What Are Your Best Advertising Tips?

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Ask Melinda is a Playvolution HQ column offering thoughtful answers to family child care questions written by Melinda Marshall.

Your questions, comments, and answers are welcome in the comment section at the end of the post.

Save 15% at eeltoys.com with the code MOUNTAINTOP

This week’s question:

What Are Your Best Advertising Tips?

Maddison

20 years ago when I wanted to begin caring for children in my home I hand drew a flier (I didn’t even have a computer or printer at the time!) and hung it up on a community board at our local corner grocery store. I remember my futile attempts to draw ABC blocks, teddy bears, and beach balls on it and coloring them in with crayons. Fast forward 20 years and thanks to social media, we sure have come a long way in how we “spread the word.”

Although I no longer hang fliers often, that’s certainly a good way to get your name out there. Most corner stores, gas stations, diners, libraries, etc all still have community boards, usually located near their entrance.

Go to where the children and families are! You can hand fliers out at local soccer or T-Ball games, or any time there is some sort of activity going on in your community. I once handed fliers out at an Easter Egg Hunt.

Every Halloween, I attach my business card to little bags of candy to pass out at our local Trunk-or-Treat.

If your town has a town-wide yard sale day, a community day, or a block party, be sure to set up a table to advertise.

If your town does parades for certain holidays, sign up and make a float. Have current families ride with you!

You can attach business cards to the inside of children’s books and donate them to the local doctor or dentists waiting room.

Leave pamphlets or brochures at your local realtor’s office, so when new families move to town and are looking for childcare they know where to find you.

Be sure to call your local CCR&R and let them know what your openings are. They are usually more than happy to give referrals out to families.

Printed materials, although sometimes pricey, are a good way to get your name out there. Magnets, pens, t shirts, car magnets, and reusable cloth grocery bags are all good examples.

Our small town has a monthly newspaper that prints ads for local businesses. I keep my ad in the paper even when I’m full, just so my name stays out there. You can certainly place ads in your weekly newspaper, penny saver, or even online newspaper websites.

For me, social media has been the most effective way to advertise. I have a business page that I post pictures, articles, and current “advertisements” for openings on. You can certainly pay some of these platforms to boost posts for you, but I’ve had a lot of success simply tagging friends and asking them to share my posts.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your program to people you meet in public! When I’m in the grocery store dragging two full carts of food behind me, someone ALWAYS comments on “how many kids I must have”. It’s a great opportunity to say “Yup, I sure do.” And tell them all about my program while handing them a business card.

My most successful way to advertise has always been good old fashion word-of-mouth. Have current families let their extended family and friends know about your openings. You could also have them write recommendations to add to your social media pages. Sometimes I offer current families an incentive like a gift card to the local coffee shop or even a discount on their tuition.

There are a lot of affordable and effective ways to advertise. With a little creativity, you can get your name out there and be sure to fill your openings in no time!

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Support Playvolution HQ

creating free content isn’t free

If you find our content here useful, entertaining, or interesting, consider ways you can support the site and our efforts to keep the content flowing.

For example, using our affiliate link when shopping Amazon is a great way to help-you pay the same amount and we receive a small percentage that’ll help keep the site up and running.

You can also support our work by becoming a patron via Patreon

Owner at Mountaintop Family Child Care

Melinda lives in Upstate New York and is owner of her home based program, Mountaintop Family Childcare.

She has been a family child care provider for over 18 years and worked with children for over 27 years. Her program offers relationship based care that includes many aspects of farm life and nature/forest school with PLAY at the center of all they do. She firmly believes in slowing down childhood and allowing children to develop at their own pace.

Melinda believes family childcare programs offer unique settings that have much to offer to the early learning world. She strongly supports family providers in keeping a home like atmosphere in their programs. Backed by research, she continuously advocates for children's right to play.

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