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Time is money – and early educators deserve more of both.
Cash flow can be a particular challenge for child care providers, where you’ve got to balance all the business administration on top of your pedagogical priorities. Nobody gets into early childhood education for the paperwork, but keeping an eye on your bottom line is key to keeping your doors open.
But when it comes to boosting your revenue and raising enrollment, you may not need any crazy marketing stunt or grand strategy. It might just be a matter of picking the right tools.
In many cases, you can raise your revenue with just a bit of clever planning, and placing more focus on the right financial factors. Instead of raising tuition rates, you can find budgeting blind spots in your everyday operations, where you can trim expenses. Cut a few time consuming tasks here, reduce costs there, and you’ll find yourself with more time left in each day and more money left in your accounts.
Well, that’s where child care management software comes in.
These aren't just tools for tracking child development, or coordinating afternoon pick up time. Good software also comes with a whole suite of functions meant to help you stay organized on the business end of things.
Let’s take a deeper look at how these programs can help you save money, increase revenue and up your occupancy.
What if you had to physically mail 20 dollars to Netflix every month, just to pay your subscription?
It’d be a nightmare. Netflix’s finance department would spend thousands of hours chasing down bad debt. There’s a reason why just about every service — from digital streaming to grocery delivery services — stick to digital payment systems.
Child care management software makes your fee collection automatic. Melanie Muskin, Education Director at Brooklyn Schoolhouse, told us how Famly's billing function makes for more happy parents and better business:
“With Famly, the entire billing process is automated. We invoice families through it, they pay us through it, we send reminders through it. The process is so simple that some families have begun paying tuition early."
If you’d like to learn more about how you can take the trouble out of collecting your tuition fees, you can hear it straight from early education finance expert Louise Stoney, right here on our blog.
On the road to healthy finances in child care, you’ve got to get a handle on your cost per child.
This helps you understand the total expenses of running your business, divided by the number of children in your care. When you’ve got this figured out, you can compare it to what you charge for tuition, to help see whether you’ve got any gaps in your budget.
The concept is fairly simple — but actually calculating your own cost per child can be a bit tricky. We’ve got some additional resources to help you do it right here.
And when you’re crunching these numbers, a good child care management system will make the whole process easier. Here’s how:
It’s one thing to know how many children are enrolled at your program. But if you’re aiming for higher profit margins, it’s best to know how many hours of care in which they’re enrolled.
For example: suppose you’ve got 60 children enrolled, and for the size of your setting, that’s max occupancy. But what if half those children only come in during the mornings, and leave after lunch?
By a headcount, you might appear to be fully booked. But by counting up the hours of care, it’s clear you’ve got 30 half-day spots available for enrollment. That’s a lot of extra tuition coming in.
That’s a working example of why it’s important to know your full-time equivalent, or FTE. And child care management platforms like Famly will serve up that FTE in a simple, easy-to-grasp format. Instead of a DIY Excel spreadsheet (or worse, handwritten notes), your attendance dashboard automatically crunches the numbers, and makes those extra enrollment hours easy to see on a color-coded calendar.
When you’re using software like Famly, you won’t feel like you’re building the plane as you’re flying it.
A good child care management program will automatically analyze trends in your attendance and staff scheduling, and give you a forecast of what you can expect in the weeks to come. All this helps save you time, and cut costs by putting your resources right where they’re needed.
Here are four features in Famly that will help:
Interested in learning more about how software can make for better business in early childhood education? Sign up for a free, easy demo right here and we’d be glad to show you.
Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.