We know that, with Coronavirus limiting random real-life encounters, it can be tough to find families to sign up to your wonderful setting right now. Previously, many parents struck up chats around playgrounds and school gates with childminders they had spotted out and about but these chance opportunities have sadly become a whole lot trickier lately.
The good news is, you can make social media your virtual playground. Many of our childminders use Facebook and Instagram to market their settings (others have even dabbled with YouTube and TikTok!) and we run regular training sessions and provide lots of in-app guidance on the best way to do this, but we also thought the time was right to come up with some lockdown-specific tips that could help you feel more confident about the road ahead...
Put your feelers out about nursery closures. While all early years settings are allowed to remain open (for now), many nurseries have temporarily closed their doors to all but key workers in order to protect their staff. Others have been hit by staff shortages as workers battle Covid themselves or shield at home. Facebook parenting communities are full of stressed-out mums and dads looking for last minute childcare in the wake of these unexpected closures - keep an eye out for these posts in your local groups (or even start a thread yourself asking if anyone is stuck for childcare) and introduce yourself.
Use social media to explain to parents why a tiney childminder could be a great solution to those lockdown childcare woes. They get a more intimate, homely and therefore Covid-secure setting, while still allowing their children to leave the house, mingle with a small bubble of peers and take part in activities following the EYFS. For many parents currently struggling to work from home with little ones under the feet, it’s a far more convenient solution than nannies or babysitters - but one they might not have thought of yet.
If you’ve lost business due to school closures (perhaps you previously did a lot of wraparound care which is not currently permitted unless it’s for key workers or vulnerable families), make sure you shout about your vacancies - even if they’re likely to be temporary. You can be as flexible as your families need as long as it fits in with your own life. Our friendly billing team are ready and waiting to get those last-minute contracts in play!
Not quite up and running yet? If you’re still in training or waiting to be registered, now is a great time to launch your tiney home on social media, ready for the year ahead. It’s time to think positive - with the vaccine now being rapidly rolled out, by spring we’re confident that many more families will be seeking out fantastic tiney childminders, so make a point of saying you’ll soon be open for business and that they should get in touch before there’s a rush on.
Make the most of the current situation to inspire your social media content. If you’re doing lots of activities to keep your own children entertained and educated, why not document them on Instagram and show potential families what they can expect from your setting? Or, if you’ve got any extra time on your hands, you could even film a video tour of your tiney home and pop it on your social media channels - it doesn’t need to be a slick Hollywood production; families appreciate authenticity! For inspiration, follow us @tineyco where we regularly share snapshots of the fun and games going on at our tiney homes.
We know this is an incredibly testing time, so please get in touch if you need advice and support, or get chatting to your fellow tiney home leaders on the app.