How does your early childhood center charge tuition fees? Some childcare, daycare and preschool programs charge a fixed weekly or monthly rate. Others charge tuition based on the number of hours or days a child is scheduled. Your Daycare Software should be flexible enough to accommodate the unique billing needs of your child-centered business.
In this article we’ll explore how Procare Software® can handle childcare tuition as a fixed fee (like weekly or monthly) – which may be tied to a calendar schedule – and how more complex calculations like hourly, daily, or half/full day can be based on hours scheduled or a child’s actual attendance. We’ll outline the basic setup here, then see the article on how the Billing Process is Automated to do in minutes what would otherwise take hours.
Fixed Fee – May be linked to Calendar Dates
It’s easy to set up a recurring weekly (or monthly) fee with Procare Family Accounting. Each child has their own Billing Box where the regular charges for that child are entered. Fees may even be assigned to a time frame on the calendar. This is done by first setting up one or more schedules for a child with specific calendar dates.
- In the child’s Billing Box select Standard Billing (all Schedules) to charge a fixed recurring rate that is not linked to a calendar. Or, select a particular scheduled period for which each fee applies. For example you might select a schedule that runs through the spring months at one rate, then choose a future schedule and assign a different rate. This would be helpful if the child was changing from 3 to 5 days a week, or if they were graduating to the next program level.
- Choose the Contract billing tab (a recurring contracted amount, not an hourly formula).
- Select the Ledger (person responsible) such as a parent or third party agency (subsidized care). You may also assign multiple payers such as divorced parents, or a family co-pay and DHS fee.
- Choose a recurring cycle like weekly or monthly and select a description for the fee like “Tuition Preschool”.
- Enter a comment if you like, for example “5 Days” or “Co-Pay”.
- The amount will automatically be entered based on the standard amount you charge for that age group or you may enter a custom amount for this child as appropriate.
Fee Varies – Based on Hours, Half/Full Days, etc.
If the amount you charge varies based on the number of scheduled (or attended) hours, or something similar like the number of half or full days, you’ll use what are known as Billing Formulas which come standard with Procare Attendance Tracker. You may enter a specific rate (like an hourly rate) for this child or use a default rate for everyone assigned to that formula.
- In the child’s Billing Box choose the Billing Formulas tab. Note: You may tie a formula (like hourly) to all schedules or to a particular calendar period as described above under “Fixed Fee” billing.
- Click the New Formula button and select the Ledger (person responsible) such as a parent or third party agency (subsidized care). Just like weekly contract billing you may also assign multiple payers such as divorced parents, or a family co-pay and DHS fee.
- Choose a Description for the fee like “Tuition Preschool”.
- Select a Formula Name such as “Hourly (Attendance)”.
- Enter an hourly rate (variable) in the Value box such as $3.75 if the rate for his child is different from the standard rate previously set up in the formula. You could also put this rate in the Comment field if you like – which the parents would then see on their statement.