Harnessing Online To Stand Out From the Competition
Competitive pressures in early education are rising. Parents (and state agencies) are asking for more, and many centers are responding, reviewing their service offering top to bottom. They are wondering — are we doing enough to maintain enrollment?
Digital tools are creating incredible new possibilities. And they are affordable.
Educa is a communications and documentation software platform that addresses many of the parent-facing aspects of your center, each feature having a tangible impact on enrollment. More on how Educa works here.
Specifically, here are 3 significant ways Educa is helping clients grow their enrollment.
1. Educa, The Selling Point
Our clients show Educa on their prospective parent tours. Prospective parents immediately recognize the value of real-time updates, all in one place and they welcome the closer connection to the teacher that Educa promises. Subscribing to Educa says something very positive about a center, about parent engagement and service levels.
Clients tell us it is often the difference maker in the parent decision.
Parents Expect Convenience & A Professional Look
Are you easy to deal with? Are your teachers easy to reach? Do you have a professional image in your interactions with parents? That’s what millennial parents want and expect. They prefer simplicity, everything in one place. Not more emails, paper notices, bulletin boards, Facebook pages, a website or a combination of all of the above. All in one place is at the core of the Educa value proposition.
Furthermore, they equate a professional website with trustworthy. Ease of use and professionalism in communications are becoming “must haves” in this day and age.
Parents Want to Collaborate
Because Educa is a two-way platform – parents can contribute stories also – parents will quickly see that they can have a much closer connection to the teacher. And that they will be active participants in their child’s education.
Millennial Parents Expect Privacy
For private communication, young millennial parents have turned to secure channels like Snapchat and WhatsApp and certainly would prefer a private and secure channel when it comes to talking about their child. And that is not email or a “private” Facebook page.
Parents Expect UPDATES AND PHOTOS On Their Phones
Young parents are busier than ever, working longer hours. And so there are fewer opportunities to truly connect at drop-off or pick-up time. At the same time, millennial parents want to know every detail of their child’s life.
Paper portfolios or scrapbooks seem old school. Because you offer real-time updates through Educa that go right to the parents phone, you are meeting the expectations of millennial parents. It’s becoming a must have.
Widen The Circle of Family & Non-Family Connections
Educa allows multiple connections to a child’s account. This includes joint custody families, extended family overseas — Educa is in 85 countries — and other interested parties, such as learning specialists.
A private and secure connection to their child’s teacher, with real-time updates, through Educa, will help you stand out from your competition.
“From a business owner’s perspective the move to Educa has been an investment. It engages our families and educators more than ever. The parent and educator feedback has been fabulous. We’ll never look back.”
— Susan Phua, Managing Director, Wild Things Child Care
2. More Client Referrals
Far and away the best source of new families is introductions from existing clients. Client referrals are the holy grail of marketing. This is because prospects who know an existing client come in somewhat pre-sold.
Educa can play a unique role for you here, encouraging your clients to refer.
Transparency Builds Confidence
Many parents have no idea about the good work your teachers are doing all day for their children. Educa helps bring the good work to life in a way that is beneficial for everybody involved – parents love the connection and insights, you will love the impact on your enrollment.
Because educators use Educa to connect activities to specific learning or curriculum goals, parents gain unique insights into the educational values of your center. This understanding builds confidence and belief in your educational philosophies. Instead of wondering if they made the right choice or if their child is getting a good education, parents get to see for themselves.
Parents who are confident in your center will talk positively about you to others.
The Constant Reminder To Refer
Because the Educa app is on their phone, your center is always top of mind. The news and good work you are doing is not buried in an email stream. Your center has a prime position on the best piece of real estate in marketing, your client’s phone!
And so, when the opportunity arises, parents will talk about you. And that can only be a good thing. It will lead to a steady stream of client referrals, pre-sold prospective families ready to enroll!
3. Improve Retention
The simplest way to grow enrollment is not to lose students. Early education is challenging that way, as children are always moving on. By necessity, marketing and enrollment drives are an important activity. However the underlying truth remains:
It costs a lot less to retain a family – a returning child or a sibling – than it does to recruit a new family.
Educa can be your best friend here. It will help you win existing parents over for a number of reasons.
Sure, they will grow to appreciate the convenience and simplicity of seeing everything to do with your center in one place — announcements, news, forms, updates on their child and more. Nothing is missed, dealing with your center is easy.
But even more than all this, they will love the real-time updates. Families love being engaged, being in the loop and they love having a more intimate connection to their child’s teacher.
Educa is disrupting the classic after preschool conversation – “What did you do at the center today?” “Oh, nothing!” Now, because of the updates and the educational context, parents have material to work with, questions to ask, activities that can build on the learning.
It is visibility that puts everyone involved with a child on the same page and it builds trust, confidence and eventually client loyalty. The result is better family retention, building block number one to full enrollment and a waiting list!
“We love it. Parents love it. We’re getting addicted to sharing”
Cassandra Wood, Teacher, Norfolk Street Educare
Growing Enrollment on a Budget with Educa
There are of course many other things you can do to help grow enrollment. For instance, work on your NQS rating or in the US, join a QRIS program or seek accreditation, use social media to build a following, or set up a professional website.
However, none of these are anywhere near as affordable as Educa, at only a $1 per child per month.
To learn more about Educa, request a demo here, a quick video tour and access to our live demo site. Or email us here to make an appointment for a live demo over the phone. It takes only 10-15 minutes, promise!