How to Compete Against Child Care Centers

6a0133f3fc5805970b01b7c70ecd36970b-320wiA new child care center just opened in your neighborhood. It offers care for a hundred children (toddlers through school-age) and has a well-equipped playground, a van to transport children, and sparkling classrooms with bright furniture and plenty of toys.

You start to feel desperate, wondering if you’ll ever be able to fill your two openings. “How can I compete?” you ask yourself.

In some ways child care centers have an advantage over family child care. They are easier to find, they have a full staff, their buildings are easily accessible to the public, and they can spend money on advertising.

Some parents are afraid to use family child care providers because providers are along in their home, and parents worry about what goes on behind closed doors.

For these reasons, providers need to work hard to counteract parents’ fears. Here are some suggestions for how to compete:

This is the beginning of an article I’ve posted on In the rest of the article I identify five things you can do to help you compete against child care centers. is a community for family child care providers and parents that offers a wide variety of resources including recipes, a blog, and a newsletter.  It serves as a clearinghouse for many online resources (children’s activities, training opportunities, equipment, and more). was created by Minute Menu to offer free assistance that will help the family child care community grow.

Tom Copeland –

Image credit:

6a0133f3fc5805970b0176164e7402970c-75wiFor more information about promoting your program, see my book Family Child Care Marketing Guide.

Categories: Marketing

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1 reply

  1. In 20 years of providing child care in my home, I never once felt like I needed to “compete” against Child Care Centers. I feel both family child care and centers both have wonderful things to offer a family. I offered many things in my setting that child care centers were not able to do and vice versa. It’s important that the parents feel the needs of their children are being met. I truly believe there are just as many parents who have fears about their child being in a big center rather than a family child care setting.

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