Enrollment Pathways

Enrollment Pathways

We’ve talked a great deal about how important successful marketing is for your preschool to fulfill your vision for your center and draw in new prospective families. But once they call, what are the next steps? How do you respond to emails? What do you say on phone calls? How do you get prospective families to visit for a tour? 

The Enrollment Pathway consists of the journey a prospective family takes. It starts with awareness and ends with enrollment and retention. Creating specific pathways to map out the enrollment process for your center is critical to achieve the goals you have for your center, and maintain that successful rate of enrollment programs like yours deseve. 



The Enrollment Pathway is more than just the tour, although getting families to tour is a big part of it. This pathway is a complete journey that begins with awareness and the prospective family’s inquiry, which leads to a tour, and ends with the enrollment and retention of the perfect families. 



The first conversation you have with a prospective family is so important. This is their first live interaction with your center. A great first phone call can make a seamless transition into a great tour, and welcoming an amazing new family into your center. However, if the first impression is not great, prospective families may be turned away simply based on this phone call. That’s why it’s critical to be prepared. Know ahead of time how you’ll take notes and where you’ll document this. Know ahead of time what you’re going to say, and more importantly, what questions you’re going to ask. Of course there’s the basic information like name and phone number. But the real goal of this conversation is so much more. You need to understand what inspired them to get in touch with you, and ask the specific types of open-ended questions that can help you to determine if this family might thrive with your center. This is your chance to really get to know them and listen to what they need. 

After the call, take a moment to do a mini-assessment. How did you think you handled the family? Did you ask the right questions? Did you let the parents share what they’re looking for? What are ways you could improve? Even if your center has near-perfect enrollment, there will always be room for improvement. Make every interaction with prospective families a learning experience for you and your team. 



To get a successful enrollment from the perfect-fit family, a specified blueprint is designed for each phase of the experience. This creates a guided journey for the family where you add value along the way. Think about their experience as they travel down this pathway. What types of questions would they have at each stage? Where can you add your valuable insight as an early learning leader?

Dividing your inquiries into three groups and following each step based on the specific pathway will put you on the right track to grow your center’s enrollment. Here are some examples: 

  • New Inquiries – No one-on-one contact has been made yet. The family has submitted an inquiry, or they’ve emailed you directly.
  • Inquired but NOT Toured – You’ve had a conversation, but they haven’t booked a tour yet.
  • Toured but NOT Enrolled – The family has toured your center, but enrollment has not yet been established.

Step-by-step walkthroughs of the various pathways can provide you with a systematic and meaningful process that will leave you confident in the next steps. It also leaves the parent feeling that you are invested in them and care about their enrollment.Here’s an example of what that pathway can look like:


The last step in creating a successful enrollment pathway is recording every inquiry. Depending on your computer savviness, budget, and available time, there are different ways of tracking inquiries for your enrollment pathway. On the more cost-efficient side are free Google tools like Google Sheets (Google’s version of Excel) where you can create a tracking spreadsheet. For centers willing to invest more time and money into the program, there are more complex tools you can use like Keap or Intellikid. Research the various tools available to you and decide which method will most benefit your center. 


Preschool Marketing Group
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