Every year in August as my summer camp comes to an end, many of the school-age children leave the program to go back to school and this usually leaves 16-to-20 slots for me to fill. In fact, this year, I started marketing my program 6-weeks before the camp ended, so that as the school-age kids were leaving the program….the preschoolers would be coming in.
Several days prior to writing this blog post, I was observing two of my staff members as they talked about how many of the kids had already left the program due to the summer camp ending. One of the teachers looked really concerned. So, I walked over and said to her, “You seem to be worried about the enrollment?” She (sadly) replied, “Yes I am.”
I kindly reminded her that this season is not going to last long and that we will have new students coming soon. Also, I encouraged her not to worry about her hours being cut or losing her job. After I spoke with her, she smiled and appeared as if two buildings were lifted off her shoulders.
Moreover, since my talk with the teacher who was concerned about low enrollment, I have enrolled six new students and this was the response that I received from that concerned staff member, Wow! You said more children would be coming!
I only have a few more enrollment slots to fill, however, I am so thankful that I did not have to lay off staff due to a sudden shift in enrollment after the summer camp ended. Furthermore, after my brief talk with that teacher, I also realized the importance of having open and supportive communication with your staff during tough seasons.
Furthermore, be careful of the words that you speak over your childcare business as you build enrollment. Your words are so powerful. So, be sure to stay in a mode of expectation.
I shared my story with you to encourage you to reassure your staff when there is a change in enrollment, especially during low enrollment seasons.
Here’s something to think about: you depend on the money from your business to pay your bills and your staff depends on you to provide them with a job to pay their bills, so in the event that you foresee or anticipate a shift in enrollment, they should be informed. This will help to minimize unnecessary anxiety or gossip.
Also, be sure that you are not worried and always have confidence that more kids are coming. As you walk in confidence during a Low Enrollment season, you can be assured that your staff will catch that same attitude!
With Enrollment in Mind!