Congratulations on your new child care centre
Taking on responsibility for a child care centre is an enormous challenge. Finding the right staff, locating or possibly building a centre in a desirable location, approvals, regulations, frameworks etc it's no wonder it can be an overwhelming experience.
Often thoughts about setting up the back office functions takes a back seat and don't get beyond "Which CCMS software will I buy?" because there just aren't enough hours in the day.
To help you get set up and running quickly, here are the top 4 items we have seen causing new starters headaches if overlooked:
Below you will find some tips and resources to help avoid the pitfalls and get your operations running nicely so you can concentrate on the children.
Just like finding carers, finding the right person to take care of 'the books' isn't easy either. Even experienced accountants admit to struggling to find the perfect fit. Here's some help in how to go about finding the right person for the job.
Even if you are running a not-for-profit centre, cash is the life blood of any business and keeping the cash coming in is critical if the business is to thrive.
Some very simple setup steps, having an easy way to keep tabs on any parents falling behind and deciding in advance how long you will wait and what steps you will take, then sticking to the process, will greatly reduce the credit management migraine.
It's easy to get caught up in the day to day running of the centre and lose sight of the bigger picture. "How can I keep on top of this with a minimum amount of effort?"
You already collect (or will be collecting) plenty of information to meet regulatory obligations, some key reports will help you check the temperature and pulse.
"The software's all the same, I'll just buy the cheapest, right?"
Suppose you had to spend an extra $100.00 / month to get the right tools. How much time would that have to save to pay that back? From a bookkeeper? From an accountant? From you? We have seen centres with tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid parent charges who didn't realise how much of a problem they had. Even at today's interest rates, getting credit under control could easily pay for the extra investment to pay for the right tools. So what tools are going to give you the best value?
The help that we receive from your help desk is fantastic. We can ask as many silly questions as we like and the ladies are always so accommodating and genuinely interested in reaching a solution for us. They are never patronising or dismissive and I feel completely confident in contacting them whenever I need assistance.
Lauren, Stratton OSHC, WA