How to Make your Program’s Website Stand Out


With parents and families regularly using technology to research programs for their children, having a stand-out website is necessary to successfully market and grow your child care business. Whether your program is small or large, having a welcoming, informative, and easy-to-navigate website sends the message that your program delivers quality care through a thoughtful curriculum. 

Getting Started

If you work in early learning, chances are that you are not a web design expert. Your priority is probably focused on child care, curriculum development, and licensing mandates. Fortunately, you do not need to be a tech expert to create a beautiful and professional website. To get started, you will want to decide whether you’d like to hire someone to guide you, or to go ahead and create a site on your own. 

Hiring

If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of creating your own website or if you do not feel that you have enough time to commit to the project, it might be best for you to hire someone for the project. However, in hiring someone for the project, you will want to make sure they use a design platform that will be easy to regularly update and that they are able to show you how to make updates when necessary. There are several different options to find someone to help. 

  • Parent Volunteer: Do you have a parent who is experienced in web design; or a parent who would be comfortable using a web service with design templates to help you get started? If so, this would be a creative and budget-friendly option for your program. If you’re not sure if you have any parents who are up to the task, share it in your newsletter, or put a note by sign-in/sign out sheets to see if anyone is interested or knows someone who is. 

  • Finding a Developer: Upwork is a website that allows you to hire candidates for temporary jobs or projects, including graphic and website design. It is free to sign up and open an account. Once you do, you can post your job and review the candidates who apply. Each applicant will share his or her hourly rate, customer comments, and examples of work, making it easy for you to find the right person at a budget that works for you.

Do-It-Yourself

If you would like to try creating your own website,  there are several website programs with easy-to-use templates that allow users with no web design experience to make great sites. 

  • Wix: Wix is one of the most popular website builders for users with little to no web design experience. The Wix platform allows users to create free websites and offers a choice between customizing a template or getting a website made for you. Their design features are simple and user-friendly. 

  • Squarespace: Squarespace offers a free trial to test out their website development tool to see if it works for your program before committing to a payment plan. Squarespace has several different templates to choose from, and a support team to message and chat with if you have questions about your website. 

  • SiteBuilder: SiteBuilder offers website solutions for as low as $5/month. Its service plans include a website domain name, customizable templates, email addresses and a simple drag-and-drop editor. SiteBuilder’s team also offers phone support if you have questions, or would like advice to get your website running. 

  • Jimdo: Jimdo accounts are free to create. Jimdo’s website will ask you a few questions and gather your business information from places like Google and Facebook. You will simply be required to choose a design and they will use the photos and text you already have. You can have a simple website up and running in a few minutes. 

What to Include

Once you have your website started, you will want to begin loading it with the information about your program that parents will be interested in knowing more about. 

  • General Program Information: Parents will want to know basic information about your program, including what ages of children you care for, how many classrooms you have open, your hours of operation, daily schedule, where you are located, cost, etc. If you can provide photos of your classroom or center with this information, it will help parents to get an even better idea of the program. 

  • Contact Information: How do you want parents to connect with you if they are interested in setting up a tour? Would you like them to call, send an email, or fill out an application on your site? Figure out what is most comfortable for you, and make sure parents know how to connect with you if they are interested in your program. 

  • Your Philosophy & Teaching Style: As parents conduct their search, they will come across different programs with a wide variety of teaching philosophies. Is your program Montessori, Reggio, or Waldorf? Is it a blend of a few different approaches? Sharing your philosophies will help parents to better understand who you are in the classroom and what type of experience they can expect their children to have. If you’re not sure what your philosophy or teaching style is, click here to find out more. 

  • Teacher & Staff Bios:  Parents want to know who will be caring for their children. Place staff bios with the director and each teacher’s first name on the website so that parents can get to know the teaching team. If you have photos of each teacher, these are also great to include to make the website feel more personal. 

  • Calendar of Events: A calendar of events is helpful for perspective and current families. Create a simple calendar by listing important days, including special events such as parent pot-lucks, holidays, and conferences. This will be helpful for current families to stay up-to-date, and will also promote your program to potential families by showing them what kinds of events your program has going on at any one time.

  • Testimonials & Parent Quotes: Do you have parents who love your center? Have them write a brief quote about how happy they have been with their child’s time in your program. Include their first name and the ages of their children in the quote. 

  • Photos: More than anything, parents want to see what your program looks like. Having a slideshow of different classes, children at play (with parent permission for photos), the yard, classroom materials, nap rooms, cubbies, and anything else that highlights your center will really draw parents in and make them excited about coming for a tour. Avoid using stock photos that are not actually representative of your center, as they can be misleading. For the best photos, take them in the morning before the kids arrive and while everything is set up for playing! This will help to present your center in its best state. 

Keeping Information Up-To-Date

While you shouldn’t have to update your website too often, you will want to check in every once in a while to ensure that all the information is current. All of the website formats  listed above make it easy to quickly login and make changes as needed. You will want to ensure that your calendar is regularly updated, that your “Meet the Team” page reflects any changes to staffing, and that the rest of the website information is up-to-date. This should be as simple as logging into your website and making a few small changes to descriptions and information.

Websites for Inspiration

Not quite sure what your website should look like? There are programs in and near San Mateo County with great websites to view that will help you get inspired, and to get a sense of what parents are seeing when they conduct a search in your area. 

Stay Up To Date

With Good2Know Network, it is easy to stay up-to-date. Sign up to get our free weekly summary of news, events, and local resources.