Summer is the time to start using strategies that will help you build fall enrollment at your child care, daycare, or early childhood learning center.

Care.com and Zillow recently surveyed parents who had just purchased homes to learn about their experiences with home buying and moving. Zillow and care.com wanted to find out about the pains related to this stressful time. Sheila Marcelo, the founder and CEO of care.com (who also joined us on stage at last year’s Child Care Success Summit) posted this survey on her blog.

I took a look at the survey and saw some great opportunities for child care centers to offer a needed service and start a great relationship with potential families looking for child care.

There were some HUGE findings that impact you as an early childhood professional.

They found that 86% of parents had to cut their home tour short because of disruptions from their kids.

Care Zillow New Mover Parent Survey

Let’s take a second to think about this.

As a young family moving into a new area you want to be able to look at as many houses as you can in order to explore options. To have home tours cut short because of your kids is very stressful and disappointing. These families don’t have proper options for care. Perhaps they haven’t been presented with any creative options for care or they just don’t know because they are new to the area.

Almost a quarter of families said kids were the biggest stressor on moving day.

Care Zillow Survey New Mover Parent Survey

What do these two statistics mean for you as a preschool or child care owner?

Opportunity! Work with realtors as partners. Get on their radar for referrals to new movers coming into your community. The smartest way to do it is to build relationships with realtor partners.

  1. Look at your best neighborhoods. This could be neighborhoods where your child care families are already coming from or maybe neighborhoods that you aren’t drawing from yet.
  2. Drive around those neighborhoods. Look at the real estate in those neighborhoods and figure out which agents have the most listings. Who are the top producers in your market? These are the agents you want to work with. Identify three or four of these agents.
  3. Take these agents to lunch, or meet with them, and get on their radar. Offer a service for parents that are touring homes, are going through closing-day, or for move-in days that are either very inexpensive or free. Create a brochure or flyer to give to these relators with all the information on this program.

This strategy is a win for everybody! The parents get help during the most stressful part of moving and the realtors can help their clients with the process of moving (which separates them from other relators!) The best part: when it comes time to choose child care, who is this family going to think about?

Your child care will IMMEDIATELY be the first on their mind and they will already know, like, and trust you since they have had this “trial” period where you have helped them out.

Jump on this opportunity and start building your child care enrollment for the fall.

Check out the full results of the survey at care.com