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How to Run a Successful Kindergarten

by on 10/08/2018     579 4366

Almost every kindergarten out there was built in the name of love. The love for children. The desire to shape young minds from the early formative years. The motivation to help little ones achieve their full potential. Fueled by the encouragement of successful kindergarten business models indicating high gross margins, starting a kindergarten business is quite the natural next step. More often than not, many aspiring kindergarten owners do not realize that running a kindergarten is not child’s play. Simply enjoying the sound of children’s laughter and loving the idea of having a bunch of children hovering around your legs is not enough to make the kindergarten run successfully.

 

Regardless of whether you are planning to start from scratch or trying to fill your existing programmes to capacity, read on for proven tactics and never-before-revealed strategies from The children’s houseHi-5 House of LearningSan Lorenzo Preschool and 3Q MRC Junior Kindergarten to help take your professional success to a whole new realm of possibilities. 

 

Image taken from The children's house, U-Thant

 

 

01.   Essentials to a Strong Start

As with any other business, the prerequisites to becoming a successful leader in this field include owning basic required skills, setting the right mindset and having done thorough detailed planning. Tenacious passion is the key engine to power the business. Naturally, you need to be patient, kind, loving and have a cheery, positive demeanour. Then comes the necessary qualifications and strategic education needed to run the kindergarten, as well as hire and train staff.

 

Needless to say, all teams behind the featured schools express that the core to a successful preschool business is a solid, high quality curriculum and programme, experienced teachers boasting progressive pedagogy, and a safe, conducive learning environment. 

 

Despite all other factors, such as state-of-the-art facilities, what matters most is the quality of staff. Invest and strengthen teacher’s training; educate teachers with the latest guidelines and information, check quality control, and assess teachers regularly to ensure the quality of teaching skills is delivered appropriately and in accordance with the school’s standards and philosophy. When parents know that their child is well-cared for and treated with love and respect, it’s hard to top anything else.Adele Chow, Managing Director of San Lorenzo Preschool

 

 

02.   Top Marketing Strategies

Way before social media, word-of-mouth was the most valuable marketing tool. Though one of the oldest forms of marketing, Heather Ellis, International Director of Learning at Hi-5 House of Learning, Seng Hui Goh, Brand Associate Manager at The children's house, and Reich Lim, Director of MRC Educare, agree that it remains one of the most powerful. Each happy parent can attract dozens of new ones towards your school and best of all, it is free marketing. Consider offering parents a rebate or some form of incentive in exchange for referrals, adds Ellis of Hi-5 House of Learning and Lim of MRC Educare.

 

In today’s world, we have a competitive advantage to build our brands through digital marketing and technology.

 

Optimize your digital marketing solutions to improve your school’s visibility and reputation online. Search engine optimization (SEO) is integral to generate more traffic, more leads and increase enrollment. To efficiently enhance results, it is important to stay on top of marketing trends and persevere.Reich Lim, Director of MRC Educare

Having an online presence on relevant platforms helps tremendously in terms of brand awareness, suggests all teams. It is important to have a strong, consistent brand identity that is clearly recognized for quality education. Parent’s testimonials and school reviews published on parenting websites provide parents with a greater understanding of what is being offered.

 

Certainly, “a parent’s final decision boils down to the impression made upon touring the school, experiencing the environment and having a chat with the team running the school,” says Goh of The children’s house. This makes open days an invaluable marketing tool. “Create a positive vibe and train staff on the school principles and to understand the value of the school. One benefit is they will be able to talk to visitors clearly and correctly,” concurs Ellis of Hi-5 House of Learning.

 

Image taken from Hi-5 House of Learning 

 

 

03.   Permeating a Saturated Industry

“How do I succeed in this competitively saturated industry?” you may ask.

 

To be part of the percentage that can thrive to overcome market saturation, your school needs to have certain positive traits including a safe, conducive learning environment, quality educators and a responsive principal.Seng Hui Goh, Brand Associate Manager at The children’s house

Sometimes the biggest opportunity can be to “work out the gaps in the market that need filling,” identifies Ellis of Hi-5 House of Learning. Instead of trying to be like your competitors, discover your niche, service these viable gaps and capitalize on them. According to Chow of San Lorenzo Preschool, you need to talk to parents, get their feedback, understand parents’ decision-making factors and look at the needs of your community.

 

 

04.   Adapting to Change

Embracing change and adapting creatively is critical to the success of the above-mentioned schools. If you want to remain successful, you will need to adapt, remain relevant and set yourself apart. If you are not learning, you are losing. Your key is a system of constant research, continuous innovation and connectivity towards emerging changes in the market. Incorporating new ideas and flexibility in the services built to execute your mission is highly important.

 

Image taken from San Lorenzo Preschool

 

 

05.   Dealing with Setbacks

Even the most successful businesses out there experience setbacks at some point throughout the journey. The road to success is not built on a straight line. Make it part of your school’s culture to welcome failure and see it as a stepping stone to learn. “Take time to review the cause, review your standard operating procedures and update if necessary to reduce chance of events repeating themselves or to clarify procedure. Maintain a positive mindset, learn from past experiences and mistakes, and improve,” remarks Ellis of Hi-5 House of Learning and Chow of San Lorenzo Preschool. “It is crucial to keep maintaining the service standards in order to gain the trust of parents. Any strong, longstanding parent-teacher or teacher-principal relationship will be able to weather setbacks if you are proactive in the communication front on a regular basis,” adds Goh of The children’s house.  

 

 

06.   Keep It Going and Growing

Build the kindergarten as if you will own it forever. People who are in it to make a quick buck rarely succeed.

 

Conduct regular staff training and ensure excellent teaching and learning in the school; review and develop programmes to ensure quality and relevance; continue to widen your marketing strategy.Heather Ellis, International Director of Learning of Hi-5 House of Learning

All teams behind these inspiring schools stress on the importance of maintaining the quality of the deliverables: deliver a strong programme through a quality curriculum, be consistent with the operating standards, sustain the environment’s safety and cleanliness, maintain educator’s morale and performance, remain committed, and keep that passion burning. “Value everyone’s contribution and work as a team. Support your people, who support your mindset, which supports your vision,” adds Lim of MRC Educare.


 

Image taken from 3Q MRC Junior Kindergarten, Taman Midah

 

 

The real success behind all featured schools is down to recognizing that parents are also partners in the educational process. They recognize the importance of creating a community where information is communicated and exchanged regularly, and personally. Ellis of Hi-5 House of Learning suggests to “send newsletters, have parent meetings, encourage regular face-to-face communication between teachers and parents.” We cannot educate our children without reaching out to their parents. “Parenting workshops are a great way to get families to take initiative to actively support their children’s development and learning,” remarks Chow of San Lorenzo Preschool. The schools have open door policies that welcomes parents and expresses concern for their needs, as well as their child’s needs. The focus should be set on sustaining healthy relationships built on trust with parents in order for the school to survive and succeed.  

 

Above all, do not forget to enjoy the journey and be happy because at the end of the day, parents just want their children to be enveloped by joyous vibes. “It all comes from within, with happy children comes happy parents,” expresses Goh from The children’s house. You do not have to sacrifice your sanity to build a booming kindergarten business. Strive for a balance.

 

 

Acknowledgements:

We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to Seng Hui Goh of The children’s house, Heather Ellis of Hi-5 House of Learning, Adele Chow of San Lorenzo Preschool and Reich Lim of MRC Educare for the invaluable contributions and insight into becoming a successful leader in the early childhood education and care sector. Without which this article would be impossible.

Note:

Kindergartens featured in this article are not mentioned in any order of prestige, achievements or quality.