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Online payments, especially credit cards, are becoming increasingly popular at childcare and early education centers. However, it’s important to note that using credit cards comes with credit card processing fees.  When offering credit card payments at your center, understand how credit card processing works and the fees you can incur. 

In this article, we will explain the different types of credit card processing fees that may be charged, why they are charged, the different regulations, and what childcare and early education centers can do about them. 

What are credit card convenience fees?

A convenience fee is a fee charged by a business when a customer uses a credit card. This is considered a convenience due to ease, rather than using cash, check, or ACH, and is applied on top of the goods or services that are being purchased. These fees can range from 2-3% percent. 

Why are convenience fees charged? 

Convenience fees are charged for the credit card processing service. The fee is charged by the credit card processor for the services rendered, in this case, the cost of processing the transaction. 

Why should I accept credit card payments at my daycare center?

Accepting credit card payments at your daycare center offers an additional convenience to parents. Millennial parents prefer online payments, giving you a competitive advantage over competition. Additionally, offering these contactless payments keeps your billing process more secure and results in more timely payments. Kangarootime offers the option for online payments through our Parent App. We also give you the option to pass on credit card fees but we’ll get into that later. 

What childcare and early education centers can do about credit card fees. 

Credit card fees will apply any time a transaction is processed. 

Childcare and early education centers have two options: 

  1. Pay the fee for their parents and guardians
  2. Pass the fee along to parents and guardians

There are benefits to both of these options. 

If you pay the fee for your parents and guardians when a credit card transaction is processed, this keeps your tuition low for families. Keep in mind that credit card transaction fees can be costly; you may want to budget for transaction fees to ensure that you are not losing money by processing credit card transactions. Consider baking the cost into your tuition pricing so you accommodate the transaction fees. 

Alternatively, you can pass along the credit card transaction fees to your parents. While this will be an additional expense on top of their tuition, this can influence their behavior. If they know they will be charged a fee for credit card transactions, they may decide to pay by ACH instead to save money. If a parent or guardian is using a credit card that offers rewards, they may not mind the additional fee since the benefit of rewards points outweighs the nominal fee. 


Kangarootime is the leading all-in-one childcare management software for daycares and preschools. With billing and invoicing capabilities, parent communication and staff management tools, and classroom automation, Kangarootime helps childcare centers grow and scale. To learn more about optimizing your center with Kangarootime, visit kangarootime.com

Marissa Schneggenburger

Author Marissa Schneggenburger

Marissa Schneggenburger is the Marketing Coordinator at Kangarootime and experienced in content marketing. Marissa attended St. John Fisher College and received a B.S. in Marketing with minors in Finance and Spanish. Marissa also completed her MBA in Strategic Marketing from Niagara University. Marissa is passionate about the childcare industry and providing informative and engaging content.

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