Business development

How to market and promote your childcare business

Tips to market your childcare program. Plus, a free downloadable marketing checklist
marketing checklist and childcare newsletter template
May 22, 2024
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In a rush? Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • We sometimes get so preoccupied with how cute the children are, but at the end of the day, childcare centers and preschools are businesses. And therefore, centers need to attract enough families and parents to keep their doors open and boost their revenue.
  • That’s where marketing comes in. This article will discuss 5 specific marketing strategies for childcare centers and preschools, which will help you advertise the quality of care you provide and help your early childhood program differentiate itself from competitors.
  • And - a free editable marketing checklist and newsletter template below!

Marketing and advertising your childcare business might not come as naturally to you as planning schematic play activities, or writing observations and understanding each child’s learning journey. But, just like any successful business, marketing your childcare center is essential.

In today’s world where we are constantly bombarded by ads and promotions, it can be hard to stand out, but it is necessary.

In your marketing and promotional efforts, you need to create a type of narrative that shows parents and families that you not only provide high-quality care, but also that you provide an overall nurturing, safe and positive community.

This is especially true in the realm of childcare, where trust, reputation, and visibility are not just added benefits, but are at the core of successful preschools and childcare centers.

Ok, that was all very abstract. Now let’s get down to the actual marketing efforts you should do to increase awareness and get those occupancy numbers up (and boost your revenue!).

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How to market your childcare center to families

Here are 5 simple marketing strategies to attract parents to your childcare center. Of course are more than 5 childcare marketing strategies, but these are a great place to start. The best part? They are easy to do, even if you don't consider yourself tech savvy.

Digital marketing strategies for preschools

Let's begin with your childcare center's digital - or online - marketing initiatives.  

1. Set up, or improve your website

In today’s world, where we are connected to the Internet all the time, having a user-friendly, clear website is the best way to build awareness of your center. It is likely one of the first places that prospective families will go to get more information on your center, and try to understand what makes your center a better fit than the others.

If you haven’t yet got a website, three options for quick and easy set-up include Weebly, Squarespace and Wix. These platforms offer a simple ‘drag and drop’ solution which makes getting set up easy.

Once you’ve done the initial set up of your site, some of the key things to consider are:

  • Make sure your contact details and any enquiry form is easy to find
  • An ‘About us’ page where you introduce the team and a bit about your mission
  • Photos and/or a video tour of your setting
  • What services you offer plus details of your care (e.g. full-days, half days, summer holidays, ad-hoc sessions, meals, etc.)
  • Showcase some of the regular day-to-day updates from the center and any upcoming events to give a sense of community and open commnunication

2. Claim your Google My Business listing

This might seem like nothing, but this is actually one of the most important marketing strategies for childcare owners. Simply, your center's business profile needs to be claimed in order for your center to be visible on Google. In other words, Google My Business is a handy tool which ensures that your center is present in Google search results. Here are some more specific Google My Business optimization tips.

By claiming the free listing for your childcare, daycare or preschool, you can quickly set up and manage a page which has all the key information about your business for potential new parents, including your address, contact information, and opening hours.

Current parents are also able to leave reviews to help give a good impression of your center – we all know how important word-of-mouth and customer reviews are when making a choice, especially an important choice like the best childcare provider for their children.

To get started follow these three quick and easy steps:

  1. Visit google.com/business and follow the steps to create or claim your setting’s listing.
  2. Verify your business: Google offers a set of options that you can choose from.
  3. Add some photos – Google provides some tips on the best photos to add to increase your clicks.

Make sure to keep an eye on your listing every so often to ensure all information is up to date. For instance, if your holiday hours are different, you should mark that in your Google Business listing.

Also, don’t forget to respond to those reviews! This shows prospective families that you encourage feedback and seriously take parents’ comments and concerns into consideration.

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3. Social media marketing

If you’re not already doing so, I’d definitely recommend setting up social media accounts, or profiles, for your center. For younger parents especially, social media plays a big part in their everyday lives and as they say, a picture is worth 100 words.

Sharing photos and updates gives prospective parents the opportunity to see what your childcare center is all about, how their child could spend their days, show a strong sense of community, and give them the confidence and reassurance that they need to enroll.

As a starting point, Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular channels and offer lots of fun and visual ways for you to communicate with your audience.

Also, consider using a social media scheduling tool so you can plan out a few posts ahead of time, and not make this another task on your laundry list of to-dos (Buffer is a great free tool which lets you post to multiple social media profiles).

Plus – having a regular and consistent approach to social will impress your current parents (which will help with a positive word-of-mouth) and help to attract new ones to your preschool.

If you are feeling a bit stuck, here are some tips for social media:

These are tips that will help improve your parent partnerships, but also set your center apart for prospective parents and families.

  • Share photos of milestones and accomplishments of your little ones: Keeping parents informed about things to celebrate, whether big or small, is a great way to maintain those parent partnerships!
  • Introduce your staff members: Parents want to know who’s spending time with their children all day. You may find it helpful to post photos of your individual staff members and share a bit about them, such as their name, their favorite hobby, or maybe their favorite thing about working at your early education center.
  • Share photos of things you’re working on, or plan to learn: Families will never say no to seeing what their little one gets up to in a day at your early education center. Existing families love to see the fun their child is having, and prospective families will want to see how you structure your days!
  • Add fun filters and captions to photos: It’s always more effective to make your digital communications pleasing to the eye. Canva offers various templates to help you design posts to publish on social media for your early education center. Also make sure to add a caption explaining a bit about the photo.

‍*Don’t forget: Be sure to obtain informed consent before posting photos of anyone’s children. You may consider adding this policy into your parent handbook, if it isn't in there already.

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M‍ore marketing ideas to attract parents to your childcare center

Yes, the world is highly digitized. But, that doesn't mean there is no room for paper in your early childhood marketing strategies.  

4. Good ol’ traditional paper

Even though the rest of the tips in this article have focused on digital tactics, a traditional option to add to your marketing toolkit is the good ol’ flyer.

Print out some brochures or flyers to keep around your center, so that you can hand them out to prospective parents, or to current parents so they can pass them on to their friends.

You can also try asking local businesses such as cafes, museums, art galleries and libraries to display your flyers. Often these types of businesses have a small section where other local businesses can advertise and it’s a great way to get your name out there in the local community.

You can try your hand at designing your own by utilising one of many free online services including Adobe Spark or Canva or you can get in touch with a designer to help you out. Don’t forget to include any special offers you have, parent reviews and lots of pictures of smiling little ones.

5. Find your unique selling proposition (USP)

Yes, this is marketing jargon. USP stands for ‘unique selling proposition,’ and this final advertising idea is slightly more of an overarching concept for your childcare center.

It can be challenging, but consider what makes your center stand out from the crowd. This could be your curriculum, your location, your open and consistent communication with parents, your flexible childcare billing process, or specialized classes in things like languages or dance for the children – or maybe that you use a childcare management platform.

If you aren’t completely sure, open up a discussion with your team and ask them what attracted them to work at your center, or ask some why parents they chose your preschool – you might be surprised about what you hear!

Once you have identified what your USP is, make sure to highlight this and include it on your website, flyers, social media, and day-to-day conversations with parents.

‍What's the best marketing strategy for a daycare center?

Of course, this depends on your center and your goals and objectives.
Are you looking to expand your childcare business? You can learn a bit more about those marketing strategies here.
Are you looking to attract parents and increase enrollment? The tips above are great for that, but you can also check out more tips here.

But, for the basic digital childcare marketing strategies, we got just what you need: our free ultimate childcare marketing checklist right here.

free newsletter template and marketing checklist


The big ideas

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Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

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UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

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