Creating a Daycare Website Part 2

What To Put In It

In this second part of the Creating a Daycare Website series I'm going to get down to the "meat & potatoes" ... what a daycare website should have.  For the purposes of this "how-to" we are making a simple yet functional website to help you get started.  In part one I gave a quick and general overview of how the Webs Sitebuilder works and now we are going to just talk about what pages and information a website should have.  

From my experience I have found that all you need is five basis pages for your daycare website.  A Home page, About Us page, a Program page, a Parent page and a Contact Us page.  These pages can make up your basic site but give you the flexibility to add sub-pages later in the future.

Home Page

Your home page should be an introduction page to your business with a general description about your daycare.  I would include what type of daycare you have (large/small, family child care etc.), a general location of your daycare home to give parents an idea of where you are located, whether you are close to any major streets or freeways/highways, what type of care you provide (full-time, part-time, drop-in, weekends, evenings, overnights, after-school etc.), and a quick overview of what type of program you provide (care only, relaxed, structured, curriculum, play-based, educational etc.).  

I personally like to be very convenient for parents so I like to also include whether I have openings or not right on my home page so that they don't have to call or go fishing through the other pages to find this information.

Add a few colorful photos of your daycare children playing/doing crafts or of your space and voila!  Now let me say something about photos.  There are lots of providers that don't like posting photos of children for safety reasons ... totally understandable.  That being said, you don't have to post photos that show a children's faces.  Posting pictures that only show the back's of children work just as well without compromising the safety of the children and they look way better than any website or advertising that has no photos at all or that has generic photos of children taken from the internet.  Photos of children from the neck down or of the child's hands while they make a craft also look wonderful and really show parents what their child could be doing at your daycare.  

About Us Page

I like to say that the About Us page is both a history report and a resume for both the provider and the daycare.  Well ... at least that's how I like to use this page.

Add location and license information such as major cross streets, schools and parks nearby, major highways and freeways, license type, ratio limit and type of child care you provide.  This section will repeat a lot of the information you gave on your Home page except here you should give more detail.  

You should also take the time to write a mission statement and child care philosophy and add those to this page.  This will help parents get an idea of what to expect from your care.  

It is also a great idea to add a section about you as a provider.  Add things that are relevant to daycare such as how you got started, why you chose to do daycare, your experience in child care, education, training etc.  One thing that I do is actually make a resume for potential clients as well as a full list of training and education that I've completed and I save a PDF copy and add them to this section for them to download.

Program Page

Use this page to describe the day to day things about your daycare such as your approach to learning, your daily schedule or routine, curriculum etc.  Do you run a laid-back flexible program, a structured more rigid program, or something in between?  Do you follow a daily schedule for meals and activities or have a particular routine for the children?  What type of activities do you do with the children?  Do you take them on field trips?  Do the children tale walks or ride in a vehicle to get to places?  What type of meals do you serve to the children?  These are all important things to mention in this section.  I suggest adding a sample of your schedule/routine and meal plans to this page so that parents get a glimpse into a typical day in your daycare. 

Parent Page

This page is for both enrolled and potential clients alike.  Add special reminders or upcoming dates, photos, a wish-list of items that you would love to have donated to your daycare, enrollment information and other information that you think is important for parents to know.  

Other suggestions are to have your rates, contract and policies posted right here as well.  Doing so can save you time interviewing clients that aren't a good fit for your program.  Parents can see this information from the start and decide whether to keep looking or to give you a call for more information.  My recommendation if you add these to your site add links to downloadable PDF versions of these documents so that your page isn't forever long. 

Contact Us Page

This page should be much simpler than any of the other pages and can just have your daycare name, license number, contact name, hours of operation, telephone number, e-mail, and if possible a contact form that parents can fill out online.  

In General

Keep your website updated and change it often.  This will get you better search engine rankings.  I also strongly suggest that you add photos of your daycare space and of the children playing or doing activities while in your care. Use font styles and colors that are easy to read and please, please, please ... watch your spelling, grammar and punctuation.  If you use Google Chrome to edit your website it will catch spelling errors for you, otherwise you can simply use a word processor program like Microsoft Word to type out your content, use spellcheck and then copy and paste the corrected content to your website.  

If you missed Part 1 of this 2 part series you can check it out.  It gives a step by step walk through of the basics of creating a new Webs site and using the tools. 


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