If you own a daycare center, you likely have your hands full and would rather focus your attention on the children in your care than on the paperwork on your desk. That said, you must provide your customers with detailed and accurate invoices.

While many businesses use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to create invoices, it might make the invoice creation process cumbersome if you are unfamiliar with these tools.

Skynova's free invoice template allows daycare businesses to create and customize professional invoices in just minutes. You can even export or email your invoice in a convenient file like a PDF format and send it directly to your client for added convenience. Check out the template you can customize for your childcare center invoice below:

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Creating Your Daycare Invoice

To create an invoice, you need to give the customer an itemized list of all charges. You want your invoice to look professional, but the last thing you want to do is sink hours into formatting it. Fortunately, Skynova can help. Simply follow the steps below for using Skynova's invoice template to create a printable invoice like the one featured above.

1. Include Your Business Address and Customer's Address

Step one requires entering both your business address and your customer's address. By including your business address, you make it clear to the customer who is billing them and where they should send payment. If a customer doesn't immediately recognize who sent them a bill, you run the risk of your invoice being tossed into the junk mail pile and not getting paid.

You should add the customer's address for your record and for additional clarity as to who is responsible for the bill. Always double-check after entering the information that the addresses you've entered are correct and that they are free of typos. Note that you may also want to include an email address if you bill online or via email.

2. Include an Invoice Number

The next step is to add an invoice number. This number allows you to keep track of different invoices and helps avoid confusion when following up about payments.

You can use any combination of letters and numbers to create an invoice number. The most obvious is, to begin with, invoice #001 for your first invoice and number each subsequent invoice consecutively. A benefit of using Skynova is that the system will automatically increment your invoice numbers for you, ensuring that you never have any duplicate invoice numbers.

Your invoice numbering system can start from any number, be any length, and include convenient alpha-numeric codes as needed. Choose a system that works best for you and your needs.

3. Add an Invoice Date and Due Date

Two important dates to include on your invoice are the date you sent the invoice and the payment date. Some businesses allow 30 days from the invoice date for payment, while other businesses may expect payment upon receipt.

Whatever your payment due date, it is always good to be consistent and use the same time frame for all customers. Moreover, you should make your billing cycle and expected payment timeline clear anytime you register a new family to avoid problems or different expectations down the road.

Having the due date clearly labeled on the invoice also provides you a legal basis for collecting late fees and proceeding with legal consequences for past due or unpaid invoices. It's a good idea to make sure you clearly state any payment terms.

4. Calculate and Enter the Cost of Childcare

If your daycare charges a monthly flat rate for care, include this next, along with a description. If you instead charge hourly, which is more common for home daycares or those offering babysitting, you should include the number of hours in the quantity cell and the hourly rate in the unit price cell. The Amount field should then automatically populate with the total cost, which should amount to these two numbers.

If you charge different rates for different age groups, make sure you mark which age category each child falls into to enter the correct rates. For families with multiple children, you should have separate line entries for each child's care cost.

If you charge different rates for early morning or late evening care, you should enter those hours and charges as separate line items. You should also include separate line items, any one-time fees, additional ongoing fees, or fees for special daycare services or classes offered beyond the basic childcare cost.

5. Enter Any Multi-Child or Other Discounts

Many daycares offer discounts for siblings, discounted introductory rates, or discounted fees during long absences. Such discounts can be entered as line items as well. Simply enter a description and amount of the discount, make sure you select "Discount" in the item field, and the calculator will discount the amount from the total.

6. Add a Note

The note section of the invoice is the last section to fill out. The notes section is a great place to add clarification to any of the line items or include helpful information about upcoming events or activities. You can also include accepted payment methods like credit cards.

Invoicing Best Practices for Daycares

Skynova's child care invoice template can help you create and send professional invoices quickly and efficiently, helping streamline your billing process and allowing you to better track and record your invoices. In this section, we've compiled a few more tips and tricks to keep in mind as you bill your customers and follow up with them.

Have a Clear Policy About Absences and Vacations

Most daycare providers that charge a monthly flat fee do not offer discounts if a child misses a day or two due to illness. If this is the case for your business, make sure this policy is clear to your customers. When it comes to longer-term or planned absences, however, policies vary. Some daycares will charge nothing to hold a spot if a family is away for a month, while others require a reduced fee if they want to ensure their daycare still has an opening when they return. Take time to decide your policy and notify all new families of this policy during enrollment.

Likewise, you should have a policy in place if the daycare has to close for a day or more unexpectedly. When temporary closure is no fault of the families, it's a good idea to offer a partial refund for the missed time.

Be Kind But Assertive When Following Up on Unpaid Invoices

Things are great when customers pay their bills on time, but that doesn't always happen, as any business owner knows. There may be times when an invoice remains unpaid after the due date, and you have to follow up with the customer. If payment is due on the same day for all daycare families, it might help if you post announcements throughout the building reminding families to pay their bills.

If public reminders don't work, you may choose to resend the invoice or to contact the customer via email, mail, phone, or in-person with a simple, friendly reminder. In many cases, this is all that is required, and the customer pays promptly shortly after that. Skynova helps business owners track their invoices to easily see which invoices remain unpaid and follow up as necessary.

Provide Resources for Payment Assistance Programs

Provide childcare services for low-income families, or one of your families falls on hard times. It can be helpful to direct them to the various government programs designed to subsidize childcare expenses for working families. The website ChildCare.gov provides comprehensive information on available childcare subsidies at both the local and federal levels.

Skynova Helps Streamline Your Daycare Invoicing

Skynova has the resources to help small businesses and childcare providers just like yours with their invoicing needs. With our module, you can create a daycare invoice template that you can easily use repeatedly. We also offer daycare receipt templates and other service invoice templates as well. If you're ready to simplify your billing and invoicing, get started with our templates today.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is a general guide and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure you're meeting accounting standards.

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