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  1. #1
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    Daycare with Bad Reputation...How do I recover?

    Hello there.

    2 years ago during transition in ownership in a smallish town area with about 2000-4000 households, a bad reputation was developed. The primary reasons as I've found out was both due to some latent racism, gender discrimination (i'm male), and mishandling of the transition where one of the teachers was let out. I've learned all these things over the years from talking to various people.

    I've sought to counter these things by having the main face of the school be a female with a bubbly personality who is very socially intelligent who is not of my ethnicity.

    Unfortunately I recently had a family from the immediate area who visited for the tour, loved the environment, saw all the kids running around having fun, registered with deposit, and then suddenly pull out after I suspect talking to someone within that social circle. As a matter of fact, all my clients in the last 2 years have been from new people moving in from out of town/city, people not associated with the main social circle (very very few), and people who live in the surrounding areas outside of this town. Geography wise I am situated in the middle of the town but the town is being surrounded by expanding suburbia from a neighbouring city.

    My location is excellent in terms of being situated on a main road. My centre is larger than most. We have excellent learning materials and learning environment, indoors and outdoors. We are much better at giving tours than before. I've also instructed the staff to take the kids out to the local park to give a face to people who might not phone in. Prices are competitive as well.

    Overwhelmingly, the main thing that holds me back to 50% capacity (meaning I can barely pay my bills) is the latent bad reputation.

    I am extremely short on cash at this moment so I can't do anything money intensive. Any suggestions or just any kind of commentary on my situation?

    Also how long to wait it out for these types of situations?

    Thanks a bunch.

  2. #2
    Starting to feel at home...
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    That sounds rough! I think you've made sound moves so far, putting a fresh face in the public eye and going to parks, etc. What's your online presence like? Do you have a facebook page? Are you in local facebook groups? That's a free way to get your name out.

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  4. #3
    Expansive...
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    it is a good idea to set up a free website too like webs.com it sounds like you are doing everything thing right and it will improve in time just by word of mouth- and there will always be families that leave because they got a daycare closer to home/work etc so don't take it personal and leave the past in the past ,just look to the future like you are doing at how you can improve things right now
    Good Luck

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  6. #4
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    I have a website. The online presence is very good. I would say 95% or more of the people who talk to me have come from research online.

    Regarding that most recent incident with someone suddenly changing their mind, it was definitely a case of gossip. Without releasing the details you are just going to have to trust me on this point.

    Anyone have experience with this sort of a thing? How long does it take to blow over?

  7. #5
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    Hello,
    I am new here. I am looking into starting my day home. I have the space and I guess there is opportunity in my community. I have 2 kids already (2 under 2). What are your opinion about going through an agency or not. Thanks

  8. #6
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    I'm sorry your going through this. But, do not feel discouraged. It really depends on how long this happen and if the incident or comments still posted on social media. Unfortunately, your situation also coincides with the changes that the Ministry is doing. Some of my local daycare centres operating for years in my neighbourhood started close classrooms because they couldn't fill their spots. And the creation of new ones from big franchises just opened, creating a big competition. Also, homedaycare agencies where granted or allowed to increase their home care ratios from five children to six. The 100,000 spots promised by the Ministry also still on the works on how this spots will be distributed. I'm sure you are familiar with all this but the majority is supporting the creation or more support for the "non-profit" sector which also doesn't help your situation.

    If you feel that you're being juged because of being "male" perhaps you can ask one of your teachers to join you and help through the interviews.

    Keep current in your website, post all the wonderful work you do everyday with the children or teachers or showing classrooms at work. Create a kind of community involvement, such as inviting parents for a open house and show them on how the place have improved and changed since your management. Contact your local newsletter and ask to publish few activities that your daycare does.

    I'm sorry I'm getting carried away here but it is because social media and marketing is my strength. Do not give up especially if you're doing something positive for your community.

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  10. #7
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    Honestly gossip will be gossip. Hens will continue to cluck, trust me.

    Just continue offering the services that you do, it'll come.

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peacefulbird View Post
    I'm sorry your going through this. But, do not feel discouraged. It really depends on how long this happen and if the incident or comments still posted on social media. Unfortunately, your situation also coincides with the changes that the Ministry is doing. Some of my local daycare centres operating for years in my neighbourhood started close classrooms because they couldn't fill their spots. And the creation of new ones from big franchises just opened, creating a big competition. Also, homedaycare agencies where granted or allowed to increase their home care ratios from five children to six. The 100,000 spots promised by the Ministry also still on the works on how this spots will be distributed. I'm sure you are familiar with all this but the majority is supporting the creation or more support for the "non-profit" sector which also doesn't help your situation.

    If you feel that you're being juged because of being "male" perhaps you can ask one of your teachers to join you and help through the interviews.

    Keep current in your website, post all the wonderful work you do everyday with the children or teachers or showing classrooms at work. Create a kind of community involvement, such as inviting parents for a open house and show them on how the place have improved and changed since your management. Contact your local newsletter and ask to publish few activities that your daycare does.

    I'm sorry I'm getting carried away here but it is because social media and marketing is my strength. Do not give up especially if you're doing something positive for your community.
    Thank you. There is a very popular non profit place around here that offers rates less than half of all the other places I've seen. No way to compete with that. I did the math.

    In terms of online presence, it's very good. I am pretty tech savvy so this is not one of my weaknesses. I am looking heavily into doing some sort of community involvement. I'm thinking about doing a weekly event where parents with young children can bring them in and socialize them for an hour or two while chatting with the parents of the school. I'm not sure what else that's cost effective I can do so any suggestions would be great as well. I'm also thinking about doing this around closing time to catch people who work rather than in the middle of the day. What do you think about that?

    In terms of the gender issue I've put a nice female teacher as the main face of the school since pretty much when the shitstorm started.

  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodge__driver11 View Post
    Honestly gossip will be gossip. Hens will continue to cluck, trust me.

    Just continue offering the services that you do, it'll come.
    It's been 2 years and I've burned through tons of savings...Is there a time frame on these things?

  14. #10
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    I've seen and visited daycares that do their open house even six months or so. During the evening you can do that . Also I've seen daycares that open a room dedicated to a playgroup, you can absolutely try different hours. Young families (in math leave mostly) are around during the day looking for something to do with their little ones. You can join to a community centre or librarian to facilitate a nice story time. Also you can try to do a young dad's group on Saturdays. In my experience evenings are for families to share their own time or at times it gets hectic wit things to prepare for the next day. But, you can try. I have also seen during summer daycare centres facilitating an event weekly in popular parks, such a singing time, arts and crafts etc. Invite community people to that playroom such as a firefighter or create themes and post everywhere you will see families coming for events like that. Try to offer your room for parenting worshops. Some places have created a coffe corner in a big room where new parents can socialize, get information while their little ones play.

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