child care billing
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.
A recent email question came in to the ProCare Tech Support Team. It’s something you might have done yourself.
“I accidentally clicked Automatic Billing twice. I’d like to cancel one of them.”
As many of you may know, there is not currently an option to undo or cancel Automatic Billing. However, there is a message alerting you to the date you last performed Automatic Billing. Continue reading
You may not consider what your child care business does as “billing”, especially if you don’t send out a bill in the traditional sense. But the truth is, everyone does some form of billing. Used in this way, the word “billing” means charging a fee for child care tuition, after school programs, karate lessons, dance classes or similar services. ProCare has many billing features to fit a variety of daycare accounting circumstances. Continue reading
A reader recently asked if ProCare Child Care Management Software would work for a drop-in center. An excellent question, indeed. The short answer is “yes”, but giving you the best advice means asking a few more questions, since drop-in care can operate in a number of different ways. Whether families return and how you handle drop-in billing are two important considerations. Continue reading
A hot topic leading up to the start of the school year is how to handle registration, payments and enrollment fees for your child care, daycare, preschool or similar place of early childhood learning.
Luckily, Procare makes it easy to create and circulate custom registration forms, and collect and record registration fees in a variety of ways depending on how registration works at your child care business.
Before addressing how to structure registration fees, your child care center should have a simplified process that allows parents to register their children for your program. Given how ubiquitous computers and mobile devices are, the most convenient way to do this is online. The MyProcare Parent Portal, powered by the Procare Cloud, offers simplified student registration. A custom form linked to your website allows parents to easily submit registration forms, and daycare providers to enroll children or put them on the waitlist. From there, you must determine the best payment structure for your program.
Types of Child Care Registration Fees
There are several common ways in which child care registration fees are structured. You’ll notice I tend to use the term “enrollment” to mean something that happens once, while “registration” is more apt to be a recurring event, but some centers may consider them to be more or less the same thing.
One-Time Enrollment Fee
A one-time enrollment fee may be incurred when a family first signs up their child. As long as the child remains enrolled there are no additional fees of this type, although siblings who enroll later may be charged a separate fee.
Annual Registration Fees
There are also several flavors of recurring annual registration fees where a family is charged a re-enrollment fee once each year. In some cases, the fee applies to all families at the same time, for example, an annual fee might be charged every year on September 1st. In other cases, the fee applies based on the month of enrollment. If a child enrolled in say, March, then each year in March their annual registration fee would come due. For families with additional children, a single fee might cover the whole family (a family plan, or family rate) or each child may have a distinct enrollment month with a separate fee.
This is appropriate for children who enroll mid-way through a month or year. In this case you may want to charge a reduced registration fee, in other words to “prorate it” for the period the child will be enrolled. If your fee were $75 and the child enrolled one-third of the way through your year you might prorate it to 67% of the original rate or $50.
Recording Registration Fees
Visit Procare Support to get details on how to charge registration fees of varying rates to one family, or a group of families, in the Family Accounting module. You can also learn how to charge an annual registration fee based upon the month in which student originally enrolled.
Collecting Registration Payments
Procare also makes it easy to collect payment of fees for registration, tuition or any child care related charges with the Tuition Express payment processing service. Payments can be automatically deducted from parent checking or savings accounts or charged to a credit card.
It’s especially important to have an organized and consistent process for collecting student enrollment / registration fees, to ensure consistent cash flow. Regardless of which registration fee method you use, there are a lot of details to keep track of, including:
- When each family is to be charged based upon when they enrolled
- How many children are enrolled
- How much they are charged if they are getting a prorated rate
- if they are paying the fee in monthly installments or all at once
Keeping track of all of this information is only the first step, you then have to implement it in your billing process. Using a child care billing software allows you to track and automatically charge registration fees at the proper rate and time, ensuring accuracy and consistency.
This consistency will not only increase operations efficiency at your child care center, but will be appreciated by parents as they plan their child care budget.
Interested in learning more about automating you child care billing process? Learn how Procare can help.
Want to learn more about optimizing child care billing and registration? Check out these related articles:
- Automate Child Care Billing and Email Statements
- How to Change Child Care Billing Rates without Rocking the Boat
- Free Daycare Registration Forms