iCare Software

Child Care Billing and Administration Comparison: Procare/Brightwheel/iCare

Childcare Billing and Payment Processing Information

The subscription price you pay for your childcare software is not the only financial factor you should consider. Two large factors that affect your total cost of doing business is child care billing and administration time required. That’s why we’ve put together a comparison of Procare, Brightwheel and iCare Software. 

For billing, you might look at your current payment processing fees as a cost of doing business. And while it’s true that paying to process credit cards is the nature of the business, you might be paying too much.

Some daycare software systems offer payment processing at regular consumer rates. iCare Software negotiates for the lowest wholesale price to save childcare centers money. Not only that, but our billing structure is flexible. This flexibility allows you to bill how and when it’s best for you and your clients. 

Automating recurring business functions can also impact your cost of doing business. The more staff time it takes to complete an activity, the more financial impact it will have on your business. Before selecting a childcare app, consider these factors and how they could impact your bottom line.

Child Care Billing Example

To illustrate the value of iCare Software’s payment processing, we’ve put together an easy-to-read comparison chart. This chart is based on a childcare center with the following characteristics.

  • 90 children enrolled and half of the parents pay tuition via credit card
  • The childcare charges a monthly fee of $1,000
  • Total credit card amount processed per month is $45,000 (the other $45,000 might be check or ACH)
iCare’s average credit card processing fees are 2% compared to ProCare and Brightwheel at 2.95%.

Using iCare means you can save $425 in credit card processing fees toward your bottom line each month. That’s an added $5,100 per year without enrolling an additional child or cutting back on necessary expenses.

In addition to providing wholesale credit card processing rates for childcare centers, iCare also provides more flexible billing schedules.

Both Procare and Brightwheel only offer two billing options: weekly or monthly.

iCare allows you to set up billing based on the schedule you set. Instead of only two options, we allow you to bill based on your needs.

For example, childcare centers that bill for late pickups can automate those late pickup payments using attendance data. This enables your center to bring in more income without adding staff time to compile the information. 

Multi-site Billing Management

For large childcare centers, managing multiple locations can be a headache. Procare and Brightwheel create separate instances for each location. iCare integrates this information and user permissions govern who can see what based on their location and settings. 

This multi-site integration allows owners and administrators to pull reports on the entire company and not just one location. Enjoy easier accounting and report automation with this integration.

Additionally, Brightwheel does not provide user roles and permissions, which can be especially challenging for multi-site childcare centers. Teachers don’t need full access to the administration side of the tools or even to see data from classrooms they are not assigned to. User role and permission settings put administrators and owners in full control of their digital assets.

icare 1-1
iCare childcare billing software offers integrated multi-site management and privacy options for user permissions and roles.

Billing and Administration Designed for Your Business Model

Each childcare business model has different needs and requirements. Licenses for preschools versus after school centers differ and so do your attendance and journaling needs. 

iCare provides the tools necessary to succeed at any childcare business model. Whether you offer drop-in care or want to add it to your service offering, we can help you run a profitable business.

Currently, Procare only offers solutions for childcare centers and preschools. Brightwheel is only designed for preschools. 

In contrast, iCare is an ideal solution for all these business models.

  • Childcare/daycare center
  • Preschool
  • Afterschool care
  • Drop-in
  • Placement agency

While you might not plan to open five different centers, the flexibility the software offers enables you to add services without billing or administration headaches. 

Childcare Management Software Recordkeeping

To maintain your license, you need to provide documented proof of various practices and procedures. Our software makes that simple with customizable recordkeeping and automation that adds more time back in your day. 

Procare and Brightwheel both provide fixed recordkeeping functions. However, iCare Software allows you to customize what you track and then automate that tracking and reporting. 

Collect your daily teacher-child ratios, notify parents when documents like vaccination records are due and easily file documents like permission slips. 

Our robust family data reporting shows you important information like busing reports, age and room projections, room and class slot availability and more. This in-depth recordkeeping takes the burden off of child care administration in manually tracking and documenting these important areas of their business.

iCare Software also provides a clear audit trail with change history. You can see who input what data and when. This change history includes the following information.

  • Original attendance records and their edits
  • Original accounting transactions and their changes
  • Family data
  • Registration and enrollment data
  • Meal records

State Recommended Child Development Guidelines

Documenting when a child achieves a developmental milestone is impactful for childcare centers. It has two main benefits.

  1. Centers that collect childcare subsidies from their state can maximize these payments.
  2. Parents will know the value your childcare center brings their family and stay loyal.

But that doesn’t make this documentation process easy. You still need teachers who are tuned into these changes and who have the tools necessary to pause for a moment to document the milestone. The easier the documentation process, the more likely teachers will be to do it.

Procare does not have each state’s development guidelines built into the software to make this documentation simple. Brightwheel and iCare have each taken the time to simplify this important activity. 

iCare provides many sets of information you can track using the Journal feature. And you have full control over which classrooms to assign those milestones to and can customize your own milestones to track. You’re in control of the information your teachers capture and how you share that data with parents.


Another area where iCare Software really shines is in its reporting features. Using more than 20 years of experience in the industry, we’ve built out dozens of out-of-the-box reports in the software.

But we also know that each daycare business is unique and has different reporting needs. That’s why we’ve put administrators at the helm and made it easy to create custom reports and automate them on a set schedule.

While Procare and Brightwheel each have reporting features, their built-in reports are not nearly as numerous and the customization is not as robust. 

Whether you’re looking for enrollment opportunities to maximize your student-teacher ratios or checking your accounting for saving opportunities, you’ll be able to see this data at a glance using the iCare reporting features.

Data Transfer and Migration with Ongoing Customer Support

Managing a childcare business is a big job. Get support throughout your journey with our software. From the moment you start working with iCare, we make it as easy as possible. We’ll transfer your data from your existing system to iCare for free.

You can be up and running within one to two days without paying any additional setup fees. For the duration of your time as our customer, we’ll be there when you need us with ongoing customer support. Reach out to us any time knowing that we never charge for providing ongoing support. 

Ask questions about report-building, new features, areas of opportunity for improved profitability, etc. We’ll be here.

You’ll be impressed with how easy it is to learn the software. As a modern cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, working in iCare will feel familiar, like online banking or social media. Brightwheel also uses a modern SaaS format. However, Procare operates on a legacy software format that might not feel as familiar. 

Schedule a demo to learn more about the feature-rich functionality of iCare Software.

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