Full house: A blueprint for building enrollment

FullHouseHeadlineWhen it comes to growth, these centers are definitely on the leaderboard. In 2015 alone, they’ve all grown their private-pay enrollments by 25 percent or more. From simple tactics that help drive inquiries to robust plans designed to turn around every aspect of the business, their strategies all have one thing in common: They rely on nurturing great relationships with families and communities. Go ahead. Borrow a page from their planning playbook and watch your center grow.

The sphere of influence
By joining her city’s Chamber of Commerce as well as local early education board committees, Center Director Ashley Taylor-McKee built partnerships with area businesspeople in Mustang, Ok. Those business relationships led directly to an increase in private pay referrals.

The community hub
How do you keep families? Talk to them and keep them talking to each other. CD Lanette Tapia in Renton, Wash., sends out weekly communications, resolves concerns the same day, and hosts a plethora of onsite events, from fall festivals to family barbeques. Parents love to talk about their amazing center that operates like a vibrant community hub: More than half of their current families came from parent referrals!

The competitive edge
CD Nancy Breneman has plenty of private school competition in her area of Las Vegas – and she knows how to make the most of it. She regularly visits other schools to check out what they’re doing and brings back ideas for her own center.

The company calling card
In downtown Pittsburgh, it’s important to know about the businesses surrounding you. CD Jennifer Rees capitalizes on local Care Select partnerships by reminding her current families about the Refer a Friend program, and encouraging them to talk to their colleagues about the benefit that Care Select partner companies offer their employees. Her center also hosts open houses for these companies, which allows employees to meet other families and center staff.

The big chance
When a nearby child care center in Roselle, Ill., underwent a change of ownership, word got out that families were looking for a better alternative. When one of those families visited Elizabeth Kase’s center, her team was ready. They put on such a successful tour that not only did the family enroll, they referred other families. The final tally was nearly 30 new enrollments. Being attuned to what’s going on in the community and asking families about their current child care experiences during tours pays off!

The five-star review
Yelp is often the first review site that appears in any Google search for local services. That’s why Camarillo, Calif. CD Jacquie Murphey asks her families to leave their feedback there. Word of mouth is a powerful thing that can make or break a center, and because she’s built such terrific personal relationships with these families, they’re more than happy to oblige. Jacquie’s center has received nothing but five-star reviews – and those rating absolutely translate to more inquiries when families begin their hunt for a child care provider in the area.

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