The Key To Differentiating Your Daycare Centre From Your Competitors
Submitted On 2007-04-11

This article address one of the strategy to differentiate your daycare centre from your competitors without burning a hole in your pocket.


With 10 daycare facilities in your neighbourhood, you need to adopt a strategy which you ensure that you stand out from the crowd and continue to operate a sustainable and profitable daycare. So what is the best strategy? The keyword is differentiation.

For starters, you need to gather as much information as possible about your competitors; find how many daycare facilities are there within a 500 meters from you, know what are their charges, how many children they are caring for and what are the services that they are providing.

With that in mind, think of how you intend to differentiate yourself from them. Sop what is differentiation? Differentiation is creating a product or providing a service that is perceived as unique by the customer. Here are some possible strategies; one strategy is to extend your operating hours to accommodate parents who need to work late. You can also try offering better quality meals, developing better quality curriculum or even providing a low caregiver to child ratio than required. All these are excellent strategies which will ensure that you stand out from your peers and if conducted successfully, it will greatly help to promote loyalty and assist in retaining your customers.

For such strategies to be successful, it usually involves in a significant amount of cost; additional overheads for the hours extension and low child to caregiver ratio and additional operations cost to develop a curriculum and provide good quality meals. Whilst these strategies are well and good, it could be overwhelming for a new startup.

So, what can a new startup do to insulate themselves from the competition? One way is to provide any one of the strategies and charge it back to the customers in the form of premium pricing. A good strategy is you are the only centre within 500M. Not so when you have to compete with 10 others who are charging lower than you and have more experience in managing a daycare than you.

Alternatively, you can adopt another strategy – building trust. What’s that? Well, it’s earning the parents trust and do whatever it takes to ensure that the parents totally trust you. It’s an excellent strategy as all parents will want to put their children in the care of a caregiver whom they trust. However, be forewarned. Building trust, although free, can take up a lot of time and effort.

Building trust means having to be honest and sharing important information, whatever the consequences are. Your mission as a caregiver is to protect and care for the children, therefore, do just that. I am sure many of us would have heard of stories of daycare centers where when the child falls and if the caregiver notices that there are apparent no external bruises, they do not inform their parents. Is that being fair to the parent? In doing so, the caregiver is abusing the parent’s vulnerability and abusing her position as a caregiver. Imagine buying a car from a car salesman but the salesman failed to inform you that just 2 weeks ago, the car was actually in an accident and the engine was badly damaged. If you were to find that out, would you go back to him to buy another car? I don’t think so.

Trust is an excellent competitive advantage because not only will you be able to provide better customer service to the parent, it will be difficult for your competitors to observe and imitate, at least in the short run.


For more essential information and resources on starting a daycare business, please visit

Target Audience: daycare business owners, daycare entrepreneurs

Tags: daycare business, childcare business, starting a daycare, starting a childcare, setting up a daycare

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