Let’s talk terms. If prospect perception is a key deciding factor in the enrollment decision – and it is – then it is important to think about how prospects perceive the words you say.

Say “visit” versus “tour”

You tour an institution such as a museum or another environment where you have no real emotional bond. Since the child care decision is so emotional for most parents, they will feel much more comfortable if you invite them to come for a scheduled visit, give them a walk through the center, and convert that visit into a personal enrollment experience.

Say “child care” versus “day care”

Even though many parents still use the term, day care, its meaning is more custodial than educational. More professional terminology would be child care or early education and care or early childhood education, but not day care. There’s an ECE professor at Pacific Oaks College who says, “The day will take care of itself. We take care of children!”

Say “tuition” versus “fee”

Families pay a significant percentage of their budget for high quality early care and education. By many, your ECE services are viewed as private school. Using the word, tuition, is more in line with that perception than is the term, fee.

Say “space” versus “slot”

Can you imagine the word picture in a parent’s mind when you say, “Yes, we have one slot left in that classroom?” Are you really going to put the child in a slot? Although this term is used in industry business planning, it is better when talking to prospects to use terms like space or position.

Think carefully about how you say what you mean. Your prospect’s perception of those words will impact their enrollment buying decision. Using the most appealing terms will help put that decision in your favor.


Julie Wassom
The Child Care Marketing Expert and Coach
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author