You've checked off all the boxes with license renewal, sanitised every classroom, clear standard operating procedures, and you are ready. But your enrolment rates may not reflect the amount of effort you've put into improving your school.
Enrolling and maintaining students isn't easy in a normal year (let alone 2020).
Whether you are a seasoned school operator reopening school grounds or just starting, this article will provide insights on increasing enrolment in your school.
1) Owning a readable and high-quality website
When a parent is looking for a school to enrol their child in, the first thing they tend to do is do a quick search on the internet. Thus, it's essential to have a clean and professional website, and to consistently update it with easy-to-read materials.
Having a professional website provides a fantastic first impression and gives families a glance into your program. It will ultimately help you increase enrolment for your school!
A first-rate website should include:
- A brief history of your school
- A clear explanation of the program offerings
- An introduction of the staff and photos that show their faces
- A timely update of news and school events
- Photos of the school campus and facilities
We encourage you to be as transparent as possible, especially with details about your school's programs and compliance with the latest regulations. It shows that you have done your due diligence, and this step might be your saving grace when situations like COVID-19 hit.
Besides, you don't have to spend a lot of money when creating a professional website, and you don't have to make them yourself! Here are some templates which will help you stand out amongst the many others.
Bonus tip: Start a blog on your website to show that you are a modern, up-to-date school. You don't necessarily have to create your content. There is plenty of child development and parenting resources that you can share on your website for both existing and new parents.
2) Establishing a network within the community
Do you remember the last time you purchased something at the recommendation of a friend? A positive testimony of a parent's experience is worth ten times more than anything you have to say about yourself! Happy parents will always be one of the most effective methods of attracting other parents to your school.
And happy parents will be willing to share!
Word of mouth can do wonders for increasing your enrolment, and it ultimately creates a network within the community, locally and internationally.
You can kickstart this community by rewarding existing parents for referring new parents. Referral rewards can be a great tool to get parents to spread the word about how excellent your school is. Give your families an incentive to refer their friends by rewarding them with a discount or cash reward.
Bonus tip: Put your best foot forward in making your school known in the community. You can do this by setting up your school on an early childhood directory, such as Kiddy123.com. With individualised content and social media marketing on the platform, high traffic to your website or generation of leads can boost your enrolment rates!
"Kiddy123.com is the platform to connect your school to parents who are looking to enrol their kids into preschools in Malaysia. We've seen a boost in enrolment rates in schools through our marketing plans." – Ms Rachel Chiel, Co-Founder of Kiddy123.com
3) Digitalise your school to operate better
A technology-based school management system enhances day-to-day school operations and has proven to be beneficial for parents as well. LittleLives is an example of a school management system that fosters home-school relationships through features that improve communication with parents and help schools easily keep parents updated on their children's progress.
Consistent communication with your parents can increase your enrolment rates. Not only does it build a relationship, but it also helps gauge changes that you may need to make to improve your program. With technology like the LittleLives' Communications feature, you can easily send private messages to parents, a broadcast update to the entire school or blast out a survey to find out how well your school is doing.
As parents become more tech-savvy, the inclusion of technology in your school will become an essential criterion for enrolment. Most parents today appreciate having the information they need at their fingertips. Technology may not have a direct effect on your enrolment numbers, but it can have a positive influence on parent satisfaction, which can lead to more referrals in the future.
The transparency, constant flow of information and peace of mind through a parent's app is a great way to build trust with new parents and delight existing families.
It could well be the reason they choose to enrol at your school versus a competitor, increasing your enrolment rates.