Operating Tips On Caring For Kids - Part 7
What's the magic answer? Free advertising. Your center should be involved in a positive way in the community, such as volunteering at community events or getting people from the community to talk at your center.
Another surefire press opportunity is planning an event that benefits the community. The most important thing about positive community interaction is getting the children involved. It is a wonderful way for the children to have exposure to exciting things that make your school a fun and interesting place to go each day.
When hosting a charity drive, be sure to get the word out. Press releases take minutes to prepare and only a few seconds to fax. Send the press release to all newspapers before each center event. If your center is sponsoring a blood drive or collecting goods for charity around the holiday, fax all local radio and television stations. They will air free public service announcements mentioning your event. The success of the event depends on the community knowing about it.
Constant positive exposure is a must. Have a local paper run one advertisement about your center. The newspaper has professionals that put the ads together. After running a 4 x 6 ad (for under $100) ask for the "slick" of your ad. You can copy the ad and fit four on a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. A local copy shop can make one thousand copies on colored paper for around $80. After cutting them into quarter sheets, you will have 4,000 small countertop advertisements for under $200. Now it's up to you to get them out into the community. This can be done by attending annual city parades, expos or fun fairs to hand out information about your center with very little out-of-pocket money.
In summary, as spring nears, make a commitment to clean up some of the practices at your center and remember, it takes time. Do not expect low staff turnover and a full center overnight. It will take several seasons before your goals are met. Because of this, one of the most important things you must develop is an effective long-range plan. After your plan is in place, be patient and stick to it you will have your harvest season.
Some great advertising ideas for your care center include:
Sign up your kids care program with your local Referral Agency. Usually they will include a brief description of your program along with important information such as your name, address, phone number and license number. Once you become affiliated with your Referral Agency, your name and information will be given out to interested parents seeking kids care.
Sign up to participate in a Food Reimbursement Program. They will give out your information to parents desiring kids care providers who participate in a nutritionally sound food program.
Call all of the elementary schools in your town (don't forget the private and Charter schools) and ask to be added to their list of kids care providers. Many schools even have a binder available at their front desk where interested parents can peruse brochures, newsletters and flyers featuring local kids care settings.