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Marketing Dollars & Your Child Care Business

In a time when saving money on expenses is important, many child care business owners have started to take a closer look at the return on their marketing dollars.

Procare Software® can help both simplify the daily management of your center and keep your fingers on the pulse of your child care marketing efforts by allowing you to track and analyze the success of your marketing sources. For instance, let’s say in the last month you received 25 inquiries from your Yellow Pages ad but only 5 of those toured your center and 2 actually enrolled. Many people might say the Yellow Pages advertising is working well for them because they had 25 inquiries. On the other hand, your website yielded 15 new inquiries, 10 of those prospective families took a tour and 8 became new clients. Which provided you the greatest return on your investment? The website clearly had a much higher rate of new enrollment and, depending on the actual cost of each ad, it likely had a lower cost per lead as well.  

Track Each Child Care Marketing Campaign

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By using Account Tracking categories, to record how families found out about your center, you can get to the heart of how your marketing dollars are best spent to garner the greatest return.

    1. From the Procare Home screen go to Configuration > System > Data Management > Tracking Items & User Defined Fields > dbl-click either Global Tracking Items or Local Tracking Items.
    2. Create a Tracking Group called “Marketing” with individual Tracking Items for each way a person might find out about your center. List every campaign you run. So, if you had two flyers in the local newspaper make sure to tag the dates such as “Newspaper Flyer: May” vs. “Newspaper Flyer: August” (click image below).

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  1. Remember to ask everyone (all your new inquiries) how they heard about your early childhood center and mark their account with the appropriate code. Even if they don’t enroll it’s still important to record for marketing purposes.


Use Enrollment Status for New Inquiries

See Video Clip

Use the Child’s Enrollment Status to set up categories, that go beyond whether they are simply “enrolled” or “withdrawn”, to track the success of each inquiry. This allows you to watch trends of incoming and outgoing children in relationship to your marketing and the level of parent satisfaction within your center.

    1. From the Procare Home screen go to Configuration > System > Data Management > Status & Relationships > dbl-click Child’s Enrollment Status.
    2. Create Enrollment Types for each level of contact with a family such as “First Inquiry”, “Visted Center”, “Waiting List” and so on (click image below).

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  1. Then record the status for each child from the point of first contact with the family. Keep adding to the enrollment history each time there is a change in status such as getting on the waiting list to eventually enrolling and – at some point in the future – when and why the child may withdraw.

I’d be glad to help answer any further questions you may have about this topic or how to simplify management of your child centered business. Just drop me a line at

Shelley A. Spliethof
Executive Software Consultant
Procare Software

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