Despite a labor shortage and outsized demand for child care, a Procare Solutions survey showed that half of child care centers not using software rely on manual processes to track their business operations.
This finding, along with other relevant data related to the current state of the child care industry’s use of technology, is part of the 2023 Child Care Management Software Industry Trends Report.
Let’s take a look at how software that automates tedious tasks can help!
Why Child Care Centers Need Automation
Monique Reynolds is the vice president of early childhood education business support and sustainability of Quality Care for Children, which provides hands-on support to child care centers to help them manage their businesses.
Monique says automation can become your personal assistant and that child care automation software can save child care providers between 60 and 80 hours a month.
In one case, she calculated that before automation, doing payroll and other human-resource related tasks would take six to eight hours biweekly. After automation, that time dropped to one to two hours.
With attendance tracking and subsidy reconciliation, that time shrank from 10 hours a week to just 30 minutes.
She gives the following list of what automation can do for child care centers:
- Reduces administrative efforts to manage data
- Minimize the potential for human errors
- Electronic data can be backed up in the cloud
- Data that is up-to-date and live can be available to appropriate staff
- Monitor the Early Childhood Education Iron Triangle metrics, which are the three core parts of running a child care center — full enrollment, full fee collection and ensuring that revenues cover per-child cost
Using software allows child care centers to track their incomes and expenses as well as collect money easily with online billing and payments. And it gives them a professional-looking portal to help parents pay quickly.
“We are an essential part of our economy and now the world knows it,” Monique says, which is why centers need a professional look to solidify that fact.
Automation Simplifies Child Care Billing
Procare’s fully integrated center management platform, billing and payments are automated. That means Procare does the work for you and gives centers the ability to create and send invoices to parents easily.
Procare Solutions provides online billing with the lowest transaction fees. Several options are available, including automatically sending one-time invoices or recurring invoices with an auto-pay option for your daycare accounting needs.
Automated payments benefit you and parents. Funds go from the bank account of each family directly into your account, so you always get paid on time.
Choose any combination of electronic payment options to accept at your child care center, daycare or preschool. Every payment, whether initiated by you or by your families, posts automatically to your family accounts and funds appear the very next day.
Want to do your billing based on attendance? You can, and even through the Procare child care mobile app if you choose.
And you can automatically add late fees to past-due accounts! This takes a lot of the hassle out of child care bookkeeping.
With Procare’s online payment-processing capabilities, all the reporting is electronic. That means you’ll have access to records on your phone or computer. There’s no need to print and store reports when you can quickly find what you need with just a few clicks! And no more wasting time standing in line at a bank to deposit paper checks.
Daycare Automation Software Simplifies Communication with Parents
Automation takes the awkwardness out of speaking to parents about late tuition. Monique says child care providers are patient and empathetic, and love their children and families. That makes it tough to say to parents that because they didn’t make a payment, their child can’t stay at your center.
“Automation takes that off you,” she said. It gives the parent that late-tuition alert so you don’t have to have a difficult face-to-face conversation.
And it can help communicate with parents in fun and informative ways. You can send a message via an app over the weekend to remind them about an event happening that Monday. And the Procare child care mobile app keeps parents up-to-date on what their kids are doing during the day:
Such an app serves another purpose, Monique says, which is growing enrollment. A parent might show a co-worker a picture of their child on the app, making that co-worker want a child care center that offers the same real-time updates.
Learn more about what a mobile child care app can do for your daycare and early childhood education programs!
Be Automated AND Consolidated with Child Care Bookkeeping
With Procare, you get a single dashboard for all your program’s needs without third-party software. Recurring plans can be set up to get automatic payments safely and securely via multiple payment options including automatic withdrawals from checking accounts as well as credit or debit cards.
You get a real-time view of all your child care program’s financials and receivables in the integrated dashboard showing tuition charges and balances tracking/calculations, multi-family billing options and fee transparency. This dashboard allows you to understand what your program is paying per transaction and why.
Families can access tuition statements, receipts and their payment history in real time on the Procare child care mobile app. Payments can be made quickly and securely, with next-day-funding options for your program!
And you can see a comprehensive payment history for each family at your center or enrichment program.
Learn What Automation Can Do for Your Center!
Automating invoicing, billing and payments can help save time and resources and keep your center healthy and more predictable. And automated communications keep everyone in the loop.
Procare’s fully integrated child care program management platform takes the hassle out of billing and payments and makes tuition collection a seamless experience for center providers.
To meet the challenges of today that will persist into tomorrow, programs must look at how to incorporate software to meet not only the needs of this generation of parents, but to grow and prosper.
Two out of three centers that use software choose Procare. As center administrators seek to do more with less, Procare help relieve some of the burden of the important work they do every day.
Download this free infographic to learn more about how Procare can help address major challenges being faced by child care professionals with automation.
Want to know how much time and money you could save using the Procare all-in-one solution to run your child care center with automation? Learn your potential personalized savings by entering some details into this online calculator!