Yair Ariel • July-7-2017
What makes a parent choose one Early Learning Center (ELC) versus another? The answer is five ELC trends that you can’t ignore. There’s this little work called competition that we just can’t ignore. Which ELC has the latest technology, the best teachers, etc. Then there’s the expectation of quality. If your are competing against other ELCs then obviously quality education and childcare is a top concern. While we are talking about quality we can’t ignore that curriculums have to be up to par and quite frankly top quality. We also can’t ignore that ELCs are the new daycare. We are entrusting ELCs with both quality education and quality care for our children.
These ELC Trends will keep you a cut above the rest
An Increasing Amount of Competition
There are trends that are driving the competition in the early childhood education (ECE) arena. The main reason is the benefits of ECE. The increasing importance of education and demand for out-of-home child care is the driving force. ECE is touted to have high ROI. Next there is an increase in women with children under six years of age entering the workforce. Finally, if benefits and demand don’t make someone want to open an ELC there’s always someone who says I can build it better.
Better facilities, better amenities, and better locations means more competition for your ELC. You can’t ignore competition in this industry. Unfortunately this industry is much like the smartphone industry. You can always bet there is yet another smartphone that is bigger better stronger. In the case of ELCs your competition will have better security measures, state of the art facilities, and the latest specialized and proprietary curricula. So pay close attention to the competition.
Early Learning Centers Are The New Child Care
First there’s traditional daycare then there’s early learning centers. One focuses on the physical needs of childcare. The other provides a complete comprehensive educational environment. Set yourself apart from the competition. Your ELC needs to differentiate itself from a traditional center. Is your ELC focusing on providing traditional care or on socio-emotional and educational care. ELC’s are shifting their focus to meet the demands of parents. Parents want a place that is safe and where they believe will provide the basic fundamentals of learning. What are they looking for? An ELC with quality education.
Parents Are Demanding And Expecting Quality
Unfortunately, we can’t control the circumstances we are born into. We can’t choose our parents, genes, socio economic status, nor capabilities. We can however, change that. It starts with quality education. Did you know that children who have quality early childhood education earn more in their adulthood compared to kids that did not. That is why early childhood centers need to focus on high quality education. It sets you apart and gives you the upper hand against the competition. But how do we determine quality in early childhood education?
What is quality?
Restaurants get up to five stars for a quality dining experience. Hotels are rated one star to four stars. If you have ever stayed in a 1 star hotel you know the difference in quality compared to a 5 star hotel. It’s enough to make you shiver. Would you shiver at the thought of running a one star early learning childhood center? So what do parents look for in your early learning center?
- A safe environment
- Low teacher to children ratio
- Strong and engaging parent teacher communication
- Staff and teacher professional development and training
- Curriculum that develop needs and meet trends in education
Why does it matter?
Early learning centers are delegated with the role of caring for children. ELC’s have to technically co-parent. Therefore, it is important that ELCs focus on quality. Experiencing quality in early childhood education enhances the parent/ELC relationship. So keep quality at the forefront of everything you do to stay competitive.
An Immersive Curriculum Matters
Parents choose ELC on their specialization or proprietary curriculum. After all this is how ELCs compete in the industry. ELC trends show that specialization or proprietary curricula is where the early childhood centers are moving to. These curricula hone in on how children learn best. Montessori is one of the best known ELCs for their teaching style. The child-centered approach to childcare focuses on developing self direction. To stay abreast ELCs need to provide speciality curricula. The staffing process should also involve a careful selection of professionals that will help your ELC become proprietary.
Let’s Never Forget Technology
You’ve heard the term technology is ever changing. So you can’t ignore technology. Teachers are integrating technology into their classroom curriculum. Why? Because it’s cool! Not only is it cool; it’s absolutely necessary. In a previous post I share why we need to embrace technology among children. It’s not going anywhere. In fact, technology in the classroom is showing an increase in cognition, motor skills, motivation, and spatial awareness.
Your ELC can greatly benefit from the use of technology in all aspects of the business. One popular ELC is using virtual playgrounds to provide both entertainment and education for their children. BEAM has created a serie of educational games that Kiddie Academy can use in their ELC. The games are both fun, entertaining, and educational. Likewise, the technology also enhances motor skills and social skills. Staying on top of how technology can be used in your ELC classrooms is a trend that is here to stay.
Whether it’s an immersive curriculum, or improving quality these ELC trends are a sure way to stay on top of the competition. Focus on these trends to make improvements to your ELC. Remember that children and parents come first.
BEAM by EyeClick is the future of VR and augmented reality. The award-winning, innovative platform engages children through tailored games. BEAM helps early learning centers provide an immersive education, while encourages children to indulge in physical activities to work up a healthy appetite for learning. Learn more about BEAM