Best Practices: Using Procare during the Coronavirus

Below are tips on how to work from home, pause billing, communicate with parents and families, and other tasks you may wish to perform during these these uncertain times due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

You may also be interested in this Interactive PDF with tips for touchless check-in and more.

How do I:

    1. Work from Home with Procare?
    2. Communicate with Parents, Families?
    3. Pause Billing?
    4. Temporarily Unenroll Children?
    5. Charge a Hold Fee
    6. Give Credits to Families?
    7. Issue Refunds to Families?
    8. Clean my Fingerprint Reader?
    9. Touchless Check-In: Check Children In without the Fingerprint Reader?
    10. Turn off my Keyless Entry System or Door Controller?
    11. Get Enrollment and Recurring Revenue Figures?
    12. Create pay codes to track those required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
    13. Print a report of the pay codes required by the FFCRA?

Work from Home with Procare

Learn how to install Procare Cloud on your home computer if you’re a Cloud customer. Please make sure you have permission to do so from the owner/director at your center. (Hint: You’ll need your Installation Key Number).

Block Access: Administrators – Remember, you can prevent unauthorized staff members from logging into Procare by deactivating them as a Procare User (uncheck the Active box).

Not using Procare Cloud? Find out how to become a Cloud customer. Give us a call at 1 (800) 338-3884 or choose to Request a Demo.

Communicate with Parents

It’s easy to communicate with parents.

  1. In Procare, learn how to send a Batch Email or  send Text Messages to all families at once. If you prefer to compose the email outside of Procare, directly in your email program, another option is to copy/paste the email addresses from Procare to the BCC line in your email program.
  2. In KidReports, you can send a message to all families through the KidReports Admin Portal. Parents will receive the message as an email, text, or in-app notification depending on the preferences they selected.

Note: If you want to communicate to families through KidReports, please do not unenroll those children within Procare as that will prevent them from showing up in KidReports.

Not using KidReports? Find out how to add KidReports to your package—give us a call at 1 (800) 338-3884 or choose to Request a Demo.

Pause Billing and Tuition Charges

Option 1: Center Closed – Charge No One

If your center is closed, the easiest thing is simply not to run Automated Contract Billing or Formula Billing. By not doing the billing process no families will be charged and no payments will be collected (unless a parent chooses to pay ahead by making a payment online).

Option 2: Center Open – Charge Only Certain Families

If your center is open, but you only want to charge certain families and not others there are several different ways you could approach this.

  1. Run your normal Automated Contract Billing or Formula Billing, but when you get to the screen where you select which families to charge—only check off the families you actually want to charge. Or you could temporarily unenroll children who are not attending (see below).
  2. Use Selected Account Billing to charge only a specified group of families. This works well if the group is easily selected (such as all children in the preschool room) and the amount to charge is the same for most people in the group. Hint: You’ll still get a screen to select which families to charge so you do have control over who is selected and can change the amount for a family as needed.
  3. Use Quick Ledger Posting to quickly post fees, one family at a time. This works well when the amount charged varies per family and you want more control over the billing. For families with multiple children you’d either post a single, combined tuition charge or make separate postings, one for each child.

Unenroll / Withdraw Children

You may want to temporarily unenroll / withdraw children (If some are still attending and others are not). This will remove the withdrawn children from reports (like rollcall and sign in sheets) and prevent them from being charged tuition when you run Automated Contract Billing. Of course you could leave them as enrolled and choose not to include them (not to check them) during automated billing.

Note: If you want to communicate to families through KidReports, please do not unenroll those children within Procare as that will prevent them from showing up in KidReports.

  1. To create a new enrollment status, like “Temporarily Unenrolled”, see: Create Enrollment Status.
    Status: Temporarily Unenrolled
  2. To change the enrollment status:
    1. for many children at once, see: Batch Change Enrollment.
    2. for a specific child, go to the Child’s Enrollment Status.

Charge a Hold Fee

You may charge a fee to families to hold their spot without charging their full tuition amount. Typically the children in these families would be temporarily unenrolled and therefore not included in your regular weekly or monthly billing.

  1. Change the enrollment status of the children to something like “Temporarily Unenrolled”. See above: Uenroll / Withdraw Children.
  2. Create a credit description like “Hold Spot Fee”. See: Charge/Credit Descriptions.
    Hold Slot Fee
  3. If most families will be charged the same amount per child to hold their slot, use Selected Account Billing to charge only the specified group of families (those with children who are temporarily unenrolled). Hint: You’ll still get a screen to select which families to charge so you do have control over who is selected and can change the amount for a child as needed.
  4. Or, use Quick Ledger Posting to quickly post fees, one family at a time. This works well when the amount charged varies per family and you want more control over the billing. For families with multiple children you’d either post a single, combined hold fee or make separate postings, one for each child.

Give Credits to Families

You may reduce the amount charged or post a credit to family Ledger Cards (using a Credit Description, like “Misc. Credit”). This will reduce the balance owed on their ledger. It is not the same as a refund, in that it does not give them money back, it simply reduces the amount owed.

There are several options:

  1. One method is to charge a reduced rate, rather than posting a separate credit. This is very easy to do; however, it will not appear as a separate line item on family Ledger Cards (nor on accounting reports) so you won’t see a total of how much you’ve given in credits. To charge a reduced rate, simply change the Multiplier when doing Automated Contract Billing. For example, if you want to give everyone 25% off then set the Multiplier to 0.75; this will charge 75% of the normal amount.
    Contract Billing Multiplier
  2. If you want to set up a recurring credit, just add a line to each Child’s Billing Box with the percentage noted in the Comment field (be sure to use the % symbol). Leave the Amount as zero and the percentage will automatically be calculated when you run Automated Contract Billing. This will show as a separate line on family Ledger Cards and on your accounting reports. Note: The percentage is taken off the line directly above it. In the image below, the line above the percentage shows a standard rate of 150; this would result in a credit of 37.50.
    Percentage Discount
  3. Another option is to use Selected Account Billing to give a one-time credit to all families or a specified group. This works well if the the amount of the credit is the same for everyone in the group. Hint: You’ll still get a screen to select which families to credit so you do have control over who is selected.
  4. Or, use Quick Leger Posting to quickly post credits, one family at a time. This works well when the amount varies per family and you want more control over each credit given.

Issue Refunds to Families

To refund a payment that parent has already made:

  1. If you’re refunding a payment made through Tuition Express, see: How to Refund a Credit Card. Note: ACH transactions cannot be refunded, see cash/check refund below.
  2. If you are giving a cash or check refund, see: Issue a Customer Refund.

Clean my Fingerprint Reader

If you’re using a Procare Touch computer or your own computer with a fingerprint reader attached, see: How to Clean the Fingerprint Reader.

Check Children In without the Fingerprint Reader

If you are trying to avoid having parents touch a fingerprint reader, keyboard, or pen and paper, the best options are to:

  1. At the Procare Touch computer, use a pencil eraser or rubber-tipped stylus that can be sanitized. See: Contactless Check In Using a Stylus.
  2. If you have a staff person available to check children in as they arrive, use the Receptionist Check-In feature. This shows the child as checked in by the parent and does not allow you to enter a different time.
  3. Or, use Batch Check In/Out if you want to do it later and be able to adjust the time. This shows the child as checked in by the staff person.
  4. Or, Cloud customers may use the Check-In Web App on a tablet or mobile device. See: Using Procare Web Apps.

Turn off my Keyless Entry System or Interior Door Controller

If you want to control who is allowed through the front door or hallway/classroom door you may restrict access from families so that only staff can enter through the Keyless Entry System or Interior Door Controller. In other words, you want to choose who to let in on a case-by-case basis.

  1. For the Keyless Entry System, follow the instructions to Transmit Codes to the Keypad and under Family Data choose “Do Not Import”, then click the Transmit button. This will allow staff to get in but require families to press the guest doorbell.
  2. For the Interior Door Controller, you’ll add each child to the Deny Entry list. This prevents families from checking children in and buzzing open an interior door; however staff will still be able to check themselves in and buzz the door. For families, use the Receptionist or Batch Check-In features.

Get Enrollment and Recurring Revenue Figures

Due to decreased enrollment, some centers are applying for small business loans to help them financially. The following report provides the two details banks are seeking: a.) the number of enrolled children, and b.) the recurring tuition revenue and the frequency, like weekly, monthly.

  1. From the main screen of Family Data & Accounting, go to Reports > Standard Reports > Family Accounting > Billing Box > Child Contract Billing Summary.
  2. Go to the very last page of the report to find the Child Count, Billing Cycle, and Cycle Total (revenue) that would be charged for the selected date.

Hint: Children who have unenrolled will not show up for the current week; however, you may run the report for previous dates to compare past enrollment and projected revenue versus current.

Create pay codes to track those required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. If you fall within the requirements of the act, you can create pay codes in Procare that will pay at the percentage defined in the act. In addition, you can create different expense accounts to track each of the expense categories.

  1. If needed, create new expense ledger numbers in your Chart of Accounts to track the different benefit code expenses.
  2. Create the FFCRA pay codes you wish to track, and assign them to their appropriate accounts.
  3. Under benefit codes, add the pay codes you created and select the percentage of regular the benefit will pay at.

Print a report of the pay codes required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Under Reports> Standard Reports> Payroll> Company Summary> Total Earnings Summary. Run the report grouped by Pay Code.