ChildCare Education Institute December Newsletter
Planning & Development for the Child Care Business
In This Issue...
Growing a Childcare Business
Boost Your Enrollment with Community Marketing
Top 12 Trends in Child Care
STEM Online Child Care Training Course Advances Exploration, Discovery, & Problem-Solving
Online Marketing Course Aides Directors in Developing Child Care Business Strategy
Alumni Profile: Toi Peace
Annual Training Subscriptions - Individual + Center-Based Options
CDA, Director, & Early Childhood Credential Coursework
Growing a Childcare Business
 
If you are just starting out or maybe dreaming of opening your own childcare center, you must be aware of the fact that this is a highly competitive business. No matter how wonderful and effective your program is, no matter how passionate you are about early education, if you don't have the customers, you can't cover your monthly expenses and you go out of business. It's that simple.

 

Marketing is part science and part art, and each center has to find its own formula for success. Most do it using a combination of tools and strategies, often with a great deal of trial-and-error and no shortage of frustration and worry.  

 

Although there is no single, magical marketing formula for attracting and retaining customers, there is one critical factor that stands out above all the others: the almighty Word-of-Mouth.

 

This is true for any kind of business, because a reputation can spread quickly and it can stick, for better or for worse. This is especially important in the child care industry, because parents often rely on other parents as their most trusted sources of information, especially with regard to childcare.

 

This is a fact that you need to internalize and never forget: word-of-mouth will make you or break you. A fancy website, high-end equipment, promotional rates, and pricey advertising campaigns can't save your business if your current customers aren't saying nice things about you. Here is a hypothetical conversation between two parents. You should keep this in mind as you plan and grow your childcare business...


"So, what's little Sally up to these days?"

 

"Actually, she just started at that new preschool over on Cherry Ave."

 

"Really, how do you like it?"

 

If you were the owner of that new preschool, what would you want that parent to say next? Choose your desired answer and focus on doing whatever it takes to make sure that's what all parents say in the future:

  1. We're not really sure yet. (Translation: It's okay, but I've seen better.)
  2. Well, it's good because the fees are low, but the teachers don't seem to know what they're doing. (The low rates mean the program budget is too lean and quality suffers.)
  3. Sally enjoys it, and I like her teacher, but the place always feels sort of dark and cold. (They could really use a better decorator!)
  4. It looked really great when we took the tour, but Sally doesn't seem to be learning much. In fact, she came home the other day complaining about how boring it is. (This program is "all feathers and no meat," as the farmer once said.)
  5. We absolutely love it, and so does Sally! (This center is awesome.)

It doesn't matter whether the other parent is looking for childcare at the time or not, because chances are good that he or she will have this conversation again with another parent in the near future.

 

"Do you know anything about that center over on Cherry Ave?" one parent asks.

 

"Not much, but come to think of it, I did hear that it was ____."

 

The end of that sentence will have more influence on that prospective customer than anything you can do or say as director or owner!

 

Please check out the other articles in this newsletter for marketing tips. CCEI also offers a number of helpful courses in the Professional Development library, including:

 

  • CCEI975 Spreading the Word About Your Program
  • CCEI975B: Enrollment and Retention
  • CCEI980: Customer Service for the Center Administrator
Volume 8, Issue 12

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Online Director Credential
Online Director's Certificates are for administration & management of a child care center.

Early Childhood Credential | ECC
CCEI's Early Childhood Credential (ECC) satisfies training for all CDA Credential settings!

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Meet Head Start Requirements for training! Enroll in CCEI Coursework Online Now!

Individual Child Care Training Subscription - $99
Subscriptions allow one year of access to 100+ CCEI Online Child Care Training Courses! 
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Boost Your Enrollment with Community Marketing
 

Community marketing opportunities are endless. Yet, when I've asked directors around the country how often they use this method of marketing their centers and generating enrollment inquiries, most of them say they can't find the time, they don't feel comfortable doing it, or they just aren't sure quite what to do or say.

   

Community marketing activities are those you conduct primarily outside your center, to help communicate your image and your marketing messages within your local community. It includes everything from being actively involved in your city's Chamber of Commerce to co-sponsoring a community event to participating in a local town parade. The result for your efforts should be more enrollment inquiries and referrals.

   

 View Article

Article Courtesy of Exchange Press, Inc.  

Top 12 Trends in Child Care

Child care is evolving, and most care providers and parents agree the changes are for the best. What are some of the latest trends in child care and what should parents be looking for when making an all-important child care decision?

1. Child Care Is Catering to Budget-Minded Families
 
More parents are taking a careful look at child care costs, and decisions to reduce hours or even pull their kids out of organized programs entirely due to job losses or expenses are affecting child care providers as well. As a result, more providers are offering flexible hours, keeping rates the same or even reducing them in some cases, and working out pay arrangements for struggling families to encourage families to stay. Special programs or fees are also being scrutinized as providers scramble to find ways to lessen costs while maintaining a quality care program for kids.

View Article
Article courtesy of About.com Child Care
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STEM Online Child Care Training Course Advances Exploration, Discovery, & Problem-Solving

CCEI is proud to announce the introduction of CUR106: STEM in Early Childhood Education to the catalog of online professional development courses. This course provides basic information about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education so early childhood educators can promote the development of foundational science and math skills in young children. The presence of STEM in early curriculum encourages the enjoyment of exploration, discovery, and problem-solving. Identifying major branches of science, developmentally appropriate activities, and the Project Approach are primary topics in this course. Appropriate use of technology, optimal content areas, and the importance of integrating arts and sciences are also included within the two clock-hour training. This course is available for online enrollment now.

Online Marketing Course Aides Directors in Developing Child Care Business Strategy
 
Online child care training course CCEI975: Successfully Marketing Your Program Part 1: Spreading the Word About Your Program is available as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users during the month of December in recognition of National Write a Business Plan Month. This first course in CCEI's marketing series outlines marketing basics for owners, directors, and aspiring administrators in an early childhood education setting. Participants will learn to properly define the product offered by a child care center and develop effective marketing strategies targeted at specific communities and families. Listing the program product offerings, identifying the roles center associates play in marketing, and defining the target audience for marketing a child care center are all included within this one clock-hour, beginner-level course. Upon successful completion of the course exam, students will receive 0.1 IACET CEU and immediate, unrestricted access to course documentation.

This beginner-level training course is available as a trial course to new users for CCEI account creation in December. Current students with active, unlimited subscriptions can enroll in professional development courses at no additional cost when logged in to their CCEI account.
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Toi Peace 

Rochester, NY 

 

Congratulations to Toi for successfully completing the Online Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate Program of Study!

Toi began her career in child care by babysitting for a neighbor at the age of fourteen, and has worked with children ever since. She very much enjoys connecting with children when they share their family stories and likes/dislikes, which is often during lunchtime. Toi also appreciates seeing pleased parents every day, as they trust her with their children. The children in Toi's care love physical activities, including gym time. Toi's motivation to work with children comes from knowing that children are our future and she's making an active contribution to their success.

 

In the evenings, Toi works with adults who have developmental disabilities. She also enjoys spending spare time with her family. In the future, Toi hopes to become a center director, or an elementary school teacher. She has received her CDA Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in human services. Toi recommends CCEI to others and elaborates, "Taking the program online allowed me to do it at my own pace and still work two jobs. I recommend this course to anyone who cannot do their CDA the traditional in-class way. I also really enjoyed the feedback from the instructor."

 

Congratulations, Toi! CCEI is proud to call you a graduate!
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Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for only $99 per year!  
CCEI offers over 100 IACET CEU-awarded online child care training courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has professional development offerings in English and Spanish, and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.

Center-Based Subscriptions 
Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way for directors to manage and administer continuing education for staff members. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for small and large centers, allow directors to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
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Online CDA Coursework
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs of study meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Goals established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas.

Online Director Programs
CCEI offers several online programs for directors including the Online Director's Certificate and
Director's Certificate Renewal, Georgia Director's Certificate, Texas Director's Certificate and Texas Director's Certificate Renewal, and Florida Director's Certificate Renewal. These programs provide the professional development required for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. Each student receives support from an Education Coach (EC) and CCEI's Customer Support Help Desk.

CCEI Early Childhood Credential

The CCEI Early Childhood Credential (ECC) is designed to give a basic framework of early childhood theory and application through online content-based coursework, reading assignments, practical application exercises, essays, parent interviews, classroom observation and oral and written exams. The instructional units and the 180 hours of coursework cover major topics in early childhood education including the Principles of Child Growth and Development; Safe, Healthy Environments; Social and Emotional Development; Motor, Language, and Cognitive Development; Principles of Child Assessment; Program Management, Families, and Professionalism. The credential awards 18 IACET CEUs, and is recognized by NAEYC to meet a part of the Alternative Pathways for directors to achieve educational qualifications. The ECC is a clear pathway toward higher education and raising the knowledge and skills of the early education workforce. Holders of the CCEI Early Childhood Credential can be considered qualified for Head Start positions that require a minimum of a CDA or other certificate. Graduates of CCEI's Online Early Childhood Credential (ECC) will have met all training, portfolio, and observation requirements of the national CDA Credential and only need to complete the Council's exam at a PearsonVue testing center to finalize the CDA Credential application process.The ECC is an expanded program that incorporates the other CDA required elements such as the formal observation and portfolio creation.

 

CCEI coursework is eligible for college credit through articulation with one of CCEI's articulation partners, and has received college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS), which has more than 1,500 schools willing to consider college credit recommendations. Contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907, or visit the ChildCare Education Institute website for more information or to enroll online.

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