SWOT is a tool used by businesses, non-profit and other organisations as a strategic planning process. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis for a day care centre would consider internal operations and resources as well as external influences such as competing businesses.
Identify and gather potential participants from whom input is important, such as administrators, childcare workers, parents and children. Clearly determine your objectives for the SWOT process. The facilitator should appoint data collection assignments to various members of the group.
Knowing the Competition
One group member should be given the task of collecting data about competing nearby day care centres, such as location, cost, available transportation, hours, food service and other facility components that may influence parents' decision-making process when choosing a day care centre.
Using a brainstorming approach, the group will list the day care center's strengths. These can be tangible, such as "transportation provided" or "ample educational toys" or intangible, such as "a caring staff."
Have the group explore the center's weaknesses, tangible and intangible, that keep the day care centre from being the best it can be. This process often identifies problems with or between staff and administrators.
Opportunities and Threats
Explore existing resources that may help resolve weaknesses and build on successes. Consider the time during which these opportunities will be available. Identify threats or conditions that may adversely affect the day care centre and how these may be avoided or overcome.
Using the SWOT Data
Sort the information identified during the process as it applies to the objectives, and begin making changes to the day care centre accordingly. Revisit the results regularly to work toward improvements and meet objectives.