How to Simplify Accounting with a Childcare Billing Software



Consistent cash flow might feel like a distant dream when you struggle to monitor billable care hours and tend to overlook extra charges. The recent Michigan Childcare Market Rates 2021 report paints a bleak picture, confirming less than a quarter of providers offer care during non-traditional hours that’s not billed. Now, you can’t make the payment collection process vanish, but you can use a childcare billing software to avoid chasing parents who are late on their tuition and decrease billing disputes.

This guide will reveal 8 actionable tips to ensure your center is paid on time, every time. 

Table of Contents

Troubleshoot your child care center billing process

A. What is admission management and why it matters in the childcare industry

On a scale of 1 to 10, if you sat down to review your childcare center’s financial goals and demonstrate profitability to stakeholders, how successful would you be? If the answer to that is < 6, embrace these strategies to set up your child care center billing process for long-term success.

1. Collect online payments


  • Everyone carries a mobile phone or a credit/debit card, but cash is usually left at home.
  • Digital payments can be easily automated.

Set up automatic withdrawal with the parents’ bank account on Illumine.
Illumine’s Auto Payments feature allows parents to give consent for automatic debits from their accounts. Once they enable auto payment, Illumine debits the amount on the invoice due date. Payments can be made through the app or the website, and parents receive notifications when invoices are due. 


  • The invoice is generated on Illumine. Parents can go pay through the app, and payment receipts are generated on the app.
  • All the money collected is in a consolidated school account.

2. Standardize hourly, daily, weekly & monthly rates


  • An excessive number of variables can lead to intricate billing calculations, complicating the process and potentially impacting accuracy.
  • Handling multiple variables consumes more time, causing delays and inefficiencies in billing procedures.
  • A multitude of billing elements can confuse parents, affecting their understanding of charges and payment schedules.

Templatise a billing plan on Illumine’s childcare accounting software. 
You can create a recurring fee template by giving the template a name, choosing either ‘Automated’ or ‘Manual’ for the ‘Fee Template Type,’ selecting the date range between which you want to raise the invoice, and adding the necessary invoice line items. A total billing amount is automatically calculated. If you go with the automated fee template type, you’ll also have the option to set the ‘Fee Frequency.’


Automate payment collection without having to calculate charges, hence avoiding errors and financial risk.

3. Automation of invoices

The staff needs to allocate additional time and effort towards generating, sending, and monitoring weekly invoices, consuming a substantial portion of their working hours.

Create a one-time invoice for parents using Illumine. 
You can create an invoice by choosing to create a new fee template or pick one that you already created in point 2. Select a due date, billing period, and the students you want to send the invoice to, and viola, you’re done. The parents automatically get an email with the invoice attached once you submit it. Learn more on how to simplify invoicing


  • Frees up valuable staff resources that would otherwise be dedicated to invoice-related tasks, enabling them to be allocated to more productive areas.
  • Reduces the chances of errors or discrepancies that can occur with frequent invoicing, leading to more accurate financial records and fewer disputes.
  • Clearer and more focused communication between childcare owners and parents.
  • Minimizing the number of invoices sent can contribute to a more positive experience for parents, as they have fewer payment-related interactions to manage.
  • Fewer invoices mean potential savings on paper, printing, and postage costs, contributing to cost-efficiency.

4. Automate reminders

Letting a late pick up fee or late tuition slide hurts your childcare business, which is why it’s essential to stay consistent.

You can set up advance notice of late fees on Illumine. Simply head to SETTINGS → BILLING → Late Fees, where you can control the ‘late fee type,’ ‘late fee value’, and more, as shown below.



  • Avoid angry parents and surprises at time of childcare payment collection.
  • Collect student fees timely.
  • Plan your finances better by forecasting your collections and expenses.
  • Parents are in loop and hence, are more vigilant about payments.

5. Enforce strict childcare billing policies

You’ll understand your cash inflow better and be able to predict the revenue your childcare business will generate.

You can pull in your financial reports whenever you want using Illumine’s childcare billing software. Illumine provides seamless integration with QuickBooks to sync all your transactions effortlessly, allowing you to dig up past payment receipts, credit notes, aging reports, and transactions effortlessly.

You can sync all your transactions easily.

6. Streamline the payment methods

Reconciling various payment methods manually can be time-consuming.

Illumine lets you select from a fixed range of online payment methods and record manual payments with cheque or cash in one place. It also lets you make childcare billing refund a breeze to manage your childcare budget effectively, as the full refund is automatically reverted to the parent’s chosen payment mode. Offline childcare billing refunds too, like cheque or cash, can also be easily recorded, notifying parents by email and updating their balance accordingly.

Record manual and automated payments in one place by generating payments reports with a click of a button, making accessing financial records easy.

Explore the guide to choosing the right payment gateway for your center

7. Add discounts quickly


  • You have different subsidy discounts for families that have multiple children in your program.
  • You’re offering seasonal discounts to attract more parents.

By having the option to apply discounts in either percentage or a specific currency on Illumine, you can cater to different scenarios and parent preferences. Some parents may prefer percentage discounts, while others may find fixed currency discounts more appealing.


It’s a hassle-free way to incentivise parents and also aids any referral programs you’re running for your childcare center billing process

8. Integrate a tax component in your childcare center billing process

To adhere to specific tax regulations based on the location where you operate. 

Add taxes on the Illumine childcare billing software subject to tax slabs in different geographies. Illumine currently caters to Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Manually calculating taxes for each invoice can be time-consuming and prone to errors. With Illumine handling tax calculations automatically, providers can focus more on the quality of care they provide.


Adding taxes to the invoice allows parents to see a breakdown of the total charges, fostering trust and helping parents understand the exact amount they are paying for childcare services.

9. Use credit to settle a student’s fees

Eliminate the need for waiting until after the invoice is raised to clear the fees.

You can utilize available credit while generating a student’s invoice, all with a simple checkbox option on Illumine. Unlike earlier, where available credit could only be applied ‘after’ invoice creation on the app, you can now do it ‘during’ the invoice creation process. 

Just head to the left panel and navigate to Fee → Student Billing. There, you’ll find a comprehensive list of billing fees for all your students. Among the options available, you’ll notice ‘Add Credit,’ ‘Add Deposit,’ and ‘Create Invoice.’

Here’s the game-changer: click on any student’s name on Illumine in the Student Billing section, and you’ll gain access to their detailed billing profile. This profile contains essential information, including available credit, deposits, generated invoices, and a complete billing history.



You know what you should’ve left behind in 2022? Filing cabinets and manually tracking childcare bills. If you want to make a real difference to your childcare business, investing in a childcare billing software that calculates, creates, and collects invoices on your behalf is the future. Get on the contactless payment bandwagon and expedite your billing process with Illumine. 

Want to build a customized childcare billing system that fits your program seamlessly?

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