain them. There are a few things that you can do to make your daycare a desirable place to work. Human resource management in child care is critical.
First, make sure that your employees feel appreciated. Thank them for their hard work and let them know that their contributions are valued. You can also offer incentives such as raises, bonuses, or paid time off.
Another way to keep your employees happy is by providing training and development opportunities. This will help them grow professionally and learn new skills. It will also show them that you care about their well-being and want them to succeed in their roles.
Finally, create a positive work environment where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and speaking up. This will help them feel like they are a part of the team and that their opinions matter.
You can create a successful recruitment process for your child care organization by following these tips. Remember to take your time and be patient – it’s essential to find the right employees who will be a valuable addition to the team.
How to Ensure the Staff Integrates Well Within the Child Care Setting
Once you have hired your new staff, it’s essential to make sure that they integrate well into the child care setting. This can be tricky, but you can do it with effort. Here are a few tips:
Encourage them to get to know the other employees and ask them questions about the job
Make sure they are familiar with the policies and procedures of the organization
Give them a tour of the facility and show them where everything is located
Introduce them to the children and explain how they will be working with them
Provide training on how to do their job correctly
You can ensure that your new staff members feel welcome and become a part of the team by following these tips.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Child Care Staff
There are a few common mistakes that you should avoid when hiring child care staff. Here are the most important ones:
Hiring someone who is not qualified for the job
Not doing a background check
Failing to interview all of the candidates
Making a decision based only on experience
Not providing training
Not integrating the new staff into the child care setting
By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that you hire the best possible employees for your organization.
Child care is a challenging but rewarding field, and with the right team in place, you can provide quality care to children of all ages.
How to Retain Daycare Employees
It’s not a secret, the best way to keep daycare employees is by giving them a variety of benefits and rewarding their hard work. This strategy leads to high employee retention rates and higher productivity levels. If you want to improve employee retention, it’s not only about throwing fun parties or celebrating birthdays… it’s about having regular meetings with your employees to ask how they’re doing on a personal level.
Many employers believe they can’t do much for employee retention because there isn’t enough in the budget for extras. Remember though, the cost of replacing employees is usually much greater than the cost of maintaining a healthy and positive employee retention program. Here are some ideas on how to retain daycare employees.
Show Appreciation & Gratitude
Professional Development Options
Follow salary market rates
Questions for Daycare Teachers
Interviewing for the position of daycare teacher is a unique experience and a lot you have to consider when asking questions daycare teachers. Not only do you have to look at if the candidate has suitable teaching skills, but you’ll also want to determine whether you have a basic understanding of early childhood development needs. Another point to consider is whether or not this candidate will be a good fit in your company culture. Company culture is huge and how to retain daycare employees. Here are some questions for daycare teachers that will help get you started.
Why do you enjoy working with children?
What is your approach to discipline?
How do you comfort kids when they’re upset?
Do you provide an education curriculum?
What do you like most about teaching this age group?
Interviewing for the position of daycare teacher is a unique experience. There is a lot you must consider when asking questions to daycare teachers. Not only do you have to make sure that the candidate has suitable teaching skills, but you must also determine whether the person has a basic understanding of early childhood development needs. Another point to consider is whether or not this candidate will be a good fit in your company culture. Here are some questions for daycare teachers that will help get you started. Company culture is huge when it comes to retaining daycare employees. Here are some questions for daycare teachers that will help get you started.
Why do you enjoy working with children?
What is your approach to discipline?
How do you comfort kids when they’re upset?
Do you provide an education curriculum?
What do you like most about teaching this age group?
Looking for More Time Saving Resources?
Planning, building and designing a daycare daily schedule takes time, which you and your staff are short on. Avoid the stress of starting from scratch. Check out these daycare schedule templates our team built to simplify the task for you. These schedules are printable and easily editable PDFs you can share with parents looking for greater insights on what their child’s day at your center looks like.
How Teachers Can Make the First Day of Daycare Easier
Going from home to the first day of daycare for kids can seem like a pretty stressful thing, which is understandable. Most young children have never done it before and often aren’t sure what to expect. Even those accustomed to occasional transitions to new places can feel the strain of starting a new routine and being away from their parents at the same time.
The first day of daycare can put a lot of pressure on teachers to make not only the children but also the parents feel as comfortable as possible. According to the Health and Wellness Article on The Stress of Leaving Your Child at Day Care, Cherie Langlinais, a social worker says, “By decreasing the child’s anxiety, this will also decrease the parents’ level of anxiety. Parents should drop in when not expected to see how things are being run. They should also get to know the childcare team before dropping their child off at the daycare. Doing the investigative work of picking out the appropriate daycare will help to decrease any anxiety about a child not being able to remain in their family home where the environment is controlled. Again, this comes with time, knowledge of the facility, and how comfortable one is with daycare personnel,” Cherie recommends.
But, there’s no reason for teachers to be anxious about how the kids will do on that first day. We’ve put together helpful tips for a child care team that will make the transition from home to daycare easier for everyone on that first day.
Here are 10 tips to make the first day of daycare easier for children.
10 Tips for Teachers to Make Daycare Easier for Toddlers
Be Reassuring & Empathetic
As providers, it’s important that you show the parents you are just as concerned as they are. You’ll want to reassure them that you’re an expert in your field and guarantee a worry-free experience while their children are with you. Parents are putting so much trust in childcare experts to love their babies and help them grow and learn. Ease the parents’ worries by reassuring them that their child is in good hands.
Prepare The Entire Family With a Practice Run
Helping families transition into daycare for the first time can be a stressful experience for both parents and children. One way to ease any anxiety is to walk them through their drop-off routine. This is not an interview, but rather a meet-and-greet after the family has already gone through the enrollment process and decided on a daycare provider for their child. During this time, you can show them where they will enter, what to do with their belongings, how to sign their child in and where they should hand their child over to you.
Welcome The Parents With A Gift
Giving the family a small token to welcome them to your program will make your business stand out from the others. The first week of daycare can be extremely hectic for the children and parents, which can make this transition time more difficult. Showing them a little extra appreciation can make all the difference in a child’s first few days of daycare.
Give Students a Classroom Tour
For little ones who are more aware of their parent’s absence, setting the scene beforehand can make a big difference. Take the time to show them around the daycare to make them feel more “at home”. If they know how to navigate their new daycare, they’ll be more at ease and they’ll have an idea of what activities they’ll be participating in.
Create a Welcome To Daycare Pack
When the child is leaving, send them home with a special “Welcome to Daycare” gift. This helps them be excited about the first day of school. The packet could include a book that their parents can read to them, some pictures of the daycare and a sign they can hold up for a picture to get them excited to return!
Plan a First Day Craft Project
Make the first day memorable for both child and parents by setting up a first day of daycare craft project. Kids love being creative and using their imagination, so make sure you have simple and creative toys and projects.
Use Their Name as Often as You Can
Have cubbies, labels, class lists and name tags ready. When a child walks into your classroom, greeting them with personalized name tags, class lists and cubbies can make them feel welcome. A clever idea is to have them make their own name tags to make it extra personable.
Display Photos of the Children and Their Families
The first week of daycare can be a bit challenging for the little ones. To help them feel comfortable, ask parents to send photos that you can hang in the classroom for all to see.
Set Up a Welcome Area
Prepare a welcome mat! Put up a sign at the door that greets each family by name. Make a list of all the languages represented in your family program and have children write their own greetings.
Follow Each Child’s Individual Schedule
Try to be your most flexible during the first few weeks so that the new children get a chance to settle in and get comfortable with the classroom environment, teachers and other kids. You need to acknowledge any child’s anxiety about being away from their family for the first time. The kids are bound to feel a little out of place and sad after spending the day with his/her parents and now must stay in school.
Looking for a sample daycare organizational chart? You’re not alone. There are almost 4 million childcare centers in the United States, and with that comes almost as many childcare center organizational structures, which are often changing. If you are looking to start your own center or compare your center’s organizational structure with others, we’re here to help! We’ve put together a sample organizational chart for a daycare center to outline the different positions and jobs.
From your management team for the daycare center to your support staff, read on to find out how to include everyone in your organizational chart!
There’s no one size that fits all when it comes to an organizational chart for daycare centers, but to give you an idea of the typical child care center, we built a sample. This sample shows a variety of the positions within a daycare center. Click here to get the full-sized image of the daycare organizational chart sample.
If you would like to use this daycare organizational chart as a basis to create your own, here’s the PDF file for you to adjust it to your liking.
Do I Need an Organizational Chart for My Daycare Center?
Childcare centers can range in size and function. They can consist of one person providing care out of their home; be a large corporation with upper management and a full organizational structure or be somewhere between. Either way, it is important to outline the positions and responsibilities of each member of the childcare team.
To operate a childcare center that provides valuable service to families, it is important to have a clear vision of how you want your center to run. Employees need to understand their roles and who they will report to. Once you’ve created your organizational chart, discuss it with your employees and answer any questions they might have.
Types of Daycare Centers
There are three main types of daycare centers to add to your daycare organizational chart; home childcare centers, center-based daycares, and non-profit childcare centers. Each one is important and has its place in the childcare industry.
Home childcare centers are typically run by one person who is able to manage all the day-to-day responsibilities. Center-based daycares are staffed with licensed employees and will have a management staff. Non-profit daycares are usually formed for the benefit of a particular group of parents and children.
Home Child Care Centers
Home childcare centers typically won’t need to use an organizational structure as there is one person handling the running of the center. If the center continues to grow and employees are hired, an organizational structure will become necessary.
Center-based daycares need to have an organizational structure to run smoothly. These centers are often run by a larger corporation and have many channels of reporting. In order for employees to understand the roles, it is important for them to know exactly who they should report to.
Non-profit childcare centers are typically managed by a volunteer board of directors. This board is typically made up of parents whose children attend the program. There can be a director and assistant director that oversees the day-to-day operations and teachers in each classroom.
Staffing Your Childcare Center
Childcare employees should have experience in child care or child-related fields of study. Requirements for childcare employees vary from state, to state and some require administrators and teachers to have related degrees or certifications. Before staffing your center, you should become familiar with your state’s laws and guidelines.
The first thing you need to do is to decide who is going to be making the decisions for your center. If you are running an in-home daycare, this will typically be the sole owner and operator. If you have a center-based daycare, this will require a bit more thought for who is on your management team for the daycare center.
Childcare centers can have different levels of management. These can consist of a larger corporation, a board of directors, an owner or the administration. If the center is funded by the government, there may be some government officials who make decisions.
No matter the size of the child care center, it is important that employees understand who they are to report to. Creating a flow of management allows for the smooth functioning of day-to-day operations.
Management Team Responsibilities
Another point to add to your daycare organizational chart is defining each team member’s responsibility. Once you’ve decided who is in charge of making decisions for your childcare center, you need to let each person know their role. Each member of management needs to not only understand their job but also those around them. It is imperative as the owner to outline each position and what they are responsible for and to share that information with all employees.
For example, the director of the center may be in charge of daily decision-making, but any large issues must be discussed with management. Also, if employees have questions or concerns, they should know who to go to. If they are to report to the director with these concerns, they shouldn’t contact the owner or board of directors.
The majority of positions in childcare are non-management, adding up to almost 500,000 childcare workers in the U.S. These positions can include lead teachers and assistant teachers who are in charge of individual classrooms.
Non-management also consists of the support staff, which can be office managers, bookkeepers, cooks, janitorial staff, or healthcare workers. These positions typically help the entire center and are not tied to individual classrooms.
Non- Management Responsibilities
Non-management positions vary widely and should have short descriptions of duties for each worker. Knowing who support staff reports to makes running a center easier for all employees.
If each childcare room is going to have a head teacher or lead teacher, they should report to the administration. Assistant teachers should report to their classroom’s lead teacher. Any volunteers or interns can direct questions and concerns to an assistant teacher or lead teacher.
The support staff will likely report to the administration. They may also report to the owner of the daycare center.
How to Create an Organizational Chart for Your Daycare
You now understand the different positions needed to operate a childcare center and add that to your daycare organizational chart. Next, we will move on to creating a visual organizational chart for your daycare. Having a flowchart laid out makes it easy for employees to follow and understand roles and responsibilities.
When creating your organizational chart, there are many different avenues you can take. The simplest is to create your chart with word processing software. If you are looking for pre-made templates, Canva (a free online design software) has many great options.
Using simple rectangles and text boxes, you can add positions and names to each and connect them to who they should report to with lines. Color coding the different departments would also help organize the chart. Be sure to put the employees with more responsibilities at the top and work your way down.
If there are employees in different departments with the same amount of authority, they should be placed at the same level as each other on the chart.
What Positions Should Be Included in the Chart?
The size and style of your daycare center will determine the positions you will have available. A typical center-based daycare will have positions that include the director, assistant director, administrative assistant, head/lead teacher, assistant teacher, cook, and janitorial staff. There may also be supervisors for each classroom (infant, toddler, preschool).
Each of these positions should have its own box on the organizational chart and should be connected to whoever it will report to. Classroom supervisors should report to the director or assistant director. Classroom teachers should report to their individual supervisors. All non-childcare staff should report to the director or assistant director.
If you are running a daycare center that is part of a larger corporation, your daycare organizational chart will look different. There will typically be a regional manager who will oversee your center and report back to the home office.
A non-profit daycare will be managed by a volunteer board of directors (usually parents). The director will report to the board, instead of to upper management.
Distribute and Discuss Your Organizational Chart
Hooray! You’ve finished outlining all the positions in your childcare center and created your daycare organizational chart! You’re ready to share it with your employees.
It’s best to print out a copy for each member of the staff and go over it together. This leaves no room for confusion when it comes to the reporting structure of your center. Be sure to give employees the chance to ask questions or address any concerns they may have.
When a new employee joins the staff, be sure to add their name and position to the chart. Make sure to add them to the correct position in the hierarchy of the child care center organizational structure.
These charts are also a great thing to bring out at performance reviews. It allows employees to have a visual of how they might work their way up and gain more responsibilities in the center. For example, an assistant teacher may be interested in becoming a lead teacher when more education and experience are gained.
If you’re looking for a child care staff evaluation form, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a free sample of a child care center staff evaluation form. After all, child care managers and directors wear many hats depending on the day. Responsibilities span across HR, accounting, operations and even marketing. This means you probably don’t have time to build a form from scratch. This free form can be used as is or modified to fit your needs.
And because managing your childcare team’s evaluations isn’t easy, we’ve detailed a few helpful best practices. We discuss how you might want to modify the form by including the essential aspects your form should cover. We also explain how to conduct the actual evaluation and analyze the results. Continue reading to get all the details you need to make you child care evaluations run smoothly.
A child care staff evaluation is a crucial tool for child care centers to assess the performance of their child care staff. By administering regular child care center staff evaluations, strengths and areas for improvement can be better identified.
A system of regular feedback will increase efficiency and lay the foundation for your child care center staff to better understand their goals and job responsibilities. Establishing a regular evaluation period allows for the center to set child care goals for staff and adjust them when the need arises.
A cycle of 6 months and 12 months is advisable for routine child care staff evaluation. Although more frequent evaluation may be pertinent in certain instances. Each center should tailor its evaluation schedule as needed.
A child care center staff evaluation may happen in conjunction with an in-person evaluation and performance review. It is suggested that a self-evaluation form may also be given to the child care center staff. This additional employee performance appraisal allows the center to get each individual’s perspective on their work performance.
A child care staff evaluation form will allow for addressing any areas of improvement to create a better environment for children and staff alike. This will leave less room for guesswork when it comes to jobs and responsibilities. Your expectations will be better laid out in clear writing, and child care center staff will have a better sense of purpose each day they come into work.
Child care staff will know their strengths, which can bolster their sense of self-worth and improve retention rates.
The Free Child Care Center Staff Evaluation Form?
Looking to make your evaluation process a little easier? Try using this child care center staff evaluation form. It can easily be used by childcare centers or daycares to evaluate their staff. Simply copy and paste the form to use it.
For each of the areas below, provide a score from 1 through 5, indicating how strong or weak you believe the employee’s skill is. You can use the optional comments section below each field to provide an explanation for your score.
5 – The employee has mastered this area at a teaching level.
4 – The employee demonstrates strong skills but could improve in this area.
3 – The employee is at an average performance level in this area.
2 – The employee is below average and could learn more in this area.
1 – The employee needs major improvements to be more effective in this area.
This childcare staffevaluation has been discussed and agreed upon for the current year
Signature of Director: _____________________Date: __
Signature of Employee: _____________________Date: __
What Is Included on a Child Care Staff Evaluation Form?
Now that you have a sample of a child care center staff evaluation form, we’ll discuss the components you’ll need if you decide to modify it or build your own. A child care staff evaluation form should provide six key areas of evaluation and follow-up questions. It should function as a child care staff evaluation checklist with each area graded on a 1-5 or similar Likert Scale. These areas are detailed below.
This first section isn’t for rating or evaluation. It is purely for the employee’s name and for detailing their job position within the center. Include any other pertinent data, such as specific job responsibilities to aid in the evaluation process.
The first part of the form should contain this information:
The name of the employee.
The date of the evaluation.
Their position at your center.
Other information to add may include details such as the name of the supervisor administering the evaluation.
Adding a brief explanation of the rating scale is suggested to provide context as to what the numbers mean and why they were assigned. Comparing their evaluation with their cited job responsibilities will help them to better understand the areas they need to improve.
Professional Conduct Evaluation
This part of the child care center staff evaluation form sets the guidelines and expectations of behavior for all staff. Everyone must adhere to these policies. Child care center staff are expected to treat co-workers and others professionally as if they are representing the center as a whole.
Areas of evaluation may include the following:
Is the employee on time each day as assigned?
Are their appearance and hygiene acceptable?
Do they get along with their coworkers and treat them with respect?
Are they polite with others and use appropriate workplace language?
Do they keep personal problems and gossip out of the center?
Does the child care staff member contribute equally to the daily responsibilities?
Do they adhere to the Code of Conduct as detailed in the employee handbook?
Do they handle constructive criticism and conflict properly?
Upon completion of this initial part of the child care staff evaluation form, you can move on to the child care work evaluation section.
Child Care Work Evaluation
This section lays out how your child care staff member approaches working with the children. This will help you evaluate the level to which the child care staff employee engages and enriches the children in their care. You will get a better idea if this staff member is fully encouraging the potential of each child.
Performance areas to include for this section:
Is the child care staff member’s attitude warm and friendly towards the children?
Are they respectful of the individuality of the children and actively promote their independence and self-esteem?
Do they refrain from using hurtful terms and descriptions when describing the children?
Do they discipline the children appropriately when required and promote good behavior?
Do they fully connect with the children in their activities such as coloring or floor play?
Do they keep records of a child’s development and document their progress?
Is their language with children age-appropriate and positive?
Can they facilitate the needs of special needs children?
Once you have evaluated how they work with the children, you can move on to the parent engagement portion.
Parent Engagement Evaluation
Just as important as co-worker and child engagement, is the child care center staff member relationship with the parents. Child care center staff are representatives of the center itself. Evaluate their interactions with the parents and note how they interact with them.
Assessing areas of parent engagement may involve asking the following questions:
Is the child care staff member a good overall representation of the center to the parents?
Are child care issues solved effectively and in cooperation with the parents?
Are their communications with parents prompt and understandable?
Do they actively pursue building positive parental relationships?
Do they make time to be respectful and supportive listeners?
Do they volunteer themselves when requested by parents?
When you have finished the parent engagement component, you can move on to the classroom skills section of the child care staff evaluation form.
Classroom Skills Evaluation
For this part of the child care staff evaluation form, you can rate the staff member’s classroom management skills. Educational activity management and lesson planning factor into this section, as well as classroom organization.
Include rating items such as:
Are lesson plans developed in keeping with the curriculum?
Are the classroom learning centers fully utilized?
Is the room maintained and set up each day?
Are the selected classroom activities appropriate for the ages of the children?
Are a variety of learning activities and materials available and used?
Are arrangements made in case of interruption or changes in activities?
Is a daily classroom routine implemented?
Is the classroom a positive and enriching environment?
If this section is done to your specifications, you can move to the last section of the evaluation.
Professional Development Evaluation
Consider how an employee approaches their job as part of their overall career goals when evaluating their professional development. You should consider their commitment to continuing education. Also, consider their advocacy of change and their ability to improve themselves.
Here are some questions you can ask:
Is the employee taking any classes or seeking new qualifications in child care or other areas?
How can their existing skills and talents best be put to use?
Do they have a career plan in place for their child care staff position?
Are there any opportunities for mentorship relationships for the child care staff member?
Do they contribute to the center in ways not related to their main job responsibilities?
Do they have their own self-improvement goals moving forward?
How to Evaluate the Results
Using a child care staff evaluation form will help you understand what areas need to be improved for each of your subordinates. It can also help you understand global trends for all your staff when it comes to strengths and deficiencies.
If there are several areas of evaluation that need improvement, ask employees if there is anything you can do to make these areas more understandable. You can also ask what you can do to help them set better goals. Maybe help mentor them or see if another employee can help.
If there are very few areas that need improving, commend your employees on their performance.
Best Practices to Follow for Child Care Staff Evaluations
There are some important areas of a child care evaluation that you should follow.
One-on-one meetings are best for keeping a staff member’s privacy intact. This one-on-one format also allows for a dialog to open between employer and employee needs and concerns. Allow your employees to respond to any feedback or ask questions they may have.
Always let them know how they can improve. For your reviews to be most effective, work with your employees to develop their next steps after noting their strengths and weaknesses. The unique challenges each member of your staff faces help them grow as educators, and allow you to provide support for them.
Regular performance reviews allow you to set measurable and specific objectives for your staff that are easily achievable within a defined timeframe. Creating attainable and realistic goals helps you translate employee objectives into actionable items that your staff can readily measure. Be sure to note any changes to your goals on your child care staff evaluation form for future reference.
Keeping past reviews in an employee’s file gives you a clearer picture of their growth and development over time. Before the current evaluation takes place, make notes of the areas in which your employee has improved the most. This will give you a better idea of who they are as a whole and allow you to share these positive areas with them so they don’t feel like it’s all negative feedback.
Looking for More Time Saving Resources?
Planning, building and designing a daycare daily schedule takes time, which you and your staff are short on. Avoid the stress of starting from scratch. Check out these daycare schedule templates our team built to simplify the task for you. These schedules are printable and easily editable PDFs you can share with parents looking for greater insights on what their child’s day at your center looks like.
Whether you’re looking to start your daycare advertising journey or ramp up your child care marketing activities, this is the guide for you.
Smartcare, a comprehensive child care management solution, has worked with providers across the country and has cultivated tried-and-true marketing strategies for daycare centers that are both low-cost and effective.
Keep in mind that this is a definitive guide on child care marketing and daycare advertising. Your child care program doesn’t need to start with or end up using every advertising channel we mention. If one channel seems out of reach at the moment due to budget or time constraints (some channels require learning while others don’t), skip ahead to the next section to find the right daycare advertising channels for your program. We included anchors below to help you navigate the guide.
If you’re wondering “How do I attract parents to my daycare?” your answer is advertising. And because your daycare has a limited budget, we’ll start with the methods that are easier to set up and either free or inexpensive.
How to Advertise Daycare for Free (Or on the Cheap)
Believe it or not, there are ways to promote your daycare business for free or on the cheap. We’ll explain how. Most of these efforts might take one to three months to boost results, but because their cost is low and you want to build a child care marketing program that will provide sustained results, they are among the first activities you should check off.
Getting a Website
Although a website isn’t free, there is such a digital component to child care marketing that you’ll need to have a website for most daycare advertising activities to work. If you already have a website, skip ahead, but if you don’t or simply want to consider other options, this section will give you an overview of the low-cost, easy-to-use options.
A Free Website
You can create a free one-page website through Google. The process for building it takes less than an hour, and most of the work is filling in your unique copy within the template.
As with anything that’s free, there are drawbacks. You won’t be able to choose your domain (unless you pay for it), and what Google will give you won’t be clear and easy to remember. There is an option that allows you to buy a domain and connect it to Google, but if you’re paying for a domain, you should consider using Wix or Squarespace, which provide hosting and a domain, while offering a better website for a slightly higher cost.
You can easily find someone to build a website to power your childcare marketing. However, doing so can be costly, and it’s not necessary. Here are a few providers that make it easy to build your own website within a few hours, and they won’t set you back too much.
Squarespace is a great tool for child care marketing because it is easy to use, requiring no web development experience. It involves selecting a template, dragging and dropping sections into the template and filling in the spaces with your own unique copy and images.
It can take an hour or two to create if you stick to the basic templates, but if you want to build your own unique masterpiece, you can still design a website, which would have cost you hundreds or thousands to have someone develop, in just a day. If you’re looking to learn more about using this platform, and how to become a master at it, here’s a tutorial that will help.
Wix is pretty much the same thing as a Squarespace website. The concept involves selecting a template, dragging and dropping modules into the template to create your own unique experience and entering in your copy and images. Like Squarespace, the process of building a website is fast and easy. With Wix, you can make a day of the project by getting into the specifics of the software.
One of the great things about Wix and Squarespace is that they also set you up with a domain name and connect it to a server, which they own. This eliminates the complicated technical work that would typically require a developer or IT expert.
Because Wix and Squarespace are both one-stop-shops for all things websites, they’ve become very popular for many looking to set up a child care marketing program.
The cost of both Wix and Squarespace is low. There are no upfront fees, only a monthly charge, and much of that monthly charge is for hosting, domain ownership and other costs. These are expenses you would have with any website. The plans used by those interested in child care marketing cost anywhere between $12 and $25 per month, depending on when you sign up and the features offered. For many child care programs, they can get by with the cheapest options, which are under $15 per month, for a total expense of about $180 each year.
We included WordPress because it is relatively easy to use, but much more difficult than Wix and Squarespace. Still, a beginner could easily build their own website with some effort. One of the reasons why you would want to consider using a WordPress website is that almost a third of all websites in the U.S. use it. This means there are countless videos online that explain the setup process and help you troubleshoot issues. It also gives you access to free plugins that make many daycare advertising activities easier.
Once you have a website, you can begin to benefit from the free and low-cost child care marketing activities that will propel your program to success. The first one we’ll cover is SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO involves getting the most free traffic from Google, Bing and other search engines that you can.
Although SEO is a professional industry that can require a specialist to navigate the trickier portions of the work, there are a lot of simple things anyone can do to improve their SEO. Here are just a few.
The title tag is what you name an individual page. It matters because that is how you can let search engines, like Google, know what your page is about. It is also what appears as the title within the search engine results.
For example, the Title Tag for Smartcare’s home page is “Smartcare: Child Care Center Software | Child Care Administration.” Having a title tag that compels individuals to click on your result within Google or Bing search will encourage these search engines to give you a higher rank. One way to do this is to be clear about what you offer in fewer than 65 characters. If you go over 65 characters, your Title Tag will likely be truncated. This isn’t a solid rule, as you can see in our example above, Smartcare’s site uses fewer than 65 characters, but Google truncated it on this screen. The reason is that Google restricts the space for a title by pixel. Some letters use more pixels than others. That is why you’ll want to be succinct.
For a daycare, like yours, that means you’ll want to include what you do, where you do it and who you are. For example, “Best Daycare in Minneapolis, MN Metro | YOUR NAME Child Care.”
Creating a title like that will help your child care marketing program a lot, as it is clear to the humans who see the results and the robots that have to categorize them.
The next most important aspect you’ll want to focus on is the URL. Your website will allow you to name the URL for each page. For example, we decided to give the following blog this URL: smartcare.com/how-do-i-make-my-daycare-stand-out.
For each page, you’ll want to carefully consider what you name your URL. For example, let’s say one of your daycare’s specialties is infant care and you happen to be located in Minneapolis. You would then want to name your URL www.yourname.com/infant-care-minneapolis-mn.
The main purpose of doing this is for Google’s robots. Google’s robots will crawl each of your pages to determine what your page is about. Once the robots see descriptive text in your URL, they will know to serve your result to searchers that are looking for those terms in your area.
After the title tag and the URL, you’ll want to consider focusing on your headers. The headers and subheaders appear throughout your pages, breaking up your copy. They are important for the reader and the robots that Google and Bing use to crawl your website.
The readers like them because it makes the content easier to skim. It breaks up large chunks of content. Imagine if we didn’t break this resource up into headers. The thousands of words on this page would be painful to read.
The robots like subheaders because they indicate what is important within the copy of each web page. The assumption is that if you titled a section of a page, you, the writer, must have believed it important. Placing a few keywords, such as your location and what you do (child care, infant care, preschool, daycare, ect…), in these headers will help you rank. The key is to not overdo it. Stuffing words into headers won’t help. The readers won’t like it, and the robots tune out websites engaging in such practices.
Just make it sound natural. Using terms a few times is all that’s really needed.
The last thing you can impact is the copy you use. Like the headers, clearly describing what you do and where you do it will help improve your ranking. Again, don’t stuff keyword terms. If the copy doesn’t sound natural, it will turn off perspective clients.
Getting on the Digital Map
When it comes to child care marketing, where you are located matters. That’s why you should be on the maps that parents interested in daycare for their children look at. This means you will want to get a pin on digital maps. Because digital maps, such as Google Maps, appear at or near the top of the search engine results page, they are a powerful daycare advertising tool. Getting a pin on these online maps for each of your locations also allows Google to give directions to your facility.
The process of listing your daycare organization on these digital maps isn’t hard, and it’s free. However, each digital map has its own submission process. If you’re interested in setting it up, which you should for your child care advertising program, all you have to do is follow the guidance of each.
The processes vary and can take a couple of weeks for each platform, especially if they require you to wait for a postcard that they mail you with an authorization pin. The digital maps usually have a requirement like this. Sometimes they only require you to pick up the phone and verify your location by entering a code they provide.
Here is where you need to go to set up the top four map listings.
Adding a map listing will also help your search rankings, as it is a reference from a trusted source (Google, Bing, Apple and Yelp) that your program exists at the specified address. Search engines want to be certain they are directing searchers to facilities that are open. If they didn’t do any quality checks to ensure businesses exist at a specified address, searchers would likely grow frustrated and stop using them. That’s why search engines like Google have baked into their rankings mentions from reputable places like Yelp, Bing, Apple and Google.
Getting Citations for SEO
As we mentioned with the local map listings, search engines like Google want to be certain that there is a business or organization located at the address they display on their results pages. To do this, they rely on internal sources, the map listings you create on Google for instance, and external sources known as citations.
These citations are websites like Yellowpages.com that mention a few key aspects of your child care program, including your address, your phone number, your name and your website. Each website that confirms this information makes it easier for search engines like Google to trust your daycare exists at a specified location. The result is an improvement in the search results and more free web traffic for you!
You want to have as many websites confirming your name, address, phone number and website as possible. According to BrightLocal (a local marketing service that studies citations), the average local business ranking on the first page had 81 citations mentioning their name, phone number and address.
That’s why generating these citations can be so important for your daycare advertising program. And fortunately for you, a lot of them can be done for free or at a small, one-time expense. For child care programs just starting out, or are adding a new location, this process will be key for the long-term success of that location.
Aside from adding a few extra citations to improve the credibility of your location information across the web, it’s important for users with established locations to make sure their information is consistent. If there’s inconsistency in the name, address and phone number, it will hurt your rankings. This can easily happen if you moved facilities in the past, as these citations don’t get updated quickly, and in some cases, a citation website might simply create another listing with the new address while leaving the old one out there. When this happens, it creates confusion for the search engine and hurts results. That’s why it is important to correct them when you see incorrect information.
Using Data Aggregators
One of the first places you should start with citations is with the source of the information. Most citation websites and their counterparts get their information from one of four companies: Foursquare, Infogroup (now Data Axle), Localeze and Factual.
For those setting up a new location, you can go to the links listed below, enter your new listing and the data aggregator will pass your information to websites that will list your name, address, phone number and website. It is a free and easy way to build these citations.
For those with established locations, it is still a valuable exercise as it is an easy way to correct inaccurate information about one of your locations. By correcting the information from the data aggregator, you can ensure incorrect information won’t be disseminated across the web and create confusion for search engines, resulting in lost traffic.
Unfortunately, only two of these sources give you access to update your daycare’s listing. They are Infogroup (Data Axle) and Foursquare. We’ve listed the link where you can quickly add or update your information for each. The process for each is pretty simple, only taking a little bit of time.
One of the first citations you’ll want to create is Facebook. Facebook.com is a particularly important. It will help your social media, and it’s reference to your name, address, phone number and website is given a little more weight than most—it might have something to do with it being the third most visited website in America.
Setting up a Facebook page doesn’t take long. Here are the quick and easy steps. Don’t outsource this project. Even if you could, you wouldn’t want to waste your precious daycare advertising dollars setting it up. The setup process is just too easy.
After you set up your Facebook Business page and your map locations, you should continue to get more citations. As we mentioned, you will want dozens of citations confirming your daycare’s information.
There are two ways to get citations that list your name, address, phone number and website.
The Harder, But Free Way
The first is to manually submit your information to each citation. This involves going to a particular website and completing the submission process. If you’re looking to go through this process, here’s a good list of websites to go to. It lists the top 50 websites that will include the name, address, phone number and sometimes website of your child care location. Most of the websites within the list allow you to create your own listing within the website. There are only a few that don’t let individual users create a listing. The list is ordered by website authority. The more authoritative websites are at the top. Try starting from the top and working your way down to the bottom.
The Easier, But Paid Approach
You can simply hire a service to generate the new listings for you. There are several sources that do this, but you’ll want to be careful to choose the right one. Some use a software that sends information to websites, but the moment you stop paying them, your citations could go away.
That’s why a service like Whitespark is both inexpensive and ideal. They will create listings on a number of partner websites for a one-time fee. At the end of the process, they also send you a spreadsheet with the account information in case you ever move facilities and locations later on. This makes it super easy to update. They can also help you skip the manual process of sending information to data aggregators as they have partnerships with them that simplify the process. If you’re interested in this service, they list their plans here. Although it is great to have several dozen citations for your location, their basic plan will make an impact. The sources included within the basic plan send their information out to other websites, which in turn create additional citations without you having to do anything. The only drawback to the cheaper plans is the process of compounding citations can take a year or two.
Reviews play a role in SEO and an even bigger role in the decision-making process for parents choosing a daycare for their child. This makes reviews a powerful child care marketing tool you shouldn’t ignore. For most daycares, you’ll want to focus on getting reviews from the platforms people use the most. As the first and third most popular websites in the U.S., Google and Facebook is where you should focus your attention. By getting quality reviews for these websites, you’ll not only improve your ranking, but ensure your daycare is positively reflected each time somebody searches for you. Ratings from these sources prominently display in search results for your daycare’s brand.
How to Get Reviews
Though it might feel uncomfortable, the best way to receive reviews is to simply ask parents in person. You can also reach out by email and include the links. You can get the review link for your local Google listing by following these steps. You can also get the review link for your Facebook page by following these steps. These links make it so your reviewers will be able to leave a review without searching for your Google or Facebook pages.
How to Manage Reviews
Nobody wants a negative review, but if you get one, it is important to respond on Facebook or Google and try to make it right. If you can satisfy the parent, they’ll usually remove the negative review. Fortunately, parents usually let daycares know if there is something about their services they don’t like. This gives you time to take corrective measures before parents pull their children from your daycare or leave a negative review.
You can also limit negative reviews while running a review campaign through email by syphoning off parents who may not be happy with your daycare. To do this, simply give the parents two options to a question within the email. “Would you recommend [Your Name] to other parents if they asked you where they should seek daycare?”
Give them only two options: yes or no. Hyperlink the yes to a web page that asks them to leave a review and lists the links to your Facebook or Google pages. Hyperlink the “no” response to a contact form that asks them why they would not recommend you and what you could do differently. This method helps you to address any problems before parents become vocal about them.
Where to Advertise Daycare for Immediate Rewards
Now that you know how to promote your daycare for free and on the cheap, you’ll have a solid foundation to get started with your child care marketing. But, if you are looking for more immediate success, and if you have the budget, you’ll want to consider at least one of the following marketing channels. In the following section we analyze where to advertise daycare by tapping a little deeper into your budget.
Some of these channels take a little bit of education to use. You don’t need to be an expert or a professional to run them, but it will take some time to set them up and to gain comfort managing them. For those intimidated by technical learning, it may be best to consider hiring a contractor or an agency to help out. If you’re looking into this route, consider these best practices before you make a decision as there are pitfalls you’ll need to avoid when hiring this type of work out.
If you’re wondering where to advertise daycare for immediate results and have the ambition to do it, these channels have a faster impact than many of the easier to set up/low-cost or no-cost options we listed.
When starting out with most of these daycare advertising tools, it is best to take it slow. After all, you want to make sure each daycare advertising dollar you spend helps improve your program’s bottom line. Taking baby steps will help conserve your budget as you get your daycare advertising program up to speed.
Google Search Ads
Each year, individuals across the globe conduct 1.2 trillion searches on Google (First Site Guide). That’s why Google Ads offers the best option for many child care centers, and that’s why we’ve devoted a lot of space to this advertising platform.
Google Ads has a robust platform that allows several different types of ads, but for child care marketing, which is typically local, we recommend using their search ads, like the ones below.
When we search for “child care centers,” Google returns a result with three search results marked with a bold “Ad” in front of them. These appear at the top and have very high clickthrough rates. Most industry experts agree that the first three results are of singular value. One study found that the clickthrough rates for the first three positions were 43.32% for position one, 37.36% for position two and 29.90% for position three. There’s a pretty steep drop off after the third position. The fourth position only gets a 19.38% clickthrough rate, and the fifth falls way down to 10%.
Google Search ads allow daycares, even those first starting out or opening a new location, to show up front and center. And if a searcher decides to scroll past the first three results, advertisers could still receive a click from the searcher. By looking at the image above, you’ll see that there’s a map beneath the results. Advertisers can pay to have their local listings appear ahead of others on the map as well. All they have to do is follow a few simple steps when setting up their search campaigns on Google.
The ins and outs of setting up a Google Ads account is a little outside the scope of this article, but don’t worry. We won’t leave you hanging on one of the most important child care marketing tools available. You don’t have to hire an agency to run a Google Ads account, especially for daycare advertising, where your individual account won’t be as complex as a multi-million-dollar business.
How to Get Started
Setting up a daycare advertising campaign on Google Search Ads can seem pretty intimidating, but thankfully there’s a lot of guidance out there that makes the process easier. Through the help of easy-to-follow video tutorials like this 27-minute video, which guides you through the optimal setup including the adjustment of many key default settings, you can create your own campaign by following along.
Best Practices for Google Ads
Once you’ve created your own campaign, you’ll want to make sure you avoid the common pitfalls many stumble into. Google Ads is an amazing tool, which we have seen produce spectacular results, but those marketing their child care need to exercise caution. Google’s artificial intelligence tries and often succeeds in matching your program up with the right people. However, Google can also just end up eating away at your advertising dollars with no results. By avoiding the most common mistakes, you can ensure your Google Search Ads get results, rather than wasting money.
Select the Correct Mode
To avoid many of the pitfalls, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right mode to access all of Google’s settings. In the 27-minute setup video we referenced, one of the first things the advertising professional mentions is using the “Expert Mode.” The “Expert Mode” might sound a bit scary, but it is necessary to use. The basic mode, known as the Smart Campaign setting, generally isn’t very efficient for daycare advertising. It almost always leads to a lot of click waste. If you don’t have the capacity or time, we would suggest skipping Google Ads for now and coming back to it once you’ve set up the easier options.
You don’t want to pay for ads to go to parents who live fifty miles away, nor would you want to pay for ads to appear to searchers in Azerbaijan or Ecuador. If you’re not careful, that is exactly what could happen. Getting your location right is one of the most fruitful activities you can do for your daycare advertising campaign in Google Ads.
Thankfully, it shouldn’t take you long. If you watch the 27-minute video we linked to on Google Search Ad setup, you will see it takes only a few seconds to adjust Google’s settings to avoid the worst of the click waste, but in case you missed it, simply follow these critical steps below.
1) Click into your campaign and go to “Settings.”
2) Select “Locations.”
3) Select “Location Options” and select the following settings and click “Save.”
The reason why you want to select these two settings is because the “Presence or Interest” category will generate a lot of wasted clicks that occur from different countries or states.
Aside from adjusting the location settings, you’ll want to adjust your ads so they show in the correct municipality or region. The fastest setup is to simply use radius targeting. For example, you could target parents who live in the Minneapolis/St.Paul metropolitan area for your Minneapolis location, as many individuals live in the suburbs but work in the anchor city of Minneapolis.
To set up radius targeting, you’ll select the “Enter another location” option. The default setting is usually the U.S. Then click the “Advanced search” link in blue.
Next, select the “Radius” option. Then enter the location at the center of the radius and the distance from the center of your radius. Then select “Save.”
You can also individually select each area, which can help you do more advanced techniques like bidding up or down certain cities within your radius, but for many, the radius targeting will be sufficient.
Set Up Conversion Tracking
Google Ads doesn’t work well if you don’t have conversion tracking set up. The reason for this is that your whole purpose of daycare advertising is to generate interest from parents looking to sign their children up for your child care program. If you don’t have this set up, you’ll not only be unaware if your Ads are leading to success, but Google’s artificial intelligence won’t be either. This means that instead of optimizing bids to favor parentssearching to sign up for a free consultation, Google will maximize for clicks, which makes them money, but doesn’t help you.
How to Setup Conversion Tracking
First, you’ll need to set up Google Analytics tracking. Here’s how.
Then you’ll need to set up conversion tracking. Follow these steps to build your setup.
After that, you’ll need to connect your Google Analytics account with your Google Ads account. The setup process is really easy. Here’s how.
Last, you’ll need to import your Google Analytics goals into your account. This video covers the process. Each of these instructions explains how to use the Universal Analytics (UA) version of Google Analytics.
There is a G4 property that the last video mentions, but Google is still rolling out the new version of its software, which is why we focused on Universal Analytics. If you are setting up conversion tracking through G4, the process is very similar to Universal Analytics when setting up the account, linking Google Analytics to Google Ads and importing the conversions from Google Analytics to Google Ads. The main difference is the conversion setup process. This video gives a quick breakdown of it. The process of conversion tracking through G4 is a bit more in-depth, which is why it is better to use Universal Analytics for now.
Optimize for conversions
Google lets child care marketers choose how they want to bid on their keywords (the search terms you want your ads to appear for). There are a variety of options, but there are a few you’ll want to be careful of. These include “Manual CPC” and “Maximize clicks.” “Manual CPC” is often used by paid marketing experts before they switch to another strategy, and “Maximize Clicks” mostly just ends up costing daycare advertisers money with few results to show for it. Using one of these two bid strategies will most likely lead to poor outcomes for those engaging in child care marketing through Google Ads.
If you’re starting out, you’ll want to choose “Maximize Conversions” as this strategy will force Google’s artificial intelligence to use your budget to get you the most conversions it can.
You could also consider “Target CPA,” “Target ROAS” and “Maximize Conversion Value” as your familiarity with Google Ads grows. Each of these strategies generally help daycare advertisers earn the most value for their ads; however, they require more of an account history to use.
Using the Free Keyword PlannerTool
Google offers a free tool to help you choose the best terms to bid on. Spending a handful of hours up front doing the research on what words individuals in your area use when searching for services related to daycare will save you tons of money. It will also help your campaign get off to a better start. If you’re looking to do this vital research, check out this video to learn how the free Google Ads Keyword Planner tool works.
Understand Keyword Match Types
Before you activate your campaign, it’s critical to pause and make sure you understand the match types for keywords within Google. The match types restrict what search results can show for the keyword you specify. There are three types of matches: broad, phrase and exact.
Each one of these match types signals to Google the range of related searches your ad can show for. Broad match is the least restrictive and can often lead to the most erroneous results that cause you to waste your money. When conducting daycare advertising within Google, you shouldn’t necessarily shun this match type, but be mindful of its use. You’ll want to monitor the Search Terms Report (we’ll cover that next) to ensure Google is not pairing your ads up with searchers who will never become clients.
The exact match option restricts the searches that trigger your ad to only those that are exactly the term you specify or close variants. And finally, the phrase match option matches close phrases of the keyword you specify. Generally, the phrase and exact match are the best options to use as they lead to less click waste. In fact, most Google Ads professionals only use broad match sparingly if at all.
To better understand how keyword matching, it’s best to consult Google’s guide. It not only tells you how to enter your keywords into Google to use exact, phrase or broad match, but it gives examples of what types of searches can be returned for each match type.
The article is short and easy to understand, and it’s definitely worth the read if you intend to do Google Ads.
Monitor the Search Terms Report
The Search Terms Report is one of the most important features within Google. It is how those doing daycare advertising refine their Google campaigns to reduce waste and increase conversions. You can find the report in your Google Ads account by accessing your campaign and clicking on the “Keywords” dropdown. Then select “Search terms.”
Once you’re there, you’ll see a report of the terms searchers used to find your ads and either click on them or view them. You’ll quickly find that there are several terms that make no sense for your ads to appear on. When you see these terms, you’ll want to create negative keywords to ensure they never appear again.
An example of a negative keyword your daycare might want to use is “training.” Chances are you don’t provider training, but it’s possible your ads could appear for phrases like “child care training” or “child care training classes” if you don’t add “training as a negative keyword.
Adding negative keywords is easy and vital to the success of your campaign. This short video shows you how to do it. By adding these negative keyword terms, you’ll continue to push Google to only show your ads to people who will be interested in becoming clients.
Use Google’s Free Support
Few are aware of the free support Google Ads offers. Google Ads offers recommendations for each of your campaigns. These recommendations often have good suggestions you should consider for your child care marketing efforts on Google. To access these recommendations, all you need to do is select one of your campaigns within Google Ads then click “Recommendations.”
Once you access the recommendations for your campaign, you’ll see an optimization score, which gives an indication of how well your campaign is optimized according to Google. It will also give you recommendations and allow you to immediately apply each one. Before accepting any recommendation, read the details carefully. Oftentimes, the recommendation is sound, but only parts of it. If that’s the case, make the updates yourself within the account.
Free Phone Support
Aside from getting personalized recommendations on how to optimize each of your campaigns, you can also enjoy free support over the phone. To access the free support, you’ll need to call 1-866-246-6453 and then enter your 10–digit account number, which appears at the top right of the Google Ads interface. After you enter your number, you can connect with a Google employee who will help you with your inquiries. This is very helpful if you have specific questions about your account. They will even give you advice regarding best practices.
Bing Search Ads
If you’re wondering where to advertise daycare, Bing is often one of the most overlooked child care marketing tools. Bing might only get about 20% of the searches in the U.S., but it can be a lot cheaper than Google.
For those programs running daycare advertising campaigns in Google Ads already, it’s generally worth kicking Bing’s tires. The reason is that Bing allows you to import your Google Ads account into their platform. The process is easy, and you’ll only be required to make a few adjustments after the import to get your campaign running. The most significant adjustment is setting up conversion tracking within Bing.
Monitoring your Bing Ads account and making changes is pretty much the same process as a Google Ads account. Once you create an account, you will notice how similar the two platforms are.
Remarketing on Google Display Ads
As a daycare advertising tool, Google Search Ads has a greater potential to get your child care program the enrollment leads you need. However, if you have additional budget, you should consider remarketing with Google Display Ads.
Before embarking on your Google Display Ad journey, you want to make sure your website gets at least 200 visitors each month. If you receive fewer, it won’t be worth the hassle of setting up a campaign.
The reason for skipping it if you have less than 200 visitors is that Google requires at least 100 active users each month, but such a small audience doesn’t really work for child care marketing on the platform. You could get a few results with such a limited audience, but they probably won’t be worth the effort you put into the campaign.
But, if you have an established daycare that gets more than 200 web visitors a month, you should consider this powerful daycare advertising tool.
And, if you have set up conversion tracking already, which you should before engaging in this channel, it’s easy to create a campaign, allowing you to enjoy this amazing child care marketing tool without breaking a sweat.
What Is Remarketing?
Have you ever been browsing the news online or reading an article about one of your hobbies or interests and seen an advertisement for a website you’ve recently visited? Chances are you have.
If you’ve ever wondered how that ad follows you across unrelated websites, the answer is Google’s Display network, which lets advertisers target users on millions of different websites. In the case of remarketing, all you need to do to reach interested users is get them to visit your website. Once they visit, Google marks them, and you can display ads to them across the internet.
There are several reasons Google Display ads work well for those interested in daycare advertising. Users who have visited your website generally are more interested than those who have never heard of you. And, if those users didn’t convert, sign up for child care or fill out a contact form, you want to give them an extra reminder.
How to Do It
For those interested in creating remarketing campaigns, the process is simple if you follow along with a guide that demonstrates the setup. Thankfully there are plenty of videos that demonstrate the setup process, such as this one.
When setting up your remarketing campaign in Google Ads, there are two best practices to follow.
The first one has to do with targeting. You’ll need to create two audiences. One targeting either all users or new users and another focusing on all converters. You need both audiences to properly target web visitors who visited your website but didn’t convert. The audience focusing on all users or new users will be the one you target. The audiences focusing on converters will allow you to exclude those people from seeing your ads. You don’t want to spend money to persuade parents to do something they already did.
The second practice you’ll want to consider is offering a special promotion to those you’re retargeting. Can you offer a free week for getting started or some other incentive to sign up? If not, it might be best to skip display ads for now. Without added incentive for people to sign up for child care, remarketing won’t work as well as other daycare advertising tools.
If you’re wondering “How do I advertise child care on Facebook?” You’re not alone. Behind Google and YouTube, Facebook is the third most visited website in the U.S.Although, its ads generally don’t perform as well as Google Search Ads, it is a great child care marketing tool. If you have the time and budget, you should consider it for your daycare advertising portfolio. It will usually outperform Google Display ads, which makes it a good daycare advertising tool to try after you’ve set up Google Search ads.
What You Need Before You Begin
To get started with daycare advertising on Facebook, you’ll need to have a page. At this point, you should already have a Facebook page, especially for the local search optimization we covered in the previous section. Here are the instructions for doing it in case you missed it.
Once you’ve created a page, you’ll need to create a business account. The process involves four simple steps. Here are the instructions.
Last of all, you’ll need an ad account. To get an ad account follow these steps.
2) Click “Accounts” from the left side menu. Then click “Ad Accounts.”
3) Click the blue add dropdown menu.
4) Choose the “Create a new ad account” or if you have an ad account, select the option to do so.
5) Follow the simple prompts to complete the setup of your account.
It is possible to run advertisements by boosting posts through Facebook, but if you’re investing money to get leads, it’s not the best approach to maximize the value of your ad dollars. Setting up all the necessary accounts lets you and your childcare team collaborate, simplifies the process of sharing the account with contractors you might hire and grants access to all the tools available on Facebook.
How to Setup a Campaign (Ad Account Setup)
Setting up a Facebook campaign is a bit cumbersome, but you don’t have to be an expert to do it or get results. With some time and effort, you can successfully manage your campaigns. For those just getting started, you’ll want to get the help of a guide. There are plenty of good ones detailing thorough instructions for an ad account setup, but we’ve found this one to cover the basis, while explaining a few best practices and considerations to follow.
How to Advertise on Facebook (Best Practices)
Choose the Right Goal
When creating an account, Facebook’s artificial intelligence will use your budget to reach people depending on what goal you choose. If you want to build brand awareness, it will find a way to show your ad to as many people as possible, while staying within you budget.
If you want to push traffic to your website, it will attempt to learn the characteristics of those most likely to click through your add and go to your website.
If you set up a conversion campaign, it will determine the characteristics of those most likely to perform a certain action on your website, such as completing a contact form.
In most cases, child care programs that are first starting out or looking to bring attention to a new location or service, might consider the “Reach” or “Traffic” objective. The reason is that you want to generate broad awareness within year area as cheaply as you can. Because you’re focusing on a wider group of Facebook users, your cost per 1,000 impressions will be cheaper. For Facebook, you’re charged for every 1,000 impressions. What you pay for those impressions also depends on your Relevance Score and other factors. The biggest factor in price per 1,000 impressions is the size of the audience. Generally, the smaller the total audience, the more you pay to target them.
For established child care programs looking to generate signups from parents, you’ll want to consider the “Conversion” objective within Facebook. Although the conversion works great for any child care center, those who are established will have more success.
The first reason is that the “Conversion” objective is more advanced than the others, requiring additional setup that can be more of a time commitment. If you’re just starting out, you and your team probably won’t have time to spend on this daycare advertising technique.
The second reason is that it is usually more expensive than traffic or reach options. The reason is that the audience you’re focusing on is usually smaller. For most child care programs, the expense is worth it because it leads to more parents filling out contact forms.
If you’re going to invest in any daycare advertising channel, you’ll want to know the value it returns. That’s why tracking is important. There are a few things you can do to simplify the collection of data. The first involves creating and using tagged links.
A UTM tagged link will identify the channel and even campaign name your ad came from within your Google Analytics account. By simply adjusting the URL in each advertisement, you can know for certain if your Facebook Ads generated any desired actions. All you must do to create the tracking link is…
2) Enter the webpage you want to direct users from the ad to.
3) Enter in “Facebook” in the “Campaign Source” section.
4) Enter in “Paid” in the “Medium” section.
5) Enter in the name of the campaign under the “Campaign Name.”
6) Copy the URL the generator creates and paste it into the destination URL field for your Facebook ad.
Doing this will ensure anyone who visits your page from Facebook will be marked as a user from your Facebook ads, and it’ll even note the campaign. You’ll also know for certain if any parents filled out a contact form as a result of your Facebook ads. You can access and analyze the campaign data with your Google Analytics account. If you’ve completed these steps, and you have few or no form fills, you might want to reevaluate your campaign settings, or pause your Facebook Ads.
After generating the pixel, follow this video guide to set up your individual conversions actions, such as contact form completions.
Take a Shortcut with an Integration
If you’re using a popular website creator like Squarespace, Wix or WordPress, there are integrations with Facebook that make the Facebook conversion tracking setup process easier. Here are a few handy guides for each.
Child care marketing is extremely local. That’s why it’s important you have the right targeting settings set in Facebook. Otherwise you could be advertising to individuals living and working in areas that don’t make sense for your location. Facebook makes targeting the locations easy. Most programs advertising daycare on the platform will simply enter the city where their location is and then select an option to extend the radius by a set number of miles.
The image above demonstrates what this looks like. In this case, we’re telling Facebook to focus on the 25-mile area surrounding Minneapolis. For a metropolitan area like Minneapolis, this makes sense as many individuals live in the suburbs but work in the city. For a non-metropolitan area, you may want to tighten up the radius.
There is one more important feature we haven’t mentioned yet. Above the locations you select, you’ll see a dropdown box like so.
For daycare advertising on Facebook, you’ll want to select “People living in this location.” “People living in this location” is more restrictive and will save you money by focusing on people within your radius. This makes it the better option for most.
Have you ever had an ad follow you around the internet or a website ceaselessly? It’s frustrating, and it will turn off parents who might otherwise be positively affected by your daycare advertisements.
That’s why you want to monitor the frequency of your ads. Though there isn’t a set rule for how many times a parent should see your daycare advertisement, you should keep it within reason. If individuals are seeing your ad more than five times a week, they might get fatigued.
To monitor frequency, you’ll simply need to go to your reports and find the frequency column. It is usually one of the preselected columns. If you can’t find it, you’ll need to go to customize columns, type in “frequency” in the search and select the checkbox next to frequency.
If the ads are showing too often to the same people, you’ll want to consider pausing your ads, growing your audience or reducing your budget.
Zeroing in on Your Audience
Facebook allows you to target on a variety of different characteristics, such as interests, like family and parenting and demographics, such as parents. Mixing and matching the audiences will be the key to your daycare advertising success. However, it is important to understand the difference between expanding your available audience and narrowing it down. Each action is done a little differently. For example, let’s say a daycare located in Minneapolis wanted to target all parents living within a 25–mile radius of their location.
If you look at the gauge on the top right, you will see the number of people our daycare advertisement would reach is 150,000 people. Let’s say I don’t think this number is big enough, so I add the interest category of family, which brings that number to 780,000 people. That number is too big for most of those engaging in child care marketing, so it would be best to narrow that down by selecting the “Narrow Audience” button.
This would allow a daycare advertising on Facebook to say that the ad must show to people who are interested in either family or is a parent and is interested in daycare. This targeting brings the audience down significantly to 58,000, a more appropriate number to target for most child care programs.
The last daycare advertising tip you should know is that retargeting can be a powerful child care marketing tool you should use. Facebook allows you to set up a Facebook retargeting audience. You can either upload a list of prospect emails or target website visitors. However, most in engaging in daycare advertising will want to target website visitors first as it is easier to gather members in that audience. If you’re wondering how to do it, this short guide explains how.
Traditional Daycare Advertising Channels
With all the digital advertising methods available to your child care marketing program, it’s easy to forget about traditional channels, such as newspapers, signage, direct mail and radio. But, these daycare advertising channels can have a huge impact on your program’s enrollment numbers.
Ad in the Newspaper
If you’re looking to include newspapers in your daycare advertising program, you’ll want to consider a few things that can easily be overlooked.
Location Within the Paper
There are plenty of places you can place an ad within a local or regional newspaper. A large front page ad is going to attract a lot of attention, but you might not have the budget for such a daycare advertising expense. That’s why running an ad in the service directory, if there is one, is your best bet. Parents scanning through this section will be most motivated to act, as they are looking for a service, such as child care for their kid.
As with any daycare advertising you engage in, it’s important to track the results. If you’re like most engaging in a child care marketing program, your budget is limited, which is why you want to halt activities that aren’t generating enrollments for your daycare.
Unfortunately tracking the results of daycare advertising in a newspaper isn’t as straightforward as it is with, let’s say a Facebook ad. That’s why running a unique promotion specifically for the newspaper ad can help you attribute success or failure to the expense. For example, let’s say you run a promo that allows parents to get a free week if they call to sign up and mention the promo. Each time someone claims the offer, you’ll know it came as a result of the ad in the paper.
Free Assistance with Advertisements
Your budget for daycare advertising will likely be tight. That’s why you’ll want to take whatever free help you can get. Thankfully, many newspapers offer free design or some degree of assistance with creative simply for placing an ad.
Whether you take this assistance or not is up to you. The benefit of accepting the newspaper’s help is pretty clear, free services. However, there is a drawback. Most newspapers don’t offer very robust graphic design services. This means whatever ad they help you create won’t stick out. That’s why some programs engaging in daycare advertising might elect to outsource design to a freelancer. If you’re interested in going that route for a newspaper ad, signage or a direct mail campaign, we explain how and where to go to receive affordable graphic design assistance here.
What if you could pay someone to advertise your program 24/7 for a low, one-time cost? With signage you can, and it’s cheap. Let people know about key messages or display your brand at your location by having a banner or sign created.
There are several companies in your area that can help. FedEx, for example, offers these services across the country. For an outdoor banner to display outside your location it is about $100. As for signs, there are a variety you could choose, but the cost is usually under $50 for each.
Send Promotions Through the Mail
Aside from being easy, sending mailers through the USPS works for many in daycare advertising, especially if you’re opening a new location or just starting out. Sending out postcards or mailers is a cheap way to let those in your community know about your new child care program.
The process for sending mail through the USPS is easy. The USPS created Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) just for local businesses like your daycare. The service allows you to take your printed materials to the nearest USPS location to be mailed. Their EDDM website explains the program, offers guides for imagery and offers the price per piece. Their tool also allows you to save money on print costs by targeting certain demographics.
Getting Graphic Design Help
The thought of hiring or acquiring graphic design help might sound expensive, but it isn’t. In fact, online freelancers have made the process inexpensive.
You can do the DIY route for cheap and with little effort using Canva. Canva has tons of templates that make creating a promotional flyer or postcard for your direct mail campaign as easy as dragging and dropping items on a screen and typing in your unique information. The cost of a Canva plan is low and can even be free.
Although it can take only a few minutes to create whatever piece of media you desire, Canva might not be the best approach if you’re not comfortable making slight adjustments such as cropping an image to fit the appropriate size for your mailers. And, the other downside is that it might not stand out as much as work done by a freelancer.
Hire a Freelancer
For those engaging in daycare advertising, you might want to hire a freelancer. Both Fiverr and UpWork are great sources for getting graphic design at a low cost. In fact, if you hire an agency to run your child care marketing, they’ll probably subcontract at least some of their work through these websites. You can save a lot of money by eliminating the middleman and hiring a graphic designer through the websites.
We won’t go too deep into this daycare advertising channel, but it can lead to increased enrollment for your program. However, the cost of running ads can be high. It can also be harder to determine the results radio advertising had on your program’s enrollment success.
How to Track Your Child Care Marketing Campaigns for Free
Chances are you have limited funds to advertise your daycare. That’s why you want to make sure every dollar you spend on daycare advertising pulls its weight. One way to do that is through tracking.
With Google Analytics, you can enjoy free tracking by simply placing a bit of code on your website. You don’t need to be a developer to do this. In fact, if you have a WordPress, Wix or Foursquare website, you can set it up in a few minutes. Here are the instructions for each.
Once you set up the account, Google Analytics will collect detailed data on the traffic coming to your website, taking note of the marketing channels and campaigns that drive traffic and conversions. With Google Analytics, there are a lot of reports you could browse through and amazing things you could build, but chances are you won’t have time for all of them. And it’s not really necessary.
Discover what reports you need to focus on and how to get information about key conversion actions like contact form completions or requests for a tour of your facility by watching this short tutorial. After watching the tutorial, you’ll know how to access key reports and instruct Google Analytics to track each conversion. Knowing this data will help you understand what sources are driving enrollments and what ones are falling short. You can then devote more resources to channels and campaigns driving enrollments and pull your daycare advertising dollars away from actions failing to produce results.
How to Promote Daycare Through Events
If you’re wondering how to promote your daycare business through events, there are a lot of different avenues you can take. Here are just a few to consider…
Hosting an Open House
A great way to promote your daycare, especially if you’re new or opening up a new location is to host an open house. If you’re hoping to host your own open house, Constant Contact made a handy guide that offers some great tips and ideas for getting started.
Offer to Host a Class
Potential customers give great weight to perceived authority from providers in their communities. Parents, especially young parents, are always looking for advice including how to handle tantrums, feeding, nutrition, care and more. That’s why hosting a free class can help you draw young parents in, while demonstrating your expertise.
You can easily promote classes for new or expecting parents through free services like Meetup.com, which connects interested people with groups in the community. If you’re wondering how to post your new class or group on Meetup.com, the process is simple. Follow these easy instructions to get started.
Create a Referral Program
Referral programs are an amazing way to promote your daycare and encourage new enrollments. According to Forbes, “60% of marketers say that referral programs generate a high volume of leads.” Those interested in using a referral program for their child care marketing can easily offer incentives like a free week or a credit to parents who suggest their daycare to friends or family.
Tips for Paying Someone to Manage Daycare Advertising
As you can see, some aspects of daycare advertising can be tricky. That’s why it’s not always a bad idea to hire some of the child care marketing work out. Whether you decide to hire out some of the work or not, there are a few best practices and drawbacks you should consider.
Drawbacks of Agencies
Not every program looking to run daycare advertising can afford an agency or contractor. The fees can often run in the thousands of dollars for comprehensive service. That’s why many who engage in child care marketing will look to manage some of these activities themselves and hire others out.
When working with marketing agencies or contractors, the expression of “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” is very true. These agencies and contractors gather as many clients as they can, and their time often goes to a combination of who is either paying them the most and who is raising their hands and asking questions.
What Not to Do
Knowledge is power, and unfortunately, agencies can abuse that power, whether they set out to or not. As gatekeepers of the technical know-how, it is just too tempting to gloss over items that aren’t going well for those that are. This leads to poorer results for your daycare advertising program.
Don’t let agencies or contractors hypnotize you with technical speak and charts that look good but don’t actually reflect your main goal, getting more parents to sign their kids up for your daycare. Your child care marketing dollars are limited, and you need to be asking the right questions.
What You Should Do
You should complete all the child care marketing activities that you can do by yourself. Save the easier work to do internally. Then contract out the more difficult and time-consuming components of your marketing program.
This means contracting out tasks like Google and Facebook advertising. These take more expertise and time to manage than most other daycare marketing activities.
And there are also a few child care marketing activities that are easier for your business to do than it is for a contractor. An example of such an activity is the verification of local map listings on Google, Bing and Apple. Because all the calls and post card verifications go to your location, the contractor has to go through extra steps to complete the work.
The best defense is to educate yourself to ask the right questions. Reading this guide and watching the videos mentioned will arm you with the understanding you need to either build your own marketing program on your own or to ask the right questions that will hold whomever you hire to task.
How to Free Up More Time to Promote Your Daycare
Daycare advertising isn’t easy. That’s why you need every tool you can get to save time. Smartcare streamlines, time-consuming child care management activities like billing, parent communications, digital check-ins and checkouts and much more, saving you countless hours and plenty of stress. Get a demo to see how much time you can save with Smartcare’s child care management software.
The child care enrollment process can be a rewarding part of running your program. But this can also be a tricky time for child care programs without an efficient registration process. If families can’t easily complete the process – or have too many questions about what to expect from your center – you risk losing them to your competitors.
Don’t let your enrollment process prevent success. We created this eBook to assist you in developing a child care enrollment process that runs smoothly for both families and staff. Read on for our tips on streamlining the process, developing child care enrollment policies, simplifying billing and attracting families to your child care center.
By following this guide, you’ll be better equipped to keep new and current families happy and save time so you can focus on what really matters – caring for children.
Streamlining the Enrollment Process in Child Care Centers
Your enrollment process is often one of the first interactions families have with your center. That’s why its so important to streamline the enrollment process in child care centers. A smooth, simple enrollment process is critical in providing a positive experience right away. Additionally, streamlining this process saves staff hours, simplifies reporting and makes sure nothing is missed.
Set Clear Expectations with New and Returning Families
Families should know what to expect before and after enrolling their child in your program. For example, families might be wondering….
How soon will I know if my child is accepted?
Is there a wait list for enrollment right now?
Will I be able to change my child’s care schedule?
Will my other children get priority enrollment?
If my child was previously enrolled, do I get preferential enrollment?
Do you offer discounts or special pricing for multiple children?
This is by no means the full list – families are bound to have many more questions. After all, choosing a temporary caregiver for your child isn’t an easy decision.
Instead of answering these questions a dozen times over the phone, email or in person, add them to your child care handbook and share it with families right away so they know what to expect. (You’ll find more information about building this handbook in the next section.) You can also create an FAQ page on your website or include answers to common questions in a Welcome email.
Move Your Child Care Enrollment Process Online
Enrolling a new child often means printing and receiving forms, in-person visits to verify information and a certain amount of back and forth with families. Instead of dealing with that, move the entire process online so parents can take their time and complete the process from home.
Online enrollment is also a big time-saver for your child care center staff. Moving process online allows your staff to review submitted information right away and approve enrollment quickly. If you partner with a child care management system that allows you to store documents online as well as print them on demand, you’re guaranteed to comply federal regulations and retention schedules.
Offering a user-friendly online enrollment process also helps you make a better impression with your families. After all, you don’t want your first few interactions with new parents to be back-and-forth emails about missing fields or messy handwriting!
You can find enrollment software that simply handles the forms, but that’s not enough to make a difference. Streamlining your child care program enrollment means partnering with a system that can handle the entire process, from collecting and saving child information to accepting payment and handling schedules.
Look for a child care enrollment system that offers custom enrollment forms and manages family records, such as Smartcare. Keeping everything in one place makes it simple to find information when it’s needed, make updates in the future, track attendance, handle billing and more.
Creating the Right Enrollment Policy for Child Care
Creating enrollment policy for child care programs might sound time consuming, but it is necessary. Take the time to develop strong child care policies that meet parent expectations. Even if you’re a well-established child care professional with years of experience behind you, it’s still a good idea to regularly review your policies. Consider creating and updating policies based on questions you’ve received from parents in the past. For example, if you frequently get questions about wait lists, make sure you have a clear policy for it.
How Will Your Center Handle Child Care Enrollment?
Your child care enrollment policy will need to include more than just information about returning registration forms. Families will also need to know about your center’s…
Wait list process.
Child eligibility for care.
Discounts for families with multiple children.
Child care availability.
Priority enrollment options.
Process for withdrawing from care.
Consider your rates and budget, as well as family retention, when putting this child care enrollment policy together. For example, you could offer to bill by family instead of per child. Or you could offer priority enrollment for families with a child already enrolled in your program.
Your enrollment policy can affect whether families stick with you or go to a competitor with better options. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to increase enrollment in your child care center.
Put Together a Child Care Policy Handbook
Creating a physical and digital handbook of your child care center’s policies is a great idea. You can use this handbook to set clear expectations about how your center operates and what families can expect while their child is in your care.
Your child care handbook should include your center’s policies as well as information about your mission and program. Here is a list of items you should include in your child care policy handbook:
A daily schedule, so parents know what their child will be doing at any given time.
Behavior management and codes of conduct for children and staff.
Health and safety procedures to comply with state and federal regulations.
Child care certifications.
Depending on what your child care center offers, you can also include meal and nutrition offerings and field trip policies.
Train Staff on Child Care Enrollment Policies
Staff members who understand your center’s policies can answer enrollment questions and correct misunderstandings for both current and prospective families. You can get in front of any misinformation or missed opportunity by making sure staff are well-versed on your center’s enrollment policies.
Reserve time during regular staff meetings to go over policies, especially if you have a new or recently updated one. This is the time to discuss questions parents might have, how to apply certain policies or recommend updates to existing policies.
Improving Child Care Billing
Handling billing is a fundamental aspect of managing a child care center. It is also one of your more tedious, time-consuming tasks. By establishing clear policies and taking the time to set expectations with enrolling families, you can cut back on hours spent tracking down payments.
Create Clear Child Care Billing Policies
As a child care professional, you know billing is never straightforward. Families considering enrollment at your daycare center will want to know the typical billing information, such as frequency and rates. (For more guidance on setting your child care rates, check out this article here.)
But families will also want to know how your center handles:
Make sure your center decides how to assess and track late pick-up fees, whether to provide discounts for families with multiple children and issue refunds. And, of course, make sure you’re using a billing system that makes it easy to apply those fees or discounts to invoices.
When you’re clear and up-front about your billing policies, families will feel comfortable knowing there won’t be any unexpected fees or price changes after enrolling. Plus, you’ll be able to stand out from competitors who don’t offer their pricing ahead of time, which can help increase enrollment in your child care center.
Make Your Child Care Billing Process More Convenient
Paying for child care should be as easy as paying any other bill. Make the process simple for your parents by accepting multiple payment options, including cash, checks, credit and debit cards.
Allow families to pay online for enrollment fees, program materials, snacks, field trips and anything else. When it’s convenient for parents to pay, collecting fees on time is much easier.
Make sure you’re partnering with a child care enrollment system that can process payments (and discounts) as well as track child care subsidies. It’s also a good idea to offer autopay, so families won’t need to think about manually paying bills each week, month, quarter or year.
Offer Flexible Billing Options for Every Type of Family
Every family is different, which means many families will need to make payments in different ways. Make sure you offer flexible options for parents splitting payments or switching payment frequency and for families receiving subsidies from other organizations. Don’t make it more difficult to set these payment options up, or you risk alienating families and causing issues between staff and families.
Here are a few recommendations for handling these unique situations:
Have separate child care billing agreements for each parent so you can track payments separately.
Offer families the option to choose how they split payment.
Setting up a flexible billing process will make enrollment so much smoother. Families will be able to sail through the enrollment process without needing to contact staff about specific payment needs. Some child care management systems can help manage unique billing situations as well as assisting with tracking payments, automating reminders and creating tax statements.
How to Increase Enrollment in Your Daycare
Many child care centers struggle with the question, “How do I attract parents to my daycare?” The problem is, marketing your center can feel like a full-time job on top of caring for your children. But don’t worry, we’ve provided a few tips that explain how to increase enrollment in daycare.
Be Everywhere to Attract Parents to Your daycare!
Families won’t know about your daycare if they’ve never heard about it. You will need to create a daycare advertising plan to increase enrollment. Use multiple communication channels to connect with families, including social media, flyers and newspaper ads.
Reach out to school districts in your community as well. Some schools might let you share flyers with daycare teachers and parents, or even advertise on their website. Schools with before and after school care likely know families with children too young to participate yet, making them great candidates for your center.
Offer Incentives to Increase Your Child Care Enrollment
Make your program more competitive and attractive by offering financial incentives to families. Depending on what you can afford, offer special pricing, discounts or even gift cards. Consider offering a year at a lower rate or waiving the registration fee. You can also offer families special pricing for enrolling multiple children.
As much as you want to attract new parents to your daycare, you also need to keep current families happy. Here are a few ideas for making sure families return year after year:
Offer a free month of daycare or a discount at the time of re-enrollment.
Give a discount for families with multiple children enrolled.
Offer priority enrollment for your families with additional children who will be eligible to enroll in the future.
Keep Track of Prospective Families
Do you know how your enrolling families found out about your center? Are you keeping track of where you’re attracting families from? Understanding which outreach efforts are most effective will allow you to prioritize your time. If most families hear about your daycare from open houses and community events, focus your marketing efforts (and dollars) in those areas.
Make sure you’re regularly reaching out to prospective families. When a family is about to welcome a new child and is looking for a daycare for the future, make sure they don’t forget about you. Don’t let any of these prospective families fall off your radar!
Doing all of this manually is a lot of work, though. Instead, use child care software with lead management to keep track of these families. Find a system that allows you to keep notes and add statuses to families so you can clearly see where they’re at in the decision process.
Get the Child Care Enrollment Tools You Need!
Building a child care enrollment process that is fast, easy and stress-free can feel like a monumental task. But it’s one worth undertaking. Having a great process gives enrolling families a positive experience from day one, which is important in developing a long-term relationship with them.
By following our guidance, your child care center will be set up for success. You’ll be ready to set clear expectations from the start, provide detailed policies to keep families in the know, offer flexible billing options to include everyone and attract parents to your child care center.
To further streamline your child care enrollment process, partner with a child care management software that can take much of this administrative work off your hands.
Vanco’s Smartcare is a child care administration software designed to simplify the process of managing your program. Smartcare allows you to move enrollment online, securely store data, automate billing, accept payments and communicate with parents – all from one comprehensive platform.
Request a demo today to see how Smartcare can transform your child care center and allow you to become an enrollment master.
Not every daycare is the same, and they all offer a different experience. It’s not just about having fun activities or providing great learning opportunities. It is also about how you interact with your customers (whether they be parents or children).
The best daycares have a combination of things that make them stand out. For example, a daycare with closed doors and windows offers a different experience. Vividly different from one where the children can go outside anytime they want.
A daycare center is not always going to be perfect for everyone. But by focusing on the three aspects below, it’s easier to create an environment that will appeal more than others:
how you interact with your customers.
what type of environment you offer (indoors or outdoors).
variety in activities.
Focusing on these three aspects, will generate positive word of mouth for your daycare, and the most powerful tool at the disposal of any daycare is word-of-mouth marketing.
Even though a daycare cannot directly affect the outcome of each parental referral, they can certainly steer it in a positive direction. This returns to how you present your service, what environment you provide and how you interact with the children/parents.
Let’s move on to some daycare promotion ideas. These will ensure that you are ready to optimize your daycare for growth and success.
How Do I Make My Daycare Stand Out: Daycare Interactions
One of the most potent opportunities for making your daycare stand out is to improve your interactions with all involved. As a social-first business, interactions lead to how people think of your service.
This means improving in all areas: responsiveness, friendliness, accessibility and more. It is important to commit time and effort to reinforce these interactions as a vital part of your daycare’s value proposition by telling the story behind them on social media.
In addition, one way you can take advantage of opportunities for word-of-mouth marketing is through offering an improved level of customer service in person or over phone/email; this will often lead to referrals from satisfied customers who are happy with how they were treated (even if their child was not enrolled).
It also helps when hiring a new childcare team who exemplify the qualities outlined above – someone with good people skills will do well here! This may allow for a more effective training experience as well.
Just as important, if not more important for the development of the child is the environment in which he spends his time. By providing an environment where children feel comfortable, cared for and challenged, you ensure they stay in your daycare.
The environment should not be constant either. By changing the environment with indoor/outdoor integrations and themed changes, you will ensure children receive the change and variety needed to flourish.
The daycare should also not only provide a safe and stimulating environment for play, but one that will help them deal with frustration or anger, as well as low self-esteem issues. With this in mind, it is important to make sure there are places where they can go when they need space from others; if they feel like an outsider because they don’t know how to socialize with children their age or just want time alone by themselves.
By providing these three things – integral safety, stimulation, and individualized care – you will give children the best possible start on their way to adulthood.
How Do I Attract Parents to My Daycare: Daycare Service
If you’re just an intermediary who holds the child for a while and then releases them back to the parents, you’ll have limited success attracting parents to your daycare.
The best way to stand out as a daycare is to build a relationship with the parents and children. You must become an integral part of their life so they know they can count on you when necessary.
To tailor your service, identify why you provide daycare services in the first place. What services can you provide that others cannot? For instance, if you’re bilingual and offer a second-language immersion program to children of all ages, that stands out.
Other ways to stand out in terms of service are to offer a more structured environment or to have smaller ratios of children per caregiver.
You can also work on attracting the best type of child for your daycare, as well as building a relationship with them and their parents before they start attending your facility.
The Technical Approach to Making Your Daycare Better
The previous pillars had to do with seamless and essential aspects of making your daycare stand out. The following will cover the more technical approach to optimizing your daycare experience as a whole. This will help promote your business online, build your brand image, and most importantly, answer the question, “How do I attract parents to my daycare?”
As a daycare, your brand story should be about the company’s family-friendly atmosphere, which is why it would be advantageous to promote your daycare as a place where children can grow and learn in an environment that they are comfortable with.
Another important aspect of developing this story is what sets you apart from other daycares?
This part of the brand story should focus on any factors that make your facility different than others. Think about how many daycare teachers or classrooms there are at your location.
What kind of curriculum does your center have? All these things will help set you apart from other places, so include them when writing out this section of the branding process.
There are a lot of things to consider when establishing your daycare and these will help you come up with an effective story. Remember that this should be short, sweet, and easy to understand for people who might not know much about the caregiving industry.
Build An Optimized Website
Next, as a face-to-face business, you still need to have an online presence. Creating social media pages will help, but you need to do more. As a daycare center, you must have a well-optimized website that can be used by anyone.
Your daycare website should have all the information a parent would want to know before choosing your center. They should be able to find out what you offer and see pictures of their potential new daycare space.
You might also have a blog on the website, which is not only an effective way for parents who are currently enrolled in your program or considering it more to learn about how you manage things like discipline and education but can help with SEO as well.
Benchmarking other websites will give you inspiration as to design and content. Check out several websites to find ones you feel make a strong case for parents to sign up.
Social Media Presence
In addition to having an optimized website, your daycare center should be active on social media. This is important for parental engagement and helps provide a face to the story.
Without social media, the referrals will have to purely rely on word-of-mouth. Whereas, with social media, they can check you out and verify the story to their own satisfaction.
Social media for daycares should be created and managed with care. To establish a presence, posts should be frequent but not too frequent that they become spammy or overwhelming.
It’s also imperative for the daycare center’s social media pages to be consistent in tone.
The best way to maintain consistency is by using an account manager who can post on behalf of the organization while staying true to its narrative voice.
If you run a daycare with a tight budget, you can manage the social media pages on your own. If you go this route, you should learn as much as possible about a social media platform before you dive in. And it’s important to remember, that when it comes to social media marketing, it’s about quality more than quantity. Start with one or two platforms and expand your efforts later. Don’t spread yourself too thin by creating a profile on every platform.
Become A Thought-Leader
Aside from providing daycare, you can help educate and guide parents in everyday life. By joining Facebook groups, writing blog posts and engaging in discussions, you will start to build a reputation. In the daycare industry, reputation is the most critical aspect of survival.
To become a thought-leader in the daycare sector, you must first educate yourself. Seek out other daycare centers, talk to them about their successes and failures, and learn what they have done well in terms of marketing.
The more interviews you do with experts in the industry, the better prepared you will be for your own interviews as people start recognizing you as an expert too.
Some of the ways you can secure your position as a thought-leader are:
Blogging is one of the best ways to reach a large audience and establish your expertise.
Videos are an excellent way to share your knowledge and promote your brand.
Speaking at industry conferences, seminars, or other events.
These are just some examples of what you can implement in your thought-leading strategy. The only limitation is your creativity.
Search Engine Optimization
In terms of standing out in the digital world, your best bet as a daycare center is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO will help you garner attention by showing up on the first pages of search results, but also by improving your overall trust factor and domain rating on the web.
Some of the best ways for a daycare center to use SEO is to do the following:
Optimize your website for search engines.
Make it easier to find you with keywords and key phrases.
Use keywords in domain names, meta descriptions, title tags and headers.
Build links from other related sites on high-ranking pages that point back to yours.
This will help increase the traffic and visibility of your site as well as improving its trustworthiness.
The best way to get started is by doing an audit of all current SEO practices so that they can be improved upon or corrected if necessary before moving forward with additional initiatives.
A professional daycare center consultant will be able to do this for you quickly and efficiently at a price that won’t break the bank! However, SEO can easily be done by anybody, given that they do their research and are not afraid to experiment.
Incentives, Offers, Discounts
Daycare centers are expected to be predictable, but you can break the mold. Be unpredictable. Offer discounts, incentives, and even freebies to your loyal customers. Offer incentives for referrals from a rewards program where the customer gets points each time they refer someone else who becomes a customer too.
Create offers that are only available on certain days or times of the year. This will give people something extra special to look forward to when they choose your daycare center over another one!
Encourage parents by giving them specific reasons why their child should attend your daycare instead of all the other ones in town.
Incentives have to be natural. After all, you’re not selling a subscription to a magazine. You’re selling a caring, supportive, and all-inclusive environment for somebody’s child.
You could host themed events, birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and much more. The sky is the limit.
By hosting events, your daycare center becomes a community center for all ages. Events are a great way to bring in new families and catch the eye of potential parents that would otherwise not have been interested.
You don’t have to host events exclusively for the children. Think about the parents too. If the kids know each other, it’s only natural that the parents know each other as well. Hosting events makes you an authority, showing that you know what you’re doing and you’re doing it well.
By hosting events for the community outside of those who use your services, you show that you are there for everybody. When the children outgrow your daycare center, you can still be an integral part of their life by hosting sports events, get-togethers and much more.
Finally, you want to ensure you are always available for visitations. Parents might want to check in on their children without notice. Your service must be equally as good when the parents are there and when they are not. Visitations will help you see what needs to be improved for your daycare center to stand out from the rest.
Providing a variety of activities can attract people who might normally stay away, so offer them something new every time- like cooking or pottery classes!
Classes should have an end goal but also present different challenges along the way so everyone is engaged at their own pace. People love feeling accomplished with tasks. It makes them feel needed and important, encouraging retention on behalf of both customers and employees.
Get people talking about what you do best. Showcase your daycare’s successes in the community, whether it be through a parade float or advertising campaigns.
Always remember that marketing is all about transparency. If someone asks for an itemized list of fees and prices, give them one! Transparency builds trustworthiness so make sure any information they seek is presented accurately with no hidden agendas or surprises waiting at the door.
The more people feel like they can rely on your center as a place where children are safe while parents work towards bettering themselves, the chances are other families will want to come back time and time again.
Innovations in Industry
Keep an eye out for any innovations in the industry that might interest your parents and try to stay ahead of the curve with these changes so you can offer them as soon as possible! It is important not only to keep up with what’s happening within childcare but also outside it, such as if a certain type of toy becomes popular or more vegetables are being added into children’s diets.
Evaluate your competitors regularly; this will make sure you know who they are, how they operate, and what sets them apart from you in a way that would entice potential customers away from their business. Keep on top of social media trends by reviewing sources like Mashable or BuzzFeed since both those sites post content about the latest social media innovations.
Examine your marketing strategy and see what you can do to make it more effective. Your marketing strategy should be based on a philosophy of target-specific, measurable results that are continuously measured against predetermined benchmarks for success.
Your Daycare A Star Among Others
Now that you know the answer to the question of “how do I make my daycare stand out”, you are well on your way to do so. Your daycare is no longer going to be a common name among the many others.
Your daycare will stand out. It will attract the parents and children that deserve your service. This is the consequence of the upcoming effort you will place into the growth and optimization of your branded daycare.
Get the Secrets to Increasing Child Care Enrollment
Our team researched what the most successful child care programs are doing to grow enrollment. Discover what we found and how your program can replicate their successes.Download our free guide.
If you’re looking to open up your own child care operation, Utah is a great place to start your business! The state’s large population of parents with young children provides ample opportunities for people interested in getting into the industry. But before you open your doors and start taking care of children, you need to be properly licensed. Getting a child care license ensures your operation isn’t just legally authorized, it keeps all the kids in your care safe.
In order to legally operate a child care business in Utah, you need to obtain a child care license through Utah’s Child Care Licensing (CCL) program. CCL operates within Utah’s Bureau of Licensing and Certification under the authority of the Utah Department of Health.
You need to be licensed as a licensed family child care provider in Utah if you provide care:
In the home where you reside
In the absence of the child’s parent
For five to 16 unrelated children
For four or more hours a day,
For each individual child for less than 24 hours per day
On a regularly scheduled, ongoing basis
For direct and indirect compensation.
Utah Child Care Operation Types
Depending on whether you decide to operate your child care center in your own home or in a separate facility, you’ll apply for a different type of child care license. There are five types of child care licenses in Utah you’ll choose from:
Licensed Center. This type of program provides child care in a commercial setting and the children have regular schedules of care. Learn more.
Licensed Hourly Center. This type of program provides child care in a commercial setting and the children do NOT have regular schedules of care (drop-in care). Learn more.
Licensed Out of School Time Program. This type of program provides child care in a commercial setting and is only for school-age (ages 5-12) children. Learn more.
Licensed Family Providers. This type of program provides child care in the provider’s home. Learn more.
Residential Certified Providers. This type of program also provides child care in the provider’s home. There are small differences between the two home-based provider options that can be found in this comparison chart. Learn more.
Utah’s Child Care Licensing Process
Step 1: Read the Licensing Rules or Interpretation Manual. This manual will help you figure out what type of child care license you will need to apply for as well as the operational rules you’ll be required to follow.
Step 2: Take the online New Provider Training. Once you’re familiar with Utah’s licensing rules, you need to take an online training course. The online course takes approximately 90 minutes and must be completed all at once. After you’ve completed the course, a copy of the training will be emailed to you, certifying you’ve completed the required training and can begin submitting your application.
Step 3: Submit an online license application. Depending on the type of license you’re applying for, you’ll need to submit different forms. Your application may include a copy of your current city business license, fire inspection, kitchen inspection, your director’s educational credentials, and child care facility floor plans. You will also need to submit your application fee at this time.
Step 4: Submit an online background check form. After you’ve successfully submitted your online application and have received an email notification that your application is in process, all covered individuals need to complete an online background check form. Covered individuals include owners, directors, members of the governing body, employees, caregivers, volunteers, anyone over the age of 12 who lives at the facility, and anyone with unsupervised access to the children in your care.
Step 5: Submit a W-9 through the CCL portal. You can access the child care licensing portal here.
Step 6: Complete an Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plan. In the event of an emergency, providers need to make sure the children’s basic needs—food, water, and shelter—are met. You can use this form (or another template of your choosing) to guide you through the planning, response, and recovery phases of any emergency your operation may experience.
Step 7: Have an onsite inspection with a licensor. Once all the required documents are submitted and application fees are paid, a licensor will schedule an onsite inspection. At the inspection, the licensor will use a checklist to see if your home or off-site facility is compliant with Utah’s licensing rules. You will need to be in compliance with all the rules before they issue your license.
Step 7 (optional): Attend a Child Care Licensing Rules Training. This step isn’t mandatory to obtain your license, but if the free training courses are completed within 60 days of you receiving your license, the hours will count towards your required annual training for your first licensed/certified year.
Once you’ve passed your onsite inspection, you will receive your license and are legally allowed to open your child care center! Before you start buying toys and Clorox wipes in bulk, you need to choose a child care management software for your center.
With automated billing, lead management, daycare teacher scheduling, and tons of other helpful features, Smartcare and its child care administration software make your role as a child care provider easier than ever. Contact Smartcare’s team today to schedule your free live demo.
Are you looking to open your own child care center, but not quite sure where to start? Before you start buying toys, and bringing in customers, you need to get a license. Proper licensing of your center ensures your operation isn’t only compliant with the law, it keeps the children in your care safe.
Each state has its own rules and requirements for people to get a child care license application approved and start their own daycare business. If you live in Texas, all of its child care licensing is handled and administered by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Child Care Licensing (CCL) Division.
There are four types of child care licenses in Texas you’ll choose to apply for depending on the type of operation you decided to run:
Listed Family Homes
Registered Child Care Homes
Licensed Child Care Homes
Licensed Child Care Center
Child Care Operation Types
Before starting your license application process, you need to figure out what type of child care operation you’re going to run—this will determine which type of license you need to apply for.
There are several types of child care operations you’ll most likely be operating under; if you’re not sure what type of operation your business is considered or have questions about the application process, your local CCL office can help and make sure you’re applying correctly.
Licensed Child Care Home. In licensed family child care home operations, service is provided inside the license holder’s home. Care is expected for at least two hours per day (but fewer than 24 hours per day) and for at least three days per week. The operation can care for a maximum of 12 children who are up to 13 years of age. This operation type will apply for the Licensed Child Care Home license.
Registered Child Care Home. This type of operation provides child care services inside the license holder’s home. Care is expected for at least four hours per day, at least three days per week, and for at least three weeks in a row. Registered homes can take care of at most 12 children at any given time. This operation type will apply for the Registered Child Care Home license.
Listed Family Home. In listed family homes, family child care services are provided inside the home of the license holder. Care is expected to be provided to children from newborn age to 13 years old. The license holder should provide care for at least four hours per day, for three or more days per week, and for at least three weeks in a row. This operation type will apply for the Listed Family Home license.
Child Care Center. This child care option operates in a facility outside of the license holder’s home. They are allowed to provide care for seven or more kids under the age of 14. They need to operate for at least two hours per day, three days per week. They may not provide overnight care to the children. This operation type will apply for the Licensed Child Care Center license.
Before or After School Programs. This type of child care operation provides child care for children before and after school hours and during holidays. They should also be open and operating for at least two hours every day, three days per week. Before or After School programs are allowed to care for children from ages three to 11. This operation type will apply for the Licensed Child Care Center license.
Texas’s Licensing Process
The process for obtaining your child care license is similar for both home-based and center-based providers. Here are the steps and resources you need to get your child care license in Texas. More information about Texas’s s licensing process can be found on the Texas Health and Human Services website.
Step One: Attend a Pre-Application Class
The Texas child care license application process requires you to attend a pre-application class before you file an application for your in-home family child care license. For center-based child care operations, you need to contact your local CCL office as well as attend a pre-application class. These classes discuss information like the forms you need to submit along with your license application package. You can find a nearby CCL office on the Texas HHS website.
Step Two: Review Texas’s Licensing Requirements
There are a ton of small details about obtaining a child care license in Texas that can be easy to forget about if you’re not careful. When you’re studying Texas’s licensing requirements, don’t forget to do your research on aspects of your business such as:
If you have questions about the requirements or need help with your licensing application process, all applicants can contact their local licensing office for more information or assistance.
Step Three: Submit Your CCL Application
After you’ve attended a pre-application class, you can now begin putting together your Child Care License application. Part of your application should include filling out the forms included in the information package you received in your pre-application class. If you’re applying for the Licensed Child Care Center designation license, you need to submit these forms:
Form 2911: Child Care Licensing Governing Body & Director Designation
Form 2948: Plan of Operation for Licensed Child Care Operations
Form 2985: Affidavit for Applicants for Employment with a Licensed Child Care Operation
Form 2760: Controlling Person—Child Care Licensing
Step Four: Create and Register Your Child Care Provider Account
Congratulations! If you’re a center-based operation, at this step your application has been approved, you’ve been given an operation number, and you can legally begin your family child care center. The last step is to create a child care regulation account for your center where you’ll submit any additional forms and background checks, as well as update your center’s information.
For at-home centers, you will create a child care licensing account after your pre-application class since your account is where you submit your application and other licensing documents for approval. A few days after you submit your licensing application, a representative from the Texas CLL office will review and approve your application. Once you have been approved and have received your license number, you’re all set to start your child care operation!