As a childcare center Director, you wear many hats and take on a plethora of responsibilities throughout each day. You often get pulled into classrooms to deal with extenuating circumstances and run out of time to get through your to-do list each day. This can be very stressful. A recurring pain point we hear from Directors is how long it takes to invoice and receive payments from your parents each month.
Unfortunately, it is common for Directors to spend hours upon hours on billing paperwork and then even more hours following up with parents that have not submitted their payment yet! These headaches are added to what is already a stressful day. Luckily, there are ways that you can improve the childcare payment collection process and make it simpler for you and your teachers to collect the money you are owed.
Here are some essential tips for streamlining your childcare center billing process:
1. Make sure your billing policies are clear and concise
Ensure that your billing and payment policies and schedules are clear and well-communicated to your teachers and parents. Be strict in enforcing your policies at all times and make no exceptions. Ensure these payment processes are the same for all parents and eliminate as much admin time and paperwork as possible.
2. Make sure you get paid on time
If a parent makes a late payment and you do not mention it, they may start to believe that late payments are acceptable. Make sure that you remind parents that their daycare payment is late as soon as they start to fall behind. Also, remind them if there are late fees they incur. The longer you wait to communicate with them, the harder it will be for the parent to get caught up with their payments, and it will become increasingly difficult to get your full payments each month.
3. Streamline the channels you use to receive payments
Find one platform that works best for you and stick to it. If you start making exceptions for one person, more exceptions will follow. You cannot be processing payments through cheques, e-transfers, Venmo, cash, etc. all at the same time. There are too many possible ways to collect payments and then reconcile them against individual tuition plans. You do not have time to work through all of them. Pick one method and stick to it.
4. Set up automated payments through an app
If possible, arrange for parents to pay tuition via an automated payment process. This makes it extremely simple to collect payments as they will be deducted directly from a credit card or through a direct bank transfer. Parents can easily pay their invoices through the app from the comfort of their homes at any time of the day. Automating this collection process will also make it easier for you and your teachers to reconcile payments received each month. You will get paid faster with automated invoicing, online payments, and reports that update automatically as payments are received.
5. Ensure you can pull proper reports
Payment reports are important, not only for tax season but for ensuring that you can look up historical data and report back to parents if there are any discrepancies. By using an online payment system such as HiMama’s billing feature, you have access to all payment history in one streamlined place, with the ability to pull multiple reports for different purposes. Parents also have access to this feature to pull reports of their own!
Who would imagine that collecting payments could be stress-free? Our payment management makes it easy to invoice and collect tuition from parents. All online, directly through the HiMama app making contactless payments easy for your center to adopt. Request a billing & payments demo today!