How to Complete with...

…Child Care Centers

Visit the center and get copies of all written materials they distribute to parents: rate schedule, special services, description of benefits, etc.

Compare your program’s benefits with the center benefits. What does your program offer that the center does not?

Examples: 

Smaller group size for more individual attention for each child 

Home environment where children can play in familiar surroundings 

Home-cooked, individually prepared meals 

Healthier environment for children with less exposure to illness 

Years of experience by a consistent caregiver

You may want to offer services that are not offered by a center: longer hours, infant care, special needs care, etc.

Promote your program using your benefits: finder’s fee, door hangers, business flyers.  Talk to center director about ways you might be able to cooperate: back-up care, odd hour care, infant care, field trips, etc.

…Unregulated Caregivers

Emphasize safety and health issues. Identify what inspections, background checks, CPR training, and other tests you have passed. Tell parents they should ask about these things with informal caregivers.

Do not try to compete on the basis of price by lowering your rates.

Stress the value clients receive from your services. Promote the benefits of your program that an informal provider probably does not have:

“I offer a variety of planned learning and play activities to help your child be ready to succeed academically in school.”

“I have specialized training in child development, so I can respond quickly to your child’s needs.”

“I offer special services that will enrich your child’s education.”

Tell parents, “I am not the low-cost alternative.” Some parents will always pick the cheaper care. Let those parents go.

Work with your association to educate public about the value of licensing.

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