It now costs £115.45 on average to send a child aged under two to nursery for 25 hours a week in Britain, a total of £6,003 per year. With childcare becoming one of the most expensive outgoings for families, you may be wondering how you can market your provision in this challenging economic climate. One easy way to promote your service is to talk to parents about what makes your setting different.

If you’re struggling for ideas, here are some suggestions:

Partnership with parents

Do you work in close partnership with parents? Do you use parents’ strengths and interests to help your setting? What about using Parent Portal or Dayshare technology to let parents know how their child is getting on? If working closely with parents is one of the main strengths of your particular setting, let new parents know, as this is a real selling point.

Specialised knowledge

Do your staff members have a specialised knowledge of autistic spectrum disorders? Do you invest a lot of time into creating resources for children with SEN? With huge gaps in childcare provision for disabled children in many councils, your niche offer could lie in the specialist care you offer to children with SEN in the early years.

Outdoor learning

Do you offer children a variety of learning opportunities outdoors? Have you got a well adapted outdoor area for children? What about a vegetable garden? If you’re proud of your setting’s outdoor space and you think it helps children’s learning and development, make sure you take plenty of photos and publish these on your brochure and website.

Strong links with the community

Does your setting organise regular visits out of the setting and into the community? Do you share a timetable of outings with parents to promote the experiences you offer for children? Arranging outdoor excursions is an important element of helping children to learn about the world around them. Make sure you promote this as a key feature of your setting.

Quality resources

Do you offer a range of menu choices? Is your food organic and locally sourced? Do you grow your own vegetables? Good nutrition choices can positively affect children’s development in their early years, so if you offer a wholesome and balanced menu with plenty of fruit and vegetables; make sure parents know about this.

Every setting has something unique to offer that makes them different from other providers– from specialist care or staff knowledge, right through to a nutritious menu or great outdoor facilities. Once you’ve found what makes you special, make sure you shout about it to parents!

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