Thriving Childcare

Here Is How To Get Prepaid Childcare Tuition Everytime

childcare tuition

Chasing daycare tuition can be a chore! Want to set up a prepayment system for childcare tuition payments? This post will show you how to get paid early every week.

How and Why to Get Prepaid for Childcare

Have you ever had a client cancel on you? Or even worse, cancel at the last minute? all of a sudden you don’t get paid that childcare tuition and at the same time, you have a vacancy that you may have otherwise have filled.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to require upfront childcare tuition payments. So today I’m going to show you how to transition over to a system that will not only get you paid on-time but ahead of time. Keep reading for how to set up a prepayment system for childcare tuition.

Pay to Play

Most providers are aware of Pay to Play, which is simply getting childcare tuition payments on-time or not providing services until you are paid.

An even better strategy is to require childcare tuition payments prior to providing services. Which is getting prepaid.


One of the best things ever suggested to me was to require that childcare tuition payments be due and submitted on the Friday for the coming week. Meaning my clients will pay me this Friday for next week’s childcare services.

Friday’s are best!

For me, simply moving the payment date to Fridays accomplished so many things –

  • I didn’t have to chase payments since most people get paid on Fridays
  • For the most part, it eliminated clients getting in arrears
  • Parents got used to prepaying their childcare tuition

Prepayment is Common

Before I made the change I thought I would get pushback from my clients. I thought they would object about paying for services prior to receiving them.

But prepayment is actually quite common.

Consider this, when you buy tickets to a concert. You will either purchase your ticket early or at the very least right at the door.

You never pay after the concert do you?

Paying for your ticket in advance is prepayment.

That is prepayment or paying for services prior to receiving them. In general, we do this all the time. We pay for our groceries before we take them home. And we pay our rent or mortgage for the coming month.

As a matter of fact, we probably prepay for more services than we realize.

Related Reading:
Give your clients these Childcare Tuition Envelopes to make payments. GET THEM HERE!

Why Prepay Childcare Tuition?

Ensuring childcare tuition payments are received on time can be one of the biggest problems with running a childcare.

I once took a poll on Facebook of all the excuses parents give for why payments are not submitted. You seriously would not believe what parents try to get away with!

childcare tuition

Needless to say, requiring payments upfront, could all but eliminate the hard and fast late payers.

The Best for Drop-In’s

This is especially helpful when it comes to drop-ins.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had former clients request a drop-in day only to have them back out at the last moment. Of course, they canceled after I had already purchased food for their child or scheduled extra help.

By requiring prepayment for drop-ins or seasonal enrollment, you eliminate the casual last-minute cancellation. Even if they do cancel, by having a cancellation fee (more on that in a minute), at least you will be able to get a partial payment.

Related Reading:

How to Easily Set-up a Prepayment System for Childcare Tuition

Believe it or not, setting up a prepayment system for childcare tuition payments is very easy.

All you really have to do is begin accepting prepayments and only then confirming a reservation.

Make childcare tuition payments due early

If this is for your enrolled parents, just decide when the change will take effect and send out a mass email stating that there is a new due date for childcare tuition payments.

In my opinion, it is best to keep this memo or email as brief as possible. Don’t get defensive about why there is a new due date or why it was needed.

Just state when childcare tuition is now due when it takes effect, and what the consequences will be if it’s not adhered to.

The Setup

We take …

As a part of your payment system, you may want to consider alternative ways of receiving payments.

If you don’t already take credit or debit card payments consider signing up for services like CashApp or Venmo. You could also use your PayPal account or Google Pay.

The point is to give parents alternative ways to pay their childcare tuition. Especially when they “run out of checks” or “forgot”.

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Confirmation after Payment

Now set up a system for confirming that you received payments. This doesn’t have to be complicated.

You could either send out a text or email virtual receipt stating that payment for next week has been received. Or, if you decide to use any of the alternative payment services, you can just acknowledge payment right in the app.

Dealing with Cancellations

Hopefully, you will not receive any cancellations, but I believe it is better to be prepared just in case.

So if a parent does decide to cancel a drop-in day that they have reserved and prepaid for, having a deadline and a fee associated with the cancellation process is a very good idea.

If a parent cancels last minute, they will lose a lot of $.

You might even think about having a simple tiered system.

For instance, consider having a standard cancellation fee. This will be a fee that is imposed if clients cancel at any point after the reservation has been made and paid for. At the very least, consider charging them for any fees you incur to transfer/refund them.

Another way to discourage parents from casually canceling would be to state that something like a 50% fee will apply to last-minute cancellations made 72-24 hours prior to the reservation date. This means if a parent cancels last minute, they will lose a lot of $.

Prepayment System in Place

So if you have ever had clients that pay late or cancel childcare services, especially at the last minute, try setting up a prepayment system for childcare tuition payments.

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2 Responses

  1. This is a great article!
    It’s a toss up about payment though.
    I prefer cash for a drop in child BUT I run to risk of non-payment if they cancel.
    Maybe I’ll tell them that if they cancel , they must pay me on Venmo.

    1. Yes, I totally agree! Cash is still king. But many of the payment alternatives are just like cash and again, if parents are reserving a spot it would be best to have them either pay upfront or at least secure it with a deposit. Just like if they were reserving a hotel room or concert tickets. Thanks for the comment Deanne!

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Adrienne Bradley Thriving Childcare

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