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child care billing

The Child Care Manager’s Checklist

checklist
Being a child care director is both a challenging and exceptionally rewarding job. The nuances of combining physical care and education in a nurturing environment require a special person, because there is so much to do. We honor professionals, like you, who make a difference every day.

We’ve created a mini-checklist for many of the management tasks in your center. See which ones apply to you.
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Tuition Payment Reminders for Your Daycare Center

The ideal child care billing situation would be one where every parent is aware of a looming tuition payment deadline, and is prepared when that day arrives with a check that covers each day of child care provided, as well as factoring fees for late pickup and similar infractions.  

As nice as this sounds, it is rarely the case. The parents your child care center serves are busy. It is unlikely that they will remember every payment, let alone track hours and accrued fees on their own spreadsheet.

It can be difficult to remind parents of their overdue child care bills. Drop-off and pickup times are always hectic as care providers monitor kids, gather their belongings, and prepare them for the beginning / end of the day, while parents hurry off to work or to get their kids home for the night.

Because this is often the only face-to-face time care providers get with parents, incorporating  daycare attendance software that can also display tuition payment reminders is valuable.

Child Care Payments

Use Check-In Messages as Tuition Payment Reminders

If left unchecked, a family’s balance due can build up over time, making collection of larger balances difficult and time consuming. Using the Attendance Tracker messaging feature of Procare Software®, you can remind parents they need to make a payment if their balance exceeds a certain amount. Because the Attendance Tracker also knows exactly when students were checked in and out, the center can easily charge fees for extra hours and late pickups.

Of course another option, to make sure you are paid on time – every time, is to use Tuition Express™ to collect payments electronically, but we’ll save that for another article.

How Does it Work?

Video: Check-In Message for Balance Due

You’ll simply create a recurring message to appear at the Computer Check-In Station for any parents whose balance is greater than a certain dollar amount, say $50.  This message will only be displayed when their balance exceeds that amount.

To create the message begin at the main screen Procare Family Data:

  1. Go to Functions –> Attendance Tracker –> Messages.  Click New at the bottom.
  2. On the Message screen under Type of Message select the option Current Balance and set the ‘greater than or equal to’ amount to whatever you’d like, say $50.
  3. Choose an End Date far into the future, and mark Show Always – that way the message will appear any time the balance amount is exceeded, until the future date is reached.
  4. In the box below, type the message that you’d like your payers to read, for example:

“Attention! Your payment is past due. Please speak with the office manager to make payment arrangements as soon as possible.”

Final Thoughts

It can be easy for parents to forget about an upcoming payment. While this is understandable, child care providers can’t let it slide. In order to run a successful child care program, there has to be a consistent cash flow on a monthly basis.

An easy way to send child care billing reminders to parents is through your check-in interface. This is beneficial to your center as it ensures consistent cash flow, and to parents as it keeps past due balances from becoming unmanageably high.

Related Articles

Want to learn more about managing child care billing? Check out these related articles:

 

Online Child Care Payment History

This question recently came in to the ProCare Tech Support team.

“Is there a way for parents who currently pay by Tuition Express to look at their account history online?”

The answer, of course, is yes. We’ll get to the details in a moment.

For those of you who may not know about Tuition Express yet, it’s an innovative payment processing service that works with ProCare Family Data & Accounting to automatically collect tuition and other payments for child care centers, daycares and preschools. Fees may be electronically deducted from parent bank accounts or charged to a credit card. Either way you get paid on time, every time.  And, it’s extremely secure as ProCare Achieved Level One PCI Security status.

Now, to the part about how parents (and center owners / directors) can view their payment history online. Continue reading

Stepped Rate Child Care Billing

The following question recently appeared in the ProCare Tech Support “IN” box.

“I am setting up our child care tuition fees, but we do not have weekly rates. Our billing uses a stepped rate charged ahead of time. Here’s our rate schedule:

Infant Rates

  • Up to 3 Hours/Day $21 (level 1)
  • Up to 4 Hours/Day $25 (level 2)
  • Up to 5 Hours/Day $29 (level 3)
  • Up to 6 Hours/Day $33 (level 4)
  • Daily MAX  $35 (level 5)

Please let me know how we can enter this to be billed according to the days they are scheduled in advance.”

You can absolutely do this kind of stepped rate billing in ProCare. In fact, one of our standard billing formulas fits this case perfectly.

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How to Charge Late Pick Up Fees

Do some families at your child care, daycare or preschool tend to pick their children up late, after your center is officially closed? Perhaps you’ve even read the article called The Unbearable Wrongness of Being Late from ChildCareExchange.com.

You’re thinking you’d like to implement a Late Pick Up Fee but aren’t sure how to go about it. With the ProCare Attendance Tracker it’s easy to process Late Pick Up charges for all appropriate families at once.

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