Making the leap to accepting online payments can be daunting for some child care centers.
But this change is one that will greatly enhance your business, and the ability to collect tuition through automatic payments saves you valuable time while ensuring accuracy in your daycare accounting.
Procare makes tuition collection and payment processing a seamless experience for child care providers! Parents will be thrilled to be able to make convenient online and secure payments, and you’ll get your tuition on time.
“I don’t know anyone who gets into child care because they love bookkeeping and finances,” says Marissa Ryan, a payment processing software trainer at Procare Solutions. “That’s why we take care of it.”
So let’s look at five questions that many early childhood education centers leaders have about child care billing, and give you the answers you need!
1: Why should I use software to collect tuition when I can accept cash and checks?
“To me, it’s the integration,” says Marissa.
Sure, you can take cash and checks. But that’s a lot of work. You must enter payments into your computer system by hand. You need to write out receipts and enter them as well, Marissa says.
And there’s the element of human error. It’s easy to mistype a number or post a payment to the wrong family’s account.
It’s an extra level of reconciling as part of your child care bookkeeping.
Then you have to secure cash and checks in your center to make sure they are not lost or stolen.
Then you need to deposit them, whether daily or weekly. That means standing in line at the bank, taking the bank receipt or report back to your center, doing manual reconciliation and filing the paperwork.
It takes enough time that centers may need to hire someone just to handle the 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!
You get a real-time view of all center financials and receivables in the integrated dashboard showing tuition charges and balances tracking/calculations, multi-family billing options
, and fee transparency.
2. Will parents be on board with online payments?
Online payments are what today’s parents prefer!
A recent study showed that HALF of millennials, who make up roughly 90% of the childbearing population, have never even used a check. The study was cited by The College Investor, which gives financial and investment advice to millennials, in a recent blog titled “How to Write a Check (and Free Check-Writing Alternatives.”
When blogs are being written about how to write a check, you know it’s vital that your child care center be able to accommodate how today’s parents want to pay.
Procare’s tuition-collection and payment-processing platform was built with parents in mind, allowing for convenient online and secure payments that ensure your center gets your tuition on time.
It’s incredibly unpleasant when the need arises to speak with parents about late tuition. And keeping up with making monthly payments by check is difficult for busy parents as well.
Procare gives parents a choice in how they pay. Payments can be made automatically from their checking accounts or billed to their credit cards. And it’s easy to set up recurring plans.
Parents can access and make payments from a computer or through the Procare child care app on their phone!
And when parents make a payment online, it posts automatically to their ledger and is deposited into your account automatically.
Centers can create and send invoices to parents easily. They also can manage all billing transactions, payments, refunds and credits from Procare’s child care mobile app.
3. I’m worried about the security of my families’ financial information. How is this kept safe?
“Parents don’t have to worry about whether their information is safe,” says Marissa. “It’s encrypted and secure!”
With Procare, you can be confident when you tell families that their financial data, including credit-card numbers, 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.
Plus, Procare does not use any third-party processors.
Procare also is in compliance with GDPR, CCPA, PCI, SOC2, FERPA and other state and federal laws and regulations.
What does complying with all those acronyms mean to your center? It means you can feel secure that personal and business financial information is protected.
Think about the vulnerabilities of paper checks with a name, address, phone number and sometimes even driver’s license number printed on them. With this information, scammers have all they need to access an account and steal someone’s identity.
Automatic payments greatly reduce this potential by limiting the amount of information available and the number of people who have access to it.
4. What options do I have for getting paid and billing?
Other payment processors can wait for a payment to clear before giving that money to a center – sometimes up to seven days, Marissa said.
Procare provides online billing with the lowest transaction fees as well as next-business-day funding!
“Cash flow is so important to small businesses,” Marissa says. “And Procare is one of only payment processors with that fast of a turnaround.”
Several options are available for easy billing, including automatically sending one-time invoices or recurring invoices with an auto-pay option and billing based on attendance.
5. What if I need help?
Marissa says to do a Google search of other payment processors and find a way to get in touch with them — it’s not easy to get that information.
When you have a question, you need an answer quickly.
Procare has a dedicated phone number and a dedicated support team just for payment-processing questions. You can get answers by phone, email or chat with a live person.
Keeping your center’s finances organized is one of the best ways to ensure your center’s success. Simplifying invoicing, billing and payments can help save time and resources and keep your center healthy and more predictable.
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