Running Drop-in Programs can pose a completely different set of challenges from that of a regular program. During this week’s, Child Care Success Academy Gold coaching call, our member Shana brought this exact challenge to the call. We often get our BEST questions during these calls!
Shana runs a 24/7 Child Care program which is a huge challenge. Hats off to you lady! She had some questions and concern regarding security, as she takes drop in’s during the evening hours to enable parents to have date nights or to attend other evening functions. So her concern over security at night is very valid.
We gave Shana a few tips to improve the overall experience of her Drop-In program in the evening and how to deal with the security issue.
Tip #1. Make your program a Membership program
This will allow you to have an additional revenue stream in addition to your regular rates. You can charge a small monthly fee to be a” Member” of the Drop-in Club. You can even tie the name of this Club into your existing brand and create a special feel around this luxury service… to be able to drop your kids off in the evening hours. You might also create a special membership gift that you give parents to help them feel that their investment in this program is worthwhile.
From a security standpoint, you will already have a vetted group of parents/members who you know will be dropping off and picking up their kids at night. This eliminates any issues with people you don’t know, randomly wanting to drop off a child. Have the parents come in, fill out any paperwork, register for this “Members Only” program in advance and know the policies. That layer of security will already be in place. They will be in your system, all set up and ready to drop off their child when needed.
Tip #2. Pricing Price your Drop-In Care competitively
Find out who else in your market is providing drop- in care, there may not be anyone. And if you are the only game in town, you are sitting in a great position. You can then charge a reasonable but high rate as you are the only one providing this service. You are providing a luxury service so you want to charge a higher hourly rate than you would for a daytime drop-in rate. Parents that need this service will pay for it.
Don’t undercut yourself! Remember you are also in this business to make money and you will be paying your teachers a premium who will be working late in the evening for this special program. Don’t be afraid to charge a premium.
If there is not a drop-in program in your area, you might consider adding one, especially if your market has any sporting events or other functions that happen on a regular basis. For example, we have a client in the Florida area that has created a Saturday morning Kids Club program for parents who go to the University of Florida Gators games. This is a perfect example where this client capitalized on a specific need in their market, charged a membership fee and provided a much-needed service.