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This means now is the time for you to be keenly aware of what they want or need and how you can assure them you can deliver it. 

  • Know who your target is, where they go for information on ECE, and what needs they have which you can meet. Adjust your marketing messages and promotions according. Start with your website. Is it unique, easy to navigate, up to date, interactive?
  • Be visible in your community. Increase grass roots external marketing in your center’s draw radius. Choose those activities that will put you in front of large groups of your prospects and opinion influencers. Generate good publicity.
  • Sharpen and practice good enrollment conversion skills. Now more than ever, every qualified inquiry counts! Get the training you need and then make it your goal to do what it takes to secure every enrollment possible. Find training in the CD program,
    Basic Techniques for Securing Enrollment, at
  • Increase customer focus. Initiate regular activities to acknowledge your customers, communicate important messages, involve them, and assure them of your center’s stability and value.

There’s truth to the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” By making sure you keep moving forward with your marketing and sales efforts, you can turn tough times into terrific enrollment building opportunities.

child care marketing ideas from expert Julie WassomReprinted with permission from Wassom’s Child Care Marketing Wisdom e-zine by Julie Wassom, President of The Julian Group, Inc. To contact Julie or subscribe to this free newsletter,
call 303-693-2306,
email or visit

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By Julie Wassom

They freeze. That’s what happens to some center directors when the economy slows down and prospects become harder to find and convert to enrollments. Lack of confidence and fear of what’s happening out there causes them to stop doing these three things:

  1. Marketing actively to generate inquiries.
  2. Converting every qualified prospect to a center visit and enrollment.
  3. Communicating to customers that the center is still thriving.

Is this you? If so, you may be inadvertently diminishing the potential you have to increase and maintain enrollment right now.

Here’s the good news. These times are exactly when savvy center directors, owners, and managers are taking advantage of the growth opportunities in a challenging economic market. They keep marketing when their competition has slowed or stopped. They use market research, very targeted messages, and cost-effective delivery methods. They learn the most effective conversion skills and practice them. They make staff their marketing partners. And they initiate customer retention activities. 

A majority of parents are still working. They need child care. According to Wilson Marketing Group 2008 statistics, 7.3 million children are attending licensed care in the US. Parents still want their children to have an academic advantage by the time they reach kindergarten, social interaction with peers, and all the other advantages of good early care and education. But they are reassessing what is important to them in the early care decision.