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    “The real question is how to use the available funds wisely. The best evidence supports the policy prescription: Invest in the Very Young.” - James J. Heckman, PhD, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences 2000

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    Marketing and Recruitment Activities



    Preparing for Fall Enrollment Now
    Advanced planning focuses your attention on the steps needed to complete your fall enrollment goals and enables you to look into the future in an orderly and systematic way. When you plan your business and operational activities in advance, the likelihood of missed enrollments or marketing opportunities will decrease.

    What ideas or resources can I use to meet my fall enrollment goal?
    Below are some simple ideas you can proactively use to market your program and ensure you are fully enrolled for the fall. Remember not to give up and keep pounding the pavement!

    • Open House: Open your doors to prospective families once a week.
    • Date Night: Organize a night event where currently enrolled, prospective families and their friends can leave their child with you for extended hours while they shop or have alone time.
    • Parent Referral Program: Introduce an incentive program for current families to refer prospective parents.
    • Community Organizations: Visit the local YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, or parks and recreation departments to hand out flyers.
    • Spring Cleaning: Have the children plant new flowers outside, put a fresh coat of paint on your building, display a new banner to catch the eye of families walking or driving by.
    • Car Magnet: Advertise your program on your car.
    • Early childhood community college classes: Reach out to the instructors and offer to be a guest speaker for curriculum, licensing, career opportunities, or other topics that relate to the class.
    • Elementary School Contacts: Get to know the receptionist at local elementary schools.
    • Newsletter: Educate current and prospective families as well as the community on your program offerings and events.
    • ROP class: Volunteer to supervise ROP students in your program.
    • Community Involvement: Ask the library, Kindergarten teachers or retirement community if the children can perform during Week of the Young Child.
    • Creative Mailings: Create postcards using the children's artwork for prospective parent follow up.
    • Farmers Market: Set up a marketing table.
    • Mingling Mondays: Invite current and prospective parents to share and talk about parenting issues.

    It might be the beginning of spring, but in terms of enrollment, fall is right around the corner! If you want to start fall with full enrollment, commit to spending a small amount of time each week throughout the spring and summer refining your marketing. Every week do something marketing-related - make phone calls to prospective families who recently toured your program and did not enroll or introduce yourself to the owners of a neighborhood business. Creative, consistent marketing provides you the awareness, recognition, and retention that lead to more inquiries, referrals, and enrollments. The more times you can draw prospective parents into your program, the more chances you have to secure enrollments.
    Consider these ideas:

    • Review your marketing plan and make sure it fits the needs of your program. Think about the competitive situation in your community and review and determine which marketing efforts were most effective.
    • Develop a to-do list of activities that will work together to help generate inquiries and provide more opportunities to secure enrollments. Begin with a simple list of marketing actions along with the timeline, the responsible party, the budget, and the method of evaluation for effectiveness.
    • Create a consistent message by ensuring that all of your advertising and collateral materials are current and reflect your new brand.
    • Design a program brochure that communicates your brand and shows your uniqueness.
    • Carefully review your website and update where necessary.
    • Spend some time generating publicity for your program.
    • Listen to your voice mail and update as necessary. Listen carefully, not just for information, but for tones and background noise.
    • Determine where your advertising dollars are best spent.