Ideas on How to Give Your Program a Competitive Edge

“Why should I come to your program?”

“What do you offer that other family child care homes do not?”

These are the two key questions parents want answered when they are looking for a caregiver for their child. Your ability to answer these questions will have a significant impact on how successful your business will be.

To answer these questions you need to be able to communicate the benefits of your program to parents.

Here’s what some family child care providers shared about their benefits in a recent discussion on

  • Going green (organic food, recycling, reduce waste)
  • Provide pack and plays, high chairs
  • “Service Appreciation Night” for parents who are nurse, teacher, firefighter, police officer, military or fellow provider – one free night of care each year
  • Offer mildly ill care on a case by case basis
  • Specialize in caring only for a specific age range (0-2, 2-5, SA only)
  • Have a clear curriculum for preschoolers
  • Establish a communication system for parents – Brightwheel, daily notes, newsletter
  • Do not charge for registration fees, 2 weeks at Christmas, or spring break week
  • Provide lots of cuddling and stories
  • Offer a hands on experiences with play, sensory, music and dance, open-ended art, gardening, mud play
  • No television and electronic-free toys
  • Teacher assistant for a lower ratio
  • “Bonding Visits” for parents of infants – they can visit once a day to nurse or bottle feed in a separate room to accommodate them.

I’ve described how to identify and communicate your benefits to parents in my book Family Child Care Marketing Guide. I’ve also written a number of articles about this:

“How to Identify the Benefits of Your Program”

“What is the Measure of Your Success?”

“How to Compete Against Child Care Centers”

What is your competitive edge?

Tom Copeland –

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For more information, see my book Family Child Care Marketing Guide.



Categories: Marketing

2 replies

  1. Tom,

    I am trying to open a register family home daycare in a township community center out in the country.

    The question is it is zoned for residential. Am I considered a long term renter from a private run daycare to be considered a commercial setting. Would a conditional use permit need to be obtained vie renting the facility?

    If the community center has Liabilty insurance. My parents have liability Insurance on their children and sign off on the form. What kind of insurance should I get for myself and the few staff? Or should staff do their own.?

  2. I don’t know the answers to your questions regarding the zoning issues. You’ll need to ask the local officials about that. Your situation may be unique, so if they say you can’t operate, contact me again with a link to the zoning law and we can discuss how to respond.

    You want to get business liability insurance to protect you and your business. Staff don’t need their own insurance. Here’s where you can find insurance:

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