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How to promote and Market your Child Care

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Freebie Ways to Advertise
and bring in some Day Care Business

FLYERS:
Create some nice flyers,   full size sheet, with phone number tear off at the bottom that you can hang up in local Laundry Mats, church bulletin boards, community b bulletin boards, etc.  Check on your flyers at their locations frequently, and replace when necessary Make this on your computer, so when you Xerox, you are getting 3 copies for the price of one. 
It should be simple, large print to draw attention
list, Name of day care, picture of logo to dress it up.  Days open, Hours Open,
Ages you take, Meals included or food program.  If you take subsidy programs, list that, List on there your program if you have one, if not list, a Warm and friendly environment with in home structure and love.  If you have done any extra classes, while becoming licensed, CPR, First Aide, Any workshops on kids, or any Early Childhood Education units, list this too. 
Put your first name, Large bold print, and phone number large bold print, then on the tear off Put Lic. Child care, and phone number so people remember what that number is for.
Remember on any flyer you do never put your full address down.  Always just your nearest busiest Streets so people have a general idea of your location.  This is for your safety.

DOOR TO DOOR FLYERS:
Get a couple of teenagers to help you out.  Place flyers on the doors of the homes in local neighborhoods that would be convenient to your location.  Avoid your immediate neighbors. Offer a discount for the first month and put a coupon on the flyers, They must present the coupon to get the discount.  If you have a registration fee, you can always waive that for an end of the year special.  :0)

CAR FLYER:

you can make 3 Columbus on one page, and have 3 flyers for the price of one when you Xerox.  It will be shorter and simpler, but get basic information on flyer.
Licensed Family Child Care
Locations:  (list only your nearest cross streets no address)
Ages,  Days open, Hours Open. 
OPENINGS NOW AVAILABLE, please call
put in large print, name and phone number.

Place these flyers on the windshields of cars, go to locations that attract families, and always look for the car seats in cars. 
McDonalds, Parks, Indoor Play grounds, Schools nearest you,
Children's clothing stores, Children Toy Stores, (toys r us, etc.)
K-mart, Malls, but be more selective here look for car seats, and or toys in cars as you walk up. 

Community Booths Parks and Festivities
Whenever there is an event going on in your community you will notice that vendors have booths set up.  It could be an organization of any type.  Phone your local parks and recreation and find out when the event dates are: Ask about vendor booths, and the price.  Find out if you would qualify to have a booth set up.  Share the booth with other providers. Most booth are tent like, with canvas sides, and are 3 sided.  You can each take a wall of the booth and display your day care pictures, letters from parents, projects. Make it inviting and informative for parens to view.  Set up a table in front of the booth for handouts, flyers, brochures,
suckers with your business card attached and etc.  Some activities require that you have an activity going on.  If this is the case then make it a simple activity.  Such as bringing a big plastic container along or water table, and fill it up with bubbles and bubble wands and let the kids do bubbles.  Kids love doing that and it's not expensive to do. 
You can also distribute a color page.  Pick a cute picture and at the top in large letters put your day care name, and at the bottom your phone number and web site.
Anything you hand out should have all that information on it. 
Sharing the booth brings the cost down. 

Community Flea markets:
Some schools, parks, and parking lots have monthly flea markets during the spring and summer.  Again like the Festivals, you can set up your own booth.  Just simply pay for a space for the day usually under $20 for the day, and set up a table and displays.  If you have a canopy of your own to bring along this would be a wise idea to keep the sun off you.  Do the same as you would in a community festival and have handouts and etc.  Do this locally.   Another way to exposure your business.

YARD SALE:
Do you plan to have a yard sale anytime soon?  If so be sure to set up a display about your child care and a big sign about your child and that you have openings.  Another opportunity to exposure your business to your neighborhood.  Be prepared to show off your day care while they are there and have handouts ready as well.

CAR WINDOW SIGNS:
Make up flyers in large bold print and tape these flyers to the inside of your car windows.  (do not obstruct your view) use the side back windows, and if you have a van even one on the rear window.  People will see these signs while you are driving around or anyplace you are parked. 

Magnetic signs for your vehicle:
Although this is a expense here are some web sites where you can get signs at a great discount
http://www.signcompany.com/vehicle.htm
http://www.magneticsignsontime.com/
http://www.alphainstantsigns.com/magnetic.htm
I have  these signs and I am very pleased with the signs and the price. Great way to advertise.

BOOKS:
 Get some Children's books and glue in a business card inside the cover, or a small flyer that will fit inside the cover telling about your Child Care.  Donate to Doctors offices, Dentist Offices, and other places where a parent might pick up the book and read to their child. (Always get permission to leave the books)

STREET SIGNS:
 (only if your town doesn't have an ordinance against them)
Materials needed.  Large pieces of cardboard, cut up old boxes, 
glue, hammer, nails, roofing nails work best, they are short and fat. 
And Xerox copies of the sign. 

On plain paper, about 3 sheets, write out 
LIC.
CHILD CARE
PHONE NUMBER 

WRITE this in very large thick bold print.  If you can do it on the computer, fine, be sure it is thick, very black, and at least 3 to 4 inch high letters. 
Xerox the sheets, 20-40 times,  
trim and glue down on to cardboard.  (do not use poster board, it is thin and starts to droop, cardboard will last longer in the elements)
use Elmer's glue to glue down your signs, and be sure to use plenty and get all the corners glued down,
These signs will last a while even in rain.
Placement:  
nail to wooden telephone poles.  Place high, might need a step stoole. 
use 3 nails, top, middle, bottom, to insure the sign will stay up longer.
The sign should face traffic, and you should place them on busy streets, about a mile radius around your area.  Place on both sides of street so people see them coming and going, place near intersections where they can see them and read them while sitting at signals, place near schools, parks, etc., 
check on your signs, and replace as needed. 
I hung up 40 the first time, sometimes more than 4 on one street if it's a busy long street. 
I check on them and replace them, I got most my calls from these signs. 

Call referral agencies and other providers:
Get on the referral list for every agency in town.  Call Licensing and ask them who the agencies are. 
Be prepared to send in a copy of your license to each of these agencies. 
Call local providers, you can find them also in the newspapers and call them.  Introduce yourself, and see how their ads are working, and what areas they are in.  Call in the evening, when you know they don't have Day Care.  Let them know you are new.  And that if they are full up if they would take your phone number and direct some calls your way.  Ask for some helpful tips. 
Find out of there is a provider support group in your area, and attend a meeting, and exchange phone numbers.  And always take their numbes too and do the same thing with them, send calls their way.  Share the resources,  ask them other resources as well.  (you might run into a couple of providers that don't wish to talk, share, or anything, just keep on going don't give up)

YARD SIGN:
Place a nice yard sign in your front yard.  This should be of wood or heavy plastic so it last in the rain.  Use Latex paint.  Make it cute. 
Don't put your phone number on the yard sign, just the name of your day care, 
Licensed,
hours, and ages. 
They can come to your door, (always keep the screen locked) and inquire about the day care. 
Have some flyers or brochures ready to hand out about your day care. 
These can be a little fancier, with more information and cute little pictures on them. 
If they are interested ask for the phone number, and set up an appointment, try not to do a drop in appointment unless you really feel comfortable with the person you are talking to.  A mom with a kid in tow.  But do not do a drop in appointment if a man comes to the door, or a woman that you feel uncomfortable with and you are there alone.  Always take precautions, 
and simply tell them, your first interview you do after day care hours, (when your husband is home) and then they can come back for a second visit when the kids are there.  If you have a ordiance against signs in your yard then place it on Garage door.  Remember you can always take it down when your spots are full.  Can also make a large window sign that is visiable to the street as well.

REALTORS:
Give some business cards to local Realtors that they can pass out to clients moving into the area and looking for possible Day Cares, ask Realtors to put your card, or flyer in their business packets that they give new clients. 
If there are open houses going on in your area stop and ask the Realtor to place your flyers or cards on the table with his brochures and etc.  A selling point to parents is affordable day care near by. 

APARTMENTS, AND OFFICES:
visit local apartments and talk to the managers and see if you can put a stack of flyers, maybe half sheets, on their front desk for their tenants to find, and or new tenants coming in. 
Also check with Doctors, Dentist and medical offices, Especially Children's Doctors, and Dentist, and see if you can leave some flyers there. 

BUSINESS CARDS:
you can even make these up on the computer if you have a good program.  Print Master Gold series, Print Shop, and etc.  Use Business Card stock that you can find at any stationary, or computer store.  Print up cards to always carry with you.  You never know when you might run into people and get to talking and they ask for a 
business card.
go to
http://www.vistaprint.com
and order 250 cards for FREE.  only cost is shipping and handling.

T-SHIRTS:
Get some T shirts for yourself and the DC, even your own kids.  You can buy transfer paper at the computer stores, and make up your own designs and do your own T-shirts.  Put in large print on the backs of the shirts, The name of your day care, (phone number optional) You need a program on your PC that will reverse the lettering before you print it on the transfer paper. 
Iron them on, and whenever you take the DC out to the park or something have them wear their Day Care shirts.  (keep them at the house) It makes it easier for you to see the kids while out, and you are advertising as well.  You will get people coming up to you and asking about your day care.  :0)
Here are some links to some web sites that do free listings,  to some low cost listings:

Extra Ideas:    
for next year call your local yellow pages in advance.  You can put your phone line and list it as a business line and get to advertise in the yellow pages free.  So check it out. Or just advertise in the yellow pages.  The cost varies on the size ad you place.  From a little one line add to a boxed ad and then the sizes of the box ads.  Some yellow pages have specials for first time advertisers.  Ask and see if yours does.
Also when doing any of the above, always carry extra's with you at all times ready to do.  So if you come across a new place you have a flyer, or business card or something to hang out. 

HALLOWEEN:
A perfect night to advertise.  Include your business card into trick or treat bags.  You can attach them to the candy you give out or simply drop them in the bags.  Think about the number of kids that come to your door.  I myself also put a sign on my front door (decorated to match the occasion) that this is a day care, and have mini flyers attached for parents to take when they walk up.  Always use every opportunity to advertise.

LOCAL COMPANIES:
Find the large companies nearest you.  Especially High Tech computer / software companies where they staff a large department of employees.  Write a letter to Human Resources or Personnel there.  
Write a professional letter, and state that you are a licensed child care offering quality child care services in this area.  That you have some openings and would like to offer your services to the employees of their company.  Ask if you can do the following:
1.  Post a flyer in their employee lounge, or employee news letter
2. Come to their company and use a meeting room where the employees can come and meet you and talk to you about child care Have a stand up display made showing pictures of the kids at various activities.  Also list what you have to offer these possible prospects.  Have hand outs ready to give them such as: business cards, brochures, and other handouts on nutrition, health in the day care and useful information for parents.  Parents like getting this stuff and it makes you look good.
Have a sign in sheet for them to sign when they come in. 
Have on there.  Name, home phone, email, ages of children and if they would like to visit your day care

Talk freely, answer questions.  Leave materials behind for anyone that might have missed the meeting, and ask those who came to pass the word along. 

OPEN HOUSE:
Host an open house.  Pick a Saturday to do this.  Just for about 3 hours.  A couple of days in advance hang out street signs (remove them later) that are printed up much like Yard sale signs.  Use neat very bold large print and place on sturdy cardboard.  Place on busy streets near your home marking the way with arrows like you would for a yard sale.  Plus a big sign with some ribbons and balloons on your front lawn. 

OPEN HOUSE
CHILD CARE
COME VISIT OUR CHILD CARE
SATURDAY
DATE
TIME
ADDRESS

Be prepared to have handouts.  Business cards, brochures, other useful information.
Have that stand up display to show the kids in action.  Have a couple of your current day care parents there to also be a reference for you.  Do not do this alone.
If you have a video of the kids at play and doing activities show that as well.  Give tours of your day care.  Also when you do this, do not have your own children there at that time Send them off to grandmas or a friends.  Less distractions, and this gives you the opportunity to talk to these people without the children interrupting.  This also means any DC parents coming to leave their children behind as well.
Have letters from your DC parents that could not come to show. 
Serve some cookies and punch, set up on the table so they can help themselves.

PROMOTIONS:
Try placing coupons on your flyers. or a promotion in your advertising. the coupon can be good for any of the following:
1. If you sign up during the month of _______________________registration fees will be waived.  A $25.00 or $50.00 savings.
2. This coupon good for one free parents night out.  Coupon entitles parents 4 free hours for an evening out.  $25.00 value per child.   One coupon per family when the enroll their child.
3. Sign up during the month of ___________and get a 10% deduction off your first months child care fees.  A $_____________value.
4.  Sign up during month of _____________and receive savings of $10.00 a week off child care fees the first 90 days of enrollment.  $120.00 savings.

Always Put an expiration date on the coupons.  

Tell Parents in your Day Care if the find a new client for you and the client signs up they will receive a free parents night out, or $10.00 off a weeks fees.  And the new family they bring in will also receive a Free Parens night out or something.
Give The parent a certificate when they bring a new client that has enrolled.  And they cash it in when they want to.  However, on parents night out make sure it's a night convenient to you as well.  And they can only use it on specific days.  Such as the 2nd or 4th Friday of the month.  Etc. 

Sacramentodaycare.com

http://www.sacramentokids.com/sacramento_day_care.htm

Child Action:

www.childaction.org

 

 craigslist: sacramento online community
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/
(this link can also take you to other towns)

 Welcome to CareGuide! 
http://www.careguide.com

Day Care Resource connection

 Daycare - Daycare.com
http://daycare.com/listings.cgi

 TLCdaycare.com
http://tlcdaycare.com

 KinderStart - Add URL
 http://kinderstart.com/cgi-bin/addurl.cgi

 Welcome to eDaycare! The Premier Source for Childcare Providers and Parents
 http://www.edaycare.com/
 Ads: Childcare, Moms Online

http://localdaycare.com/
 LocalDaycare.com - The Web's Largest Directory of Child Care Providers

 Childcare Seekers Inc.
http://www.childcareseekers.com/
 
  Add Your Day Care to Carefinder.com
http://www.kidcare.net/add.html
 
 Child Care Resource & Referral, Inc. - How May We Help You?
http://www.childcare-pbc.org/index.htm

 childcare-directory.com - your child care information source
http://www.childcare-directory.com/
 
 CCC - Become A Registered Provider
http://www.ccclearinghouse.com/provide1.html

 Child Care Clearinghouse Home Page
http://www.ccclearinghouse.com/

 child care online Complete Daycare Information Services
http://www.childcare.net/index.html

 Child Care Links
http://www.childcarelinks.org/
 
 http://www.childcaresystems.com/ AmericaTakingAction.com

Nationwide Child Care Safety Directory
http://www.childcaresystems.com/

 Child Care Resources Home
http://www.childcare.org/

  AmericaTakingAction.com Nationwide Child Care Safety Directory
 http://www.americatakingaction.com/childcare/thankyou.htm

 


 

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