Easy To Use Automated Preschool & Childcare BIlling System - Illumine
While your first priority as a childcare owner should always be the kids, you have to ensure your center is bringing in the money to run sustainably. And before you consider hiking the student fee or enrolling more students, your first step should be to streamline childcare billing processes to ensure you’re getting the money that is rightly yours.
Using Illumine you can streamline your preschool or childcare center’s billing, ease the payment process for parents, generate automated invoices, setup fee reminders, and get timely payment!./p>
In this post, we are exploring the different features of the “Fee” module of the Illumine app. It covers all aspects of billing and payments that you need to automate your preschool’s billing process.
There are 5 things we’ll cover under the ‘Fees’ module:
- Fee Plan
- Student Billing
- Expense Management (i.e. ledger), and
- Setting up ‘late fees’, tax components of fees and ‘fee reminder emails’.
Table of Contents
1. Fee Plan
From the left panel go to, FEE → FEE PLAN, and click on ‘Add Fee Plan’ on top right.
There are currently two fee plans you can select from: Fixed Date Billing, or Student Joining-date-based Billing.
‘Fixed Date Billing’ Fee Plan (i.e. prepaid billing)
Under this fee plan, the childcare bills will be generated on a fixed date every cycle. You can set up the frequency of the bills (weekly/monthly/quarterly/half yearly/yearly/custom) and select a generation date.
For example, if a parent is on a prepaid plan, then on the 10th of every month (assuming you set the generation date as 10th) they will receive an invoice automatically without manual intervention.
‘Student Joining-date Billing’ Fee Plan (i.e. subscription billing)
Do you have a Netflix or an Amazon Prime subscription? Well, ‘student joining-date based billing’ fee plan works just like those subscription plans.
The main difference between ‘fixed date billing’ fee plan and ‘student joining-date’ fee plan is that from the time a child is added to the joining-date-based plan, they will keep receiving the invoice until the plan expires.
- Illumine’s childcare management app allows parents to set up auto-pay. Depending on the plan they’ve subscribed to, the childcare payment gets auto-deducted, removing the hassle of back-and-forth communication about pending invoices over call or email. That potentially saves a lot of time for both your staff and parents.
2. Student Billing
From the left panel go to, FEE → STUDENT BILLING, where you can see the billing few for all students. Here, you can add ‘Add Credit’, ‘Add Deposit’ and also ‘Create Invoice’ from here.
You now have a clear view of the amount paid, pending, or in credit/deposit, and the total amount generated. To see whose bills are active, inactive, or on hold, all you need to do is filter by group, program, or rooms in a specific date range on the Illumine app.
Click on any of the student names to enter into their billing profile (see snap) – that mentions everything from their credit and deposit, to the invoices generated and more.
You can also use the credit amount to settle any bills and collect registration fees as a deposit.
Moreover, with Illumine, you can:
- refund deposit or transfer the deposit amount to credit with a single click.
- edit, cancel, or delete a credit.
- click on ‘Credit Amount’ to see the historical information of credit amount and purpose for a student.
That being said, running a tight ship when it comes to childcare budget is tough, especially because of the flexible plans you’ve to offer families.
For keeping childcare billing stress-free, simply navigate to the Invoice section on our app to see the student’s current type of payment method on file, their last and upcoming invoices, deposit, credit, and fee plans upfront. You can also jump to another student’s invoice using the search bar on the top. We’re all about convenience!
- Eliminate hours of work that comes with reconciling payment methods and sign in/out sheets.
- Automatically update student balance for 100% accurate billing.
From the left panel go to, FEE → INVOICE, and you now see a more finance-specific view of your school that shows all invoices raised with due dates, amounts, AND the ability to record payments, send reminders, and more!
Here’s the step-by-step process to create an invoice manually for a single child:
Step 1: From the top-right, click on ’Create Invoice’. Select one of the pre-existing templates, or create a custom invoice and add amounts against each component.
Step 2: You can manually add the billing date, due date, and billing period.
Step 3: By default, the ‘Send Invoice Email’ checkbox will be selected so the parents receive an email and an app notification informing them about the payment to be made against the invoice created.
The finance manager or the school director will also receive a copy of the invoice on their email (along with the parent/s) to keep them in the loop.
Step 4: Whatever you add to the school notes is reserved only for you, but any invoice notes you’ve added can be viewed by the parent too.
Note: You can settle childcare billing using credit or add tax to it manually.
If any of your parents have decided to not use online payment, you will have to record the payment manually.
You can log manual childcare payment to keep your accounts up to date via Illumine. For a pending invoice, click on the status ‘Pending,’ and then go to ‘Record Payment.’
You can add the childcare payment you’ve received, mode of payment, and date, and then send the parent a receipt to ensure both parties maintain the billing record.
To print a payment receipt, locate the payment and click the ellipsis to select ‘View Receipt.’ On the Receipt popup, click ‘Print.’
- Assign tuition-based or attendance-based recurring childcare billing plans to students to give parents the flexibility they need.
- See the student’s payment status at the individual profile level or overall student levels on the Illumine app. The payment status is now color coded for easy segmentation.
4. Expense Management (ie expense register or ledger)
From the left panel go to, FEE → EXPENSE MANAGEMENT, and you get the window to create and maintain registers related to expenses around your school – be it supplies & materials, electricity bills, and more.
Expense management ‘Registers’ are equivalent to ‘Ledgers’ that are used for keeping track of all school administration related expenses.
To create a new register, from the top-right click on ‘Add Register’ and enter the name of the ledger and a description of what expenses you wish to track. Ensure you add the expenses too before hitting done.
If you want to edit the ledger’s name, description, or expense, click on the pencil-shaped icon. In case you want to delete the ledger altogether, just click on the rubbish bin icon.
- You can pull a detailed ledger transaction report by clicking on ‘Download Excel’ at the the top right of the Expense Management page. A ledger transaction will not be shared with parents or reflect on the parent account. It is for internal use only to track all your expenses digitally.
Late Fees, Tax components, Fee reminder emails
From the left panel go to, SETTINGS → BILLING → Late Fees / Tax components / Fee Reminder Email setup.
Each of these settings are fairly straightforward. Make sure to check all 3 options on this page.
Manage your childcare center billing with Illumine
To continue serving our customers, we plan to roll out a staff salary recording feature on the Illumine app for automating childcare billing end-to-end. As much as we’re excited about what’s coming, we’ve designed a childcare payments system that runs on its own without using a lot of your muscle power or staff time. How, you ask?
- With billing, reporting, and organization features, you can keep the financial side of your childcare running like a well-oiled machine.
- If parents have any queries around billing, you’ll be able to provide proactive customer service by looking through the student’s account history, attendance records, and billing plan on Illumine for a quick resolution.
If you’re keen on learning more about billing and payment collection in Illumine, book a free demo to see how it all works!