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Five Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer For Children

Starting a daycare in your own home means making sure that your home is as safe as it can be. Even if you already have young children of your own, you probably still need to make adjustments to your home environment to ensure that you don’t end up with a lawsuit on your hands. Here are five ways to make your home a safer place for your clients.

1.) Make sure your home is adequately stocked for a fire emergency

Keep at least one operating smoke detector on every floor of your home, and outside every nap area. Every fire extinguisher needs to have a battery-powered system for backup energy, in case the electrical power goes out in your home. Also, keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in the kitchen and furnace room. This will help you keep the children as safe as possible during a fire emergency.

2.) Keep your sleeping arrangements in order

Make sure that wherever the children are sleeping- crib, cot, bed, or mat- is up to par with your state’s regulations concerning size and quality. Put children out of the way of feet and cold drafts, to ensure their safety while they’re resting. Also, children older than four years old cannot sleep overnight in a room with a child of the opposite gender.

3.) Put Up Barriers

Children are naturally curious, and as a childcare provider it is your job to keep them from getting into dangerous situations. Put up barriers to any significant body of open water, such as swimming pools, drainage ditches, or ponds. Also, put up barriers to other dangerous places, such as fireplaces and holes. Make sure that your barriers are tall enough to keep your tallest children from getting through them.

4.) Keep Your Flashlights Equipped

This seems like a very simple tip, but in the case of a power outage at night, it is important that you have a reliable second source of light. Make sure your flashlights have working batteries, in case you need them in a pinch.

5.) Keep Your Lines of Communication Open

It is very important that you always have an open phone line, in case parents, legal guardians, or government officials need to reach you. Keep a working telephone in the house at all times, and it is best to have call-waiting and a working voicemail with a professional message for callers. Also, keep a list of emergency numbers close to the phone.

There are plenty of more tips, tricks, and hints on how to run a daycare smoothly and professionally at http://www.daycarestartupsecrets.com/

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Inexpensive ways of researching your daycare customers and prospects

To many market research is a mammoth task conducted by specialized research individuals who conducts questionaires, face to face or telephone interviews, observation, focus groups discussions and study reports and trends. As such many daycare centres do not conduct market research. It is either because they think it is too expensive, do not have the time to do it or do not have the specialized manpower that is able to do it. Quite a lot can actually be done with very little or no additional costs incurred. It simply takes a little tweaking of the daily daycare operations to achieve that. You’ll be amazed how much you can gather with these simple methods.

Group current customers into geographic zones

Looking at current customers and group them into geographic zones, e.g. zip code. As part of the registration form, include a field for zip code of their place of work or place or residence. It’ll provide you with a better picture of the percentage of customers who select your daycare centre because it is near their place of work versus those who select your daycare centre because it is near their homes. This will help you determine the geographical area(s) to concentrate your marketing efforts on.

Survey your customers

Depending on the resources you have, you can choose to survey all your customers or every nth customer. Find out why their signed up with your centre (this can also be included in the contact / registration forms), what the customers think about your products and services, is the product meeting their needs, etc. However, remember to keep question period short – 5 questions minimum and spread it over a span of time of at least 2 weeks especially if you are surveying every nth customer.

Observe your customers

Spend a few hours for 1-2 weeks and observe your customers to find out the information that you wish to gather. For example, do your customers drive, do the children come with their breakfast or do they eat it at home, etc.

Monitor incoming phone calls

When a prospect calls up to enquire about your daycare centre, take a few seconds to gather some additional information such as where did they hear about you or where they are from. Once again, remember, to keep it short.

Track responses to ads and direct mailers

There are two simple ways of doing that.

Track the responses for a week or two after the marketing campaign has run. E.g. track how many phone calls or walk-ins you receive after you had distributed your flyers.
Include an incentive to respond. Include offers which requires them to bring the source of their communication to claim the incentive. E.g. include a “bring this coupon to redeem your gift” (discount).

For more daycare marketing tips and resources, visit Marketing your daycare

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