8 Easy Fixes to Increase After School Program Enrollment

Posted on 8/20/15 11:11 AM by Ashley Wood

With back to school coming up, many parents are looking for extracurricular activities to entertain their children outside of school hours. Take advantage of this time of year to increase your enrollment by trying the following:


1. Adapt your schedule

Ensure your schedule is suitable to the age and lifestyle of your participants (and their parents). Having your classes 15 minutes later may encourage enrollment from parents who leave the office at rush hour and worry about making it there in time. Start your class or session at 6:15 rather than 6:00. While this may make a big difference to parents rushing home from work, it won't have a big effect on bed time.iStock_000019829686_Small


2. Consider the criteria for tax credits

The Canadian government provides a tax credit for all children participating in physical and artistic activities. By ensuring the eligibility of your activities for the tax credit, you allow parents to reduce their payable taxes. This can be a real competitive advantage. Here is some of the criteria so your clients are eligible:


The activity should take place over a period of 8 consecutive weeks
• It must be monitored
• Participants must be aged 16 and under


3. Offer family promotions

Offering a discount for a second (or even third) registrant from the same family encourages the enrollment of several participants. Having more than one family member in the same organization is often easier on parents.


4. Offer a recurring payments option

The new school year is an expensive time for families: school supplies, uniforms and clothes, mandatory fees, transportation, etc. Give parents the opportunity to pay for their registrations in installments. It's a great way to ease the financial burden of registration at your organization.


5. Be active in your community

Contact the closest school and
offer to volunteer your expertise. Do a small presentation: Zumba, dance or gymnastics routine. Most schools will be happy to offer a free activity to their students. If they had a good time, students will most likely go home and tell their parents about it.


6. Offer free sessions

Let your potential customers to try your activities for free. You'll be able to convince people who are reluctant to commit.


7. Include Parents

It’s difficult to find activities
parents and children can participate in. Give parents the opportunity to share in the experience with their children.


8. Encourage car-pooling

Group children according to their zip code (if possible). This will facilitate carpooling for parents. Thus, the difficulties related to transportation will not be an argument for not taking part in your activities.


Even if your activities are for children, parents are ultimately the ones who have the last word regarding the choice of activity. By implementing some of the tips above, you can increase your enrollment this fall. Don’t forget to communicate these new measure to your current and potential clients.