Creative Childcare Blog

What Can You Do to Increase Enrollment?

As operators, we understand all too well that operating at maximum capacity is necessary to keep our operations running “in the zone.”

Right now, in Alberta, many child care centres are struggling to maintain the enrollment that they already have. Dreams of the program being full have been put on hold while more and more people are finding themselves out of work.


Here are some low cost and no-cost ideas to increase traffic to your centre:

During tours, make sure to communicate your differences when compared to other programs in the area. Make sure that they focus on high quality! (i.e.: we serve only organic fruits and vegetables, we offer a music program, we have a huge indoor large muscle space.) Let potential parents know just how different and wonderful you are.

Offer a satisfaction guarantee. Give your guarantee a catchy name like, “The Daisy Care Satisfied Families Guarantee.” You can promise that if a parent is not satisfied with the care they are receiving in the first 30 days, they can withdraw their child and will receive a refund of their tuition.

Print a map of your community and begin marking where your families live. You will be able to determine where many of your families reside. Once complete, research the area to find out when there are local events, festivals, or even new construction sites. You can then determine if opportunities are available for you and your program to contribute to those communities. Perhaps you can set up a children’s craft table at a local craft market or event. Maybe take part in a community parade.

Offer to write articles for your local/community paper.

Make sure your program has a Facebook page. Ask all your parents to “like” the page and make sure that you have your Facebook URL on all of your marketing information. Make sure to dedicate time to post updates, polls and useful information.

Have a referral rewards program. When you think about it, one enrollment can mean $13,000.00 or more a year! Choose an amount (between $100 and $500) cash back to families who refer to a successful enrollment. Make sure you take a picture of you handing that hundred-dollar bill to the family and post it on your Facebook page and your parent newsletter. Work will quickly get around, and families will become your best enrollment partners.

If you are looking for even more ideas, Kris Murray has a book entitled The 77 Best Strategies To Grow Your Early Childhood Program. You can order your copy at and only pay for the cost of shipping.

Until next time,

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Beyond the Chaos- Seeing the Beauty Behind the Mess

Beyond the Chaos- Seeing the Beauty Behind the Mess

Many ECE’s take pride in cleanliness and orderliness in their classrooms. However, it is critical that we allow time for messy art each day! Here are the top 5 reasons to include messy art in your daily programming:

  1. Messy art builds nerve connections within the developing brain’s neural pathways, which paves the way for a child to complex learning tasks
  2. Messy art supports language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, problem-solving skills, and social interaction
  3. Messy art helps in developing and enhancing memory functioning
  4. Messy art is great for calming all children, especially those who are dealing with an undue amount of stress in their lives
  5. Messy art helps children learn vitally important sensory attributes (hot, cold, sticky, dry, wet, squishy etc.)

Messy, creative art is so much more than finger-painting. Messy art is an insightful, delightful stimulation of our senses and our creative being! It’s exploring colour, causal relationships, shapes and textures. It’s enjoying sensory stimulation which we all understand as being critical for a child’s well-rounded development.

Messy art allows for critical thinking and independent choice. Those skills allow children to become confident in their self-expression which in turn builds their self-esteem.


Contact us if you want to explore this with your staff team. We LOVE delivering this workshop and you will love being able to experience the joy and wonderment of messy art!

Until next time,

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Heuristic Play

Offer the Ultimate Infant and Toddler Learning Opportunities

This post is all about treasure baskets and heuristic play. The term heuristic play was coined by Elinor Goldschmied (1910-2009) in the 1990s. Adults offer seated babies (who cannot move independently) a range of natural, household and recycled objects contained in a sturdy basket for exploration. This approach to infant and toddler learning is practiced around the world but is not as popular in Canada.

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Who’s Caring for You?

The choice to become an Early Childhood Educator may have had a great deal to do with your personality type. Let's face it, most of us derive personal satisfaction from caring for others and giving of ourselves to make the lives of others better. Most of us finish our work day and then have people at home that need us. Even if we live alone there are still bills to pay, housework to do, and family commitments.

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