What is the Measure of Your Success?


Some parents looking for child care are afraid to enroll their child with a family child care provider.


Because they don’t know what goes on in your home once they drop off their child. They don’t know if their child is going to learn and grow. Because you are alone at home with their child, they are nervous that you may not be the best caregiver for their unique child.

As a family child care provider you want to be able to tell prospective clients that their children will do well in your program.

One of the best ways you can do this is by showing how well the children succeed in life after they have left your program.

That’s the measure of your success.

Keep track of the children after they leave your program. Write letters and send birthday cards. Ask the children to write and send you pictures of themselves. You want to have pictures of them graduating from high school or college. You want pictures of their wedding, their new job, their growing family, and any other major life changes. Do this for as long as you are in business.

Post the pictures and letters on the wall or in your scrapbook/photo album. (Be sure to get their permission!) Here’s how you use the pictures and letters.

When a prospective parent visits your home, say, “My most important goal is to help your child to succeed once he or she leaves my program. I believe that this is the best measure of whether or not my program will be successful for your child. I have enough experience working with children to know that my program works. To prove my point, look at all the children who have graduated from my program [show them the pictures and letters]. They are all doing well and getting ahead with their lives. I’m sure your child will also do well if enrolled in my program.”

A display showing how  children are doing after leaving your program can be a very powerful statement that what you are doing works.

(If one of these children is in jail, take down their picture!)

In addition, if one of your helpers is a former child from your program, post pictures of the helper as a child and point this out to prospective parents.

Lastly, sometimes a child will graduate from a child care program, have their own child years later and bring their child back to the family child care provider for care.  You cannot get a better recommendation! Post pictures of the parent as a child along with their new child.

Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/awesomesa/

Marketing smallFor more information about promoting your program, see my book Family Child Care Marketing Guide.

Categories: Marketing

3 replies

  1. And what are you supposed to do for the first 20 years of your program, before any of these suggested milestones occur? Most providers are out of business in their first 5 years, so these “tips” are not particularly helpful. I’ve only been in business for 15 months, and I am seriously considering giving up because I can’t get any parents to even come and tour my home. With no money coming in, I’m going to have to find another second job.

    • Thanks for your feedback! It’s true that my article does focus on the long term and this would be less helpful in a provider’s first year or so in business. I have written a lot about marketing on my blog and in my book Family Child Care Marketing Guide.

      You may want to talk with your local child care resource and referral agency about your situation and ask for their advice about how to attract parents. I would talk with experienced, successful providers in your area and ask for their advice.


  2. David, I’m sorry to hear you are having so much trouble! Of course, I don’t know how you are marketing your program, but…you might consider (perhaps you are already doing this) going ‘front and center’ with the unusual feature of a man in daycare. It might help to make this a prominent part of your marketing. A man in my town did daycare for 20+ years and this is what he did: his marketing featured lines such as ‘the original daddy daycare’. Overall, parents of boys were particularly drawn to his program.

    Regarding Tom’s advice, it won’t take anywhere near 20 years to show this sort of success. Perhaps…2 or 3 years. Posting ‘before and after’ pictures of, say, a 18m old playing with toys and then the same child 2 years later (still in your program) writing his/her name. Something like that. I’ve done things like that, it works!

    Regarding your basic problem that many can relate to: Tom has lots of material on his blog on how to market your program.

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