22nd April 2024 Partnership with Parents All Posts

Boost Your Nursery Enquiries: 8 Practical Tips

From a parent’s perspective

As a first-time parent of a one-year-old, I started researching suitable nurseries more than six months ago during my maternity leave. Looking back now, I realise how difficult it was to find the perfect setting. As a new mum, I was unsure about the type of nursery that would be best for my child, and there were various factors to consider such as cost, location, facilities and resources. I relied on several sources of information to guide me and help me make the right decision.

As the new term approaches this September, many parents will be weighing up their options for nurseries. In this blog post, I aim to share some practical tips based on my own experience, to help nurseries improve parent satisfaction during the initial enquiry stage. My suggestions are simple but effective and can help any nursery impress parents during their search for the ideal nursery.

Starting the Search: ‘Google My Business’ Is Key

The search for a nursery often begins with a simple Google query: “nurseries near me.” 
Having an up-to-date Google My Business page is crucial for visibility and will make it easy for parents to find you.

Parents heavily rely on online searches to find local services, including nurseries. A Google My Business page not only increases your online presence but also ensures that parents can easily locate your nursery. Ensure that all relevant information, such as contact details, opening hours, and location, is up to date. Encourage satisfied parents to leave reviews on your Google My Business page, as positive reviews can significantly impact parents’ decisions when choosing a nursery for their child.

Websites – Opt for Substance over Style

Your website is really important! Nowadays, first impressions often happen online. Before parents visit your nursery, they’ll likely check out your website. Have you thought about what impression your website gives to people who don’t know your nursery yet? Your website can be a huge selling point for parents choosing a nursery, so make sure it’s up-to-date with real, good-quality photos showing off your facilities (not stock images). You don’t need an expensive, fancy website, but you should make sure it’s easy for parents to find you online. Make sure your website reflects your nursery’s values. Adding things like parent testimonials or a link to your latest Ofsted report can help show your credibility. Keep your website updated with fresh information to show parents you’re active and engaged. This also helps your website rank better on search engines like Google. If you’re using a website builder, choose a theme that matches your nursery’s brand colours and easy-to-read fonts to make a good impression on visitors to your site.

Transparency Matters: Be Upfront About Costs and Funding

During my search for a nursery, I found transparency about costs and funding to be lacking on many nursery websites. With the complexities of nursery funding, being upfront about this information can set you apart from the competition. Parents want to know exactly what they will be paying for and what financial support is available to them.

Ensure your website provides clear details about your nursery’s fees and any available funding options, such as government schemes or tax-free childcare. Consider utilising platforms like the childcare choices website to aid parents in understanding their options and accessing financial support. By being transparent about costs and funding, you can alleviate parents’ concerns and build trust in your nursery’s services.

Harness the Power of Referrals: Happy Parents Are Your Best Advocates

Word-of-mouth recommendations from other parents carry immense weight in the decision-making process. Prioritise creating a positive experience for existing parents, and they’ll become your best advocates. Happy parents are more likely to recommend your nursery to friends and family, leading to increased enquiries and a positive reputation in the community.

Encourage satisfied parents to share their experiences with others and provide testimonials that can be shared on your website and social media platforms. Positive feedback from existing parents not only attracts new families but also boosts staff morale and reinforces your nursery’s commitment to excellence in childcare.

The Importance of a Warm Welcome

First impressions count, and the initial interaction with nursery staff can make all the difference. When parents visit your nursery for a tour, it’s essential to provide a warm and welcoming experience. Choose your best staff members to conduct showarounds and prioritise clear communication.

During showarounds, staff should be knowledgeable about the nursery’s facilities, programs, and safety procedures. Encourage them to engage with parents, answer any questions they may have, and showcase the unique qualities of your nursery. Treat each showaround like an ofsted learning walk. Use it as an opportunity to create a lasting impression and demonstrate your nursery’s commitment to providing high-quality care and education for children.

Embrace Technology for Communication and Engagement

In today’s digital age, parents expect seamless communication and updates on their child’s activities. Implementing technology solutions like ParentZone can enhance parent-staff communication and engagement, fostering a stronger partnership in childcare.

Consider using apps or software platforms that allow parents to receive real-time updates on their child’s day, communicate with nursery staff, and access photos and videos of their child’s activities. These tools not only provide parents with peace of mind but also promote transparency and collaboration between parents and staff. By embracing technology, nurseries can meet the evolving needs of modern families and enhance the overall childcare experience.

Create Inviting Spaces

When parents visit a nursery, they assess every aspect of the environment, including cleanliness, safety, and resources. Creating inviting spaces that stimulate learning and exploration is essential for attracting and retaining families.

Ensure that your nursery is clean, well-maintained, and equipped with age-appropriate resources and materials. Consider incorporating outdoor play areas and nature-based learning spaces to cater to the growing interest in nature-based education. Outdoor environments provide children with opportunities for hands-on exploration, physical activity, and connection with nature, enriching their overall learning experience.

Engage with Parents and the Community

Utilise social media platforms to connect with parents and the local community. Share updates, photos, and educational content to keep parents engaged and informed about your nursery’s activities and values. Social media provides a valuable opportunity to showcase your nursery’s unique features and connect with prospective families.

Encourage parents to follow your nursery on social media and participate in online discussions and events. By fostering a sense of community and belonging, you can strengthen relationships with families and establish your nursery as a trusted resource for childcare and early education. 

Utilise Management Systems to Streamline Enquiries 

Efficiently managing enquiries and gathering feedback is essential for continuous improvement and growth. Utilise nursery management systems like Connect Childcare to streamline enquiries, capture prospective parents’ details, and track conversion rates.

These systems enable nurseries to manage enquiries effectively, follow up with prospective families, and gather valuable feedback on their experiences. By analysing this data, nurseries can identify areas for improvement, address parents’ concerns, and enhance the overall quality of their services. Utilising management systems empowers nurseries to make data-driven decisions and deliver exceptional childcare experiences.

By implementing these strategies, nurseries can attract more parents, cultivate a positive reputation within the community, and provide a welcoming and supportive environment for both children and parents alike. 

Using iConnect?

If you use iConnect, find out how to start using the new Enquiries module in iConnect on our helpdesk. You can learn how to use the Online Parent Enquiry Form, add enquiries manually, manage ongoing enquiries, and help parents join ParentZone through the child registration form.

Find Out More about Enquiries

Contact us today to learn more about the latest enquiries module and how this enhances iConnect as a fully integrated nursery management solution. Or alternatively, see it for yourself and request a demo.
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About the Author

Marketing Lead at Connect Childcare