I need some advice please from you lovely helpful childminders out there! (grovel, grovel)
I am a newly registered childminder (May 05) and at the moment I have the one child 3 days a week. I know I'm lucky to have one already as some people take months but I still want to fill some of my other spaces so I need to help with advertising.
Whilst waiting for my certificate I built my website, made posters and business cards. As soon as I got the certificate, posters went up, cards displayed and my website was linked to any free advertising place I could find. So far I've had about 4 enquiries (1 this child I have now, another who may have decided not to go back to work, another I rejected and the last thinking I was an agency) which have all been through my own advertising and not through the CIS. I phoned the CIS and although there is a shortage of childminders in my area, they said they just don't get as many calls as we're a fairly small(ish) village. I know that people can search for childminders online via childcare link but there's no way of me knowing how many people have searched in our area.
I therefore want to advertise as much as possible (not much else I can do). I currently have posters in local post office, local newsagents, parish council boards (the ones that aren't locked!!), local Asda store and a kiddies music and dance class we attend. I have my link online in a lot of places etc.
What I want to know is WHATWORKEDFORYOU?? Any suggestions for more advertising??
A large poster in my porch window.
Also being part of a childminding group cos if one of the other childminders gets an enquiry that they do not have places for they will pass on parents info to one of us other childminders who may have a place.
The area I live in is overwhelmed with childminders (some of whom are giving up without ever having a child to mind) but the ones of us who are in the group (which often features in a local newspaper cos we are always doing something so that they have to come and take our photos) seem to be doing ok although most of us have some spaces.
Good luck and keep trying.
Have got A4 ad on back of my bus (made by my mindees so new one made from time-to-time) - have had enquiries from people who've been behind me in traffic or from school run.
(Also got NCMA stickers extolling childminders on side windows just in case people think they're all my children ...)
I have a (free from NCMA) supply of NCMA Guide to Choosing the Right Childminder - space on back to fill in contact details. I'm a local vacancy co-ordinator, so don't do it for me personally (unless parents want me!), but it still has my number on it.
Give out individual business cards/leaflets to anyone attending local toddler group etc., that you attend rather than just one display poster. Get friends and family to distribute elsewhere?
Any local companies with noticeboards?
Is your village close to a commuter route (dh uses big words) - I know people travelling from one town to another who will detour to get the right minder! If yes, put posters/give out cards at any child-related groups in either place.
Stand outside Asda and give people cards/leaflets (balloons??!) - we've done it locally as a group of childminders.
Leaflet drop in your village/nearby villages/nearest town ...
Is there a childminding group near you, maybe in a nearby town? I've found that its been useful in that established childminders have got to know me and are happy to recommend me if they are unable to take on a child. It was a bit scary though going along for the first couple of times.
I also got some business cards free from vistaprint online which I gave out to local recruitment and temping agencies. Not sure how successful that was though.
Yes I went to one childminding group last week (yes, scary) but now they have stopped until kids are back at school
I've already done my own business cards with my logo etc, just need to try other places with them (I may ask the post office if I can have a pile there!)
As for my advert on ebay, no calls yet from parents but loads of quote requests from other childminders we want me to build them a website . I've actually set myself up with this as another business but didn't expect this from a childminding advert!!!
Thanks, just got my first confirmed order for a website which is good. I also got a call from CIS who are looking for people who are willing to take in a special needs child (poor thing, 3 months old and still in hospital, not been home ) They need someone from October so this is a possibility for full time. We'll see.
Oh well, time to make dinner for the 2 I have left.