Running a daycare means you have a lot to keep up with. While the children are your main priority, you are still running a business and have to keep up with a variety of things. From marketing and customer service to billing and inventory – it is all part of any business. The thing about a childcare is that parents are trusting their children to your care. So, an excellent relationship with them is important. But what about potential customers too? Directors must be able to track and follow up their leads from initial inquiry through enrollment. From start to finish, wouldn’t it be nice to have something that helps with all of that? Is a CRM right for your business? Here is a guide to childcare CRM: reviews and pricing for 2019.
What is Childcare CRM?
CRM is a tool used by a number of businesses, not just childcare. What it means is customer relationship management. This technology allows you to be able to manage all of your customer relationships and interactions. And this includes potential customers as well as those already loyal to your business. It helps you stay connected to those customers and potential customers. This helps with making processes easier and improves profitability because you have access to everything that is going on with the company’s customers and potential childcare customers.
Gartner predicts that by 2021, CRM will be the single largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software. This is why it is imperative for any business, including childcare. Look at it this way, what if you were able to see everything about your customers in one platform? Their history with your childcare, their payments, invoices, status, any customer service issues, and much more.
In this article we will take a look at some of the most popular childcare CRM software and compare them. We will take a look at their advantages, disadvantages (if any), and the price that it will cost you to use the CRM software.
A Comparison of Popular Childcare CRM Software Applications
Here are some of the more popular childcare CRM software applications. We will look at what each one does and how much it costs, as well as any other details you may find important.
Child Care CRM
We’re not repeating ourselves here. The name of one of the most popular CRM applications for childcare has the distinct advantage of having that as their name. Pretty awesome branding because that’s the first thing that pops up when checking out other CRM software choices.
Child Care CRM was founded in 2009 and is located in the United States. Their software claims to handle from 1 to 1000 locations and has the capability unlimited leads, children and users. They claim to service approximately 3000 childcare establishments.
They do not offer a starting price on their site but with a simple search, the price is shown as starting at $125 per month.
They areas they include are:
Website Inquiry Forms
Marketing Campaign Analysis
Wait List Management
Key Metrics & Trend Reporting
Management Software Integration
They do offer a free demo to try in you want to take it for a spin before committing.
Their main components include:
Lead Management. You are able to capture leads from places like website inquiries, phone calls, walk-ins, and email. You are able to then follow up with those leads and generate automatic tasks like phone calls, meetings, tours, and more. Then track those from start to finish.
Marketing Data. You are able to see how well your marketing campaigns are doing by having data on campaign response rates and cost per response. Track lead sources, create response campaigns (email, direct mail or text) and view conversion rates from each inquiry type, lead source, campaign type or a specific marketing campaign.
Email Marketing. You are able to create HMTL-based email that includes your own images or attachments Send individual or group emails at the click of a button. Confirm in real time whether emails have been delivered, opened or even if the lead has clicked on a link.
Management Reporting and Analysis. There are multiple reports you are able to use – 30 in all. This allows you to look at things like revenue potential, statistical data, staff usage, trends, and analyze lead/child information.
There is also connect, pipeline management, automation, and integrate and extend. All of these options give you more ways to keep up with current customers as well as potential customers.
Brightwheel is another childcare CRM. They also offer a free trial but do not have transparent pricing. It is a monthly fee based on enrollment and you must call for a quote. After a search about the company, it seems that they were featured on Shark Tank and prices range from $40 a month to $200 a month depending on enrollment. So, the larger your childcare, the more it costs.
There is a free app that includes things like:
Teacher and parent apps
Invoicing and bill pay
This one is for less than 20 students, one staff member, and has an online help center.
The paid app includes:
Student and staff check-ins
Messaging and calendars
State learning standards
This is for an unlimited staff, unlimited students, and supplies email, chat, and phone support.
Brightwheel focuses on award winning support, it’s safe and secure, and no training is required.
According to G2:
School CRM is an innovative customer relationship management application specifically designed for child care industry that enables you to measure, manage and improve your lead management, Marketing campaigns which results in improving profitability and staying ahead of your competition.
This one does include the price of four pricing levels:
Basic: This one is $19 per month billed annually.
Basic+: This one is $39 per month billed annually.
Professional: This one is $59 per month billed annually.
Enterprise. This higher tiered one is $99 per month billed annually.
The breakdown is like this:
Basic. This covers a lead manager for one user. You get to centralize leads, track parent interactions, use real time reports to gain insights, schedule tours, and schedule follow up tasks.
Basic+. This one covers everything you find in Basic plus being able to track marketing campaigns and monitor your business with real time reports. This one is also for two users or less.
Professional. This is also for up to two users and covers all that Basic+ has and more like captured leads from the web.
Enterprise. This one is for up to 10 users and covers everything from Professional with the addition of up to five centers and multi center access.
School CRM has a good rating of a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This rating is based on things like affordability, ease of use, customer support, feature, and functionality. Like the next CRM, this one has more of a focus on communication with parents and other things that are non-accounting related.
myKidzDay doesn’t have any reviews yet other than what is on their site, but we can share what it is about and how it works. This CRM is child care and preschool daily report parent communication app which allows you to attract millennial moms and dads who are evaluating child care providers. It seems that this one specifically targets millennial parents, which is probably a good idea for a demographic for this type of service.
This one is more of a marketing tool than a financial one. It does things like monitor attendance, track curriculum, keep up with lesson plans, and keep up with communication between the staff and the parents. It does have a lot of reports but most of them are based on this type of platform with nothing really about financial areas.
The pricing starts at $1.50 per child per month. This comes with unlimited storage for a year for things like documents and photos.
What Is the Best Choice?
There are not a huge amount of childcare CRM software applications that focus on accounting. In fact, many of them are more geared towards keeping up with classroom activities and communication with parents. Only a couple of the big players in the CRM world include financial reporting. Which one is best for you? That all depends on your needs and cash flow. There are also other options if you’re needing bookkeeping and accounting services.
While depending on a software service sounds easy, there are other alternatives to consider. For instance, in an article we did about the Brightwheel service, here are some things we cover that they do not:
Management of cash flows: if a business cannot keep track of it’s cash inflows and outflows, a situation may arise when its short term obligations cannot be met due to insufficient cash holdings. This specific scenario, liquidity, could result in the business defaulting on its creditors. This makes it harder for the business to borrow from creditors in the future, could result in the selling of business assets and may ultimately result in the closure of a business.
Tracking of accounts receivable and accounts payable: this is related to keeping track of cash inflows and outflows. Whereas the focus of cash flow management is to insure that the business remains liquid, the tracking of accounts receivable and accounts payable is a performance measure. If accounts receivable are not collected on time, there is significant risk that there may not be settled. Additionally, the profile of the client base working with the company may require revisiting. On the accounts payable side, utilizing suppliers with inflexible payment policies may endanger the business should it experience a period of limited cash inflows.
Tracking of tax obligations: an unexpectedly high tax bill may result in significant legal issues with local, state and national revenue services. Keeping track of tax obligations as they accumulate not only allows a business to plan ahead with regards to their cash holdings, it also allows for smoother auditing.
Bank reconciliations: mismatches between expected and actual bank balances is often concerning for a business. This may indicate unusually high charges from a bank or even fraudulent behavior within an organization.
Of course, you can always use both services. Use the childcare CRM to keep up with parents, school activities, and your marketing campaigns. Use accounting and bookkeeping services for the above mentioned. It allows you complete transparency on all of your business financials and features. And while childcare CRM might help you with some of the things you need to keep up with, when it comes to your business’ accounting, a bookkeeping and accounting service is best.
This is because without a good financial overview of your company, no matter how small, you cannot focus on other things like marketing. Without knowing your income and expenditures month by month, you won’t know where you have the funds to pay for extras that bring in business.
This is why a bookkeeping and accounting service works well and it’s not as if you need just one. You can easily incorporate childcare CRM as well.