In the face of reductions to childcare subsidy funding programs, such as Title 20 and other subsidies, that are happening in a growing number of states, many of your centers are being impacted. The clientele that was reliant on these now-defunct subsidy programs is no longer able to afford your services. Many of my clients and followers are now asking me: How do I attract more private pay clients into my program? Here are some key strategies that can help you.


Leverage your existing clientele that are private pay clients. Make a list of your current and alumni private pay clients to compile information that will help you build a profile. Learn more about them, and even create an avatar of them, by looking at the answers to these questions:

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • What are their occupations?
  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • Where do they eat?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What do they read?
  • What websites do they visit?

You can gather this information through a survey, a mini-focus group in your program, or by having a one-on-one conversation with your private pay clients. Then you will be able to leverage the knowledge you gain about where they work and live, etc., to go out and attract more of them.

Armed with this information, you can infiltrate the workplace of your current parents to get the ‘buzz’ going and attract more clients from the pool of their coworkers. For example, one of my followers related this story that recently happened at her center. She emailed a photo of the children in her program holding their Valentine’s Day artwork to their respective parents. When parents opened the email on their smart phones, many of them while sitting in meetings, they showed their coworkers the charming photos. From this one photo email, the center got several new prospect tours, and her program will probably get some new enrollments—and all of them private pay clients. Do something similar and you will truly harness the leveraging power of your current private pay clients.

A second strategy is to reach out to local employers in a very systematic and strategic way with a program offer. Create a package or program just for local employers that are a good fit with your childcare program, either geographically or some other factor that aligns well. Maybe call it a Preferred Employer Program and give a 5% discount to all employee clients. There may even be a tax break available to the company if it is provided as an employee benefit through you. Research those possibilities in your local area and use them to your advantage in presenting this strategy to employers.

These are fabulous strategies to bring in more private pay clients to your program. Take action on these items today and watch your enrollment grow!

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