Know what parents are looking for in a great preschool.
In many parts of the world, the academic year starts around early September. This is a time parents are on the look for the best preschools for their children and you might find yourself asking “how do you stand out from the competitors?”. You might also be looking for ways to improve your services and reposition yourself in the competitive market.
It’s a given that all parents want the best for their child, but how do they navigate through the different choices and where to even begin? This can be especially difficult in bigger cities with lots of different options. We collected a few examples of what parents are looking for in a great preschool.
Location, location, location
Location is usually a natural place for parents to start narrowing down their options. They think about the time they’re comfortable spending commuting to and from the preschool daily. This way of thinking also helps you narrow down your target audience as a preschool operator. If you are for example advertising admissions online, you probably want to narrow down your targeting within your proximity.
You can get a first impression of a place by its exterior appearance, but most parents find it important to get inside the gates and examine the actual learning spaces more closely.
Does the school have a garden or a playground for the children to safely play outside? Outdoors enables more opportunities for higher intensity physical activities than indoors.
Once indoors, parents pay attention to things like what kind of activities is the space designed to accommodate, iIs the room filled with tables and chairs or does it have enough space for creative activities such as free play and movement? Are the walls decorated with high shelves for the teachers’ equipment or do they display children’s artwork?
You will be able to take this insight into consideration when planning your open house events – invite potential customers to get to know your school more closely. If you’ve got spaces you’re truly proud of, these events will be a game-changer for your admission numbers!
All FinlandWay® Schools are designed to cater for the needs of the children and their holistic learning. You as a franchisee get all the help you need from our expert team that has been involved in converting schools in three continents!
Pedagogy & curriculum and accreditations
There are several different pedagogical styles, methodologies and curriculums available to preschools and kindergarten these days, regardless of their geographical location.
While some preschool models focus solely on academic achievements and measurable results, research points out the crucial importance of developing socio-emotional and 21st century skills, such as problem solving, creativity, self-direction, planning and research. These are all things parents are looking for when choosing the best learning environment for their child. It’s probably your biggest opportunity to stand out from the competition too.
FinlandWay® is part of Education Finland, the highest stamp of approval available in Finland.
Our early childhood education solution brings the best of the Finnish education to your school allowing you to bring better beginnings to children while running a successful business.
Learn about FinlandWay®’s play-, phenomenon-, and participatory pedagogy and curriculum based on Finland’s leading early childhood education curriculum here.
Teachers are an essential part of a preschool experience
Every child’s relationship with his/her teacher is a fundamental part of their learning and development. So when parents are visiting a potential preschool on a regular school day, they’re paying attention to the way teachers interact with the children. Do they address and listen to each child individually? Do the teachers encourage children to participate in the activities rather than lecture?
Asking questions about your teachers’ qualifications and if they receive any further training as part of their day to day job is a regular part of any school visits. Investing in your staff’s qualifications and continuous on-the-job training should be a top priority for you with multiple benefits such as improved learning & wellbeing outcomes, student & staff retention and customer acquisition.
All teachers in FinlandWay® Schools participate in our extensive teacher training programme led by top education experts from the University of Helsinki, Finland as well as training for their local qualifications. The majority of this training takes place online or on-the-job so there’s no need for expensive expat teachers on site full time.
Safety comes first
Safety and wellbeing of the children should be a main priority for any preschool or kindergarten – it certainly will be a priority for any parent looking for the right preschool for their child.
Your school should have a regularly updated child safeguarding policy and your staff should receive specialised training around the topic.
As well as that, think how safety is taken into account in the physical learning environment indoors and outdoors. What is the student and teacher ratio, and the maximum number of students per classroom? When it comes to children, it is always better to be safe than sorry!
FinlandWay® Schools take children’s safety and wellbeing very seriously and have special policies and training in place around the topic to ensure all staff know our best practises and know to look out for any issues and can report them if necessary.
Transparency and communication
A transparent insight into a child’s everyday life in preschool is every parent’s wish. Parents want to know what their child is learning and how they’re doing in their own environment independent from their family. A digital communication method such as an app can be a great help for families where one parent does all the drop offs, this way the other parent can still stay on track on the day-to-day stuff without being there in person. A well-thought of EdTech can set you apart from your next door neighbour competitor!
All FinlandWay® Schools staff and parents benefit from a mobile application providing information on their child’s development and day to day life in their school. Reports and pictures are easily accessible and loadable into the platform where parents can view them at their convenience. The application also provides the lesson plan materials for the staff so they can focus the majority of their time in the actual teaching and interaction with the children.
A lot of parents narrow down their preschool options based on recommendations from their friends, family and co-workers. Pay attention to reviews you see on the website and social media of the school too.
Read what FinlandWay® Schools parents and teachers have to say here! In a recent parent feedback survey in Morocco, 100% of parents said they have noticed a positive impact on their children after joining FinlandWay®. 97% of them would recommend FinlandWay® to their friends.
We hope these tips and insights help you get thinking of ways to improve your operations and find your competitive edge for the next academic year enrolment season!
Interested in opening a FinlandWay® School?
Are you planning to open a preschool in your location or have an exsisting unit already and looking to stand out from the competition? Get in touch with our experts today and start planning your future!