Planning a fun field trip this school year but wondering how you’ll bill parents? Billing tools should not hold you back from creating a robust experience for your students, whether that’s art supplies for a special project or a day trip to the local zoo.
Automating billing for these added fees can help you avoid financial impacts from special occasions and keep parents informed about added fees and billing information.
Learn how you can avoid manual work when offering special services, such as a field trip.
Billing Tools that Automate Field Trips and Miscellaneous Fees
Using childcare software can enable your center to automate simple tasks, like billing a parent for a field trip when they sign the waiver at check-in. iCare Software is an all-in-one tool for childcare administration. Its automated billing uses data from the Lobby app when parents check in to bill accordingly.
The parent portal is also a crucial aspect of automated billing. For example, you could give parents the option to bring in their child’s school supplies for the new school year or pay a fee for the supplies so that you provide it for the student.
Automated billing ensures you don’t have to update and review bills weekly before sending them to parents. The system calculates all regular tuition even with discounts, subsidies, and attendance factored in.
If your software can’t perform this function, you might be losing money from the staff hours that you’re committing to updating bills with fees or applying discounts. Read our case study about how one childcare center was able to collect $8,000 in late pickup fees and reduce office staff from two full-time employees to one part-time employee.
What Are Miscellaneous Fees?
While field trip fees are self-explanatory, miscellaneous fees are not. Miscellaneous fees can come from a variety of sources, including the following.
- Late pickup charges
- Annual school supplies
- Returned checks
- Holidays, half-days, etc.
- Monthly date night childcare services (evening care that allows parents to get out of the house while entrusting their children to providers they know and trust)
If you aren’t charging fees for things like late pickups or returned checks, you might be losing money on some customers and hurting your bottom line.
Building Transparency for Services with Added Fees
When discussing added fees, be sure you are as transparent as possible with parents. You don’t want to upset them with small charges for $10 or $20 and lose them as a customer.
The best policy when it comes to fees is to be transparent. Before a parent signs up for a field trip, make it clear what they should expect to pay for that added service. That way they can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for their family.
And when charging for something like a late pickup or returned check, be sure these fees are clearly outlined in your handbook. It’s also a good idea to trigger notifications to parents when they’ve incurred one of these fees. The closer you can get these notifications to the event that made them incur the fee the better.
So if a parent picks up their child late, automate an email or notification within your childcare app that informs parents about what to expect on their next bill. With these policies, parents will not be surprised by such actions and can plan accordingly.
Childcare Center Field Trip Ideas
There are so many fun field trip ideas for preschool and kindergarten children. Here’s a list of ideas and ways you can get children out of the classroom and learning from unique experiences.
- Fire station
- Animal shelter
- Zoo or aquarium
- Apple orchard
- Pumpkin farm
- Bowling alley
- Ice skating
- Children’s museum
Alternatively, some organizations might come to you to help your children gain these experiences without the stress of transporting young children. Consider contacting your zoo to bring animals to you or your local fire station to come talk to children about in-home safety.