You've spent hours marketing your centre and building your waitlist. So, what now? Managing your waitlist is just as important as building it. Here are 4 tips to help you better manage your waitlist and keep families in your enrolment pipeline.
Learn how ChildcareCRM can help you manage your waitlist here.
1) Capture Everything You Can
Capturing family information goes beyond just the child's name and age; you should also be capturing details that can give you a personal advantage. For example, details of their previous experiences with childcare centres:
Have they been enrolled to any in the past?
Have they toured others?
What did they like or not like about it?
What learning goals do they have for the child?
How did they find your centre?
By knowing the finer details and documenting them in their profile, you will be able to start a strong bond with that family before they start. Once that relationship is established, that family will already be reassured and will most likely start earlier because they feel safe and comfortable in your presence.
2) Create Tasks for Yourself to Follow Up
Families will often place a start date that is months or even a year ahead. During the waiting period, keep your list up to date by regularly following up with these families to see if their circumstances for care or personal preferences have changed. By following up, this will allow your centre to remain up to date with families who want to start earlier or who have decided not to enrol. Thereby freeing up some space in your waitlist for other families and supporting your educators with accurate numbers for their room so they can prepare accordingly.
3) Keep Them in the Loop
Even though they are still on your waitlist, you want them to feel included, as if they are already part of the centre community. Inviting them to events such as family breakfasts, info nights, and open days is a great way to get your waitlist families involved. During this time, they are able to get to know the educators better, experience the centre values, and ensure their child is comfortable with the centre surroundings. See below for a centre open day email example.
4) Offer Introductory Play Sessions
Having introductory sessions as a process of your enrolments can be a huge relief to families and a benefit to your centre. Naturally, most families are nervous about leaving their child in a new environment on their first day. Removing that stress from your waitlist families will provide them with reassurance that the centre cares about their child and the entire family.
What is an Introductory Play Session?
An introductory play session allows the parents to observe a normal care day with their child. This is also for the child to get used to the environment, people and other children around them. This session helps both the parents and child to be comfortable with the centre and hopefully alleviate some stress around the first few drop offs.
Are you looking for a tool that can help you follow up and engage with your waitlist families? Check out our free downloadable guide - Ultimate Guide to Growing and Engaging Your Childcare Waitlist.