Whether for sports, science & arts activities or camps, when running programming for kids, it's essential to consider the experience parents have with your organization. Though the kids are your focus, their parents are also your clients!
In the past few years, a new cohort of moms & dads have come in: millennial parents. Millennials, as a generation, have distinct values, parenting styles, and technology preferences from the other generations that can help guide you in how you manage and set up your programs.
If you’re a Millennial yourself, well, this might come to you pretty intuitively. Otherwise, for all you curious Gen Z, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers running children's programming, we’ve rounded up the top six factors to consider, and how you can tweak your processes to make sure it also provides a great experience for Millennial parents!
1. Tech-Savvy Parenting:
Millennials are known for their comfort with technology. A smartphone, tablet, or computer is always in reach (or maybe all 3!) and part of their daily lives. Consider incorporating communication apps, online resources, or digital tools into your programming to align with their tech-savvy parenting style. Ensure that any online registration processes are safe and secure, because data security and information privacy is also a huge element for parents!
2. Flexible Scheduling:
Many millennial parents juggle busy work schedules and personal commitments. Offering flexible scheduling options for your programs can be a significant advantage. This might include weekend classes, evening sessions, or even the ability to drop-in to classes as they please. Another great option is on-demand content or online activities that parents and children can access at their convenience and at home!
3. Progress Tracking and Feedback:
Millennials appreciate feedback and staying informed of the big picture when it comes to their work, their personal lives and even events in their community. The same goes for their kids. Implement a system for tracking and sharing children's progress with parents. Regularly communicate about milestones, improvements, and areas for growth. This will definitely create a positive perception of the value parents see in your programming and the impact it’s having on their kids.
4. Value for Money:
So, we’ll start by acknowledging this may not be unique, but it still is a very important factor. Millennials tend to be budget-conscious, given the financial challenges they've faced with homeownership and the ongoing inflation. Be transparent about pricing and offer value for money. Consider providing free trial sessions or sibling discounts to make your programs more affordable for families. This point also ties back to the last because sharing the benefits their children have seen from your program is a sure way to convince them of its value.
5. Community and Social Connection:
Millennials value community and social interactions. Encourage parents to participate in your programs with their children or facilitate opportunities for parents to connect with one another. Social events or parent forums can be an excellent way to build a sense of community around your offerings and even receive important feedback about their children's experiences.
6. Sustainability and Social Impact:
Many millennials prioritize sustainability and social responsibility. If your programming can incorporate eco-friendly practices or support a charitable cause, it can resonate with this generation. What’s more is that these parents will be happy their children are getting exposed to these types of initiatives! So, consider promoting your efforts in these areas as a way to attract and retain millennial parents as clients.
It’s important to keep in mind that while these factors are safe to apply to many millennial parents, it's always good to keep your focus on your particular set of parents. Ideally, you can build knowledge about your parents' preferences by conducting surveys or focus groups with your audience to build valuable insights into their specific needs and expectations. That being said, adapting your programming to meet the above points will definitely help you appeal to millennial parents and as a result, their children!