How to Host a Fun Preschool Open House to Boost Admission Rates
One of the difficult jobs at a preschool is to keep the child’s enrollment number high. Due to the increased number of preschools, you might feel every other preschool is coming at you with their top-notch services and staff. But there is a solution.Host a preschool open house.
If you have yet to host an open house or want to improve your open house events, this guide will help you. A well-planned open house helps you showcase your center, introduce staff to prospective families, and provide a transparent and first-hand experience of what your center offers.
This article will give you a step-by-step approach to hosting a memorable preschool open house to help you boost your admission rates.
Table of Contents
Why host a preschool open house?
Boost admission rates
A preschool open house is a great opportunity to showcase your school’s environment, demonstrate your teacher’s expertise, and walk them through the curriculums you offer. In addition, it allows parents to communicate with the staff members, clear their doubts, and make rational decisions for their kids. Hence, when you offer a positive experience, it leads to a higher enrolment rate.
Build rapport with parents
When you show how your school encourages a child’s development, let parents communicate with teachers, and be transparent about your policies, you can create a positive impression on them. This increases trust and makes parents feel secure that this environment is right for their child’s growth.
Collect valuable feedback
Not every family that’ll visit your open house would enroll their child. But, you can still gather valuable feedback from all the families by circulating feedback from in between or towards the end of the event. This feedback from parents will help you find the loopholes in your program and improve them for future open houses.
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Conduct a successful open house: 4 major steps to follow.
Organizing an preschool open house might seem straightforward, but it’s not. It requires time to plan the entire event in advance, promote it to attract more parents, and ensure it’s engaging and fun for parents and their children.
So, we have broken down the whole process into three major steps, which are as follows:
Step 1: Planning: Create a step-by-step plan
A predefined plan will help you eliminate a lot of last-minute hassle of finding the right activity for children or making parents feel welcome. So, follow these tips to plan your open house:
- Figure out a date, day, and time for the event
The right day and timings can make a huge difference in your open house attendance. If you have a schedule for conducting open houses throughout the year, then make sure you plan how to let parents know about it.
By using Illumine, you can let parents digitally book their preferred slot, and as soon as they register, you trigger a series of emails – thank you email and a confirmation email. A few days before the open house, send them reminder emails to get the highest attendance from families.
- Plan out activities for kids during their school tour.
Children won’t be interested in learning about the curriculum like parents, so plan fun activities for them to spend time during the event, such as block building, scavenger hunt, sketching, and coloring activities. (There is a list of such activities towards the end of the article.)
- Create a marketing plan for the promotion of the event.
The turnout ratio of families depends on how well you promote your event. Every advertising effort can make a huge difference in turnout ratio, from social media ads and posts to banners in the target locality. So, plan out channels and tactics to market your open house.
- Jot down useful material you can offer during and after the event.
Program brochure, school admission, and fee structure, annual calendars, contact information card, admission form, etc.
Step 2: Promotion: Get the word out for maximum attendance rate
You must step into the market and promote it rigorously to get the word out. You can use organic and paid methods for the promotion.
Some of the most effective preschool open house promotion ideas are:
- Promote it on your social media handles: Create engaging posts and invitation cards and post them on your social media channels. You can use Canva to design these promotional material.
- Create an event on Facebook: Add an event on your FB page and include details such as date,m timings, venue, and a map. Ask your staff members to promote it to get maximum registrations.
- Involve existing enrolled families: Ask existing family members to spread the word in their network.
- Ask your staff to get involved: Request them to promote it in their network and leave a note about it in the existing children’s notebook.
- Collaborate with local businesses: Create banners and pamphlets and request local school owners distribute them to their customers.
Step 3: Hosting: Create a warm and welcoming environment for families
Visiting families should feel welcome during the open house, and to do that, follow these tips:
- Welcome the parents
Before parents walk in, make sure bulletin boards are set up properly, chalkboards are clear or have a warm welcome message. Greet every parent with a warm welcome followed by a handshake. Remember, the first impression is the last.
After the welcome, hand them a sheet to add their details, or if you use Illumine, you can collect this information via a signup form, which will be useful in post-event follow-up. Now, have a handout ready listing down the open house schedule.
- Give parents a tour of the school.
Discuss your center’s history, years of experience, and how you balance indoor and outdoor activities. It’s also a good time to show them the classroom and discuss your attendance management and curriculum.
From the welcome area to bus facilities to the medical room, show them every corner of your school. Remember to interact with them and ask for their feedback or questions throughout the tour. It will make you more pleased and less tiring.
💡Pro tip: Host a mockup session with teachers to prepare them to interact with parents in a fun and helpful manner. You can also create a list of questions that parents might ask to prepare teachers in advance.
- Have a designated space for refreshments.
Make sure the refreshment area is easily visible. It shouldn’t be hidden as it can turn off many parents. Add various food items and drinks, and ensure you provide veg, non-veg, and vegan food.
- Take kids to the activity area.
Have a dedicated staff to look after the kids. Use both indoor and outdoor activities so that children have options to choose from.
Step 4: Post-event follow-up: Reconnect with prospective families
Your preschool open house success will depend on how you follow up with your parents. Many parents enroll on the spot, while others may need more time to decide. In that scenario, post-event follow-up emails/calls are best to make you some money by bringing in more admissions.
If you are collecting all the detail, manual follow-up can seem tedious, and there might be a lot of back and forth. But, the process becomes seamless if you use Illumine’s CRM to track every inquiry and convert more into admission.
Once you have the lead data, you can set up automated follow-up emails based on how families interacted during the open house. Some important emails you should send post-event are:
- Thank you email to all the families who have attended the open house.
Thank you for attending our open house. You made it a successful event, and we hope you and your child had a great time with us.
We’ve attached some useful resources to review if you want to enroll your children with us.
These resources will help you learn more about our school. If you have any queries, feel free to reply to this email or call us at 000-999-888-0
- Thank You email to families that have enrolled their child
Nurture the relationship with new families by sending them an appreciation email. In addition, discuss the next steps in a child’s journey in the email and attach additional resources such as orientation schedule, study material details, etc.
Having your child join our preschool community at [Preschool Name] is a pleasure. As a next step, we’ll host an orientation to welcome all the new kids and allow you to connect with other parents and their kids.
As promised during our recent open house, we’ve attached the orientation schedule and additional resources to help you and your child prepare for the upcoming school year.
These resources will help you learn more about our school.
We’re excited to have your child on board. Please feel free to contact us; we would be happy to assist you.
- Follow-up email/call to families who didn’t enroll
There is still an opportunity to get families to enroll by sending them a follow-up email. Sometimes parents might not make decisions on the spot, so sending a follow-up email might help. Steal this email template:
Subject: Thank you for attending our open house
Dear [Parent’s Name],
Thank you for attending our recent open house at [Preschool Name]. We were thrilled to see many families attend and show interest in our program.
Although we noticed that you didn’t enroll your child at our preschool, we want to remind you that we are always here to answer any questions about our programs and services. We understand that choosing a preschool can be difficult, and we want to ensure you have all the information you need to make the best choice for your child.
If you are still interested in enrolling your child at our preschool, we would happily schedule a tour and provide you with more information about our programs and services. Please feel free to contact us at any time to arrange a visit.
Thank you again for attending our open house. We hope to serve you and your family in the future.
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20 amazing preschool open house ideas to boost admission rates
Here is a list of preschool open house ideas to make it a memorable and successful event.
1. Prepare a preschool open house kit
A detailed open house kit can help parents feel welcome and prepared for the event. Some of the items you can include in it are as follows:
- A detailed open house agenda: Create an agenda for parents and teachers to keep track of the schedule.
- Invitation card: Send this before the open house and add details like timings, venue, date, and overview of the open house.
- Thank You cards: Offer at the end of the event as a gesture of appreciation.
- Goodies and freebies: Offer these when you welcome families and add stickers, snacks, coloring pencils, etc.
- Welcome cards or banners: Put banners at the entrance to welcome parents.
- Preschool map: Have a printout of your school’s map and handover to parents to make it easy for them to navigate.
- ‘Meet your teacher’ card: Create a card for every teacher that gives parents all the information about the teacher.
- A family package: Create a bundle for every family to take home. It can have a school brochure and relevant resources.
2. Preschool open house ideas for children
Don’t forget to plan activities and games for children as they’re not interested in learning the curriculum like their parents. So, steal these preschool open house ideas for games and activities to let children have fun:
- Outdoor play area (if applicable): Use equipment such as slides, swings, and climbing structures.
- Art and craft station: Children can create and take their projects home can be memorable for them.
- Storytime corner: Age-appropriate books can be a quiet space for children to relax and enjoy reading.
- Coloring station: Put coloring sheets, and crayons can be a simple yet effective activity
- Scavenger hunt: A fun and interactive way to let children explore the school’s premises.
- Sensory table: Materials such as sand, water, and play dough can be a sensory experience for children
Photo booth: Create and place fun props to create lasting memories and photo keepsakes for children and families.
3. Preschool open house ideas for parents
While children run around the school and have fun with their lego blocks, have some activities for parents as well.
- Photo booth: Create props and encourage parents to click pictures with their children. You can also print those pictures and give them to parents as souvenirs.
- Scavenger hunt: Involve all the parents and let them explore the school premise. Children can be included in this activity too.
- Host educational workshops: You can host workshops to educate parents about a child’s development stages, effective ways to maintain teacher and parent communication, the role of play in a child’s growth, etc.
- Index cards for a Q&A session: Keep a stack of index cards and pen\pencil to let parents write their questions and put them in a box. Once your presentation is finished, pick cards and answer the most frequently asked questions.
- One-on-one discussion with the teacher: Teachers can provide personalized attention and help address individual concerns or questions.
Boost child enrolment rate with Illumine
One of the biggest challenges of a preschool open house is to keep track of all the leads. Without reliable childcare management software, this can lead to lot of paperwork and hassle of curating all information manually.That’s where Illumine’s lead management feature can help. You can collect, organize, and manage lead databases with its CRM throughout the event. With online registration software, you can create a pipeline of leads and see the source, status, and upcoming follow-ups. Additionally, you can automate all follow-ups to ensure no opportunities are missed.