So, it is 2a.m. and you have been Googling everything from synonyms for childcare center to the Germanic roots of Kindergarten. Maybe you have a spreadsheet with a photo of one of those large yellow suns wearing oversized sunglasses, and a couple of those little rainbow handprints splattered across the screen.
You’re on the right track; a daycare website should be full of bright colors! But, maybe we should add a bit of text, and move your progress from a spreadsheet onto an actual website.
Learn how to transform your daycare into a full-blown business that clients can trust just from looking at your site. This process is effective for everything from start-up living room daycares to more established daycare centers. So no matter where you are in the business, these steps are for you.
Step 1. Pick a Domain Name
What’s the first thing you do when you want to visit a website? You type in its domain name! Popular examples of these include Amazon.com, Step.State.gov, Gov.uk, Umass.edu. I’m sure you recognize one or two of those, and the list could go on and on. The goal here is to come up with a domain name that could eventually become just as recognizable.
If you already have an established business with an established name, it might be best to use that name in your domain. This will boost recognition for your current business and its name. What would that look like? If my daycare is called Patsy’s Playground, my domain name could be: PatsysPlayground.com.
Sometimes it may be the case where a particular domain name may already be in use. In this case, you may try to differentiate your website by adding a specific detail to the domain, such as the city where your business is located. This might look like: PatsysPlaygroundBoston.com.
Step 2. Adding Pages to Your Daycare Website
It’s time to start creating pages for the website you are about to launch! Consider your audience throughout this process; you want to make sure that each page draws your customers in, answers their questions, and builds a strong sense of who you are and why they should choose your daycare website over all others.
Don’t get overwhelmed; the fun is just getting started. Below are examples of what some of your pages might look like, to help you get going.
- The homepage: When you first enter any website, you typically arrive at the site’s homepage. This is the main-page for guests, and thus the very first impression you leave. It is important to use this page to draw in prospective clients, because whether they like what they see here, will determine if they choose to click on any of your other daycare website’s links. This is one of the biggest factors in determining whether or not prospective clients will continue considering your business.
Try to keep the homepage organized, so that too much clutter will not overwhelm visitors. Consider including graphics relating to your daycare, to attract visitors and draw their attention. Provide a brief synopsis of your business, just to give customers a little taste of who you are and what you are about. Don’t worry about telling them everything right now that is what the coming pages are going to be for!
- About us: This is probably the second most important page on your entire website. When visitors come to this page, they are looking to find out more about who you and your staff (if you have any) are. Keep it visually interesting; add bright, clear photographs of yourself and each member of the staff. Include a bio with each photograph, briefly telling who each individual is, what their role at the daycare is, what drew each individual to childcare, and perhaps what their background is working in childcare. You may also consider photographs of the daycare website itself, including equipment, play areas, toys, and any other areas where the children might be playing or interacting. The point of this section is to introduce customers to the staff and the facilities, so that it feels as if they have already come for a visit.
- Menu: If you are planning a several-hour, or all day service, you are going to need to provide the children in your care with food. Provide prospective parents with a hypothetical menu, or perhaps you want to go a step beyond and provide a real-time menu you keep up-to-date. Displaying a well-balanced meal, and nutritional facts about the food you plan to provide, could go a long way in easing the minds of parents and set you apart from the rest of the daycare websites on the internet.
- Health and Safety: This page is very important for prospective clients; they want to know how you plan to ensure the safety of their children. Take the time to let parents know what licenses you and your staff have. Are any of you CPR or First Aid certified? What is your procedure for emergency situations? Be thorough, consider a parent’s point of view when writing, and be sure you have researched your local safety laws and guidelines.
- Curriculum: Does your daycare follow a teaching curriculum? Not all daycares offer this service, but if yours does, now is the time to boast about it! Tell parents all about what you will be teaching their children and how you plan on teaching it. This section will definitely make you stand out to parents, so don’t be shy about the details.
- Pricing: So, a parent is scrolling through your website and they like what they see. But, can they afford it? That is the thought going on in their head. While it is true that you do not want to scare away prospective clients with this answer, you also do not want to chase them away with no answer at all. Most daycare services in the same general area, tend to be priced comparably. So, any parent seriously considering your services, should not be deterred by seeing hard numbers. Instead, consider this an opportunity to show them that you are comparably priced, while offering above and beyond services.
- FAQ: This is your chance to think ahead, and answer any questions for clients that you think the previous pages might not have answered. This could go in a number of directions, but here are a few examples to get you started.
o Is there a naptime? How long will my child nap?
o Can my child come to daycare if they are sick?
o Is daycare necessary for my child?
o Does my child need vaccinations to attend daycare?
Step 3. Choosing a Website Builder for Your Daycare Website
Whew! You have reached the final step. It is finally time to put all of that planning to good use. Choosing a website builder is made very easy by the fact that there are so many available on the Internet for your business use. Deciding which one is best is up to your personal preferences, so get to looking. Most of all, have fun creating your brand new website!
If need help, from designing and building your website to filling your center with new enrollments, Local Childcare Marketing is a full-service advertising agency specializing in the childcare industry. Check out what LCCM can do for you today!