Dealing with unpaid childcare fees
Every child’s parent has financial obligations but why is it that some view unpaid childcare fees very differently? Parents have other weekly/monthly financial obligations such as credit cards, mobile phone payments, gym membership etc and rarely do they sway from the payment of such, so why is it that the attitude of some for paying their nursery fees is so different?
The truth of the matter is that many childcare and nursery business owners systematically tolerate late payments from parents.
Many nurseries and childcare establishments fail to chase up late fees on a regular basis and have no real process in place to deal with the non paying element. To exacerbate the problem, many nurseries and childcare providers also face the challenge of balancing their books against the cost of free entitlement.
At Frontline Collections, we understand the issues that many childcare establishments face on a daily basis and know that getting paid on time is critical to running a successful childcare business.
So to help, we have put together a list of pointers that can help protect the cash flow of your business and help you get payment promptly. Remember – No nursery has ever lost custom by simply asking parents to pay what they rightfully owe.
1. Make your payment terms clear at outset
When a parent registers their child, ensure you break down what the fees are and the terms on which these fees are to be paid. By making the expected terms of payment clear at outset, you can avoid the usual lame excuses of “I didn’t realise I need to pay my fees every fortnight”.
2. Communication when payment missed
No matter what the circumstances and regardless of how long a child has been at your establishment, make effort to address any late payment as soon as possible. This must always be done with discretion so as not to cause embarrassment so dedicate a quiet room to discuss such matters.
3. Avoid hand written notes
Some smaller childcare practices still use hand written notes to highlight any outstanding amounts on the account. This demonstrates a lack of professionalism on your part. Any notices given shuld be correctly documented and a copy stored on file for future reference if necessary.
4. Stay on top of late payments
As a Manager or such like, you will have a million and one things to do but never let unpaid fees slip to the bottom of your ‘to-do’ list. The non payment of fees should remain a priority.
5. Prevention is better than a cure – preventative measures
You can avoid the chore of chasing late payment of fees by investing in industry specialist software such as the Abacus Nursery Software package. This can invoice parents electronically and help streamline your credit control process.
There is also the direct debit option for payment with innovative packages such as Fee Planner
When all else fails……
Sometimes, no matter what pre emptive actions you take or what procedures you implement, there are some parents who will leave owing you money. So what do you do in this instance?
Write it off? NO! This must never happen. This money is lawfully yours and belongs in your bank account.
The simple solution is to use the leading Private Debt Collection services of a professional company like Frontline Collections We provide a fully comprehensive service and manage the repayment of the debt in its entirety from start to finish.
Frontline Collections have specialist experience in dealing with the recovery of unpaid childcare fees and work in partnership with some of the UK’s leading childcare groups as well as small local establishments.
If you would like expert advice and a free appraisal of your debt recovery requirements, speak to an adviser now by calling 0333 043 4425