When setting up a new business, there is a lot of paperwork involved. Home daycare’s require an extensive amount of paperwork, because you are essentially responsible for the well being of the children within your care. It’s imperative that you have all of the child’s information prior to starting care, in case you need to access it for any reason.
There are a series of things you should include on your registration forms. I will introduce each one, and explain why it is important to include in your registration package.
Child’s Basic Information
I don’t think this needs much of an explanation. You should have, on record, the child’s full name, birth date, address and primary phone number for contact information. This should be swiftly followed by Parental Information. Both parents/guardian information should be collected in order to have full knowledge for tax purposes, emergency contact and for general knowledge. This should include their full names, address, phone numbers, place of work and its address and email.
In the event that you cannot reach one of the parents/guardians, you should be able to have a back up source to contact. This is generally another member of the family (grandparent/aunt/uncle) or a trusted family friend. Make sure you get their full name and phone numbers in case you need to contact them in the event of an emergency.
If there is a custody agreement between parents/guardians, you need to make sure that this paperwork is on file and accessible at any time. This way it ensures that you and both parents are in agreement with the arrangements for care. If at any point either parent makes you feel uncomfortable, terminate the contract. Nothing is worse than winding up in the middle of a dirty custody battle.
The next section is fairly straight forward. All of the information gathered here is simply to paint a picture of the child’s health history. Asking if they’ve been exposed to certain communicable diseases will show that parents are able to recognize that in a child care setting, illness can spread fairly quickly. This information gathered will also show whether or not a child has any medical issues that are frequent (ear infections for example) or chronic (diabetes). This will help you prepare a plan of action in order to give the child adequate care.
Make sure if the child has allergies that you have the paperwork stating what the allergy is, and the course of action required should the child need medical attention (epi-pen, benadryl etc.) It’s always good to continue to maintain your CPR and First Aid certification in order to have the most up to date training available.
Request for Photo Consent
Some parents have qualms with posting their child’s photo on any social media platform, around the center and on any advertisements (website etc). Making sure you receive their consent will allow you to post the photos with their permission should you choose to do so, or this way you have explicit instructions to not post any photographs of their child and it is documented in writing.
This section is a series of request that I require parents to acknowledge about my center. I make sure that all my requirements are clearly listed, and the parents are to agree with each statement in order to successfully create the contract.
This is just a section to basically say if their child is hurt in any way, I have the right to call for emergency transportation at their expense.
It’s a good idea to get an idea of what children’s diets are like before they enter into your care. Are there certain foods they have not tried? Are there allergies that need recognition? Are there favourites that you could perhaps include into your weekly lunch rotation? This is a way for you to get to know the child better, and for you to be able to accommodate their needs.
Terms of Care
This is the section where you discuss the nitty gritty including their “time contract” and fee payment schedule. A “time contract” is something I picked up while working in licensed care, and it essentially asks for the hours where the child will need care. Your center may be open from 7:30 – 5 for example, but a child’s hours may differ slightly. This can help you determine whether you need to extend your hours a bit to accommodate later pick up should the parents require it, or open earlier. It will also give you a rough idea of when you should expect drop off and pick up to be for each child.
Fees are at your discretion. I would look into what the going rate is in the area for both home daycare and licensed care centers and meet somewhere close to those fees. Specify the fees for full time care versus part time care, and for each age bracket. Also include a section where you require two weeks fees up front to hold the space. This will cover you in case a parent refuses to pay.
This is more of a personal preference. Children are not able to be admitted into my care without having vaccination. It is your discretion what you want to do with this section. Keep in mind, children are exposed to a lot of communicable diseases and their immune systems are not as strong to fight them off as the immune system of an adult.
Filling out a Child Questionnaire
Having a parent fill out the child questionnaire will give you insight to their child’s temperament, routine, likes and dislikes and where they are developmentally. This can be used as a guide to help the child adjust into your routines while incorporating some of what they already know.
Sample List of Required Items
Having a list of required items to be brought to daycare is optional. I offer the list to parents to help them get organized with the immense amount of things that are essential to their child’s daily activities. Things like sunscreen, changes of clothing, seasonal clothing and more are included in this list to help parents remember everything.
Here is a copy of the sample registration package.
It is an easy package that you can accommodate to meet the needs of your center by simply replacing the name in both the header and within the document itself. Be sure to give credit to PublishingMotherhood if you plan on re-uploading this elsewhere please.