In-home daycare, or family child care, is increasingly difficult to find as providers close their businesses and the number of children requiring care is higher than the capacity available. Many providers are at full capacity for the next year to 18-months, and have wait lists for infant openings a year (or more) out.
As we’ve gone to daycare conferences and spoken to providers, the comments I continuously hear are “I’m at full capacity already” and “I have a wait list.”
With full day cares and wait lists, you might be wondering why a provider would need to have an online presence or market their daycare. Read our top 6 reasons below to find out:
Businesses need to be online. In today’s age of technology and with most parents practically living online, it’s important that small businesses have a professional and up- to-date web presence. Whether that’s a website, or a profile on a platform, being online is just a part of doing business now. Plus, a web presence brings you up in Google searches, which means more parents can find you when you do have openings.
Parents want to find you there. A lot of millennials are parents right now, and as one myself, I want to know who I’m talking to on the phone, and I want to find that information online. If a parent can’t find a good quality photo of you, or any sort of information on your daycare, they might be less inclined to call you first over someone who does have information on their daycare online.
It builds credibility. If you were looking for a car repair shop and found one that only displayed their name, address and phone number, would you choose them over one that has details on hours of operation, lists their experience and has ratings from other customers? Probably not, because car repairs are expensive and you want to trust the person performing them. This applies directly to child care. Parents are entrusting providers with their heart every day, and want to have that comforting feeling from the second they start researching, not after they’ve had to call you and visit your home.
It saves time. Imagine that a parent could find out if you have an opening just by looking at your online profile or website. How many fewer calls would you receive, or have to return, every day? In addition to reducing the number of phone calls you may receive, it also helps a parent quickly determine if you offer what’s most important to them, which saves both of you time.
Clear, concise messaging. Taking the time to put together a great biography, photos of your space, your philosophy on child care and other pertinent details ensures that you are controlling the way your daycare is represented online. Because their first impression of you may be online, it’s important to make it a positive one by giving potential clients your “elevator pitch” without being in front of them.
Social media isn’t permanent. Provider/Parent Facebook groups are great for finding potential clients, but they’re also time consuming, and don’t showcase your daycare consistently or in a customized way. More importantly, Facebook, or any other social media platform, could change its policies or even shut down at a moment’s notice. If you don’t have an online presence outside of those platforms, you won’t be easily found by parents looking for daycare. While having a daycare Facebook page is good, they are also hard to find unless the name of the page is known and you don’t own the page or it’s content. An online presence in the form of a customized web page or website ensures that you own the content and can still be found if other platforms shut down.
There are a number of free resources available for creating very inexpensive, or even free, websites, including Weebly, Blogger, and Wordpress. Even a simple website or landing page helps parents find you easier, and allows you to tell your story as a provider. And of course, Daycare Detector is here to help! Claim your free provider profile here.