Now that summer is just around the corner, it is time to start planning how you are going to plan your summer program to ensure your business stays successful while many families travel and participate in fewer days at child care. One of the best ways to keep families (and revenue) coming through the door over summer is to create a memorable summer camp experience that children look forward to year after year.
One of the most important things to establish when developing your summer program is knowing your target market. Are you trying to bring in only school-age children or would you like to have more 3-4 year olds? Determining what age range you are looking for is crucial when choosing how to market. Targeting these families differently is imperative because these children have different needs over the summer. School age children are looking for fun while the younger children are in need of consistency.
Another important element to keep in mind is teacher staffing over the summer. Do your teachers have family vacations planned? Ask your staff to submit vacation dates well in advance so you can plan schedules accordingly. Making sure that you have enough coverage and allowing staff to take time off is a tricky balancing act, but it’s important to remember they deserve time off and planning ahead will make it easier on everyone.
Look at your competition for summer programs and figure out how to position your center as the better alternative. This time of year your center may be competing with more than just the center down the street. Many YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other recreation facilities offer summer programs that are competing for the same children as your child care center. Check out some ways to market your center here.
Find ways to keep children engaged throughout the day, even when temperatures get extremely hot. Plan playground time for early mornings and plan water activities when possible. If temperatures outside get too warm, even for field trips, plan to bring field trips inside. You can coordinate fun ideas with mini camps such as dance camps, acting camps, and more.
What has your child care center done in the past to increase enrollment over the summer? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.