This article explains the ways that split families can be managed in SimplySwim. You will need to think through the pros and cons of each option and decide which works best for your centre.
Option - Enrolment all on one Family
This is the least complicated and time-consuming option for you and your staff to manage as there is only one enrolment, one family, one portal and one account. It is up to the family to manage their lesson dates and payments from the one shared family account.
You can have two email addresses on the same family and they can both access the Customer Portal using their own email address for their username but both parties however do need to use the same password to access the portal.
Currently if both parties require all emails and SMS messages to be sent to them, you would need to set one person as the primary contact so that they would receive these communications. You would then need to manually re-send these messages from the Family screen to the other parent.
A note on Direct Debit in this scenario
Whilst you can have more than one direct debit on one family, we do not recommend having two direct debit agreements as it can be problematic for the reasons below:
- the family name pre-fills on a eDDR form when it is sent to the family. The Family Name in SimplySwim would need to include both parties. At the time of sending the eDDR form via email / SMS / both, the parent it is intended for will need to be set as the Financial contact.
- you would have to put both agreements on a set price to split the cost of the lessons for the direct debit period. If you don't, they would both be charged the full amount for the period. Also be aware, agreements on a set price will only be charged the set amount on the agreement regardless of what is owing - any credits, payments, change in enrolment fees, overdue balances, failure fees etc will not be taken into consideration as the set price is like an override. You would have to manage this to make sure the set amount you place on their accounts to be charged is correct each time you run a batch.
- you would also need to make sure if the student finishes lessons / leaves the centre that the direct debit agreements are made inactive, as otherwise they will be picked up in your direct debit batch because of the pre-set amount.
Option - Enrolment on two Families
This option would require a little bit of work on your side, but the plus side is that everything would be separate for the families - each parent would only receive a bill for their side of lessons, each parent would receive all correspondence, each parent would only have their "week" of lessons displayed in the customer portal and would only be able to action their "week" of lessons.
This option also requires families to be forthcoming with information on which weeks their child will be with them, and we suggest you get this schedule in writing from them as soon as possible and they would need to notify you if there is any change to the schedule.
You would need to:
- create a family for each parent. We would suggest adding a not in the "family name and address" section to note both families:
- place the student / students on to both families. You could also have the student name with (Week A) / (Week B), or (Mum) / (Dad) so for example "Jack Black (mum)" / "Jack Black (dad)" or "Jack Black (Week A)" / "Jack Black (Week B)" as their name so that you can distinguish between them.
- you would need to create a new Non-Attendance Reason to mark off the classes that the child would not be attending with each particular parent. Keep in mind this reason can be visible to families if you print out attendance sheets and have them on pool deck, so you could have something like "Shared" or "Alternate weeks" or something generic but you understand what it means. This reason you would need to tick the credit box so that it credits the lesson amount back to that family.
- you would run your billing for your next period, and then before sending out statements you would mark off the weeks on each family that they will not be with that family. This would credit the non-attended lessons back to each family, and adjust their fee. Yes, you would have two of the same student on your class list each week, and one would be marked absent and one to attend.
The Customer Portal would also be clear for each family:
The pros for this would be that each parent would be charged separately, each could have a direct debit and they wouldn't have to be on a pre-set amount, each would have their own portal with their own access. If classes were cancelled, you'd be contacting the correct parent and not having to manually double up on any and all communications.
Cons would be that you would need to know in advance which weeks were with which parent, and have no swapping to complicate the issue.
Last updated: 23 June 2023