Elaine Wilson

Parenting Specialist
Oklahoma State University

Copyright/Access Information


Often, a child care home is unnamed as a business. A name helps parents and the public identify the provider in a more professional manner. Give your business a name that:

  • Tells people what you do,
  • Conveys the image you want,
  • Is easy to remember,
  • Sets you apart from others, and
  • Feels comfortable.


Many providers may find it difficult to know how to market their programs. This is not unusual in any profession. Most people feel shy and uncomfortable at the thought of self promotion. The key is to think about marketing as a series of steps. Take one step at a time and give yourself time to gain confidence.

Put together a written script of telephone responses that clearly identify your child care home. In written materials, give your name, address, and telephone number. Describe your qualifications. Explain what the children do during the day. Summarize your policies and mission. Write out your daily schedule, menus, and activities.

Let people know about your credentials. Share the information about the training you have received, such as first-aid, CPR, and child development classes. If you have earned a degree or a certificate, mention and display them. Mention your credentials in writing and over the phone. It is very important that the parents know you operate a licensed child care home. If your home is accredited by the National Association for Family Day Care, give your accreditation special emphasis. In Oklahoma, give your home's star status.

Once you have built an image of your child care home, it is time to begin promoting your business. Consider the following ideas:
·Some child care providers rely on word-of-mouth to recruit new parents and children for their services.

  • Ask friends and neighbors for names of working mothers with small children. Contact those mothers in person or by telephone.
  • Contact the local Department of Human Services or Child Care Resource and Referral office and local or state day care and early childhood associations. They often supply names of licensed child care providers to parents looking for quality child care.
  • Place ads in the local newspaper or advertiser.
  • Place notices on bulletin boards in self-service laundries, churches, shopping centers, and social clubs.
  • Contact the local employment office. When employed people find jobs, they often need child care too.
  • Leave your name and telephone number with the grade school secretary and principal.
  • Leave your name with child care centers in case they receive more requests than their facilities can handle. Ask if you may call people on their waiting list.
  • Prepare and hand out business cards.
  • Design a logo with the name of your program. Consider using children's art or photographs, giving credit to the child and getting permission from the parents.


Parents, employers, and employees tend to rely on resource and referral and child care licensing agencies to help them locate a family child care home. This type of care is often difficult to locate. To find your local Resource and Referral office, visit the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies web site or call Child Care Aware 1-800-424-2246.

OSU extends credit to Jana Funk, former Extension Home Economist, Oklahoma State University, for the original authorship of this piece.


Pinsky, D. (1991). Family Day Care Exchange of Information and Ideas: Family Day Care as a Business. North Central Regional Publication, No. 128d.

The National Council of Jewish Women. (1992). *Marketing Kit for Family Day Care Providers: Sharing the Good News About Family Day Care*. *Marketing Tip Sheet for Family Day Care Providers Making News*, *A Family Day Care Providers Guide to Working with the News Media*. New York.


National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Part of CYFERNET, the National Extension Service
Children Youth and Family Educational Research Network. Permission is granted to reproduce
these materials in whole or in part for educational purposes only (not for profit beyond the cost of
reproduction) provided that the author and Network receive acknowledgment and this notice is

Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Wilson, E. & Burns, M. (1993). Promotion (HBB7-1). In Child care home. Stillwater, OK: Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service.

Any additions or changes to these materials must be preapproved by the author .

Elaine Wilson
Parenting Specialist
233 HES
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74074-6111
Phone: 405-744-6231
Fax: 405-744-7113

Oklahoma State Universtiy
Central Mailing Services
115 University Printing
Stillwater, OK 74078-7001


FORMAT AVAILABLE: :: Series – In Print – 58 pages
DOCUMENT REVIEW: Level 2 – Oklahoma State University Extension
ENTRY DATE:: October 2001

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