Are you planning to offer summer enrichment programs this year at your childcare center? Summer camps and other specialty programs can greatly benefit the families you serve and your daycare too. In this article, learn about the potential benefits of offering summer enrichment programs, as well as tips for making your summer programs a success.
Why Offer Summer Enrichment Programs at Your Childcare Center?
If you are an Early Childhood Education provider, you may look forward to the summer months as a reprieve from the demands of a full childcare schedule during the school year. Many childcare providers offer reduced hours in the summer as an opportunity to schedule time off for some much-needed rest and relaxation, travel, or extra administrative time to prepare for the upcoming school year. Even so, offering summer enrichment programs can provide a number of benefits for the families you serve (and your daycare business). Let’s take a look at a few of them:
- Fill the Need for Summer Childcare – It may be a no-brainer, but it’s worth saying that many families have a continual need for childcare throughout the entire calendar year. Even with reduced hours during the summer months, you can help families fill in the childcare gap by offering day camps or specialty programs that provide care for the day, the week, or the month. Anything helps.
- Add Value to Your Childcare Program – Maybe the demands of your regular school year schedule don’t give you a lot of margin to offer enrichment programs outside of your standard business hours. Offering these sort of programs during the summer could be a great opportunity to add value to your childcare business as well as gain the interest of more families in your area. Summer programming can be a great selling point of your childcare business.
- Give Children New Opportunities – Summer programs are a great way to give children the opportunity to explore a variety of interests, make memories, and explore the world. Whether you offer summer day camps or Mommy and Me activities, these programs help families bond and get children engaged in their world.
- Boost Your Revenue During the Summer Months – It may be stating the obvious, but offering summer enrichment programs can help offset the cost of reducing your standard business hours to reflect your summer schedule. As long as you budget carefully for your summer programming, you can fill in the gaps where your reduced hours leave you with less regular income.
- Gain New Clients for the Upcoming School Year – When you offer summer enrichment programs, chances are you will draw the interest of many more families than whom you serve during the regular school year. If their children have a positive experience at your summer programs, these families can become potential new clients for the upcoming school year. It’s worth thinking about!
Now that we have looked at some of the benefits of offering summer enrichment programs at your childcare center, let’s go over a few tips for making your summer programs a success.
Tips for Making Your Summer Enrichment Programs a Success
Pulling off a successful summer enrichment program takes a lot of hard work and dedication. With the following tips in mind, you can set your program up to be a hit with children and their families:
Make a Budget and Stick to It – How much money are you able or willing to spend on summer programming? Consider the cost of supplies, food, field trips, and so on. Find a balance between making purchases that add value to your summer programs and making cost-effective decisions. Once you make your summer programming budget, stick to it!
Decide on Enrollment Costs – How much will you charge per child? Will you charge a registration fee? How about a cancellation fee? What will your enrollment costs include and what will families be responsible for on their own? You should take your summer programming budget into consideration and figure out how much you will be spending on your summer programs.
Choose a Theme – What will be the theme of your summer camp or summer programs? Are you offering a day camp by age group or interest? A science program, music camp, Mommy and Me class, and so on…Choosing a theme for your summer programs will help you with the next step too.
Plan Ahead of Time – Once you have a theme, put a plan in place. Do you have the right staff to support your summer programs? What activities will you offer? What field trips will you coordinate? What will children learn or experience through their participation in your summer programs? Get specific on the who, what, where, why, and when of your summer programs to keep everyone on the same page once things get rolling.
Advertise, Advertise, Advertise – Word of mouth, flyers, bulletin boards, email newsletters, an advertisement in your community newspaper, social media…however you choose to get the word out about your summer programs, make sure you do it early and often. Give yourself as much time and scope as possible to gain the interest of families in your community.
We hope this guide has been helpful to you as you consider the benefits of adding summer programs to your childcare center offerings, as well as practical tips for making your summer programs a success.
Honest Buck Accounting is committed to partnering with Early Childhood Education businesses like yours with a full range of professional accounting services. Schedule a call with us to learn more today.