Here’s a transcript of my podcast, “How to Identify the Benefits of Your Child Care Program.”
Welcome! I’m Tom Copeland. Thanks for listening.
This show is about the business side of child care and is for family child care providers and those who work in child care centers.
Today, I’m talking about “How to Identify the Benefits of Your Child Care Program.”
Parents looking for a child care program today want answers to these two questions:
“Why should I bring my child to your program?”
“What does your program offer that other programs do not?”
Your ability to answer these questions will make a big difference in whether a parent chooses to enroll their child in your program or not.
Because parents have a lot of child care programs to choose from, you will need answer these questions by effectively communicating the benefits that your program offers parents and children.
To compete based on the quality of your program, you need to understand the difference between a benefit and a feature of your program. Parents will chose a child care program based on your program’s benefits, not its features.
What’s the difference between a feature and a benefit?
A feature describes what your program offers.
A benefit tells parents how their needs and their child’s needs will be met.
A feature focuses on your program. A benefit focuses on the parent and child.
An example of a feature would be: “My program is licensed.” To turn this into a benefit, you would say, “My program meets our state’s highest health and safety standards.”
Another example of a feature would be: “My program is on the Food Program.” To describe this as a benefit, you are better off saying, “I serve nutritious meals that meet federal quality standards to help your child grow.”
Take a look at your program’s website or advertising flyer and ask yourself the question, “In what way does the description of my program matter to the parent or the child?” If your description doesn’t clearly address the needs of your clients, then you’ve probably written a list of features, not benefits.
Your goal should be to identify three or four key benefits of your program. You should memorize them so you can repeat them to a parent who calls looking for child care.
How can you identify the benefits of your program?
- Think carefully about what is it about your program that helps children learn. Do you have a curriculum that successfully teaches children? Do you provide individualized care and attention that can meet the needs of each child?
- Ask your current clients what they like best about the care you provide.
- Ask the children in your case, “What do you like best about coming here? They are likely to say things like, “I love it when you give me a hug each morning.” “I like playing with the toys.” “I love being with my friends.” Write down whatever they say.
- When parents remove their child from your care, ask them to fill out a parent evaluation form so they can comment on what they liked about your program.
- Ask friends and professional contacts to give you feedback about your program.
You want to come up with one or two benefits that are special or unique. Emphasize the positive aspects of what you do. You don’t need to criticize other programs and how they operate.
All parents want their children to learn and be successful in school. Therefore, make sure that most of your benefits focus on how children learn.
For example, you might say, “Our program offers a child-centered curriculum with planned learning activities.” Or “I rotate a variety of stimulating toys and learning activities throughout the year so children won’t get bored.”
Post your benefits on your website, your business card, your parent handbook, your Facebook page, and in any advertising you do.
It’s a good idea to review your benefits at least once a year to ensure that they are still relevant.
The more you are able to communicate the benefits of your program, the more likely you will be to attract new families and keep them.
For more information about marketing your business and all other aspects of the business of child care, visit my blog at www.tomcopelandblog.com. There I’ve posted hundreds of articles and other resources to help you succeed as a business.
Thanks for listening. This is Tom Copeland hoping you will listen in for my next broadcast at the Child Care Bar and Grill.
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com