Opening a daycare center is certainly not child’s play. As most of you know, it takes a lot of hard work, determination, and patience. Don’t let a hastily chosen or poorly selected daycare center business name tear apart everything you’ve worked to achieve.
While your business name alone probably won’t make or break your childcare business venture, it certainly can create some stumbling blocks and confusion.
After all, names like “Kiddie College,” “Little Pumpkins Child Care,” and “Rainbow Daycare” may be cute – that is undeniable. However, what do they say about YOUR center, YOUR learning philosophy, YOUR staff?
Not one thing.
In fact, names like Sunshine Daycare and Kiddie Korner are so common that you can find one in just about every state across the country. While at first glance, that doesn’t seem like such a big deal, consider these drawbacks:
- Search on TOOTRiS for common names like Kiddie Korne”. Chances are a lot of results will pop up. Parents will need to weed through the list to find you.
- You won’t stand apart from other daycare providers. There are several factors parents consider when choosing a daycare. Among them are cost, location, reviews, physical environment, the ratio of staff to children, cleanliness, and safety measures just for starters. Your daycare name may be cute, but it doesn’t say anything about what makes yours unique.
- Parents could mistake your daycare with another one that has the same name. If a Kiddie Corner in your state loses its licensing or receives bad press for an act of neglect, for example, even years later, your business of the same name can be severely impacted negatively.
- You could struggle with a lack of a clear marketing strategy. If there are, let’s say, 40 Sunshine Daycares in your state, what kind of domain name are you going to be able to register for the website of your business? Instead of the straightforward SunshineDaycare.com, you might have to settle for something like Sun-ShineDaycare.com, SunshineDaycareNJ.com, or MySunshineDaycare.com. Driving parents to your website just got a whole lot more challenging.
You likely want your name to go beyond cute. A solid, well-thought-out name can complement and even boost your business efforts significantly.
Consider including a description of services offered, type of curriculum you use, or even the location. If parents, for example, are searching for Cleveland daycare facilities, a name like Chloe’s Cleveland Childcare may pop up higher in the search results than Chloe’s Little Cuties Learning Center.
Likewise, if you’re a retired teacher or an educator changing careers and want to emphasize the educational aspect of your childcare, focus on words that imply wisdom, like Little Owl’s Daycare or Beth’s Bookworm Childcare. Above all, avoid misspellings, no matter how cute they are. Kathy’s Kidcare, Cindy’s Kids, or Lil Bear’s Honeypot seems too over-the-top like they are trying way too hard to separate themselves from the rest of the daycares in town.
Avoid names that appear negative. Little Stinkers, Minnie’s Monsters, and Little Monkeys Preschool may seem playful, but they have negative connotations that may make parents think twice about leaving their tiny treasures with you for the day.
Also, watch those abbreviations: Kimmie’s Kids Korner may unintentionally end up with a web address like www.kkkorner.com while Little Scooter’s Daycare may be abbreviated LSD. Ouch! Is your mind spinning yet? There are so many things to consider, so let’s see if we can simplify the process a bit.
Brainstorming is a fantastic way to bounce potential names off your friends and family members. Get together for dessert and coffee and have everyone suggest two to three names. Write them down on a whiteboard so everyone can see them. Later, go back and examine what you’ve written down. Immediately cross off any ones you don’t like. It’s your business, and you should, at the very least, like the name you chose. Then, with the remaining names, apply the following criteria:
- Does it indicate what I do? Any names that don’t suggest childcare, daycare, infant care, preschool, toddler care, or early childhood care likely need to go.
- Is it clear and understandable? Let’s say my daughter loved her veggies when she was a baby, and those fond memories are special to me. So, I think the name Peas and Carrots Daycare sounds great. Will parents get that I am trying to be fun, or will they think I have a garden and a daycare or will serve peas and carrots at every meal? It sounds silly, but obscure, trendy and whimsical names may best be left to restaurants and nightclubs.
- Could the name become obsolete? Maybe I want to honor my grandma, who I admired, so I call my daycare Grandma Betsy’s Childcare. Do I always want to answer questions about who Betsy is? Will the name become outdated throughout the years and just sound old-fashioned?
- Will the name grow with me? What if I decide five years down the road that I want to open a second or third location – will the name still work?
- Will the name get me in legal trouble? Even if you have a small home daycare, you need to be legit. Just because you think “The Lion King” is the greatest movie ever doesn’t mean name your business Simba’s Den and use the lion cub’s image on your sign.
Look at the names you have left. Consider any modifications to make it work for you. If it is clear, descriptive, and accurate, you probably have a winner. With your newly minted name, among the first actions, you will want to take it is to license or register it, then find an easy-to-remember domain name for your website. Next, order signs, create marketing materials like flyers, and make sure you have a fun, visually appealing logo.