The Complete Guide to Lead Management for Childcare Centers: How to Attract and Convert Prospective Parents

Mukta Bulsara

Mukta Bulsara

Published 10 th Apr 2023

As a childcare center owner or manager, you understand the importance of childcare lead management, tracking, and conversion. Attracting and converting prospective parents into enrolled students is crucial for the success of your business, but managing and following up with each lead can be a daunting task with various marketing channels to monitor. That’s where childcare lead management software comes into play.

If you think you don’t need a childcare lead CRM, think again. Childcare CRM software is becoming increasingly popular among preschools and daycares. The lead management software helps childcare centers streamline their enrollment management, nurture leads, and improve communication with parents.

By using an efficient childcare CRM system, such as illumine, you can streamline the process of attracting and converting prospective parents into enrolled students. You can efficiently track leads, automate tasks, and communicate with parents, ultimately improving your conversion rates and growing your business.

 According to a report by Grand View Research, the global childcare management software market size was valued at USD 1.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% from 2021 to 2028This growth is driven by the increasing demand for efficient childcare management solutions, especially as more parents return to work post-pandemic.


Table of Contents

What is a Childcare Lead CRM and how can it help with enrollment management?

 From generating leads to enrollment management, childcare CRM supports end-to-end lead management process. With its intuitive interface, users can easily track and manage leads. The lead CRM allows automating tasks such as follow-ups and reminders

Additionally, it can help with tracking student progress and providing insights into enrollment trends. In short, the Childcare Lead CRM is an essential tool for any preschool or daycare wanting to maximize enrollment management efforts.


Improved Response Time

One of the main benefits of lead tracking in childcare software is that it can help improve response times to leads. When a new lead is captured, the software can automatically send a notification to staff members to follow up with the lead. This ensures that leads are responded to quickly, which can be a crucial factor in converting them into enrolled families.

Centralised Information

Lead tracking also provides a centralized location for lead information, making it easier for staff members to access and manage information about each lead.

Time savings

By automating lead capture and data entry, childcare centers can save time and reduce the risk of errors.

Increased efficiency

With a centralized system for lead management, childcare centers can ensure that leads are being followed up with promptly and effectively, increasing efficiency and reducing the risk of missed opportunities.

Better insight into lead conversion

 With a system to track lead conversion, childcare centers can identify trends and patterns in the lead management process, allowing them to make data-driven decisions to optimize their lead management strategy.

Don’t pay a bomb to integrate a Lead CRM tool into your school management software. Checkout Illumine’s built in Lead CRM

How can a Childcare CRM automate & enhance preschool registration process?

The enrollment process for childcare centers is a complex and time-consuming task. It requires a lot of manual work and often involves multiple stakeholders. But with the help of a childcare CRM, this process can be automated and enhanced to make it efficient.

Capture & Nurture leads: Stay organized & follow up with prospective families


Capture Leads

A highly effective CRM for lead management enables you to reach out to your customers on the platforms they prefer. Parents make inquiries on various channels such as – Social media, websites, direct calls, and Ads. Among others, Illumine’s lead and enrollment management CRM goes a step further by allowing smart lead capture through WhatsApp, events, brochures, and posters directly into your records. This makes it easy and convenient for parents to submit their inquiries at any time. Additionally, the information captured can be tracked efficiently within your system.


Engage Leads

With this tool, you can easily monitor the progress of your leads as they move through your enrollment process. To keep potential parents engaged and interested at every step, you can leverage follow-up emails and informative newsletters that serve as helpful touchpoints.

Sharing digital preschool & daycare enrollment forms

Dealing with forms and paperwork can be a nightmare for many, but it’s especially challenging for childcare administrators who have to manage hundreds of forms on a daily basis. Parents are also inconvenienced by the need to collect physical forms from the center, fill them out, and make a trip back to the center to submit them. 

However, the solution lies in digital forms which offer several advantages. Firstly, they are easy to customize to your specific needs. Illumine’s lead management system offers the convenience of creating lead forms directly from their CRM system. These forms can then be embedded on a childcare center’s website, making it easy for prospective parents to fill out and submit their information. Additionally, Illumine allows you to generate a unique QR code for the lead form, which can be placed at the reception desk for parents to scan and fill out the form on their mobile devices. Once a lead is captured, the childcare crm system allows for automated follow-ups and task tracking, making lead management a breeze.

Automated task creation

Automated task creation is a powerful feature in illumine childcare CRM software that can help childcare centers streamline their lead management processes. With automated task creation, you can set up a series of follow-up tasks and calls that are automatically created when a new lead is added to the system. This ensures that no lead falls through the cracks and that each lead is followed up with in a timely manner

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Illumine’s lead management module also includes robust reporting features. You can track metrics like lead volume, conversion rates, and average time to conversion. This allows you to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to improve your lead management process.

These tools generate enrollment tracking reports and visually rich charts that enable them to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. They offer valuable enrollment trends and identify areas for improvement.

With just a few clicks, childcare center directors can various reports and adjust their marketing efforts accordingly.

  • Source to Conversion Report
  • Total Leads to Conversion Report month on month
  • Deal Stage Report
  • Due Follow-up Report
  • Due Tasks Report
  • Upcoming Admissions Report

By leveraging these reports, childcare centers can better understand their customers’ needs and make informed decisions that will help them improve their operations and increase customer satisfaction.

A typical Lead management Workflow

Establishing a well-defined lead management workflow can assist businesses in reducing risks and achieving faster results. By implementing a structured process, businesses can maintain a smooth operation regardless of the person in charge. For instance, a childcare center may adopt the following workflow to streamline enrollment management process.


Feature checklist for an effective preschool lead management system

So far we have understood what functions a childcare Lead CRM should encapsulate. Let’s dive deeper into the essential features that implement these functions.

1. Streamline Lead Capture with Customizable Forms from Illumine

Don’t miss out on potential customers due to clunky lead capture forms. With Illumine’s customizable and embeddable forms, you can optimize the information you collect from prospective parents and simplify your enrollment process. Easily create user-friendly forms in Illumine’s Lead CRM, and embed them on your desired platform for seamless lead capture – 

  • Website landing page
  • Facebook
  • WhatsApp
  • Posters
  • Brouchers

Say goodbye to manual data entry with a direct lead feed to your dashboard. Plus, schools can take it one step further with QR codes on their brochures and posters, making it even easier for customers to submit an inquiry on the go.

2. Lead tracking dashboard for reports and analytics

The right CRM should have a dashboard that allows you to track your leads and appointments in real time. Illumine offers an easy-to-use dashboard with real-time analytics and reports so that childcare centers can monitor their performance and make data-driven decisions. The leads dashboard lets you follow the status of your leads from enrollment to admission – 

Enquiry  →  Interested  →  Toured  →  Waitlisted   →  Admitted

Feel free to add any additional statuses you need to track!

The lead tracking dashboard provides simple and useful reports, including the sources that generate the most leads, the monthly number of inquiries, and the current stage of each lead. Additionally, the dashboard displays pending tasks and follow-up actions for each lead, ensuring that you can maintain communication and keep the lead engaged. This feature helps to prevent missed opportunities and ensures that your conversations with leads stay on track.

3. Tour scheduling

Make it easy for prospective parents to book a school tour or open house by adding a simple widget to your website or other platforms. If parents can’t connect with you at a time that works for them, you risk losing their interest. By using a lead CRM, tour bookings can be automatically updated into your system, calendars can be managed efficiently, and invitation emails can be sent without your direct involvement. This streamlines the process, freeing you up to focus on connecting with your prospective families and growing your center.

4. Bulk import and export from spreadsheets

Transitioning from a spreadsheet to childcare management software can be overwhelming, especially when you need to update data for a large number of leads. However, with the bulk import feature of a CRM, this process can be effortless. Simply import large amounts of data from an Excel spreadsheet into your lead management system, making it easier to track those leads that were previously missed. Additionally, you can use this feature to update information for multiple leads at once, eliminating the need to update each lead individually. Just export your leads to Excel, make the necessary updates, and import it back into your CRM

5. Leads Automation

Lead CRM is not just digital storage for your leads. It’s a workflow automation system. Here’s how Illumine can automate your lead management process:

  • Develop an automated drip email strategy that responds to changes in lead status to help you maintain consistent and personalized communication with your prospects.
  • Utilize a time-staggered process to distribute digital daycare forms and contracts for signature, ensuring that prospective parents are able to respond faster and with ease.
  • Easily track document submission status without having to sift through endless emails by accessing the information directly within your CRM system.
  • Streamline your team’s workflow by creating and assigning lead-related tasks in the system to ensure timely follow-up and avoid any missed opportunities.

Discover how Illumine’s Parent Communication App can help you build strong connections with families and keep them informed and involved before and after enrollment

6. Built-in email templates

Send personalized emails to parents by using dynamic tags in email templates. Just set up the email template in the lead automation process and send personalized emails to hundreds of your leads in one shot.

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Online registration system automates the collection of family information, medical certificates, consent, and agreement forms. This makes it easier for childcare centers to manage their enrollment process and ensure that all the necessary information is collected accurately and quickly. The online registration system also allows parents to pre-fill information which saves them time and effort. This makes it easier for parents to enroll their children in childcare centers without having to fill out multiple forms manually.

What are the best automated Childcare Lead CRMs in the market?


Our top pick is Illumine for the simple fact that it is designed keeping childcare directors in mind. They require a simple, intuitive platform that allows them to communicate effectively with prospective customers from various backgrounds. Illumine delivers just that, without unnecessary jargon or clunky features

Illumine is a leading provider of childcare management software that includes an in-built Lead CRM, helping preschools and daycare centers stay competitive in their field. The software is continually improving and adding new features to enhance its functionality. 

  • Cost: Lead CRM is included in the Enterprise package which costs $3 per student per month for the complete childcare management software.
  • Languages Supported: Currently supports eight global languages besides English with a capacity to add more.
  • Manage leads on Mobile app: Track and manage leads on mobile. Create lead automation process and view reports any time you want.
  • Global presence
  • In-house tech team for tech support

Key Illumine features loved by directors and administrators

  • Dashboard and reporting: The software provides a comprehensive dashboard that helps users track important metrics and generate reports, providing valuable insights for informed decision-making.
  • Embeddable custom lead capture forms: With this feature, users can easily create custom forms and embed them on their website, social platforms, WhatsApp, and offline media like posters and brochures.
  • Automated Drip email strategy: The software enables users to automate their email communication with parents and caregivers, ensuring consistent and timely follow-up.
  • Custom and personalized email templates: Users can create custom and personalized email templates, ensuring their communication with parents is professional and tailored to their needs.
  • Tour scheduling and calendar management: Illumine’s software includes a tour scheduling and calendar management feature, enabling users to easily schedule and manage tours of their facilities.
  • Online registration with digital signature: The software enables parents to register their children online, eliminating the need for paper forms and providing a convenient and secure digital signature option.
  • Automatic follow-up on leads: The software automates follow-up on leads, ensuring no inquiry falls through the cracks and helping to convert more leads into enrollments.

ChildcareCRM (Line Leader)

LineLeader by ChildcareCRM is also a leading childcare management service provider. LineLeader’s lead CRM helps childcare centers and daycares manage their leads, track their progress, and increase enrollment. They have strong Marketing Automation in place to take care of standardized professional campaigns across multiple locations.

  • Cost: Quotation-based pricing model
  • Languages Supported: English only.
  • Manage leads on Mobile app: As per user reviews posted on G2, the feature is not well  supported on mobile apps.
  • Global presence
  • Insufficient tool support: As per user reviews posted on G2, the ChildcareCRM customer support lacks in terms of tutorial videos or product guides.


Procare is another comprehensive childcare management software catering to all the administrative needs of a childcare center. However, Procare does not have an inbuilt lead CRM and integrates with Childcare CRM (LineLeader).

  • Cost: All in one price. Contact Procare for pricing. Procare integrates with many third-party solutions which can make it expensive.
  • Languages Supported: English only.
  • Presence in: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA

Vacancy Care

Vacancy Care’s enrollment management system simplifies the process of managing and tracking enrollments, waitlists, and available spaces for childcare providers. In addition to the standard lead management features, Vacancy Care offers a comprehensive communication and information recording system for better response, growth prediction, and analysis. This includes the ability to record all communications between families and management, including call and email records, as well as tracking all points of discussion.

  • Cost: 1 place/month – $52. Will change based on the number of places
  • Languages Supported: English only.
  • Presence in: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA


Himama childcare management software does not offer a lead management system as such. It does offer digital registrations.

  • Cost: Base price – 30$ per classroom. Additional charges feature-wise
  • Languages Supported: English only.
  • Presence in: Canada, USA

Illumine's Lead CRM Software - The Key to Boosting Preschool Enrollment

Managing leads and increasing enrollment for preschools and daycare centers can be challenging, but with Illumine’s childcare Lead CRM, it’s now made easy. This powerful tool provides an automated solution for lead management, enabling childcare centers to quickly capture leads and track them throughout the enrollment process. What’s more, automated billing software takes care of all your accounting needs during the enrollment surge, ensuring that you enjoy enrollment success.

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