As a child care business owner, it is in your best interest to establish a sound payment policy in order to avoid problems like partial payments. A key part of your policy is your tuition schedule. Depending on what kind of care you offer, different schedules may make sense. What is important is consistency and enforcement for each family.
Monthly Schedule for Flat Rate Students
For your students who attend school on a daily basis, a monthly billing schedule works best. As the most standard billing cycle for most industries, the monthly schedule is both easy to reconcile in your books each month and predictable for families. This is best applied to regular students and those who attend your after school program each and every day.
Monthly or Weekly Schedule for Time-Based Students
If you offer flexible but ongoing after school programs or flexible infant care, either a monthly or weekly schedule may work well. If your clientele in general attend your programs at least once a week, then billing monthly is still your strongest option. If in general your drop-in attendance is less frequent, then a weekly schedule might be a better choice as it maintains urgency and gives your families less time to lose track of when their child attended.
One-Time Payment or Weekly for Occasional Students
If you offer true drop-in care or summer camps, requiring payment up front or immediately after the visit is the best way to guarantee you are paid promptly. You may not be creating an ongoing relationship with many of these families, and collecting pay down the road might be a challenge. If a camper is in for a long camp session or if you require a full registration process to encourage repeat drop-in visits, then a weekly tuition schedule could be more appropriate.
No matter which tuition schedule you adopt as your standard, it is important to maintain some flexibility for the convenience of our families and to maintain your books properly. For example, if you allow your regular students to use your after school care on as as-needed basis, the most reasonable combination is to bill them monthly and add a time-based line item for each after school stay to their monthly invoice. A tuition invoicing platform like Curacubby makes it easy.