There is a laundry list of considerations that go into the managing daycare invoices. The process requires reviewing and collecting up to a year’s worth of family information, data and bills. From there, you need to piece together an accurate list of each family’s expenses and what they owe for your services.
A child care center’s billing process can present challenges because of its complicated and repetitive nature. Managing schedules, attendance, variable rates, fees and more are just a few of the preparations that must be made, but that’s not all that comes with the territory.
The Importance of Daycare Invoicing
Creating a template for your daycare to use when administering invoices can be a time-consuming process, and it might not be perfect on your first try. While automated daycare invoicing services can make the whole process seem easier, it still requires a strategic approach.
Building out your invoice starts with providing your name and contact information, as well as the specific families name and contact information. Next comes the list of expenses that have accrued over the most recent billing period. This is the most important part.
Diving into the specifics is where data collection and accurate record keeping prove to be invaluable. Breaking down this information with accuracy provides clarity for the parents who will be making payments.
These accrued expenses can include:
- Tuition payments
- Meal expenses
- Special equipment or care
- Transportation fees
- Late pickup fees
Regardless of which route you choose, these invoices will keep you and the child’s family on the same page with how much they owe, and how much they have paid.
Common Challenges of Daycare Invoicing
Now that we’re all on the same page about the importance of efficient invoicing, here are some of the most common challenges that owners and operators run into:
Manually Administering Invoices
In order to manually administer invoices, there needs to be a rock solid plan in place. Moving forward without automated invoicing service is not a challenge in itself, but it leaves more opportunity for obstacles to arise throughout the manual process.
Keeping Everybody on the Same Page
Every member of your staff must understand what you expect from them during day-to-day operations for record keeping purposes. This translates to an easier invoicing process. The challenging part is maintaining good visibility into your process and making sure nothing gets misplaced or forgotten.
Administering Invoices & Collecting Payments on Time
Hurdles tend to come out of nowhere when trying to administer invoices and collect payments. You may find yourself dealing with missing information, a faulty system, or staff members that aren’t properly recording information.
Getting all of that squared away can slow you down, but it’s difficult to expect that parents will stick to your billing schedule if you are late in administering invoices.
Providing Limited Payment Options
Limiting your payment options makes invoicing more difficult than it needs to be than it needs to be. Manually collecting payments adds another step to the process. Relying on cash or check payments might corner you. Expanding your accepted forms of payment with digital payment processing is a potential resolution for this challenge.
How to Make Daycare Invoicing More Efficient
Of course, every child care provider has their way of administering invoices and collecting payments. With that said, there are certain ways to make the process easier and more efficient. Here are a few tips to consider:
Create a Strategy & Build On It
Sending out invoices is the most repetitive of the many tasks that come with running a daycare. Determine how you will administer the invoices, what information needs to be included, and what your billing schedule will be.
By solidifying your strategy and tweaking it as needed, you develop some consistency, which makes sifting through all of those records a less daunting task.
Focus On Data Collection & Storage
Properly organizing the financial records in your daycare, whether they are in physical or electronic form, can make invoicing quick and easy. Creating profiles and keeping accurate records for each family and their children will lead to a more accurate invoicing process. Parents will appreciate the attention to detail, and collecting those payments will be simpler as well.
Communicate Clearly & Consistently
Being clear and consistent when communicating with parents throughout their children’s time in your daycare is a no-brainer for plenty of reasons, especially when it comes to the financial side of your business.
When there are no grey areas in your strategy, it’s easy to get into a routine and improve efficiency across the board. Being consistent with something as simple as sending invoices at the same time rather than on a rolling basis can have positive effects.
Additional Daycare Invoicing Resources
Still looking for more information on invoicing? We’ve highlighted a few additional resources below:
Administering a year-end daycare receipt isn’t required, considering that billing is typically completed on a weekly or monthly basis. With that said, providing a receipt protects you and the parent in the event of an audit.
It’s considered sensible and professional to prepare and distribute invoices for parents. Providing this record to parents is also considerate for tax purposes. There may be families with children at your daycare who qualify for tax credits in accordance with the 2441 form from the IRS.
Building out your billing protocol is one of the foundational pieces of a child care center, but it can be tricky. You will need to determine what the best rate to charge is, what your billing schedule is going to be, and how you will track it from start to finish. Learn more about the importance of recording tuition charges, supply and activity fees, co-payments and family discounts with this guide to managing child care billing.
There’s a wide variety of courses and trainings that daycare providers must complete in order to qualify them to be part of a safe and healthy learning environment. Promoting childhood development, involving parents each step of the way, and taking the administrative tasks seriously are the main pillars of successful daycare management.
Ignoring the necessity of administrative tasks like invoicing can have a negative impact on your daycare as a whole. Understanding the intersection of these core areas is the basis for continually improving your child care capabilities.
It’s no secret that invoicing is not the most exciting part of working at a daycare. Hopefully, this guide helps make your daycare invoicing easier than ever, so that you can focus on the more enjoyable tasks.
Learn more about how Procare helps daycares track invoices and billing.