Businesses can’t hope to survive without a comprehensive website. And it’s no different for early education. In fact, maintaining a childcare website demands an even greater amount of information for parents. You can’t simply hope to establish a social media profile and expect a surge of new enrollments.
You need to be active. You need to be personable. And you need to be thorough.
But just how thorough should your childcare website be?
Parents these days are casual web users. They’re savvy. They demand the best for their children, and it’s up to you as a childcare operator to provide it.
Professionalism. Personal care. Prosperity. These are the three ‘P’s that make the foundation of any successful childcare center. But your childcare center needs more than just luck and wishful thinking. It needs a strategy,
1. Your Own Domain Name
You might be tempted to use any one of the numerous free website builders currently available. And if you’re entirely new to creating a website, it’s not a bad idea to play around with. But if you want to maintain a truly professional digital presence, we highly recommend paying for your own domain name. It’s relatively inexpensive, with many providers offering hosting services well under $5 a month. That’s a small price to pay to develop your childcare website; a site which can show parents you’re willing to put the necessary time, care and effort into your center.
2. Your Landing Page
Think of your landing page as the entrance to a store. Customers may know what they’re looking for. But are they aware of the little extras you have to provide? Why should they choose your store over your competitor’s? What makes you stand out? Here’s a hint: in childcare, it’s rarely about the price.
You need to ensure your landing page is accessible, attractive and easy to follow. When in doubt, keep it simple and clutter free. Parents aren’t going to care much about innovative design when they read a childcare website. What they want in navigability and information. And they want images of your facility—just don’t overdo it. No more than three or four should be more than plenty for your landing page.
3. Your Mission And Bio Pages (“About Us”)
Your mission and bio pages are going to be one of the most critical in helping a parent decide on a daycare center. For that reason alone, you don’t want to fill it with useless information, empty platitudes or worse—posturing and boasting.
Your mission statement doesn’t need to be fancy. An honest, concise and understandable description of what you hope to achieve through childcare is sufficient. The less verbiage, the better. But parents will also be curious about you. What is your philosophy? What are your passions? Your credentials? And not just you, but your entire staff. This is a chance for you to add a truly human face to your childcare website. Don’t be afraid to be light hearted in describing yourself and your staff. Remember, parents will want their children to be in a fun and joyful environment, not a stuffy one.
4. Your Health And Safety Policies
No parent wants to send their children to a center that’s not prepared. Medical emergencies can and will occur, including everything from minor scrapes and boo-boos to allergic reactions. And parents want to know that you’re fully qualified to handle them.
If you haven’t already, establish an official protocol addressing health and safety precautions and don’t leave anything out. Try to go above and beyond what’s required of you as a certified childcare operator and address some of the potential accidents that parents might not even consider. Parents are relying on you to provide a safe and secure environment in which their children are well cared for. Your childcare website should reflect it.
5. Your Curriculum Page
No, you probably won’t have a standardized curricula for your enrollees. But remember that you’re not just a childcare provider. You’re an early educator. And parents will be curious about what their children are learning.
Be comprehensive in detailing a child’s daily activities. Social activities, daily lessons, musical games… Parents want to know these things. Coloring may not seem educational at first; but it can help develop logic and motor skills. Parents will have a certain relief knowing you’re not just providing a daytime babysitting service, but a child development center that can be both creative, informative and fun.
6. Your Menu
These days, heightened sensitivity to both food allergies and dietary restrictions is on everyone’s minds. More importantly, parents want to know that you’re feeding children wholesome and nutritious meals, not junk and empty calories.
Posting a weekly or even monthly menu is an excellent way of letting parents know what you’re doing to address nutrition and early eating habits. Also consider posting a nutritional index from trusted government agencies to reassure parents that you’re following recommended national standards for healthy eating.
7. Should You Blog?
Short answer? Yes!
The blog on your childcare website isn’t an outlet for you to vent your own personal frustrations (please don’t; we’ve seen it and the results aren’t pretty.) Nor is it a place for you to jot down everything that comes into your head at any given time (again… please don’t.) Your blog should be as informative as it is personable. It should educate parents as much as entertain them. It’s a chance for you to showcase your background and skills by addressing real life situations and concerns. Not only that, but it drives more traffic to your site.
But more importantly? It gives your voice true clarity. It gives you greater depth and authority—two of the strongest qualities you can hope to have in childcare.
At Local Childcare Marketing, we specialize in developing and marketing your childcare website so you can focus on your biggest priority: your children. Find out more at Local Childcare Marketing.