When parents are trying to make a decision about which child care they want to enroll their child at, they may consider the three E’s.
Economy: getting a fair deal, fitting into their budget and justifying choosing one school over another.
For some parents, the first consideration in choosing a child care center is cost. Parents want a fair deal, not necessarily the lowest cost. If your center is at the top of the market, parents will want to know what makes it worth the cost. Develop your marketing materials around what makes your school worth the cost for the parent and the child. Remember, you are selling a quality education for the child through the parents’ perspective. What are the demographics of your target parent? Figure out what they are looking for and add that to your marketing materials and training for those who are enrolling at your center.
Parents are looking for ways the cost can fit into their budget. If you find that the parent feels the cost is greater than the budget, there are still options. Does your center offer ½ day or 2,3,4 day programs? You can always offer shorter days or less days to lower the cost. Many times, parents can adjust the schedule to meet their budget.
Parents will comparison shop. They will look at many schools before making a decision to enroll their child. Budget, services and convenience will play a role in their decision. The physical environment, the teachers, the children, the curriculum, the safety and security, among other things, will play an important role in the parents’ decision. Make sure you are aware of the competition as well as the services and costs other schools in your area are offering. Comparison shop at least three competitors in your area no less than 3 times per year so you are aware of current information regarding your competitors.
Efficiency: how convenient it is for the parents, as well as whether the services are offered when they need it.
The location of your child care can’t be changed and some parents will make a decision based on the driving or walking convenience to their home or workplace. Most parents are looking for much more than convenience, however. They are looking for efficiency. What services do you offer that will help them in their daily lives? Is your parent communication app easy to use with information that parents are interested in receiving daily? What are your communication policies? What are your payment policies? Are these policies easy and convenient for the parents to use?
Excellence: how satisfied the other parents are, whether the teachers have the necessary education/experience to provide excellence, as well as the school’s standard of excellence.
Parents are interested in a quality education for their children. Share your standards of excellence with your prospective parents and explain how you achieve them. This may help parents finalize their decision for child care.
Most parents want to know that they are making a good decision for their child. Parent referrals can help parents make a decision on child care. Make sure that you have parent referrals not only in a written format, but, also, on video. It would be even better if you could invite parents to speak to each other regarding the school.
Don’t Overcomplicate Things
Understanding the buying process that your parents go through is critical. However, overwhelming parents with too much information is a mistake that a lot of centers make. When using email or other written forms of communication, put yourself in the position of the parent you want to speak to and ask yourself if the content is truly a concise resource with important information or if it is too much information. The content should offer value and help parents reach a decision. Otherwise, it is not necessary.