Running a child care center comes with an abundance of responsibilities and it requires quite a bit of administration work. Some tasks include attendance tracking, registration management, reporting, and billing/invoicing. With finances being a fundamental part of the administration work, it likely takes up most of your time and attention. Here are four tips that can help you manage billing at your center so you can get back to the child care work you love.
This is the first and maybe the hardest thing to implement. You will need to set strict policies on what payment methods are available and when payments are due by. Build a comprehensive price list and have it clearly displayed for parents to reference at any time. Some great places to share this information would be your website, brochures, and the front desk.
Building and sharing these policies at your center is only half the battle. You will also have to enforce them. Of course, there will be excuses from parents but make sure you are consistent and enforce these policies in a professional manner. By enforcing these rules, it will deter parents from paying late and taking advantage of you.
People love incentives like a prize for winning a contest or a loyalty program which offers discounts and promotions for its members. Review your business and find out where you are losing money so you can improve in that area and see what you can afford as an incentive to parents. Some promotional ideas include offering a small discount if they pay within a period of time or if they pay immediately with options like automatic withdrawal. Late payment fees also encourage parents to pay on time. Clearly explain that if invoices are not paid within a certain time frame, then a late fee will be applied. This will also help you reduce the amount of time and money spent chasing payments.
Investing in good software may be the most important step when looking to improve the management of your finances. If you are currently using paper and pen or Excel, you may want to look into a childcare management software. Even if you are using an older software, you may want to upgrade to a new web-based platform. Web-based software tends to be much easier to use and you can easily access it from anywhere.
Are you tired of chasing payments at your center? Incentives and late payment fees are great ways to have parents to pay on time, however, accepting online payments is another option you may want to try at your center. Today, parents live busy lives and having to come into the center and pay by check or cash can be a hassle. By allowing them to pay online through avenues like our Parent App, it simplifies the process for the parents and will result in you receiving payments faster.
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