“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.
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.
Security is often a concern when centers begin to consider automated payments, but it shouldn’t be. Electronic payments are actually safer than writing checks, since checks are handled (and seen) by many people before they actually get processed. No one can access the secure, encrypted information used to process payments electronically, and as far as credit cards go, Tuition Express is PCI Level-1 certified, the highest rating in the payment card industry.
A method popular with parents and center directors alike, is to set up automatic, recurring payments. Recurring payments take the money owed for tuition and other fees directly from parent checking or savings accounts (known as ACH payments). Or, you can choose to allow payments to be made by automatically charging a credit card. As a child care administrator, you have the power to collect the fees whenever they are due, which means you’re paid on time, every time.
There are other ways to make payments parent friendly too, such as allowing them to pay online, offering a computer payment kiosk in your center, or accepting credit and debit card payments at the front desk. And, if you have families check their children in, payments may also be accepted directly at a check-in computer. With the online, kiosk and check-in options, receipts are automatically emailed or available online, so no staff interaction is necessary. Parents can also check their balance due and payment history, online, at their convenience. What could be friendlier than that?
Easy to Use
For center staff, recurring payments have an easy one-time setup and are quickly processed by you, once a week or month, whenever they are due. Processing can even be scheduled up to two weeks in the future, for periods when you are away from the office. The only other payment option that requires a staff member is when you swipe a credit card, at the front desk, for a person who pays just occasionally, like a grandparent, etc. All other payment methods are easily handled by the parents themselves, such as making an online payment or swiping their own card at a payment kiosk or check-in station.
The 21st Century Solution
If you’re still feeling comfortable with that manual receipt book, it’s okay. We understand. But, when you’re ready to consider a true twenty-first century method for accepting payments, please Contact Tuition Express. We’ll be here to guide you and help bring your child care business into the new millennium.