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Child Care Tuition Processing in the 21st Century

“Oh, Mrs. Jones, thank you for your payment. Let me just write you out a receipt.” Sound familiar? It’s the age-old way of taking payments for child care or just about any other business. Now be honest. You’ve probably got a manual receipt book tucked in your desk drawer, just like thousands of other child care, daycare and preschool owners.

Video: Tuition Processing in the 21st Century

Does it work? Well sure, if you don’t mind being interrupted as various parents drop off payments throughout the day. That is, assuming they “remember” to pay at all, let alone on time. Some of them may even pay by cash, which could leave you open to finding a bit less money in the till at the end of the week. And, if someone “forgot” to make out a receipt, how would you know for sure – wink, wink?

The hand kept receipt book may have been a fine tool for the 1970’s, 80’s and even the 90’s. But, now that we’re well into the twenty-first century, it’s no longer the most efficient or secure way to accept payments for tuition and other fees at your child care business. What words would best describe the perfect payment processing system for your preschool or child activity center? Ultra-secure? Super convenient? Parent friendly? Easy to use? Those phrases all define Tuition Express, a service provided by the biggest name in child care management, Procare Software. Continue reading

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

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