Preschool teachers and directors have a clear passion for kids. They thrive on learning new educational approaches and find fulfillment growing young minds in preparation for the future. They feel most comfortable in the classroom, which is why when it comes to marketing their preschool program, it's not necessarily their strong suit.
Sound like you?
Now it's the middle of summer and you're looking at a list of classrooms that still have openings for fall enrollment. Don't worry. There are some strategic things you can do now to get the word out about the school and fill up those classes. Here are five ideas for last-minute early education marketing.
Host at least one open house to get families in to see the magic of the program in person. Make sure teachers are present and the classrooms are open for children to explore. To make your open house irresistible, consider a theme or aligning it with an event. For example, a free carnival with simple games, an art extravaganza where kids create masterpieces, or a moms afternoon off where if mothers attend a school presentation, their kids get to stay for the next couple of hours to play with the teachers while they get some errands done.
Presence at summer events
Summer is a busy season full of fun activities. It's likely your local and surrounding communities have various family-friendly gatherings, including music, festivals, fireworks and more. Consider sponsoring events or participating in community outreach when possible. One excellent choice: If there is a local parade, sign up to walk it with the teachers, holding signs advertising the school and passing out candy and flyers as you walk the route. Families with small children are plentiful at parades, so this is great outreach.
Brag about staff
You can have the nicest building in the community, you can have the coolest technology, but if you don't have great teachers, none of it really matters. People make the biggest difference in a successful day care or preschool program. If parents trust the teachers to help educate their children and love them like their own, you'll have a waiting list a mile long. Have staff present at all events so people begin to recognize their faces. Create a website page featuring staff members' pictures and basic information about their skills and favorite things. Introduce them on social media. Make them the star ambassadors of your school whenever possible.
Preschoolers adore listening to stories. Is there a library program the teachers can participate in where they read to kids? Have teachers wear a school T-shirt when doing so! This is a wonderful organic outreach effort. No opportunity to volunteer? Consider launching your own summer reading program. Set a time each week where teachers select a theme and three books to read to children. Advertise the event to the community and open up a classroom for story time and play afterward. Parents will appreciate the free activity during the summer months and they'll be able to see in person how well the teachers interact with the students. Bonus idea: Record story time and put the video on social media for parents to access whenever they'd like!
Who doesn't love a bargain? If you're up against the wall and you want to fill spots, a little money motivation can make a difference. From waiving registration fees to first month's free, figure out what makes the most sense for your target audience. If you think a bargain now will upset parents who previously signed up, host a drawing of some type. For example, anyone who signs up for preschool in the month of August gets entered into a drawing for a $200 gift card. This can add a touch of fun while also providing the carrot for people who might still be on the fence.
To read more on this topic and get additional tips about marketing a preschool, read 10 Smart Ways to Build Your Preschool Brand.
Preschool teachers and directors have a clear passion for kids. They thrive on learning new educational approaches and find fulfillment growing young minds in preparation for the future.