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Struggling With Enrollment? Have A Halloween Open House!

Looking to Fill Your Childcare Spots? Try the Halloween Child Care Open House Party Idea!

While we are not the first to propose this concept, we've thought deeply about how it can work wonders for childcare programs that are seeking more enrollment. The beauty of this idea is that Halloween inherently attracts parents and children —everything you need for a successful childcare open house. With careful planning, you could have more parent interviews than you can handle. Here are some well-considered ideas to help you organize a memorable event. Feel free to customize your open house to suit your program's needs. Halloween has a unique charm—people don't hesitate to enter homes during this holiday. Perhaps it's the excitement in the air! If they see a Halloween party and receive an open invitation, they're likely to step inside.

First and foremost, try to gather helpers! Reach out to family/friends and call in those owed favors! Having at least two helpers on board will be invaluable and 3 would be amazing! They'll allow you to engage with parents about your program during the event. If you try to do it alone you will feel like you are on a sinking ship. Try to do what you can to get others to help! Choose helpers who embody friendliness and enthusiasm, as they'll represent your business and emphasize that this event is more than just a fun party—it's an opportunity to achieve your childcare enrollment goals.

You might consider promoting your event by distributing flyers in your area and by using online neighborhood apps before the open house. Remember, the holiday itself is already drawing people to your door, so cost-effective promotional efforts will suffice. No need to go all out with advertising.

Plan for two distinct areas: The front entrance and the childcare area where children will be gathered. The front entrance should be inviting, clean, fun, and easy to enter. Decorate your yard and entrance with a playful and slightly spooky theme, keeping in mind the sensibilities of young children. If you go hard with scary decorations you won't have many visitors with small children! The childcare area should also be clean and organized as if you were giving a tour, but with a playful Halloween touch that will excite the kids. Don't overlook the rest of the house when cleaning, as parents will be observing everything. Try to have an open space area where parents can stand around and visit while the children play. This can be the area you hang out in so that you can talk to parents about your childcare program. Make sure you have your business cards/flyers and a clipboard for parent contact info set up in that area.

Consider setting up a Trick or Treat candy table in your front yard with an "OPEN To Everyone" Halloween party sign to attract parents/children's attention. You can create a sign on your computer, print it, and display it in a simple dollar store frame. Additionally, prepare party poster boards and any other visuals that convey the message of a FREE Neighborhood Halloween Party happening inside. Your helpers should guide parents inside by mentioning the open house party. They can tell prospective parents that you have activities, games, and snacks for the littles inside. If the parents seem hesitant about coming inside, your helpers can let them know that you run a childcare business and this is an open house. That will usually explain why you are inviting people inside. On another note, the helpers can also control how many people go inside. They can simply turn the sign down and stop inviting people inside if you have too many guests at one time. If the trick-or-treaters say something about you having a party, the helpers can let them know to come back in an hour or so. They can simply explain that you are limited in space and have to stagger partygoers. You don't want so many people in the home that you cannot talk to the parents and the kids can't enjoy the activities.

Inside, organize fun, safe activities/games with the help of your second helper. Let the helper know they are running these activities/games so there is no confusion on what is expected/needed. You will want to make sure it is someone who understands caregiving for a group of children. Plan these activities, ensuring they are child-friendly. Ideas such as the toilet paper mummy game, pin the tail on the black cat, and a Halloween coloring/craft station can engage the kids and impress the parents. It is a must to make sure all supplies are appropriate and prepared in advance. If parents with infants come in make sure your helper tells the parents the supplies may not be suitable for them and give an alternate option for the child to be involved. If you are lucky to have a third helper, they could be the second helper's backup and snack organizer. They can help with games and also make sure the snack station is cleaned/stocked.

Your role will involve managing the entrance, encouraging people to enter, and having conversations with parents while the children are enjoying the activities. Keep your flyers or business cards handy. You should be ready to answer questions and showcase your program. Initiate conversations with parents, whether their children are currently in care or they are seeking new care. Share information about your program and its benefits, emphasizing the advantages of in-home care such as a small, personalized environment and hands-on care. Offer your contact information even if they currently have childcare arrangements, encouraging them to share it with friends and family. If you sense a potential childcare match, provide them with a signup clipboard to fill out their information, and inform them that you'll reach out to schedule an interview. Make the most out of this opportunity to connect with parents and build relationships.

Remember, these are ideas to inspire you. Tailor them to create a unique party that aligns with your program and requirements. If you're eager to increase parent foot traffic, this community event is not to be overlooked—the benefits outweigh the additional effort. Just a few things to bear in mind: if you'd rather not attract HOA attention to your program, this party might not be suitable for you. Also, exercise caution regarding child allergies when serving snacks and candy. Lastly, keep the party light, enjoyable, and flexible. Sometimes, parties may not unfold exactly as planned, but as long as the children are having fun, it will be a success. Happy Halloween!

The HDC Team!

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