The child care industry sure has changed a lot over the past couple of decades, hasn’t it? I have so many clients who started their child care businesses two, three, or even four decades ago and most did not use anything close to the tools we have today. No systems, no technology, and no marketing plan.
They relied on word of mouth for enrollments, had manual processes for check in and out, tuition was paid in cash, and everything was very much “old school.” The internet did not yet exist and we had no clue what a “smart phone” was.
Today’s business environment has changed and evolved in hundreds of small but meaningful ways. Parents are MUCH more savvy about what they expect in a preschool, from quality to technology to daily communication. That’s why I consider it a top-level best practice – actually a “must” – for you to have top-notch child care management software in place to help you effectively run your school.
Here’s just a couple key benefits of having management software:
1) Attendance tracking. Every successful child care center owner knows their “digits”. They know their Full Time Equivalent (FTE) utilization of each classroom relative to capacity. The only way to get true stats on your classroom usage and slots available is to have a system that accurately tracks attendance of each child in terms of check in and check out. Relying on teachers or a paper log in the front of the building is not a fool-proof system. However, when you require parents to log into a digital system when they drop off and pick up their child, you have a system of record that allows you to fully see utilization patterns in your school. Moreover, your child care management software should allow you to run reports on FTE versus capacity over different date ranges and classrooms.
2) Security. The leading child care management software programs come with a biometric finger scan or other high-tech security system for entering the building and accessing the classroom. This is a wonderful asset for your school, as you have complete awareness of who is dropping off and picking up the child, and your liability in that area is greatly reduced with high-tech security measures.
3) Avoidance of lost revenue. When you track attendance with a child care management system, you can shift your invoicing to parents to account real-time for any changes, add-ons, drop ins, etc. You will save HOURS of time on your weekly or monthly billing, and you’ll be sure to capture any revenue from parents who make schedule changes on the fly. I would venture to guess that people trying to do this manually are leaving hundreds if not thousands of tuition dollars on the table each billing cycle. Plus, this is just one area of business management where an electronic versus paper system will save you dozens of hours of your life each month.
4) Automated payments. By using a direct ACH billing process (such as Procare’s Tuition Express), you will be paid through instant money transfer from parents’ checking accounts for each tuition cycle. It’s fast, easy, parents like it, and best of all, no more checks – or God forbid, cash! If you’re still accepting cash payments, I recommend you stop. Cash is not something you want around your school and it’s very hard for employees to resist “borrowing” from the so-called cookie jar. Automate your payments, maximize your cash flow, and easily deal with a handful of late or declined payments by using ACH direct payments.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but just these 4 benefits should illustrate to you why child care management software is truly a “must-have” if you want to be seen by your clients as a high-quality, professional organization that really has their act together.
Of course, I recommend Procare as a leading child care management software. Learn more today and get a demo at ProcareSoftware.com
Early Learning Business Coach
I am an early learning business coach, and my team and I can help you succeed as well. Our coaching group is called the Child Care Success Academy. If you’d like more information about what we do, please visit us at www.childcare-marketing.com. Good luck!
Kris Murray Bio
Kris Murray is known as America’s leading expert on child care business success. Kris is President and Founder of Child Care Marketing Solutions, where she is a business coach and marketing consultant exclusively for the early childhood industry. Her company’s mission is to help child care leaders become more successful and profitable through proven cutting-?edge marketing techniques and a unique approach to running a child care business. Kris has over 250 members from around North America in her early childhood coaching and membership programs, and over 10,000 people around the world who subscribe to her articles and videos.
Kris is author of the top-rated books “The Ultimate Child Care Marketing Guide” and “The 77 Best Strategies for Growing Your Early Childhood Program”.
Kris has over 25 years of experience helping companies grow and do “smarter” marketing. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Marketing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Kris is a nationally-?known speaker and has appeared at various national and state early childhood conferences. Her most popular talks are on the topics of enrollment-building, marketing, leadership, and business management.
Kris is married with two young children and lives in the mountains of Colorado. For more information, please visit Kris at www.childcare-marketing.com.