Mar 26, 2024 5 min read

TREND REPORT 2024: ACH Tops How Families Pay Child Care Tuition

Leah Woodbury By: Leah Woodbury
Family uses technology to pay daycare tuition.

The 2024 Child Care Management Software Industry Trends Report from Procare Solutions found that ACH payments, which are electronic fund transfers typically used for recurring monthly debits, is the most common form of tuition payment among child care centers surveyed.

Yet many centers are relying on more dated payment forms, even as families seek the ease of automatic, digital payments. Another statistic from the survey is that an astounding 43% of child care centers had experienced at least one rejected or declined transaction or bounced check when trying to collect tuition payments in the last month!

Take a look at the report’s findings on how families are making their tuition payments:

Chart illustrates the payment methods used by families to make tuition payments.

Let’s dive in to see how you can ensure ACH and other forms of payments are processed safely.

Financial Security 

By choosing software designed with robust security controls that include multi-factor authentication, strong privacy policies and SOC 2 Type II and PCI Level 1 certification, your center can safeguard sensitive data and strengthen its reputation as a credible and responsible business.

The use of ACH and credit cards is the preferred method for today’s parents, and other forms of payments have risks that many people don’t think about. Check use has rapidly declined since the turn of the century, but check fraud has risen sharply, particularly since the pandemic, according to a 2023 New York Times article about check fraud.

And only 12% of consumers prefer paying with cash, according to Small Business Trends. Taking cash comes with a great deal of security risk. Cash payments require a great deal of recordkeeping and a meticulous  storage system for the currency until it can get deposited in the bank.  Plus, it complicates bookkeeping because there is no paper trail. 

Credit or debit cards offer security features such as fraud protection to families. Many credit card companies monitor transactions for suspicious activity and may provide additional layers of security like two-factor authentication, while allowing parents to accrue credit card rewards such as cashback offers or airline miles. 

Offering card payments provides the option of accepting point-of-sale  payments, such as at a center’s front desk or a kiosk. It is a convenient way to collect payments, although not as simple as setting up recurring tuition payments using a debit or credit card, or by ACH.

How Payment Processing from Procare Can Help! 

This statistic from the trend report was no surprise. Efficient and secure tuition collection and sound financial management are vital for the success of child care centers. By implementing best practices and using technology, you can ensure a seamless and financially sustainable operation.

Procare Solutions treats all data provided in-solution by customers as sensitive.   

Access to sensitive information requires an authorized user to log in with a strong password. Procare requires at least 12 characters and allow a wide variety in what those characters are for maximum complexity and strength.   

Only people authorized to see your data can view it and your data is encrypted in transit over the internet and while at rest in our databases.   

Our encryption, authentication and access controls satisfy industry standards as defined by bodies like the payment card industry.  

Our software meets or exceeds all data requirements required by law and is especially proud to be certified as SOC, type 2 complaint. In the cybersecurity world, this is a big deal. We also perform secure code testing prior to the release of production software.  

There are two SOC ratings. A type 1 classification is given after an auditor determines system is designed suitably to achieve the related objectives on a specified date. 

To earn an SOC 2 classification, an organization must meet all the requirements in type 1, but goes further to focus on testing the controls to prove their effectiveness over nine months. 

Procare Solutions is the only child care management software to earn this coveted certification.

Procare’s payment processing capability ensures flexibility by offering various payment methods. This allows your child care center to offer the payment methods that benefit your business while giving families the freedom to use the payment options they prefer. This facilitates a smooth and secure payment experience while addressing concerns related to rejected or declined payments.

With Procare, you can be confident when you tell families that their financial data, including credit card numbers and information related to ACH transactions, are being protected. In addition to strong data encryption, Procare uses hardened security standards including individual account and password authentications, role-based security authorization and complete change control auditing.

Procare is the only child care center management software with integrated proprietary payment processing. That means your daycare will always get low fees and dedicated support, and funds are typically processed the following business day (subject to bank funding and processing approvals)!

Download our guide on child care data security to learn how Procare protects families and your business to get information on: 

  •  Protecting families’ personal information
  •  Streamlining operations with secure technology
  •  Best practices for data security
  •  How Procare exceeds security regulations
  • And more! 
Understanding 2024 Trends in the Child Care Industry

Understanding 2024 Trends in the Child Care Industry

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Leah Woodbury

Leah Woodbury is the head of content at Procare Solutions. Her job includes writing about topics that matter to child care professionals and finding ways to help them do their important work. She’s a mom of two who loves getting updates about what her preschooler is doing during the day via the Procare child care mobile app!

Leah Woodbury