Background

Since 2014, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has provided a full day program within all the daycares in town. Although the daycares cost a few hundred CAD per month, they are still cheaper than private daycares and allow children to make a gradual adjustment to the school environment.
Many private daycares don’t know how to deal with the new competition. Consequently they spend a lot of money on unnecessary and ineffective advertising.
In this document you will find a list of affordable marketing ideas that a daycare can implement to promote itself.

Identify your potential customers

Although the target audience includes parents with children up to 5 years old, each daycare should define its own specific target audience. Particularly in Toronto, which is a multicultural city, most of the daycares can easily define a specialized segment. This could be based on geography, demographics, place of interest and more. Identifying your target audience will help you deliver the right message and advertise on the right platforms.

Private Daycare Marketing

Determine your goals

Assuming your goal is increasing daycare registrations, you have to ascertain whether your audience is aware of your daycare first and then define your goal accordingly. For example, if you think that your audience is unaware of your daycare, you have to cultivate and increase awareness first. Only then can you start promoting your daycare. People don’t like to choose a product that they have just heard of, especially if that product involves their children’s education.
If your audience is aware of the daycare, then you just need to remind them and emphasize the benefits.

How can you achieve your goals?

1. Increasing awareness of your daycare:
a. Build for your daycare a reputation of being an expert in the field:
• Open a social Facebook group that will be targeted to your potential customers and discuss parenting.
You should post 2-3 beneficial posts per week about parenting and encourage parents to ask questions.
• Be active in other parenting groups; share your tips and wisdom!
• Write a blog on parenting and make sure to promote it to the relevant audience.
• Create a monthly newsletter to share parenting tips.

b. Collaborate with other experts in the parenting/education fields (such as pediatricians and music teachers) and suggest that they to use your daycare for presentations and activities that may be relevant to your prospects (lectures about toilet training, storytelling, puppet shows and more). In this way you win twice:
a. Your daycare will be exposed to parents who may not be aware of your business.
b. This helps build a reputation for being an expert in the field.

Private daycare marketing

c. Advertise on Facebook – For those of you who don’t know, Facebook has a very affordable and accurate advertising platform. You can target your ad to a specific target audience that you have defined. The message in these ads should emphasize the added value your daycare provides.

Please remember that people who have never heard about your daycare will not decide to enrol their children after seeing one advertisement on Facebook or on any other platform. However, through Facebook you can create awareness fast and in a very inexpensive way.

Private daycare marketing

2. Increasing registrations:
Once your audience is aware of your daycare’s benefits, you can move to the next level.
a. Invite parents to an open house – At this open house, you should extend to your prospects a gift, a discount or some other limited time offer. If possible try to connect the offer to a special occasion
(e.g. – in honour of Family Day we are inviting you to join our family and enjoy a special gift…)
b. Advertisements – Now that your audience is aware of your daycare and its benefits, ads will work better.
Use any platform relevant to your audience and start promoting your benefits.

The bottom line:

You can promote your daycare in myriad ways. You don’t need to rush to spend your money. Your daycare likely provides benefits and added value with which public schools can’t compete. Make a list and start building your marketing strategy. If you need any more ideas or any further assistance, feel free to contact us at any time.

Image credit : kidsworkchicago.com/ https://www.flickr.com/groups/puppetshows/ Kids on Rubin