12 Steps to a Stress-Free Childcare Billing

If you’re like most childcare owners, you didn’t enter into this line of work for the money. You got into it because you enjoy working with children. What no one enjoys? The day-to-day operations of childcare facilities. To avoid burnout, we cannot overstate the necessity of setting up an automatic payment schedule using a childcare billing software.

Why is childcare billing software important?

Because it allows you to focus on more important concerns. A good childcare billing system not only helps you concentrate on student development but also on parent relations. At Illumine, we recognize that time is a valuable commodity. That is why we’ve outlined 12 steps to make childcare billing hassle-free.

Table of contents

  1. Determine your tuition rate
  2. Set up one-time invoicing
  3. Create an invoice
  4. Create a fee template
  5. Set billing policies
  6. Establish a billing frequency
  7. Choose a mode of payment
  8. Record a payment
  9. Opt for a childcare billing tool
  10. Have clear parent communication
  11. Optimize accounting hours
  12. Refund

12 Steps for Hassle-Free Childcare Billing

Childcare billing can be complicated and stressful, even if you have experience. Take notes on how you can run your business well.

1. Determine your tuition rate

To decide on a tuition rate, you will need to consider your company costs, deposit fees, and competitor rates.

Company costs

To start a daycare franchise, your incoming tuition payment must surpass your costs. Your company costs typically include payment for rent, supplies, food, infrastructure, permits, cleaning, marketing, and permits.

Deposit fees

Deposit fees ensure that you get compensated for holding a spot in your childcare facility for a kid who isn’t attending. These fees will help your company stay afloat during difficult times. Keep the costs of running a daycare center in account when deciding on a deposit fee. You can either charge a percentage of the tuition rate or a standard amount as the deposit fee. Illumine lets you customize the deposit fee per student, so you can create and share invoices with parents hassle-free.

Competitor rates

You should also examine how much your competitors charge. Parents generally base their decisions on the cost of daycare, so make sure your pricing is comparable to those of nearby childcare facilities. If you have a competitive edge over other centers, charge a higher tuition. By having an edge, we mean:

  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Lower student to teacher ratios
  • Highly qualified EYFS teachers
  • Great safety policy

2. Set up one-time invoicing

It’s simple to set up one-time invoices with the Illumine childcare billing system. We can automate two different types of billing plans:

Attendance plan

The Attendance Plan is specifically intended to create invoices in situations where the computation must be based on the exact number of hours/days a student has attended daycare. A fee can also be applied to certain rooms. Late fee can be calculated depending on the number of days a student has stayed after the activity or programme has ended.

These charges in the attendance plans allow for the following operations to be flexible:

  • A charge can be made that calculates on an hourly or daily basis. It also enables us to specify the start and end times for which the Invoice Item should be invoiced for the amount of hours a student has been present.
  • We can also choose which days a certain charge should be picked up and applied to the invoice.
  • We can additionally specify which rooms a charge should apply to.
  • We can charge a late fee based on the number of days a student has stayed after an activity or programme has ended.

Tuition plan

A Tuition Plan is unique to each kid and may include different components based on the programmes in which the child is enrolled. The invoice line items in a plan can be added, updated, or removed at any moment.

You may also add personalized discounts to each invoice with Illumine. Parents get an email from the school with the invoice attached once you’ve submitted it.

3. Create an invoice

In order to create one-time invoices, keep in mind the following steps.

  • First, go to Fee and then click on Invoice. Next, click on Create Invoice. Now you can choose to create a new template or a pick one that already exists.
  • If you wish to create a new template, click on the Create New Template option and then click on the Create Template button.
  • Add an invoice to which you need to add a description, the amount and then if you wish to apply a discount, you can do it either in percentages or the currency of your choice.
  • Now, click on Submit. You’ll see the template has been created.
  • Now, go back to Invoice, click on Create Invoice, choose the particular template, select the due date and choose a billing period and then click on Submit.
  • Now, choose the students you want to send these invoices to and then click on Submit.
  • Once the invoices are sent successfully to parents, they get mail with the invoice attached.

4. Create a fee template

Here are the steps to create recording fee templates.

  • Go to Fee and then click on Fee Template.
  • Next, go to Create Template and add a Fee Template name.
  • Then, choose the frequency, and select the date range between which you would want to raise the invoice.
  • Then, click on the Add invoice item option. Give a description.
  • Add the amount and Apply a Discount, if any. You can apply a discount either in percentage or in your chosen currency. You can also apply for Tax.
  • You’ll see your total billing amount, which is automatically calculated here.
  • Click on Submit and your fee template will be added to the list of templates.

5. Set billing policies

To run a profitable preschool, set the following regulations for childcare billing.

Billing policy Ideal for
Partial payment Flexible parents
Advance payment Parents who work irregular shifts
Late payment Tardy parents
Holiday policy Traveling parents
School closure Childcare owners to keep business running

There should be no exceptions to billing policies unless there is prior consent from the childcare owners.

6. Establish a billing frequency

Many childcare centers choose to bill parents weekly, biweekly, or monthly. You’ll need to decide the billing frequency while setting up your childcare.

  • Consider how often your childcare facility will need to pay employees when determining the billing frequency.
  • It’s crucial to examine the frequency of your own expenses, including your rent, taxes, and utilities.
  • Sending regular invoices to parents will generate a more consistent stream of money than if you invoice by semester or year.

You can create recurring fee templates with Illumine at a click on a button to simplify billing.

  • In the menu, select the fee template.
  • Choose the option to make a template.
  • Pick a name, a frequency (monthly, quarterly, half-annually, or yearly), and a date range.

And viola, you’ve established the frequency at which the parent will receive the childcare invoice.

7. Choose a mode of payment

Childcare owners no longer have to worry about paperwork, bookkeeping, or math, thanks to Illumine offering various modes of online payment to streamline daycare payment.

Our platform is based on a design that is driven through APIs. Each cycle, we generate hundreds of thousands of invoices totaling millions of dollars throughout our schools, so it’s critical for us to ensure that they’re running smoothly. Through the API, all clients are able to communicate in a secure manner.

In our Google Cloud system, each component scales automatically. Our platform runs behind a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud), so we do not keep any CC/NEFT information from parents or schools on file and instead rely on the gateway to execute payments.

  1. NEFT: We do not store any NEFT information of the parents or guardians and rely on the gateways to encrypt it.
  2. Credit card: We alert parents on the app when the invoice is due, and they can see the amount and make a payment with only a few taps. You can also apply credit notes on future invoices.
  3. Debit card: You can set up auto payments and collect them using debit cards when the invoice date is due.
  4. Credit notes: Using credit notes, you can streamline advance refunds and payments. You can even apply these credit notes to your future invoices.
  5. Autopay: The Autopay function allows you to debit a parent’s payment account automatically based on the parent’s approval. When a parent enables auto-payment on a payment method that has been activated, the Illumine Auto Payment system debits that payment on the invoice due date.

Parents can pay by phone or on the internet. On the app, we alert parents when the invoice is due, and they can check the balance and make a payment with only a few taps.

  1. Supported gateways: Illumine works with both Razorpay and Paytm to handle payments. Once the preschool signs up for either of the gateways, the parents won’t be redirected to their portals and can save time by making the payment within the app itself.

8. Record a payment

Record your payment with Illumine in 7 simple steps.

  • In order to record a payment made by a parent, go to Fee and then click on Invoice.
  • Next, go to the three dots next to the name of the student for whom you want to record the payment.
  • Then click on Record Payment. Select the Payment mode.
  • Add a reference number if you want and click on Save.
  • The payment will be recorded as soon as this is done.
  • Parents get mail on your behalf with the invoice attached to it.
  • They can download the invoice directly from the mail.

9. Opt for a childcare billing tool

To keep childcare billing stress free, you should consider a childcare billing tool like Illumine.

  • Collect online payments, send automated invoices, generate billing reports and payment receipts 76% faster.
  • Digitize your payment collection process with one of the only childcare apps that takes 0 set up and commission fee.
  • Automate your invoice process and save 32 hours on manual billing and fee collection.

Illumine is your go-to solution for all the billing-related challenges faced by childcare owners.

Problem Solution
Fear of digital payment fraud All payments are protected with encryption
Fear of running out of cash flow to manage a childcare Makes your cash flow predictable by automating the invoicing process
Manually remind parents for impending fee Sets up recurring invoices and auto payments
Filing taxes can be time-consuming Generate automated tax reports effortlessly
Track pending payments Send reminders to defaulters and levy late charge on the fee automatically if the deadline has passed
Managing finances at a large scale can be exhausting Monitor and track all your transactions from the admin dashboard

10. Have clear parent communication

Illumine’s in-app messaging tool allows you to connect directly with parents.

  • Send messages, attach photos, and answer any billing-related questions or concerns.
  • Parents are promptly alerted on the parent app when they send the message.
  • They may also click on the connect tab and then to messages to see the message.

11. Optimize accounting hours

With Illumine, you can digitize your payments and organize your revenue collection paper-free. By signing up for Illumine, you won’t need separate accounting software to handle your accounts, thus saving you from investing in different software at the early stages of your business. If you’re a first-time entrepreneur,

Not only do we automate your invoicing, we also take zero commission fees to set up your billing process.

12. Refund

Refunds can cause a lot of confusion and account data mismatch if they aren’t handled correctly. As you can see, there is a lot of manual paper work and billing time. Isn’t it more important for childcare owners to spend quality time with children? Yes, and it is our mission to assist you.

  • The daycare center must either hand over a cheque or return the payments in cash when a parent requests a refund.
  • They must then create a manual receipt, including a copy for the parent.
  • Refunds can be processed online in only a few clicks with the Illumine Billing System.
  • Following the successful processing of the refund, the whole amount will be restored to the parent’s original payment method.
  • Offline reimbursements, such as cheques, cash, and other sorts of payments, can also be recorded.
  • The parent is notified through email as soon as the refund transaction is successfully recorded, and their current balance is modified to reflect the same.

What next?

We’re looking forward to what’s to come.

  • Schools are able to do all of their billing on your phone.
  • Forecasting to help you understand your receivables.
  • Furthermore, enhancing the possibilities of payment alternatives.

Money is a touchy subject. While some issues can be resolved quickly via chat, more challenging payment discussions may be better handled in person. Some helpful hints may be found in our guide on strategies for effective parent communication.

One of the most effective strategies to ensure the success of your childcare center is to keep your finances in order. Get on a demo call with us to make your accounting journey easy, smooth, and fast. You can also start with a flexible plan that suits your business presently. Either way, prefer a smarter means of invoicing with Illumine today!

FAQs about childcare billing

Q 1. How do I invoice for childcare?

Illumine makes it simple to design and send invoices to parents. It also allows you to apply discounts at the same time.

Q 2. What’s the difference between a bill and an invoice?

A bill is a basic statement of what is due now, however, an invoice can imply that payment terms have been negotiated.

Q3. What are billing methods?

Billing methods refer to the methods by which subscribers are billed for the subscription service, such as credit card, mobile, and/or other direct-to-consumer billing and collection methods as agreed between the parties from time to time. At Illumine, parents can pay their bills using a credit card, credit notes, debit cards, NEFT, autopay, and supported gateways.


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