Expanding a Daycare Business to Include Preschool Classes
Expanding a daycare business in order to include preschool classes can be a lucrative choice, as there are a wide array of benefits which can be associated with offering a preschool curriculum. For an existing daycare business, this can easily translate to substantially increased enrollment numbers and greater client satisfaction, but will require some significant changes and ample preparation. Before announcing preschool classes and an extended curriculum, daycare administrators and managers are urged to carefully research their options and the associated requirements.
How to Properly Include Preschool Classes in a Daycare Setting
A preschool curriculum can be an attractive selling point for parents, but it’s important for daycare providers to understand the different philosophies which form the basis of a curriculum. The most popular philosophies are Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia, though there are a host of other popular options from which to choose.
Expanding a daycare business to include preschool classes can be more effective when there’s some form of market research conducted to determine the most favored philosophy among existing clients. Often, the first enrollees in a new preschool program will be age-appropriate children whose parents are already clients of the daycare business. Providing information about philosophies like Bank Street, HighScope and Montessori can help existing clients to make an informed choice about what they would prefer to see in a preschool curriculum. With the help of your existing client base, you can include preschool classes which meet their needs and expectations while adding a valuable service to your list of offerings.
Expanding a Daycare Business to Meet Preschool Needs
After choosing a preschool philosophy and a curriculum, daycare providers planning to expand their businesses will need to make some substantial changes in order to facilitate this expansion. This will include providing space dedicated to preschool classes, which may consist of adding a new room or simply outfitting the current room utilized by the preschool age group to accommodate the needs of the new curriculum.
Hiring practices for caregivers in the preschool section will need to be altered to reflect the higher education requirements for those who will be working in a teaching capacity. The laws in each state governing a preschool teacher’s minimum qualifications will differ, so it’s crucial for daycare owners and administrators to research the requirements in their individual state before making any hiring decisions for new preschool teachers. Ideally, a preschool teacher in any state will hold a degree in Early Childhood Education.
Daycare Scheduling and Preschool Inclusion
Typically, preschools will operate on a much lighter schedule than daycare centers, as their primary goal is not the minding of children for working parents, but the early education of young students. While expanding a daycare center to include preschool classes can boost enrollment, it’s important for center administrators to make the hours of operation very clear to new clients. If preschool classes will be limited to only a portion of the day or only select days of the week, full daycare services may not be required for all students. Some stay-at-home parents may opt to send their children to preschool, but will not require all-day services. Pricing packages should be structured to accommodate clients who take advantage of preschool classes in addition to daycare services, those who only use daycare services, and those who will only require the preschool curriculum.
Offering a variety of pricing packages will help new clients to find the best fit for their families, a vital part of expanding a daycare business to increase enrollment. It’s also important for center directors to understand the appeal of on-site preschool for families which include more than one child in need of daycare services. By offering two separate services on-site, administrators can provide parents with a more convenient solution to meet the needs of preschool age children while keeping younger siblings on the same premises. This allows parents to drop off and pick up from one location, reducing commute times and increasing efficiency.
When properly executed, opting to include preschool classes can substantially improve client satisfaction while boosting enrollment numbers. Proper execution does require logistical changes and a strong emphasis on curricula, but can be a lucrative move for daycare owners and operators.