4 Ways to Prepare your Childcare Center for a Snow Closure

Childcare Center Snow Closure

When projected flurries turn into full-blown blizzards, how does your childcare center stay in touch?

Consider your last snow closure and ask yourself:

  • Did you have a plan in place?
  • How well did you communicate with parents?
  • How much time did you spend getting the word out that your center was closed?

If your answers to the above questions reveal a need for improvement, you’re in luck! Easing the hassle of a sudden snow closure is a simple task if you’re prepared for it, especially if you’re an EZ-CARE client.

4 Ways to Prepare your Childcare Center for a Snow Closure

Make sure parents have correct email addresses and phone numbers on file.
With EZ-CARE, this task is simple. You can print or email a copy of their information using the Family Contacts Report and ask them to verify it.

Email parents about snow closures.
Email is a great way to communicate important information about snow emergencies and center closures. Many parents check their email at work throughout the day, so they’ll be sure to get your message.

EZ-CARE clients can create one or more snow closure templates in their Insta-Merge Template Library to use when emailing about center closures to parents. Insta-Merge templates auto-fill parents’ names and contact info in seconds so EZ-CARE clients can send personalized emails to families in a snap! (Tip: Don’t forget to preview the message and make updates before it’s sent out.)

Call parents about snow closures.
While contacting parents via phone is effective, taking the time to call each parent is an enormous task. EZ-CARE clients can accomplish this feat in a single call through the time-saving service, One Call Now. One Call Now is an automated messaging system that dials and plays a pre-recorded message for you. It even allows parents and guardians to use their phone’s keypad to indicate a response to a question!

Create and communicate a snow closure policy.
Do parents or guardians know what to do when your center is closed? Consider writing out a closure policy and posting it on your website. You can refer to this policy when communicating closures via email, social media, or blog announcements.

For help in developing your policy, check out this Child Care Emergency Preparedness Toolbox from the Federal Government.

See how easy handling a snow emergency
can be with EZ-CARE?

If you’re ready to simplify how you take care of snow closures (and much, much more) at your childcare center, call 800-220-4111 to start your free trial of EZ-CARE today.

Want More Childcare Management Tips?

Emailing parents with important closure or marketing information won’t help much if your emails are landing in the spam folder or simply aren’t being read! Learn how to increase your email success with our simple guide and checklist.

Get our Email Success Checklist


Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Feb 5 16

EZ HOW-TO: Date Shortcuts in EZ-CARE2

Childcare Software Date Shortcuts Banner

Whether you’re entering transactions on family ledgers or filling in schedules for new children, EZ-CARE2 can help you save time with each date you enter.  Here’s how you use shortcuts to enter dates:

  • Hit / and press TAB to get today’s date.
  • To fill in the current month and year fields, simply enter the day (29) and EZ-CARE2 will fill the rest in: 1/29/2016.
  • To fill in the current year, enter the month and day(1/29) and press TAB. The current year will appear automatically.
  • Double-click in the date field to open a calendar so you can click on a desired date from a calendar view.

These handy shortcuts are available in any date field or date column throughout the program. Start using them to save even more time today!

Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Jan 29 16

5 Reasons Why It’s Better To Collect Childcare Payments Via Auto-Pay

Childcare Payment Processing Hero Shot

Consider the time you spend shuffling through paper checks, associating each check with a family’s record, then combing through your records to see who has yet to pay. Then multiply those hours by 52 if you collect childcare tuition weekly. That’s a ton of time!

Lose the hassle of paper checks, manual data entry, and chasing late-paying parents by adopting pre-authorized online fee collection (A.K.A. auto-pay) for your childcare center.

EZ-CARE offers a pre-authorized tuition processing service called EZ-EFT, which enables your childcare center to offer (or require) auto-pay as a way for parents to pay for childcare. Because EZ-EFT was built to work seamlessly with EZ-CARE, family records are instantly updated to reflect all payments.

If you’re still on the fence, here’s a breakdown of 5 reasons why collecting childcare payments online via auto-pay (EFT) is better than sticking with paper checks.

Reason 1. You’ll have a much more reliable cash flow.
Auto-pay is just that – automatic! When you decide to collect childcare payments through pre-authorized fee collection, there’s no wondering when you’ll get your funds. Childcare payments
are drafted from parents’ accounts and deposited into your account in the amount and frequency you’ve agreed upon.

Reason 2. You won’t have to worry about determining which parents have yet to pay or spend time chasing late payments.
When every family is enrolled in your auto-pay program, every family will pay their childcare fees on time and in full – without even having to think about it!

Reason 3. You’ll maintain better security and control of childcare payments and parents’ account information.
With EFT, you won’t run the risk of losing paper checks. Parents’ account information is securely stored within EZ-EFT’s protected childcare database when they enroll in your auto-pay program.

Reason 4. You’ll save countless administrative hours.
By using a payment processing service that’s integrated with childcare management software, you won’t have to enter data twice. For example, every transaction processed through EZ-EFT instantly appears in family records stored in EZ-CARE.

Reason 5. You’ll offer parents the simplest, most convenient way to pay.
Parents have enough on their minds! By enrolling in your auto-pay program, they’ll have one less deadline to worry about. All parents need to do is provide their bank account information at enrollment, and they’re set!

Worried that people won’t sign up for automated billing?
Check out this free guide to help you get families’ to sign up for automatic payments or request the brochure we created to promote automated payments to parents.

Enough Reasons! Show Me How!

Whether you are convinced, or need more convincing, it’s time for you to download our useful and FREE guide for on-time tuition payment. Download it here.

Download Six Secrets to No-Hassle Fee Collection!


Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Jan 22 16

4 Easy Ways to Get Parents to Enroll in Online Payments

Get Parents to Pay online Header

If you read about how these 3 EZ-CARE clients saved time, hassle, and money by switching to collecting childcare payments online, you’re probably considering making this change for your center.  Since an online payment plan is only effective if parents agree to participate, here are 4 simple ways you can convince parents to pay for childcare online.

Educate parents and staff about the benefits of paying online.
Parents who are accustomed to paying by cash or check will likely have questions about paying online, so it’s important to provide them with the benefits up front. Always highlight that paying online is simple and that paying online is secure. In the event that a parent asks your staff about online payments, you’ll want them to be able to present the same benefits. Be sure to cover these two talking points in a staff meeting prior to announcing online payment options. If your are offering automatic payments, we also offer a brochure about recurring payments that parents can take home and look over and a guide to introducing the payment plan options to your center.

Give parents options.
By working with a payment processing vendor that understands the childcare industry, you’ll get a solution that’s tailored to your needs and parents’ needs. EZ-CARE’s payment processing suite offers parents options when they decide to pay online, and each of these options is integrated into EZ-CARE’s childcare management software. Check out all the ways parents can pay with EZ-CARE.

Offer a try-it promotion.
Our studies show that people are twice as likely to say yes when participation comes with a perk. Give parents an incentive to switch to online payments.  Consider offering a one-time $25 credit toward the following week’s bill just for signing up to pay online.

Promote your auto-pay plan to parents as the preferred option.
Since auto-pay is the simplest option for yourself as a childcare center owner, be sure to promote it above all other options. The best way to present your auto-pay plan to parents is to emphasize how easy paying for childcare can be through auto-pay. Get the full scoop on how you can get paid on time, every time by setting up and promoting an auto-pay program at your childcare center.

Want to learn more about how your childcare program can see success by switching to electronic fee collection?

Get EZ-CARE’s FREE e-book, The Six Secrets to No-Hassle Fee Collection to get some good ideas about how to implement recurring payment plans and collect tuition on time, every time.

Download Six Secrets to No-Hassle Fee Collection!


Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Jan 14 16

3 Childcare Centers on Why It Pays to Collect Payments Online

Childcare Payment Collection Infographic

Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Jan 8 16

4 New Year’s Resolutions for your Childcare Center

Childcare Directors New Years Resolutions Header

New Year’s Day symbolizes a fresh start, giving us a chance to look at what we’ve done in the past year and motivating ourselves to do it better this time around.

As a childcare center manager, it’s likely that a single resolution won’t do. When you’re running a business with so many moving parts, there are bound to be multiple areas for improvement.

Here are 4 resolutions that can greatly benefit your childcare center in 2016:

Reduce paperwork

From managing the schedules of both children and staff to documenting parents’ payments, manual processes amount to a lot of paper and countless hours of time. EZ-CARE takes an innovative approach to these time-consuming tasks by offering ways to simplify scheduling, automate payments, and move your administrative tasks to a safe and efficient online platform.

Boost revenue

Your childcare center could make more money in 2016 if you:

Increase enrollment

The first step to increasing enrollment is determining which classes have room for more students. With EZ-CARE’s smart scheduling and wait-list feature, step one is simple! From there, your childcare center can grow through parent referrals, email marketing, and advertisements targeting your local community. Check out these 5 helpful tips.

Stay in touch

Your childcare center’s greatest key to growth is a glittering recommendation from parents who use your services. Because there’s such a high level of trust around choosing a childcare center, parents look to friends and family for guidance. Maintaining a good relationship with parents is all about communication.

Communication should be current, outlining any updates or upcoming events so parents feel in-the-know at all times. Additionally, communication should be heartfelt, showing parents that children are happy and in good hands so parents can feel good about choosing your center to care for their precious little ones. Here’s how EZ-CARE makes effective parent communication a breeze.

There’s one these resolutions have in common:

They can all be met with EZ-CARE! Simplify the way you take care of business with EZ-CARE Childcare Management Software.

Call 800-220-4111. We’ll help you discover all the ways your childcare center can grow in 2016!

Bonus Childcare Business Tip for 2016!

Growing your business is hard if your email marketing isn’t being read and acted upon. Increase the open rates and action rates of the emails you already send by downloading our free email success checklist.

Get our Email Success Checklist


Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Dec 23 15

Collect Childcare Payments Faster, Easier, and Smarter!

Childcare Payments Hero Shot

Collect Childcare Payments Faster, Easier, and Smarter!

If your childcare center hasn’t made the switch to online payment options or if you have and the service you’ve got just isn’t cutting it, you may want to consider the benefits of EZ-CARE’s payment processing suite.

Made for the modern age, EZ-CARE’s payment processing suite is designed to:

Give parents options.
Every family is different, and what’s simple to some parents may not be for others. With EZ-CARE’s payment processing suite, your childcare center can offer parents up to three different ways to pay.

Simplify the way your childcare center collects payments.
EZ-CARE instantly updates family records to reflect every payment that’s processed through EZ-CARE’s payment processing suite. This seamless integration will save you countless hours of administrative work and avoid the risk of human error.

Promote easy, on-time payments with auto-pay processing.
With the ability to collect pre-authorized recurring payments, your childcare center can give parents the option to enroll in an auto-pay program. That way, they’ll never have to worry about missing a due date and you’ll always get paid on time!

Here’s what’s included in EZ-CARE’s payment processing suite:

Online payments (Click-to-Pay)
Parents can pay you directly through EZ-CARE’s Click-to-Pay option that you can host on your childcare center’s website.

One-time face-to-face or phone payments (Insta-Charge)
For parents who prefer to pay as they go via phone or in person, you can process their payments via Insta-Charge.

Automatic recurring payments (EZ-EFT)
The simplest and most seamless of all payment options, EZ-EFT securely stores parents’ payment info and automatically drafts payments when they’re due.

Process Payments the EZ Way Today!
Call 800-220-8129.

Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Dec 14 15

The Numbers Don’t Lie: You’ll Love EZ-Support!

ezcare support

One of the best ways to measure client satisfaction is using a Net Promoter Score (NPS). Simply stated, NPS is the answer to one question: Would you recommend this (product, service, company) to another person? To determine NPS, clients rate the product, in this case EZ-CARE2, on a scale of 0-10.

Those who rate it a 9 or 10 are categorized as “promoters” while those who rate the product or service a 6 or below are termed “detractors.” A rating of 7 or 8 is considered “neutral.”

To obtain a net-promoter score,  you’d take the % of promoters and subtract it by the % of detractors. NPS can range from -100 (all detractors) to 100 (all promoters).

For example, say a company has 50 promoters, 30 detractors and 20 neutrals. 50 promoters out of 100 is 50%. 30 detractors out of 100 is 30%. Therefore, this company’s NPS equals 20 (50%-30%).

As for our NPS, we’re proud to say that the EZ-CARE Support Team‘s NPS is over double the industry average.

The EZ-CARE support team has an NPS of 82.56 over the last quarter!

Ensuring customer happiness is our main priority, and we know that our software and service can only keep expanding and improving with honest customer feedback.

When it comes to deciding whether or not you should subscribe to EZ-CARE Support, all you need to do is look at what our clients are saying to know that you’ll get top-notch service from expert-level support reps who want to see your childcare center succeed!

Along with your subscription to stellar support, you’ll also receive:

Call 800-220-4111 and subscribe to EZ-CARE Support today!

 

Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Dec 4 15

Your Childcare Center Can Get Paid on Time, Every Time in 3 Steps

Auto-Pay Childcare Fees Screenshot

Anyone who manages a childcare center knows just how much effort, attention, and multitasking is involved in ensuring a child’s care. So it’s easy to understand that late-paying parents don’t mean to miss their due date.

The problem is that being lax about outstanding balances has a direct effect on your business, so it’s important to ensure parents are paying in full, on time, all the time.

Here’s how to make that happen in 3 easy steps:

Sign up for a pre-authorized payment processing service.

A pre-authorized payment processing service can store parents’ information and draft funds from their accounts on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis as you see fit.

With EZ-CARE, you can get a pre-authorized payment processing service called EZ-EFT. EZ-EFT takes the hassle out of payment collection by processing pre-authorized payments and updating family records in EZ-CARE to reflect transactions in one seamless sequence.

When you sign up for EZ-EFT, you’ll save countless of hours of administrative work and never have to nudge a late-paying parent again!

Promote your auto-pay plan to parents.

The best way to present your auto-pay plan to parents is to emphasize how easy paying for childcare can be.

Here’s how you should craft your message:

Tell parents they won’t worry about due dates anymore! Copy and paste the following into your auto-pay promotional message to parents: “With auto-pay, your childcare payments are automatically drafted from your account each billing cycle. That means you can check ‘Pay my childcare bill’ off your to-do list for good!”

Signing up is simple. Keep the signup process short and sweet. Whether by email or in-person, collect the card or bank account holder’s name, card or account information, and signature granting permission to draft funds from the listed account for childcare.

Enter parents who enrolled in your auto-pay plan into EZ-EFT.

It’s easy to set-up parents for pre-authorized payments in EZ-EFT.

  1. Enter a parent’s credit card or bank information into EZ-EFT’s secure system. EZ-EFT stores this info, so you’ll only have to enter it once!
  2. Payments will be automatically drafted at the end of each billing cycle. Once they’re drafted, just make three quick clicks of your mouse to process hundreds of transactions in less than 30 seconds!

If that isn’t enough, we’ve also created

Ready to Get Paid On Time?

If you’re ready to get paid on time, every time, call 800-220-4111. We’re happy to get you started and answer any questions you might have.

Want More Childcare Management Tips?

We’ve also put together a useful e-Book about on-time tuition collection that focuses on six secrets that will help reduce the administrative time you spend tracking down payments. Download it here!

Download Six Secrets to No-Hassle Fee Collection!


Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Nov 20 15

Achieve a Healthy Staff-to-Child Ratio in 4 Simple Steps

STAFF-TO-CHILD Ratio

Having enough staff members at your center is crucial to the safety, development, and care of the children you’re serving. NAEYC recommends these ratios as best practice.

While maintaining an optimum staff-to-child ratio seems simple in theory, the practice of juggling staff and client work schedules, vacations, and last-minute emergencies can be quite a headache.

By following these 4 simple steps, you can achieve a healthy staff-to-child ratio, and save time and money in the process!

Step 1 – Plan for everything possible.

Supplementing your full-time staff with part-time employees who are willing to be on call can help fill in schedule gaps if someone gets sick, takes a vacation, or goes on maternity leave. With a trusty group of part-time employees who pick up shifts on a moment’s notice, you’ll never be over or under-staffed.

College students who are pursuing degrees in early education are great candidates for part-time work, because they’re passionate about working with children and and their class demands make part-time hours and the ability to pick up shifts ideal. Contact local colleges to inquire where you can post open positions at your childcare center that will catch the eyes of early education majors.

Step 2 – Keep your schedules straight.

Staying on top of schedules can be double the trouble when you’re running a childcare center. Not only must you keep track of staff schedules, you need to maintain your clients as well.

Scheduling the right staff-to-child ratio involves keeping an accurate record of what days which children are in your center and for how long. Your ability to juggle this information has a direct effect on the cost of running your business.

And while you could manually compare each child’s schedule to the amount of staff you’ve scheduled on a weekly basis, do you really have time for that?

The best way to save time and money in regards to scheduling is to invest in smart software that makes it easier to stay organized. With EZ-CARE, scheduling is a simple, snappy process for both staff and children!  

Here are just a few things you can do when you manage your schedules with EZ-CARE:

  • Minimize data entry by creating and applying schedule templates
  • Record vacations and planned absences without affecting normal schedules
  • Manage child enrollment against classroom capacity
  • Plan for class advancements and seasonal changes while maintaining current schedules
  • Get unlimited access to schedule and attendance history
  • Schedule an unlimited number of weeks in a recurring schedule
  • Schedule before and after-school care, drop-in care as well as regular enrollment

Get the full scheduling scoop here!

Step 3 – Identify areas for improvement in staffing with smart reporting.

Make sure your efforts achieve maximum impact by pinpointing what’s working and what’s not with EZ-CARE’s reporting tools. Getting information that’s directly related to how you should be staffing your childcare center is easy.

With EZ-CARE, you can:

Step 4 – Make changes that work!

EZ-CARE reports are designed to help you take action.

Let’s say a report reveals that some parents are dropping children off early and picking them up late. You can use this data to make smart decisions, like scheduling staff members earlier or later so you aren’t short handed and implementing attendance-based billing to cover the cost.

(P.S. EZ-CARE’s Time Clock is a simple, integrated tool that streamlines attendance based billing!)

 

Emily Patz
by Emily Patz

Nov 11 15