If you run a child care center, you have a slew of challenges on your plate. One of the most important is retention and fee collection — that is, ensuring that parents who have their child enrolled at your center keep their child there and actually pay for your services — instead of moving their child from center to center in the case that the cannot pay for care they’ve already received.


If you want to minimize the risk of center hopping at your child care center, keep the following helpful strategies in mind.


Be proactive

Be proactive about collecting payments from parents on time. Set a schedule for when payments will be collected, then remind parents as that date approaches. By remind parents regularly to pay and being vocal about when money is due, you can ensure that it doesn’t slip their mind — and that you don’t let someone get buy for too long without paying what they owe. With the new changes coming into effect with the new child care package, how you manage child care payments in your centre has never been more important.


Request that parents pay in advance

One strategy for ensuring that parents don’t receive childcare that they never pay for us requiring that they pay in advance. By instituting a policy for advance payments, you can weed out the children of parents who can’t or won’t pay, and devote your time to the children of parents who are loyal and diligent about getting their fees in.


Network with other centers

If you build a network with other childcare centers, then you can make sure that each of you know what’s going on in the community. This can help ensure that another center doesn’t actually accept the child of a parent who has “hopped” from your place– so that they don’t get left without payment, as well.


Stay on top of any late payments

When payments are late, show clients that you notice. Send reminders if the payment is only a day late, then follow up regularly. Staying on top of any late payments not only shows parents that you’re paying attention and that they won’t be able to slip away unnoticed, but that the money actually matters to you and effects your ability to operate from day to day. By implementing set and forget direct debit payments with auto-reattempts on fail transactions will help to solidify your cash flow.


Create a plan and minimize the risk of center hopping

The best way to minimize the risk of center hopping is to create a plan. Come up with a proactive way to collect and remind people about payments, then build partnerships with other centers in your business so that everyone is aware of what’s going on. By putting a plan in place before it ever happens you can ensure that the risk of center hopping is mitigated — and that you know what to do if it does happen.