Childcare Marketing

Children In a drop-in program.

Adding a New Revenue Stream With Drop-In Childcare

Day-cares are struggling more than ever. You’ve heard whispers about it, but can you really save your business with a drop-in childcare program?

The ebb and flow of employment is often influenced by social and economic factors beyond our control. As a childcare business owner, you understand this first-hand. Birth rates change, wages plummet in light of a pandemic, and workplace practices evolve. This all leads to uncertainty, making it difficult to determine the long-term viability of your business.

In June 2020, the economy added 4.8 million jobs, and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 11.1%. But, will these promising job numbers help daycares? In light of COVID-19, the daycare industry may well lose 4.5 million childcare slots.

That’s a sobering statistic. Added to that is the increasing trend towards working at home. Between a growing work from home movement and social distancing considerations, employees with families may not need full-time child care services. In addition, many parents have lost their jobs and find themselves in straitened financial circumstances.

Thus, your success may depend on the economy, social climate, and local career opportunities in your region. If a big employer shutters its doors in your town, you’ll probably see a decline in your attendance numbers.  Below, we talk about ways to shore-up your bottom line by offering drop-in childcare as a new revenue stream. We’ll cover details like logistics and marketing, and the flexible technologies needed to manage your program well.

But first, let’s talk about the changes in traditional daycare. These are the driving factors that create a need for drop-in care.

Reasons for Offering Drop-in Childcare in 2020

Many parents must choose between spending a significant portion of their wages on full-time daycare or finding a cheaper but potentially lower-quality care option. Others wind up leaving the workforce altogether. Whether it’s high costs, limited availability, or low-quality services, these challenges influence the choices parents make about daycare. 

Consider these statistics:

  • In 2016, roughly two million parents made career sacrifices due to problems finding adequate child care.
  • Between 1985 and 2011, the costs of childcare increased by roughly 70%, though wages did not, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  

It’s not entirely clear why the cost of childcare has skyrocketed. However, the usual culprits are strict labor laws, high regulatory standards, and excessive legal liabilities. Still, wages among caregivers have remained stagnant; childcare workers make an average of $10/hour. And, their responsibilities have increased. It’s no longer enough that children are fed and kept happy. They must make new strides daily in high-quality early learning programs. 

Historically, low-income mothers ran informal, home-based childcare operations. However, in the early 1990s, a range of government-funded childcare programs like Head Start sprang up. This led to many informal childcare providers formalizing their offerings.

How the Work-From-Home Movement Could Affect Child Care in America 

The work-from-home movement (WFH) continues to grow in 2020. With the realization that telecommuting can reduce overhead costs and increase productivity, employers overwhelmingly support the movement.

  • As working from home becomes more popular, there’s a good chance full-time childcare centers will experience declining enrollment.
  • Some parents may decide to permanently work at home while caring for their children.
  • Meanwhile, others may seek to offer informal home-based services in their neighborhood. 

By offering — and advertising — drop-in services, child care organizations can build their client base. Working parents still need access to quality child care, though probably not on a full-time basis. For example, they may need quiet time to focus on quarterly reports or a few hours to run errands. By offering drop-in care, providers can also reduce overhead expenses.

Marketing a Drop-in Childcare Program to Parents With “Four-Walls Marketing”

Whether your childcare business is a “big fish in a small pond” or one of many in a bustling marketplace, one of the best ways to market to parents is through Four-Walls Marketing.

Today’s full-time care customers are tomorrow’s drop-in care customers. So, offer drop-in services, if possible. In addition, leverage digital and social media marketing strategies to increase your enrollment. 

We think this Columbus Business First article says it well. “Many business owners and managers spend money on advertising campaigns to bring customers in the door only to have them disappointed by their experience within the four walls of the business… advertising creates short-term customer traffic. Four-walls marketing… creates long-term customer loyalty, assists in building customer frequency, and creates a solid reputation for your business.”

To put it another way, expending resources to attract new business is futile if certain elements aren’t in place. You’d be better-served making facility and operational improvements and giving your signage a facelift as you make a move towards offering drop-in care. 

Drop-in Childcare Logistics

Regulations for drop-in child care arrangements are far less stringent than those for full-time facilities. Presently, drop-in care isn’t regulated by any federal or state program like the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE).

Although there are no educational or nutritional requirements for this type of daycare, you’ll still need to post a notice that you’re not required to be licensed, as required by GS 110-86(2)(d)(d1) and GS 110-99(c). 

Ultimately, the shift towards telecommuting may be permanent. Large tech companies like Twitter and Facebook announced permanent work-at-home policies in May. Meanwhile, the 94-year-old Nationwide Insurance closed five regional offices in Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. The Ohio-based company intends to increase its telecommuting staff to 50% of its workforce.

Work With Prime Childcare Software to Achieve Business Resilience

Recent upheavals caused by the COVID-19 crisis have transformed how we work, and many parents are facing evolving changes in the employment landscape. While some employees will choose to telecommute, others may decide to try the hybrid-remote approach. Thus, they may only head to the office once a week or alternate between remote and office work. These considerations make the childcare industry a shifting landscape. 

At Prime Child Care Software, our goal is to provide you with flexible technological solutions to help you run a daycare center successfully. You’ll be able to focus on customer experience and engage in projects that will establish your business as a trusted source for childcare. 

By spending fewer staff hours on issues like data privacy management, meal planning, and billing, you can focus on finding more creative ways to diversify your income stream and place your organization at the forefront of your market. 

If you’d like to learn more about building different sources of income, check out our enrollment guide for attracting parents and increasing your enrollment numbers, or reach out to Prime Childcare Software. We offer working solutions to help you achieve business success.


Related Reading & Resources:

The Centers for American Progress: The Child Care Crisis is Keeping Women Out of the Workforce

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Daycare teacher and children; classroom ideas for July.

6 Delightful Classroom Ideas for July

Summer is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere. While we bask in air-conditioned rooms, it’s time to reinvent our favorite classroom ideas for July.

We know that coming up with new playtime activities and lessons isn’t always easy. Childcare teachers in America spend seven hours a week looking for instructional materials and spend more time teaching children in the classroom than in most other countries. So, we called in a little help from the authors of 365 Days of Classroom Fun to come up with some amazing classroom ideas for July.

Sit back and relax; we’ll take the wheel. Here are six activities to keep children engaged and entertained without spending long periods outdoors.

1) July 4th: Independence Day

Supplies needed: Patriotic foods, music, and American flags

Suggested Activities: Introduce children to the rich history of Independence Day! Hot dogs on the grill, patriotic music on the radio, and fireworks blazing across the sky all have an important meaning. Luckily, there are many activities in the Fourth of July playbook to share with your young students. You could print out an American flag coloring page, write thank-you letters to members of the military, or chow down on some festive Fourth of July foods. Who doesn’t love hot dogs and hamburgers?

  • Teach students about the meaning of independence and the core principles America was founded upon. Simple values like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression can highlight valuable lessons.
  • Invite your students to share what being patriotic means to them.
  • Celebrate the founding of America and the principles of freedom.

2) July 8th: Math 2.0 Day

Supplies needed: Calculators and math books

Suggested Activities: National Math 2.0 Day celebrates both math and technology. The math that goes into making cars, computer programs, and phones is obviously too complex for young children. However, calculators aren’t. This page offers a wide variety of calculator math games for children. So, play on — your students will never look at math the same way again!

  • Teach children about the importance of math and how everyday objects were built with it. Create some simple math lessons that revolve around technology. Remember, teaching math to young children will boost their math comprehension later in life.
  • Inspire children to enjoy mathematics. Math is consistently ranked as the least favorite subject in school. Use crayons, fun stories, and interesting games to keep students engaged and entertained.
  • Celebrate by playing math-based games or telling some funny math jokes. Why was the math book sad? Because it had so many problems!

3) July 14th: Shark Awareness Day

Supplies needed: Shark books, photos, or coloring books

Suggested Activities: The theme from Jaws is what many of us hear in our heads when we think about sharks. But, did you know that your chance of being attacked by a shark is 1 in 11.5 million? You’re over 20 times more likely to get struck by lightning.

Shark Awareness Day is the perfect time to teach children about sharks and how they’re a vital part of our ecosystem. Despite the frightening depictions in the media, we rely on sharks to maintain the habitats of underwater plants and coral reefs. Teach children about the dangers of sharks but also emphasize their value in their diverse underwater habitats.

  • Teach children about the different types of sharks. There are over 400 unique types. Angel sharks, hammerhead sharks, and goblin sharks are all fascinating creatures that spark children’s imaginations.
  • Invite children to take an interest in the beautiful world of sharks. Of course, you can show them this video. Not that they haven’t seen it already!
  • Celebrate by sharing photos, names, and habitats of various sharks. Print out some shark worksheets or dive into shark books.

4) July 19th: Water Balloon Day

Supplies needed: Water, balloons, and a change of clothes

Suggested Activities: Water balloons aren’t just a fun way to spend an afternoon; they teach kids valuable sensory-driven lessons. Sensory play is a vital component of brain development. So, have children bring along a change of clothes and get to work. This one is a little messy, so feel free to use the playground. Make sure to keep things fun, engaging, and friendly.

  • Teach children to celebrate their senses. Let them handle the balloons, fill them up, and pass them around. The simple act of playing with water balloons can help children boost their creativity and become more attuned to their senses.
  • Invite your children to describe their senses. What do the balloons feel like? What happens when you drop them?
  • Celebrate fun and play! Try to keep things organized and cooperative (rather than competitive). See who can fill up a balloon with the most water before it pops. Have your students toss a water balloon back and forth with one another. Or, play an old-fashioned game of “hot potato.”

5) July 21st: Junk Food Day

Supplies needed: Healthy food and/or junk food

Who doesn’t love a little junk food? It tastes great. However, many children develop unhealthy food preferences during their early years that can carry over to adulthood. On national Junk Food Day, celebrate the avoidance of junk food. Make healthier versions of favorite snacks.

Or, bring in junk food and talk about the dangers of over-indulging. Moderation is key. It’s perfectly fine to share and enjoy some “junk foods” during the lesson. But, bring in “healthier” options to share, like fruit popsicles, corn chips & salsa, dark chocolate treats, popcorn, or fig bars. Whatever you do, try to teach children the importance of keeping these types of foods to a minimum.

  • Teach children about nutrition and junk food. Let them know that healthier alternatives won’t just help them stay in shape, but they will also reduce their chances of getting sick and increase their energy levels.
  • Invite children to share their favorite junk foods. Then, talk about some alternatives that are equally tasty without all of the added sugar and fat.
  • Celebrate by eating healthy snacks and playing food-oriented games.

6) July 31st: World Ranger Day

Supplies needed: Paper, pens, and books about national parks, animals, or park rangers

Park rangers protect our national parks from illegal activities like poaching. They also assist visitors in learning more about the beauty of nature. In fact, park rangers are so important that they have their own day — World Ranger Day. July 31st marks the anniversary of the founding of The International Ranger Federation (IRF).

So, take this opportunity to teach children about the importance of park rangers and our national parks.

  • Teach children what it takes to qualify as a park ranger and how rangers protect our natural treasures daily. Often, the idea of being outdoors all day fascinates young children. So, you may already have several students who desire to become park rangers. You can also take this opportunity to discuss some of our more popular national parks and the type of wildlife they host.
  • Invite children to talk about their dream jobs. What do they want to be when they grow up? And, do any of them want to be park rangers?
  • Celebrate by writing thank-you letters to park rangers or baking up some delicious outdoor snacks (like trail mix).

Discover Other Classroom Ideas for July in the Book

What are your top ideas for the classroom? As can be seen, July is filled with holidays that can be used to inspire curiosity and creative thinking in your young charges.

To make learning fun again, get your copy of 365 Days of Classroom Fun today. Written by industry experts, this user-friendly guide offers 365 unique classroom ideas that will inspire greater engagement in the learning process. With your copy from Amazon, you’ll get classroom ideas for July and beyond!

365 Days of Classroom Fun

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The COVID-19 Childcare Dilemma: Encouraging Parents to Send Their Kids Back to Daycare

Babies and toddlers often find social distancing an overwhelming experience. They may cry excessively or display regressive behavior if forced to stay apart from their playmates. This has prompted the CDC to release guidance on coping with the stress of social distancing. In that light, how can you encourage parents to send their kids back to daycare?

It may be easier than you think. In Q1 2020, millions of workers transitioned to remote workspaces. And, parents suddenly found themselves juggling work and domestic responsibilities in close quarters. In addition, they also became full-time tutors to their children. An Osmo study shows that 80% of parents now have a newfound respect for teachers.

However, the experience of adjusting to new remote work arrangements has taken a toll on parents: 75% are experiencing difficulty balancing their work-life and children’s educational needs. Meanwhile, 68% worry about running out of ideas to keep their child engaged in learning. And, the elephant in the room: 85% of parents are concerned about their child’s screen time usage — which has surged by 500% as a result of prevailing stay-at-home orders.

As a childcare center, you’re in a perfect position to alleviate these pain points. Chances are, with the economy lagging, your admission numbers are dwindling. And, you’ve been making sensible cutbacks by leveraging technology to gain new revenue streams. However, the rising friction between domestic and work responsibilities is a fantastic opportunity for your facility.

Focus on Safety

During (and after) pandemics, safety is top-of-mind for everyone — especially parents. In light of COVID-19, two in three parents are concerned about their child’s mental wellbeing. At the same time, 42% of parents are worried about their child’s education.

Finally, the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 has been tremendous. Unemployment currently sits at 13.3%, albeit a decrease from 14.7% at the height of the crisis. According to a study, a four-week school closure in New York City would result in an economic cost of $1.1bn. Meanwhile, a nationwide closure of 12 weeks would cost 1% of GDP. So, there are obvious frictions between safety, financial, and educational considerations in the current ecosystem.

If you’re thinking of reopening, the CDC has guidelines on how to create a safe environment for children. And, we recently outlined several steps childcare centers can take to reassure parents that their facilities are safe. Obviously, there are costs associated with these changes. Maintaining smaller child-to-staff ratios while implementing hygiene-based improvements will exert a downward pressure on profits. So, be sure to highlight the investments you’re making to keep children safe.

In addition, safety should be a key component of your marketing campaigns and social media updates. Sure, parents are facing challenges on multiple fronts.

But, you still have to convince parents to entrust their children to your care and to see your facility as the solution to their work-at-home challenges. Below are some marketing ideas to highlight the steps your facility is taking to keep children safe.

  • Use social media to remind parents that you’re following CDC guidelines on social distancing and hygiene practices.
  • Assure parents that their children’s safety is your top priority.
  • Put the words “health” and “safety” in your advertisements.
  • Post social media updates every time your facility is sanitized.
  • Send out notices (either via an app notification or email) that you have implemented the right safety protocols.

Branch Out From Full-Time Enrollment to Encourage Parents to Send Their Kids Back to Daycare

We know that many of you are struggling financially. The National Association of Young Children surveyed childcare providers in March at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. It found that 42% of providers wouldn’t survive two weeks without federal assistance. In response, the CARES Act has helped soften the impact of financial hardship.

And, in keeping with the continuing needs of small business owners, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which was signed into law on June 5, 2020. Now, companies can delay payroll tax payments even though they took out a PPP loan, and they can also obtain full loan forgiveness in two specific circumstances. Still, chances are high that you could use some incoming revenue.

But, instead of focusing all your efforts on increasing day-to-day enrollment, consider setting up a process to attract parents who aren’t necessarily looking for full-time assistance. Since many parents now work from home, they may be looking for ad-hoc childcare assistance — not full-time care. For example, childcare centers are a great solution when parents attend interviews, run errands, and attend conferences. You can take in children for a day (or even a few hours) while the parents are busy.

Think of this as a new line of business, since it may involve setting up new procedures. However, it can help you bring in some much-needed income. In addition, many of these parents may become full-time customers once they see the benefits your daycare offers.

Unemployed Parents Still Need Daycare Services (and Can Pay For It)

As childcare centers struggle to stay afloat, it’s important to refrain from ignoring unemployed parents. The truth is, work isn’t the only demand parents face. They may also be responsible for the care of aged parents. In addition, they must navigate a competitive hiring landscape and an increasingly crowded gig economy. Still, being unemployed shouldn’t be equated with being “unable to pay for childcare.”

Unfortunately, many childcare centers leave unemployed parents out of their marketing campaigns. They avoid creating programs for unemployed parents and even revolve their social media messages solely around working parents. If you’re doing this, you may be missing out on potential leads. Between childcare subsidies, extended unemployment benefits, and the provisions of the new Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, many unemployed parents still have the financial means to pay for childcare. And, they may need these services more than ever.

Providing Critical Services to Encourage Parents to Send Their Kids Back to Daycare

The challenges are real. Parents must navigate new remote work schedules or hunt for new jobs in an increasingly competitive job market. Meanwhile, the continued closure of camps means that children must forego many traditional summertime activities. As a childcare center, you’re in a perfect position to offer solutions to these pain points.

By focusing on hourly care as a new revenue stream, you can pad shrinking profit margins. Be sure to include both employed and unemployed parents in your overall messaging and marketing campaigns. Times may be tough. But, childcare centers aren’t going away anytime soon. Parents will always need a helping hand — and your facility can step in to fill the void.

Do you need help navigating the aftermath of COVID-19? At Prime Child Care Software, we’ve built COVID-19-centric features directly into our center management software — including temperature checks. We’re dedicated to bringing you the latest, cutting-edge solutions to help you survive during and after the crisis. So, let us be your post-crisis bounce-back solution. Contact us to begin your path to a successful reopening today.

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A little girl at a Montessori school; how to increase Montessori enrollment.

5 Social Media Marketing Ideas to Increase Montessori Enrollment

Montessori programs offer a valuable educational experience for young children. And, parents get peace of mind knowing their children are thriving in a safe, friendly environment. As a program director or facility owner, you have much to offer your young charges, but how can you increase Montessori enrollment seamlessly? Below, we discuss the role social media marketing can play in helping you reach your enrollment goals. 

What Are The Benefits of A Montessori School?

A Montessori program focuses on leveraging innate childhood traits to develop a child’s full potential. These traits include curiosity, creativity, self-discovery, the need for order, and the desire to respond to sensorial input. Montessori education is child-centered, with curriculum developed around the needs and abilities of the child. Specifically, it focuses on four planes of development:

  • The First Plane: Birth to Age 6 (Early Childhood/Infancy) “The Construction of Individuality and the Absorbent Mind”
  • The Second Plane: Ages 6–12 (Childhood) “Conscious Imagination”
  • The Third Plane: Ages 12–18 (Adolescence) “The Development of a Social Identity”
  • The Fourth Plane: Ages 18–24 (Maturity) “Maturity in Philosophical and Moral Values”

The History of Montessori Learning

Maria Montessori opened the first Montessori school in 1907 in an impoverished region of Rome. She named her school Casa de Bambini. In her work, she observed that the children (ages three to seven) enjoyed responding to sensorial input. They loved puzzles, gaining mathematical and cognitive skills through hours of play.

When given the opportunity to teach themselves, they thrived. Maria also noticed that, when playing, children focused on processes rather than specific results. Within a few years, Montessori schools opened throughout Western Europe. In America, Montessori made its debut in 1911.

Instead of standing in front of the class and teaching, a Montessori teacher lets students learn at their own pace. In this way, children develop a sense of community that can help them navigate interpersonal situations later in life. 

All things considered, a Montessori classroom is highly organized, with each space having a specific purpose. For example, spaces can be dedicated to cultural, language, or practical considerations. The American Montessori Society shows what classrooms should look like at every stage of childhood development.

Leverage the Right Social Media Marketing Strategies to Increase Montessori Enrollment

The benefits of a Montessori education are clear, so it makes sense to want to increase your center’s enrollment. When creating a digital marketing strategy, one of the main areas of focus should be social media. The latter allows you to connect with your audience on a platform that inspires engagement.

Below are five great tips on how to increase Montessori enrollment with social media:

The Platform You Use Matters

Think about what platform your potential customers are using and the type of content that works best for that platform. You may find that many of the millennial parents you’re looking to attract use Facebook or Instagram to keep in touch with friends and the brands they love.

In addition to optimizing your facility’s “About Us” page and posting fun, engaging content, you can use advertisements as a tool to attract more parents. If you’re thinking about advertising on social media, make sure you’re using the right ones in order to get the best reach and the largest return on your investment. 

Try Facebook Ads

Facebook has an intelligent advertising platform you can leverage to reach specific age groups, locations, and interests. With Interest Targeting, you can reach specific groups of people based on their interests and the pages they liked. For example, you can target Millennial parents (those aged between 25 to 45 who have liked pages relating to Montessori schools or alternative education).

Make sure your ads have a concise call to action, like “click here to schedule a consultation” or “sign up to attend our upcoming open house.” Those who click on your ad should be taken to a specific landing page providing more information about your event or promotion. Including a call to action can increase your click-through rate exponentially!

Create Engaging Videos

Video is an extremely effective tool in getting the attention of parents, with the demand for video content increasing annually. What better way to show off your beautiful classroom space, introduce your friendly staff, or send parents a message than with videos?

Specifically, videos under two minutes are great for engagement. So, keep it short to tell parents what you have to offer. Video is a chance to be creative. You could give parents tips on learning at home or explain the benefits of a Montessori education. Videos work great on highly visual social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

Recoup Lost Traffic Through Facebook Remarketing

Facebook remarketing gives you another chance to reach out to parents who may be interested in your program. The fact is, somewhere around 96% of the people who visit your website will leave without taking action. With Facebook remarketing, you can get the attention of previous site visitors with targeted ads.

Specifically, Facebook’s tracking pixel allows you to see who left your site without converting.

We know parents have a lot on their minds. In the wake of COVID-19, parents have struggled to balance work, childcare, and ongoing stresses. Perhaps, they were interested in your Montessori proposition but got distracted and didn’t follow through. Or, they lost your contact information. Remarketing is the best way to get them back and potentially turn them into leads. In fact, research shows that people are 70% more likely to take action after they’ve been retargeted.

Use Social Media to Spy on Your Competitors and Increase Montessori Enrollment

90% of brands use social media, so it’s a pretty competitive space. It never hurts to take a look at what your competitors are doing on social media. You’ll get an idea of what’s trending in the Montessori space and gain insight into how your business is actually doing.

First, identify your competitors by conducting general searches on Google or other search engines. From there, find out which platforms they’re using and explore how they use those platforms. You can spy on local and global competitors by using Combin for Instagram. Be sure to look at what kind of content your competitors are posting, how often they post, and how they respond to inquiries. You can also see the specific strategies they use to drive engagement and increase conversions. Both Facebook and Twitter have ad transparency tools that let you see your competitor’s ads.

Finally, study your competitor’s brand voice: what works and what doesn’t. Do a brand analysis or audit. Perhaps, it takes your competitor a while to respond to comments or its “About Us” page is lacking. Essentially, look for weaknesses you can capitalize on.

Work With Prime Childcare to Increase Montessori Enrollment

When you implement new marketing strategies, it’s important to track your progress to gauge their effectiveness. Make sure your goal is clear, concise, and actionable. Instead of saying that you’d like to increase enrollment, make your goal something more specific. This can be increasing your enrollment by 10% in three months or decreasing your churn rate by 5% in two months.

Thus, you can know exactly when your goal was met, how long it took, and what strategies worked best to help you get there. This makes it easier for you to create effective marketing campaigns you can leverage over and over again. 

Sure, it may take a little time and experimentation to learn exactly what works. But, as long as you’re keeping track of your efforts and following the above tips, you’re bound to find creative ways to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy. If you’d like to learn more about how to increase Montessori enrollment, contact us today. We can show you how to combine our leading-edge mobile app and the above social media marketing strategies to succeed in a competitive marketplace.

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How to Attract Parents and Increase Childcare Enrollment Guide

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What's Inside?


Never underestimate the power of collecting and showcasing positive testimonials from happy parents!

Informing Parents

Keeping parents informed about the daily activities is one way to keep your relationships with them in tip top form. 

Competitive Edge

There are so many ways for you to show your edge over your competitors, from pricing to the technology you use.


Promoting your center out in the community can help your enrollment tremendously, from pricing specials to digital advertising and more.

Digital marketing strategies for daycares.

7 Top Digital Marketing Strategies for Daycares

How do you get parents to choose your daycare? If you have an online presence, how can you increase your search engine rankings and show up on the first page of local results? To complicate matters, there are as many digital marketing strategies for daycares as there are experts touting them. But, how do you know what works? Most importantly, where do you start?

When it comes to childcare, parents prioritize quality over cost. Research shows that 62% of parents worry about neglect and inadequate supervision when choosing childcare facilities. And, they are willing to pay for reliable care, shelling out more than $9,000 per child annually for the service.

Sure, the marketing focus should be obvious for facility owners. Yet, challenges abound. The marketing rule of 7 says that consumers need to hear about your business seven times before they make a purchase. In that light, digital marketing can substantially increase that engagement level. According to Retail Dive, 87% of consumers search for products and services online before they make a purchase. Therefore, ignoring digital marketing may be a disservice to your business.

Though disasters like the COVID-19 crisis have hit businesses hard, these digital marketing strategies for daycares are some of the smartest tactics in the marketplace. Let’s start with the basics.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Daycares: Local SEO

Local search engine optimization is the customization of your online presence to increase the visibility of your brand in your local region. Most customers of daycare centers are area residents. So, be sure to implement digital marketing strategies that target this group specifically.

Add your location to the titles of your webpages, including the city and state. Since searchers will be looking for local daycare facilities, search engines will direct them to your pages.

You can also use Schema markup, a type of microdata that provides more details about your webpages. It lets search engines display your address, days and hours of operation, acceptable payment methods, and more. Improved visibility on search engine pages can increase your leads and conversions.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Daycares: Email Marketing

Studies show that the return on investment for effective email marketing can be as high as $42 for every $1. It involves building a mailing list and sending emails to potential customers. For a daycare facility, the prospects are parents below 50 years of age.

A good start is collecting the email addresses of parents whose children are already enrolled in your daycare. You can also obtain more contacts through opt-in forms, where you ask your website audience for permission to add them to your mailing list.

Next, be sure to segment your email list. Segmentation is the practice of dividing your email subscribers into groups based on factors like age, income, purchasing behaviors, values, and motivations. Read about the four types of market segmentation here. Monitor your open rates to determine if segmentation is working. The email open rate is the percentage of subscribers who open your emails.

Most importantly, know the difference between open rates and click-to-open rates. Open rates reveal the percentage of subscribers who opened your email. Meanwhile, the click-to-open rate shows the percentage of recipients who opened your email and clicked on your CTA (call-to-action) link. If you want to know how effective your email campaigns are, look for the click-to-open rate.

You can also look at the click-through rate, which shows how many emails you had to send out to get a desired rate of response. For example, you sent out 10,000 emails to get 100 subscribers to click on your CTA link for a coupon promotion. This amounts to a CTR of 1%.

Finally, consider using an email marketing platform that automates the task of sending out emails and provides analytics reports.  Try MailChimp or these affordable MailChimp alternatives to get the results you want.

Online Reputation Management for Daycares

Studies show that about 82% of people read online reviews for local businesses. Therefore, maintaining a good reputation is critical. You need to know where parents are talking online and join in the conversation.

Your daycare service should have a system that leverages technology to get 5-star reviews. Examples of reputation marketing solutions include ReviewTracker, Reputation Loop, and, among others. The system should gather reviews ethically using proprietary feedback.

Virtual Tours of Business Premises

These tours highlight your business premises using images, video, sound effects, and music. They portray reality on video and are especially helpful during crises like COVID-19.

With videos, you can showcase your center to parents from the comfort of their homes. Most importantly, you can impress them with crisp pictures of play, classroom, and dining areas in your facility.

Virtual tours are unique in that they can also resonate with children. Little ones can watch videos and form an impression of your facility, even before they step foot in it. For many children, a sneak peek before attendance may help reduce the anxiety of leaving home.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Daycares: Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms are the best places to find parents with young children. According to Edison Research, 92% of mothers in the United States use social media; 81% especially favor Facebook. In fact, mothers with children below five years of age are more likely to use social media than others.

Thus, visibility on Facebook is vital for daycare centers that want to reach parents. But, Facebook marketing requires a strategic approach. Be sure to contribute to online conversations where parents of young children are active. Familiarize yourself with the different types of Facebook ads and learn how to create a retargeting campaign on the platform.

To track the success of your ad campaign, use Facebook’s conversion tracking tool. If you don’t know who your audience is or who you want to target, start with Facebook Audience Insights.

Your Facebook page should also keep parents updated about your services, offers, and facility developments. Be sure to create compelling content that parents will enjoy reading. If they like what they see, they’ll share your posts with their friends, thereby increasing your leads exponentially.

Online Directories for Daycares

Regardless of whether you have a website, consider listing your daycare facility on several online directories. They help consumers find local businesses like yours. The web has a plethora of free and paid online directories. Get your daycare center listed on as many as possible.

Online directories also help to increase your online visibility and build citations. An SEO citation is a reference to your business details in an online directory and can help increase your search engine rankings. Not sure which directories to list your business? Start with these 21 web directories.

Pay-Per-Click Ads for Daycares

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads can help with ranking. You pay each time someone clicks on your ad. According to studies, brand awareness can increase by about 80% through PPC.

You can also run PPC campaigns on various social media platforms. For example, a Facebook retargeting ad is a type of PPC ad. An advantage of PPC is that it’s measurable in terms of your SEO efforts. Additionally, you only pay for clicks, meaning you’re paying for visitors who show interest in your childcare services.

Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Strategies for Daycares

There are many more digital marketing approaches to add to this list, and many factors will influence the outcomes of each. However, the above constitutes the key strategies to put into practice.

Whichever digital marketing line you take, rankings are critical. The top links in search engines get about 28% in click-through rates. Websites at the very top get 42% of the traffic, while the third link down gets only 8% of the traffic. And, of course, the most influential search engine is Google. So, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with its ranking factors for 2020.

Cloud-Based Daycare Management and Digital Marketing: Twin Forces for Success

From finances to student data privacy, there are many aspects to running a successful daycare program. To reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and to eliminate the risks of cyber breaches, our groundbreaking cloud-based childcare management tool can help. Combined with targeted digital marketing strategies for daycares, you’ll be well on your road to success. To learn more about what Prime Child Care can do for your business, contact us.

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Daycare class in session; classroom ideas for June.

6 Inspiring Classroom Ideas for June

Summer has arrived. What are your favorite classroom ideas for June? And, how important is playtime in early childhood education?

Undoubtedly, all children enjoy playtime. From poverty-stricken war zones to the streets of suburbia, the drive to play is so deeply ingrained in children that the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights considers “play” the fundamental human right of every child. In fact, a plethora of research shows how childhood play helps develop brain function, promotes mastery, improves motor skills, and increases happiness.

As we embrace the month of June, childcare centers may be struggling to find indoor activities that capture both the imagination and interest of young children. Still, there are many ways to incorporate the ever-important “play” factor into early childhood education.

Below, we share several fun playtime activities for June. You can use these activities to increase enrollment, bring in new leads on social media, and encourage engagement from parents and children.

June 6th: Yo-Yo Day

Suggested Activities: Life is filled with ups-and-downs. But, so are yo-yos! The beloved yo-yo dates back to 440 B.C. While yo-yos are certainly engaging toys, they also help teach critical hand-eye coordination skills and the basics of physics in a way that’s accessible to young children. There are multiple ways to approach Yo-Yo Day.

  • Provide your students with yo-yos or have them bring their own to class — we personally recommend the latter.

  • Yo-yos can teach children the basic idea of gravity. Ask children why the yo-yo falls when they let go of the base.

  • Teach children the basic “sleeper” trick. You can have a competition to see who can make the yo-yo “sleep” the longest, or just let children have free time to explore some of the unique tricks based on the “sleeper.”

  • June 6th is also Gardening Exercise Day and Drive-In Movie Day. For the former, teach your students the name of weeds and have them pull up a few. And, for the latter, have your students decorate boxes to look like “cars” they can sit in. Watch a short movie, and serve popcorn!

June 8th: Best Friend Day

Suggested Activities: There’s an old Irish proverb: “A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.” On June 8th, celebrate Best Friend Day with your class. Being a best friend is about more than just wearing the same brand of shoes or clothing.

The positive power of friendship cuts across social and economic lines during early childhood development. Teaching children how to pick “best friends” can help them make smart relationship decisions later in life. In addition, teaching them how to develop the positive traits of a “best friend” can help them achieve lasting happiness and success.

  • Best Friend Day can be a little tricky. You don’t necessarily want to center the day around having a best friend, since many children may not have one. Instead, use this time to teach children what qualities a “best” friend should have.

  • Honesty, integrity, loyalty, compassion, and trustworthiness are all important traits that can be difficult to explain to young children. So, use stories and movies to teach these concepts.

June 12th: Superman Day

Suggested Activities: It’s a bird. No. It’s a plane. No. It’s Superman! June 12th is Superman Day and one of the most engaging classroom ideas for June. So, it’s time to have some fun with Superman-related activities. You can also make it Supergirl Day or even Wonder Woman Day.

  • Invite your students to dress up as Superman, Supergirl, or Wonder Woman before class. It’s time to save the world. While dressing up as a superhero may seem corny, it allows children to explore ethical dilemmas, develop personal identities, and even form friendships based on shared interests.

  • Take the opportunity to talk about the creator of Superman, the positive values of superheroes, and the traits that make a person “super.” Studies consistently show that imagination-fueled playtime is crucial for developing social and emotional skills. Young children often feel small and vulnerable. Superhero play offers opportunities to gain a sense of mastery and resilience, which are both critical skills children need to explore and internalize.

  • Encourage your students to make up their own superhero personas and come up with origin stories for their superheroes.

June 17th: Eat Your Veggies Day

Suggested Activities: Brussel sprouts…do we hear groans? Why should children eat them instead of piling more chicken nuggets on the plate? It’s time to take nutrition seriously on Eat Your Veggies Day.

  • On Eat Your Veggies Day, focus on teaching children the importance of a nutritious diet. Bring trays of diverse selections of veggies and let your students sample all of the unique, exotic, and delicious vegetables of the world.

  • Studies show that offering children a variety of vegetable options increases both the consumption and acceptance of veggies. You can also bring some of the more popular vegetable dips to class (Ranch dressing, hummus, Green Goddess dressing, to name a few). Remember to check dietary needs before serving all those delicious crudites and dips. If you’re using Prime Childcare Software, you’ll have access to the student nutrition and allergen database as well as digital dietary notes left by parents.

June 22nd: World Rainforest Day

Suggested Activities: Monkeys, lizards, and the gorgeous birds-of-paradise all come from one place: the rainforest. This plant-packed, diverse animal biome is one of planet Earth’s most incredible marvels. June 22nd is World Rainforest Day.

  • For a ton of free, virtual educational resources, The Rainforest Alliance has you covered. Have your students explore a virtual treehouse. Talk about the crops rainforests produce, and read stories about the rainforest. For a fun time, build a rainforest terrarium together or play rainforest bingo.

  • Watch an episode of Wild Kratts or Zaboomafoo. This is also the perfect opportunity to enjoy some arts and crafts. Print out rainforest pages for coloring, draw pictures of plants, or divide students into groups to design the perfect treehouse.

  • World Rainforest Day is a great time to talk about the basics of plant biology and discuss the consequences of rainforest deforestation. Undoubtedly, this special holiday is one of the most popular classroom ideas for June!

June 30th: Log Cabin Day

Suggested Activities: What do Abraham Lincoln, lumberjacks, and campers have in common? Answer: They all love log cabins!

  • It’s time to jump into the time machine. Have your students bring their favorite set of Lincoln logs from home. Be sure to provide a supply of logs for students who don’t have their own sets.

  • While Lincoln logs may seem like an “old fashioned” toy, studies show that playing with Lincoln logs and Legos can help children develop important organizational skills. On Log Cabin Day, teach children about the wonderful and diverse history of log cabins and have them make their own log cabin village from Lincoln logs.

How to Keep Students Engaged Throughout the School Year

As can be seen, these great classroom ideas for June can be used to teach a range of core values. If you’re looking for more kid-friendly activities for your daycare or childcare facility, check out 365 Days of Classroom Fun: Early Childhood Development Activities & Supply Lists for Every Day of the Year. To get this resource, order your copy from Amazon today.

365 Days of Classroom Fun

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3 Reasons to Utilize a Dedicated Daycare Mobile App

Running a successful facility requires consistent and open lines of communication with parents. Let’s face it: parental involvement is a crucial component of a wholesome and holistic child care ecosystem. But, what happens when they ignore your attempts at communication? Will a dedicated daycare mobile app solve the problem?

According to research, the average American receives 126 important emails a day. Yet, they only send out around 34 emails during the span of 24 hours. That means they’re probably ignoring over 90 emails sitting in their inboxes. In traditional settings, child care facilities rely on strategies like newsletters, emails, and websites to reach parents. But, do they actually work?

The truth is: not really. Parents already get too many emails, text messages, and newsletters daily. And, despite using personalized subject lines and engaging CTAs (calls-to-action), you find it harder than ever to reach parents. In addition, consumers get over 6 billion “junk” emails each day. Even in professional settings, the majority of office workers completely ignore work emails. Plus, about 50% of them believe that receiving fewer emails would increase their overall satisfaction in life.

That said, what if there was a way to create a direct channel to parents that built your brand, increased accessibility to your programs, promoted better satisfaction with your services, and helped generate higher revenues?

Here are three reasons your child care facility needs a mobile app and why they may be a better investment than previously thought.

1. Mobile Apps Let You Communicate With Parents on Their Terms

The average American spends around 5.4 hours a day on a mobile device. Do you know what users do during that entire time? They’re generally using apps. That’s right: around 90% of mobile time is spent on applications — not checking emails, replying to texts, or making phone calls. In child care, communicating with parents and fostering parental engagement can be a challenge. When you aren’t leveraging communication channels that parents are familiar with, breeding a culture of open communication can be next to impossible.

Millennials probably make up the majority of your clientele. Around 50% of your children likely have Millennial parents (and the numbers are growing yearly). In addition, around 70% of those mothers and fathers work outside the home. To reach them, you must meet them on their own terms.

To put it simply, Millennials don’t check their emails regularly. In fact, browsing the Internet and checking social media networks are the top two activities on smartphones. In other words, people prefer to check Facebook and Instagram messages than emails. The latter falls to sixth place in terms of how Millennials use their cellphones.

Yet, although Millennials tend to ignore emails, phone calls, and texts, they don’t necessarily deserve the “anxious generation” label. In fact, Millennials probably communicate more than any other age group — they just communicate differently.

In all, 1 billion Facebook messages are sent per day, and 500 million tweets are created. Also, the average person has over 80 apps installed on their phone. If you want to reach parents in today’s ever-evolving market landscape, you need to rethink your strategy. A dedicated daycare mobile app may be the answer.

2. Mobile Apps Can Be Part of Your Daycare’s Branding Strategy

There’s a reason 89% of marketers say that brand awareness is their primary goal. Your brand is the single most valuable thing your business has to offer. Unfortunately, only 60% of businesses think their brand is well aligned for future success. As a child care provider, creating a thoughtful, holistic, and relevant brand is the single best way to capture the attention of new parents.

There are over 850,000 daycare operations in the United States alone. If you want to square up against your toughest competitors, you need to connect with parents on a deeper level than fragmented digital ads on Facebook. Fortunately, creating your own mobile app can help you drive your brand deeper into the consciousness of all those exhausted parents in your area.

Apps also help you build instantaneous and direct relationships with parents through hyper-accessible interfaces. They provide two-faceted benefits. First, mobile apps help you provide amazing services to parents that, in turn, breed trust and loyalty. Second, they also help you occupy an important place in their minds. You’ll have a prominent place on their phones, which allows them to connect with your brand in ways that websites, ads, and marketing campaigns can never accomplish.

3. Mobile App Data Can Be Used to Gain Key Insights and Increase Student Retention Rates

The benefits of mobile apps aren’t merely front-facing in nature. Sure, an app offers massive value to parents. But, it can also transform your back-office, marketing, and sales pipeline. For starters, apps give you the ability to measure reactions to announcements, acquire critical user data, and analyze parent information. This can help you create smarter operational frameworks.

People spend more time on mobile apps than websites. They interact and engage with apps with more purpose and interest. This makes mobile apps exceptionally valuable for data acquisition. For example, what activities do parents like? Which ones do they dislike? What types of meal plans do they look for — gluten-free, protein-rich, veggie-friendly, or something else? Which parents are viewing daily reports? And, which ones aren’t?

All of this data helps you understand parents better, which you can use to create actionable strategies to increase satisfaction with your services.

But, Wait! Isn’t a Dedicated Daycare Mobile App Expensive?

If utilizing a dedicated daycare mobile app sounds like a pipe dream, we understand. Many providers think that only large childcare facilities can afford such an app — not smaller facilities in local communities. However, much has changed within the last five years. Today, developing a mobile app doesn’t have to lead to a budget shortfall. In fact, it may be quite affordable.

Typically, smaller childcare facilities rely on mobile apps that are integrated with their childcare software. This provides a more holistic, connected experience that allows you to share data between the core technologies that drive your facility.

Often, these apps are built on common frameworks. So, you can quickly get a personalized, hyper-branded application built without significant investments or headaches. In addition, a branded daycare mobile app can increase brand recognition and decrease student churn.

Is Your Facility Ready for a Daycare Mobile App That Can Transform Your Business?

Research tells us that most people use apps on-the-go. In fact, many rely on apps to make travel, shopping, and dining decisions. According to a travel survey, 45% of consumers get frustrated when they can’t access travel apps on their mobile devices 24/7. Meanwhile, more than 50% of travelers like to add incidentals to their flight bookings on-the-go.

Essentially, people want data at their fingertips at the time of their choosing. If you’re looking for a daycare mobile app to transform parental engagement and take your branding to the next level, read about the successes Buccleuch Montessori and The Boys and Girls Club of Delaware have achieved. Then, when you’re ready to take the next step, contact us. Let’s talk about how we can help your daycare center realize an incredible future with the right mobile app technology.

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A man disinfecting a classroom as part of reopening daycare facilities post-COVID-19

Considerations for Reopening Daycare Facilities Post-COVID-19

Will you return to work tomorrow? More importantly, will your daycare facility be open for business? And, if so, what will reopening daycare facilities post-COVID-19 entail?

In a recent NAEYC study, 30% of daycare providers said a closure exceeding two weeks long would result in financial devastation. The term “new normal” has been thrown around a lot lately. Yet, despite the social and economic upheaval caused by COVID-19, many of us have started to contemplate the future. And, inevitably, that involves going back to work.

But, how will your facility navigate reopening? What steps should you take to comply with social distancing guidelines and new regulatory requirements? While some childcare centers were able to keep the lanterns burning during the height of the crisis, others were forced to close — generally due to a lack of enrollment.

But, as parents begin to return to work in many states, a safe reopening is crucial. At Prime Child Care Software, we’ve been paying careful attention to federal guidelines for facility reopenings. And, as we listen to your concerns, it assists us in developing the technical solutions you need. For example, we recently added temperature checking components to our software. Both the CDC and The American Academy of Pediatrics suggest temperature screenings of all staff and children at check-in.

If you have plans to reopen soon, below are top considerations to keep in mind before you swing your gates open to eager children and exhausted parents.

Screening Procedures for Reopening Daycare Facilities Post-COVID-19

Federal guidelines recommend screening children before they enter your facility. While that may seem like a scenario from a dystopian B-movie, it’s sadly part of that “new normal” everyone is talking about. One sick child can spread the virus to other children and your staff.

Recently, we added temperature check features to all of our clients’ Prime platforms. So, if you’re using our software, you have the means to document temperature readings. But, that’s just a start. You still need to implement procedures for screenings.

The CDC strongly recommends that child care facilities implement one of three scenarios:

Scenario 1: Promote Social Distancing During Check-In

The CDC’s current recommendation for social distancing is six feet. In other words, you should stand at least six feet away from others (parents and children) during the check-in process. In this scenario, you would ask parents to take their children’s temperatures. You would also inquire if a child has been sick recently. Also, instruct your staff to observe children for any signs of illness (fever, flushed face, rapid breathing, fatigue, or fussiness).

This is recommended for child care centers that don’t have adequate supplies of PPE (personal protective equipment) — which is in demand just about everywhere.

Scenario 2: The Barrier Method

Another option is to set up an entire station for temperature screenings. This is ideal for facilities with high headcounts. In this scenario, you would construct a temperature checking station with a glass window partition that employees could stand behind. This protects employees from airborne respiratory droplets (from coughs and sneezes).

Employees would still need to regularly wash their hands with soap and water — or use a bottle of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. Like the previous method, employees would do a visual check for symptoms, then proceed to record the child’s temperature (ideally using a temporal thermometer).

Scenario 3: The PPE Method

If you’ve managed to acquire enough PPE, then this method may be the simplest. Your staff will wear PPE (gloves, masks, or goggles) to check each child’s temperature with a temporal thermometer. Then, employees would replace their gloves and wash their hands after checking each child.


  • The CDC has an entire guide on how to properly don PPE.
  • Children who have fevers over 100.4 F should not be admitted to the facility.
  • Note that children between infancy and 10 years old often have higher temperatures than adults. The average temperature of children in this age range is 95.9 – 99.5°F.
  • Since children are often asymptomatic, it’s important to implement social distancing and hygiene control practices during the screening.

It’s Time to Rethink Traditional Drop-off and Pick-up Processes

In most child care settings, pick-up and drop-off is a relatively simple process. But, that’s about to change. Ideally, you should stagger pick-up and drop-off times. For drop-off, have volunteers stand outside to usher parents out of their cars when it’s time for their child to enter your facility.

For pick-up, you can assign dedicated volunteers to walk children from your facility out to their cars (and waiting parents). Ideally, volunteers should be a parent or sibling. Consider using the same volunteers every day. However, politely and firmly decline the help of grandparents or parents with pre-existing health conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, immunocompromised and COVID-19 positive, etc.).

Cleaning 2.0: The Return of the Disinfectant

While you likely already have robust cleaning practices in place, you’re certainly going to have to ramp them up, even in a post-COVID-19 world. We’ve talked about the value of hygiene-based improvements to promote learning, but you’ll need to intensify your efforts with best-of-breed social distancing practices and hygiene control.

The CDC has extensive recommendations about this, but we’ll point out the basics:

  • Daily, wash and disinfect all surfaces touched by children.
  • Staff should use soap and water after diaper changes and classroom activities.
  • Children should be encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day.
  • Pay careful attention to toys, since young children tend to mouth items as a way of exploring their world.
  • Invest in wipes for high-touch surfaces.

Tips to Create a Safe, Clean Environment

  • Here are some guidelines for disinfecting community areas in case you run out of wipes. These can be a challenge to find right now, and hospitals are getting priority purchase rights.
  • The EPA has a list of cleaning products that work against COVID-19.
  • The CDC recommends that children and adults wash their hands for 20 seconds at a time. Be sure to show children this video to help them understand the process.
  • The CFOC is a great starting point for basic cleaning processes.

Social Distancing Should be Part of Reopening Daycare Facilities Post-COVID-19

For many childcare centers, social distancing will be a challenge. How do you maintain the necessary physical distance in an environment that thrives on social interaction? For starters, you can’t separate every child. It’s just impossible. However, you can separate children into groups. Ideally, you’ll also limit each group’s interactions with the other groups.

Like drop-off and pick-up times, you should stagger meals and playground times, as well. Allow each group the same privileges, but only let one group at a time play or eat together. If your facility is too large for that to be feasible, try to keep the same groups on the playground every day.

Obviously, you want to cancel any large gatherings that you previously planned. Fun 4th of July activities and field trips may need to be put on hold, and you certainly don’t want to host any “parent’s weekend” activities. Social and emotional learning will still occur but in more controlled settings.

Prime Child Care Software Has Solutions for Reopening Daycare Facilities Post-COVID-19

Is your child care center on the verge of reopening? And, are you unsure about what strategies to leverage during this trying time? If so, we can help. Our mission centers on facilitating the safe reopening of daycare facilities post-COVID-19. At Prime, we’re working on developing social distancing features for our software. Within weeks, we launched critical features like temperature checks, and we plan to continue adding features as the need arises. For help navigating your facility’s reopening, contact us today.

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