The year 2020 was the year that rocked us all. With this changing climate, child care providers receive more challenges than ever in managing their business. But how has this pandemic affected how parents expect to pay their child care payments?
Most parents are expecting providers to accept digital payments over anything physical. An online tool in a secure environment is crucial. Providers should also have general knowledge of support programs for those financially struggling.
With a combination of more access and support, you’ll provide a welcoming environment for your clients. Below, we will provide some further details on potential support providers and payment concerns.
What Has Changed With Childcare Business Since 2020?
Since the development of the COVID-19 Vaccine, we’ve seen some return to normalcy. However, the Delta Variant reminds us that we aren’t totally out of the woods quite yet.
Both parents and providers are trying to address the new at-home environment. Digital applications and their payments are swiftly becoming the norm.
It’s expected for childcare providers to set up an automated system. Your system should ideally provide these features:
- A system for automatic monthly payments
- Simple parent dashboards for easy tracking
- Quick turnaround on funds processing
- Simple mobile payments
Many parents think that these payment options are a necessity. You’ll notice many small businesses are providing digital opportunities.
Digital options provide the following benefits:
Digital Payments are Easier To Track
Having a reliable system for accepting payments also means a system for tracking them. Digital payments save time on both ends by providing info for parents and providers. Monthly child care payments are easier to follow from a single source.
Digital Options Have Automatic Payments
Clients demand automatic payments so they can set and forget their bills. The less time they have to deal with bills, the better they will be.
Automated payments also save you from the headache of chasing parents for money they owe you. A seamless experience lets you focus on vital programs and events.
Digital Options Save You From Managing Cash and Checks
Handling cash and checks add extra steps. First, checks involve going down to the bank and depositing them. There’s even more pain if your client checks bounce.
Cash is untraceable, meaning you’ll have to take extra care in producing receipts. Many automated child care payment systems automatically produce receipts. Automated receipt production saves your administration time.
Making payments online is simple. Without having that option, clients won’t want to use your business.
As our lives continue to become more digital, that won’t change. It’s fine to be inflexible in these payment methods. After all, making your life easy will also help you handle other parent questions.
Child care providers should also concern them with financial aid programs.
Why Day Care Providers Should Worry About Available Programs
As we leave 2020, many parents are struggling with returning to work and paying for childcare. The Child Tax Credit is a federal way to approach this, but that will eventually run out.
If you work with parents who struggle financially, it’s best to familiarize yourself with programs that help children.
Below are a few examples:
Childcare.gov is the federal site providing resources to help parents return to work. As a provider, your website should have some reference to this site.
With an understanding of Covid-19 resources, you could assist parents in finding the right path. This knowledge means more significant support for your parents. These resources make it easier to pay you.
The Head Start program is excellent for low-income families. Children in foster care and homeless children benefit greatly from these services. Parents should contact local Head Start communities in this case.
Sharing this information won’t give you immediate clients. Instead, it shows you as a valuable source for all parents.
By establishing yourself like this in the community, you can become a pillar of it. Being trustworthy makes people more comfortable leaving their kids with you.
The Child Care and Development Fund
The Child Care and Development Fund was established to assist low-income families. Like other funds, it helps when parents need to get back to work. It also helps parents who are attending school.
This special fund can help all parents. If you know parents are struggling, you can connect them to that resource to pay for your facility. Of course, you’ll leave that decision up to them once they are aware of it.
Don’t ever appear too high pressure with these resources. The point is to be helpful; everything else comes second.
Employee Assistance Programs
Many parents have jobs with assistance programs. You can inform parents that this might be their option.
While you have no right to check as a non-employee, it’s still a vital resource. Remind parents to review with their employers for those benefits.
Military Assistance Programs
ChildCare Aware of America provides military childcare assistance programs. They have programs for these branches/sub-branches:
- Marine Corps
- Air Force
Military families can struggle to cope when rebasing to different locations. Some families relocate every few years.
These programs also apply to those in reserve forces. Helping those who serve can be incredibly rewarding. The per-month cap for these programs is usually $1500 monthly.
How Can Your Business Stay Strong in 2021?
Ultimately, you can win in 2021 with two areas regarding child care payments.
- Knowing local childcare resources
- Being convenient for parents who want easy payments
By being helpful and straightforward, you win a lot of potential recommendations. You can be the best at your job, but people won’t know you if you aren’t willing to help.
That willingness to help will reflect in other areas. So be kind, plug your business (when appropriate), and stay helpful. If you need help simplifying billing & streamlining enrolment, TUIO can help you fill in the gaps. Thanks for reading!