Developing a sense of community and a place where parents and children feel that they are a part of something is an important way for childcare centers to increase enrollment. If you can get people talking about your center, then you will have people actively seeking you out and enrolling. One way to do that is to host In-House events. These events can be big events involving the whole school or small events involving just a class or group.
Events must be fun or exciting for the participant. They should get them talking. “We had such a great time. We had so much fun painting a butterfly!”
Consider where you want to host the event: in a common area, a classroom, or the lobby? Consider how to make both the child and parent feel comfortable. You want the child to be having fun and the parent to feel comfortable to join in, play or talk with other parents. How can you facilitate that? Consider when the event will be. When are the most people available to attend? When is a convenient time?
Events must be doable and easy for the presenter. If the event is so difficult to put together, you will never repeat it. The simpler and easier, the better.
Some events to try:
1. Host a curriculum night at your school. Have an activity set up that parents and children can do together at pick-up time. You could focus on different domains of the curriculum.
Set up an easel for parents and children to paint
Have playdough set up
Do 3D pipe cleaner art
Make a seasonal object. Pumpkin, flower etc.
Collage with leftover materials
What happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda?
Mix cornstarch and water.
Set up a reading library that can be used by students during the day and parents at pick-up time.
Set up a sight word section. Have children pick out sight words.
Have the unit blocks set out for the parents with a basic explanation of the blocks in mathematical terms. Unit, ½, ¼ rectangle.
Set out dramatic play materials. Parents will take photos of themselves and their children wearing the clothes and post on their Facebook or Instagram accounts.
Set out musical instruments. Have children make loud, soft, slow, fast sounds.
Set out some of the manipulatives and have children and parents create. Who can make the biggest, longest etc.
Sand And Water
Let children explore with the sand and water table. Be sure to include materials that pour, scoop, mix, sift etc.
2. Host a lunch or picnic for families to attend. Invite parents to eat lunch with the children. Have a picnic outside.
3. Host a parenting class and provide childcare for the event.
Your event was successful if you had people attend and they left having fun or learning something. You want parents talking, taking pictures and sharing them. Make it fun for children and parents, show your school spirit and parents will want to be a part of your amazing school.