As parents, the topmost priority in your list is your child’s security. Parents are devoted in taking care of their children. However, one of the duties of the parents is to provide the needs of their child. In order to meet those needs, they have to work. Unfortunately, they can’t take their children to work.
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If a relative is willing to take care of the young one, then the parents are fortunate that a relative is willing to act as a second parent to their child. But not all are fortunate in this matter. Now is the time for you to hire a nanny to take care of your child while you’re away at work and can even help out in household chores since by the time you get home from work, you’ll probably be really tired or putting your child in a child care community, a place where you can leave your child while you’re working and you will pick her up when the day is over. You may also see examples of writing a gym contract.
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Family Child Care Contracts & Policies
First of all, you should not only write a contract but also the policies of taking care of a child as well. Contracts and policies are two different things.
- Contract: the simple agreement to provide child care as well as the cost
- Policies: the rules that describe how the provider will care for the child.
By writing a comprehensive contract and policies between you and the parents, you will make sure that the parents are aware of what’s in it for them. You may also like the truth behind service contract checklists.
Your Contract Should Include the Following Components
- Names and ages of the child(ren) to be cared for
- The parent(s)/guardian(s) contact information
- Payment information – to include: when payment is due, overtime rates and late pick-up fees, rates for holidays, vacations, and other absences of both the child and the provider, other charges (fees for field trips, etc), deposits (consider whether you will require a 2 week deposit be collected upon enrollment which covers the last two weeks of care provided)
- Termination procedures. It should include: the provider’s right to end the child care arrangement in a relatively short amount of time for any reason (e.g. two week notice), a statement saying that parents/guardians must pay you during the termination period whether or not the child attends during that time, the provider’s right to terminate care without giving any notice when a parent is behind in making payments
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The policies are usually a separate document from your contract. General policies help clarify what the expectations are for you, the provider, and the families you serve. Each provider will create policies that fit their program.
In your contract also include the following terms that are crucial to have knowledge about when your center will start taking of children. The following are:
1. Children’s Illnesses
- What will you as the provider do to reduce illness?
- When is it appropriate for you to send a sick child home?
- When do children need to be excluded from the program because of illness?
- When are children allowed to return to child care after an illness?
- What happens if the child is injured?
- How are emergencies handled?
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2. Provider Illnesses
- What will you do if you become sick?
- Will the families be charged for that time?
- Will you provide them with names and numbers of other providers willing to take their children?
- Is there a substitute?
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3. Medical Records
- What type of records do you need to keep on file?
- How often are these records updated?
4. Outdoor Play
- How often are the children playing outside and where are they playing?
- What are the safety rules for outdoor play equipment?
- What weather related items should families supply for outdoor play?
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5. Trips Outside the Family Child Care Home
- Will the provider ever transport children? And to where? What will be the distance? What vehicle will be used?
- What car seats will be used and who will supply them?
- What are the rules about seat belts, etc.?
- Do you require the parent to sign a permission form?
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6. Toys From Home
- Which toys are allowed to be brought from home?
- Will they be shared with the other children or not?
- What are the mealtimes? How is the schedule modified for individual needs?
- Who provides the food for each meal? Snacks?
- How are dietary restrictions handled? Food allergies?
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8. Rest/Nap Time
- What are the expectations for rest and nap time by age of child?
- Where will children rest/nap?
- Who supplies and who launders the bedding?
- What comfort toys are allowed at rest/nap time?
9. Toilet Training
- What equipment is used for toilet learning?
- What are the expectations for toilet learning?
- Will any reward systems be used?
- When will it be appropriate for the child to transition out of diapers into underwear? Are pull-ups allowed?
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10. Diaper Changing
- Who supplies diapers and wipes?
- How often are diapers changed?
- Where are children changed?
- What is the sanitizing procedure after diapering?
- What activities will the children participate in?
- What materials are available for the various ages?
- What learning activities will the provider work on with each child?
- What is the daily schedule?
- Who supplies spare clothes in case if the child gets dirty?
- Who supplies consumable materials such as paper, crayons, etc.?
13. Guiding Children’s Behavior
- What rules/limits are used within the child care program?
- How are rules explained to the children?
- What strategies does the provider use to guide children toward positive behavior?
- How are concerns communicated to the family?
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14. Mandated Report
- What are the responsibilities of the provider if child abuse/neglect is suspected?
- Will the family be notified if a simple report has been made?
15. Pick Up
- What happens if a parent knows in advance that they will be late to pick up their child?
- Who else is authorized to pick up the child besides the parents?
- What happens if no one is reachable and the child has not yet been picked up?
- What are the fees for late pick ups with or with out notification?
16. Written Permission
- If you plan to have a field trip or activities happening outside the care center, what are your policies for this? Do the parents fill out a release to allow their child to participate?
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17. Helpful Hints
If a child is enrolled in your family child care program, it is important that you and the parent review your contract and policies in detail. This will help you:
- ensure that parents understand your expectations
- explain any unclear policies to the parent prior to enrollment
As you review the documents, you can have the parent sign and date each page to ensure they understand what is being discussed. If you feel that you need to make changes to your contract or to your policies, it is helpful if you give parents 2-4 weeks notice of the change so they can plan accordingly. You may also like band contract examples.
If you want to begin to enforce the contract term immediately, write an addendum to your contract, with the following language, have the parents sign it, and give them a copy:
Example: Effective immediately, all terms of the contract signed on _______ (fill in date contract signed) will be enforced as written.
Another contract tip that is very useful to you. Consider the following language. You may add or edit the following language to fit with your situation. if you want to add any of the statements to your contract you can either rewrite your contract or draft an addendum, have the parents date and sign it, make a copy for the parents, and keep the original with the contract. You may also see business agreement examples.
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However, keep in mind that no contract can ever cover every single situation that may arise. Do your best to address as many situations as you can that involve payment and dire situations that is crucial to everyone’s benefits. If something comes up later that you had not anticipated, be as reasonable as possible in how you handle it. You may also like agreement examples.