Why does my program continue to grow, despite the recession? Well, I think that I exude an infectious passion and a strong belief about the benefits of early childhood education. Word of mouth and re-enrollments (plus the sibling enrollments) are more precious to me than any advertising that I could do!
One little girl, Ada, has taken 7 consecutive Kindermusik classes with me, and her sister is following close behind. It amazes me that her parents are willing to invest so much money into this program, but then I realize that parents will sacrifice anything to give their child the very best. And, fortunately, my program is seen as the very best in this City. I always have waiting lists!
What advice can I pass on? Well, although advertising and enrollment incentives are important (and I do those, too), your focus has to be in the classroom! Parents will pay the tuition if they see the benefit in the class. Even when you are thinking, “I’m too tired to teach 3 Our Time classes in a row”, go into the classroom and have all of the energy of a 2 year old (that means crawling, rolling and hopping if little Oliver suggests it!). Smile for the entire class, and be more excited than the mother when little 5 month old Chloe waves for the first time.
It’s really all about the relationship that you form with families. If you are like a friend, they will do all the advertising for you! So, my advice is to attend that 4 year olds birthday party!
Reassure the parent that thinks her child is too shy. Have all the patience in the world as little Brody takes forever to pick out his sticker and make a special effort to sit beside a different child each week. Talk to parents after class about the unique and special things that you notice about their child, and how they have changed over the course of the Kindermusik classes. And, most importantly, use those FOL tips in your guide! As much as the child likes your classes, it is the parents that you have to convince.
Show your appreciation for re-enrolling with gifts (I use the Pick A Song, Sing Along CD – it is fantastic!). Recommend concerts and activities going on in the City that are appropriate for your Kindermusik kids (I have an email list and recommend children’s concerts as they come up). Anything that you do that goes above and beyond will show your dedication to the program, and to the children.
A old highschool friend recently asked about teaching Kindermusik, and I spouted off a zillion reasons why it is the best thing I have ever done with my life. She said “are you sure you are not in Kindermusik marketing?”, and I realized that I have never been as passionate about anything as I am about Kindermusik!
To new educators, old educators and everyone teaching Kindermusik: You can do it! No matter what state our economy is in, a parent will always want the very best for their child, you just have to prove to them that Kindermusik is the “good beginning that never ends”!
by Breeanne Fuller / Lethbridge, Alberta