When starting a preschool center you should aim to be organized right from the start. As with any other business, there is great deal of paperwork involved with the day-to-day management of a child care center.
Don’t wait for a situation to arise and then have to quickly prepare a suitable letter, form or contract for your childcare center. You should anticipate what you will need in advance and aim to have a complete set of business documents ready to go before you start your business.
Let’s have a look at some of the key paperwork that you will need in the child care industry.
Contracts and Registration Forms for New Customers
An agreement or contract that can be signed when new families sign up for your children services is reassuring for both parties. To avoid arguments or misunderstandings further down the road you can set out information in a written agreement so that customers know exactly what to expect from your services and precisely what your policies are. Give parents as much information in a contract as possible.
Some clauses of the contract should reassure the parent and make them feel good about entering into a childcare arrangement with you. Such clauses should include details on health and safety, how you deal with accidents and illness and how the children in your care are disciplined. Also note that your center is licensed and follows all state regulations relevant to daycare.
Other clauses should be included in a contract that protect your interests and let parents know their obligations. Let them know when payments are due and the policies that you have regarding late payments. Let parents know what time they are expected to drop off and pick up children and any charges that you have for parents that pick up children late. Make it clear to parents what you provide in terms of food and supplies. If you expect them to provide supplies such as diapers, stationery or extra clothes then you should mention this in the agreement.
When families sign a contract you can also have them complete other important forms. These should include a general registration form, a medical health form and an emergency pick-up form authorizing other family members to pick up children if necessary.
Additional Childcare Center Forms
Other forms are also needed from time to time for parents to give their consent in cases such as where medication is to be taken by the child or children will be undertaking activities that differ from the normal routine.
Forms are also a useful way of reporting on daily activity for parents to later review. This is particularly important for parents of infants who have to resume feeding schedules themselves in the evenings.
You will also need illness and injury report templates so that you can keep records of such cases and report back to parents on what action was taken.
Business and Financial Forms
In addition to the child care side of the business you will also need forms and standard letters for dealing with day-to-day business affairs. Forms will be needed for financial purposes such as invoices, receipts and letters for pursuing overdue accounts.
Standard letters for communicating with parents are also important and you should have a variety of templates to communicate with parents on matters such as policy or procedure changes.
Being organised with your paperwork will help your childcare center to be more efficient, keep track of important records and avoid mistakes.
by Sienna Brown
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