Five Preschool Open House Ideas for Your Child Care Center
This post was originally created and published by Procare Solutions on October 6, 2022. You can find the original piece here. It is reprinted here with permission from Procare.
If you’ve never done an open house for your preschool, it’s time to think about how best to show off to prospective families all the great things you have to offer!
And if you’ve done many open houses, it may be time to refresh what you’re doing with new ideas.
Let’s take a look at five preschool open house ideas for your child care center that will highlight your wonderful early childhood education program!
1. Host Open Houses Throughout the Year
Sure, it makes sense to hold an open house a couple months before the beginning of a traditional school year. But also consider holding an open house every three or four months. Families are moving into your area, or their child care needs may change unexpectedly.
Companies are changing their work-from-home policies, and many are requiring their employees to work at least a few days in the office.
That means parents must readjust to pre-pandemic rituals including long commutes and juggling child care, according to the Associated Press.
These types of changes mean parents might be scrambling for a new preschool for their child, either closer to their office or perhaps closer to their home.
If they see that your preschool is offering an open house, that could be the prompt they need to consider your program!
So consider hosting an open house a few times a year, perhaps every quarter!
2. Highlight the Education Your Preschool Offers
Parents touring preschools will no doubt ask how your program will help their children be prepared to enter kindergarten.
Post a sample schedule of the day so parents can see what their children will do through the day.
And being able to tout a curriculum that’s tailored for early childhood education will be a strong selling point for your preschool.
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And every activity is linked to early childhood standards for each age group!
Read this case study to learn how Procare Early Learning helped save a West Virginia child care center up to $1,600 a month.
3. Include Kids’ Activities in the Open House
Parents likely have lots of questions for you. And it can be difficult for them — and you! — to concentrate with little ones running around.
Set up a table with crafts or a game in a part of the room where the children can be supervised, but also kept busy. Refrain from showing a TV show or using screens. This could send a message that your daycare relies on screens to keep kids entertained, which something many parents will see as negative.
Go through the toys and art supplies you have and think about activities kids can do independently. Painting and puzzles often can require help from adults, so consider avoiding these activities.
Instead, a coloring station or blocks center might be a fun idea. What activities do your preschoolers enjoy doing during their independent play time? By setting up an area that showcases independent play, you’re giving parents a deeper look into what their child will experience during his or her day with you.
Parents love seeing what their children are doing. The Procare child care mobile app allows parents to be immersed in their children’s day-to-day activities — that includes tracking developmental milestones, sharing photos and videos as well as enabling two-way communication.
Parents can see their child’s activities that are shared by your teachers. This lets families see what their children are doing and learn what’s happening in their day, including when and how long they napped and what they ate, in addition to learning updates.
4. Include Preschool Teachers in Your Open House
Research has shown time and time again that highly qualified early childhood educators who can create a dynamic, accountable learning environment are at the center of a high-quality early learning experience.
A teacher who parents connect with, and get a great first impression from, will go a long way in making parents move your center up the list in places they’re considering.
Think carefully about which teachers should be at the open house. Some teachers are more shy than others — and of course, that’s fine! But these teachers might not be well suited to an open house.
Instead, think of the teachers and other staff who are more outgoing and likely to strike up a conversation with a prospective parent, and be knowledgeable enough to answer a parent’s questions.
If possible, a mix of teachers who’ve been at your center a long time and newer staff would be ideal.
5. Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Make sure you collect parents’ contact information and load them into your Procare to help you track prospective families from when they show interest to when they enroll!
Procare offers you the ability to apply software metrics that are tailored to measure the effectiveness and health of how your child care center is managing those prospective families, often known as leads. And it gives you the results in a concise, easy-to-read format.
And if families don’t enroll their child at the end of your open house, contact them no later than 48 hours later. Thank them again for coming and reiterate that you’d love to have them in your program. Mention something the parent brought up during the tour, such as potty training or that a child is a picky eater. Encourage them to contact you with questions, and make sure you provide your phone number and email address.
Keep sending communication after that message at regular intervals and schedule emails or texts with helpful information such as articles about potty training or preparing your child for kindergarten to go out once a week.