What to consider when creating a daycare contract?
A daycare contract dictates the rules of your business. It provides information to the parents allowing you to find clients who are also looking for the type of care you plan to provide to children. A babysitting contract or an in-home daycare contract is also important to protect your business.
In the contract, you may include details such as the consequences a parent faces if he doesn’t make payments or he drops off his sick child. Make all of these terms part of your contract and once the parent signs the document, this creates a binding agreement between that parent and your business.
Therefore, you must spend a lot of time and effort in creating the contract for your daycare. To start off, here are some important things for you to consider:
- What hours will your staff work at the daycare?
- Will you have contracted hours per family or open hours?
- What mode of payment will you accept?
- Will you charge the parents per session, weekly, monthly or quarterly? It’s important to establish this from the very start so the parents know when to prepare their payments.
- Will you charge parents for any late pickups or late payments?
- Will you open the daycare on holidays?
- Will you have any vacation time wherein you will close the establishment?
- When you close the daycare, will it be with or without pay?
- Will you require parents to give you notice or payments if they plan to take holidays?
- What symptoms or illnesses will you not allow the children to come to school with?
- What symptoms or illnesses will send a child home for?
- How much time will you give parents to pick up their child after you’ve contacted them?
- Will you allow the child to come to school the next day after getting ill or will you require a doctor’s clearance first?
These are some of the basic considerations to include in your daycare or childcare contract. Even if your contract goes on for several pages, as long as you’ve covered everything, you don’t have to worry about it. You’ll be better off with a lengthy but comprehensive contract rather than a short one which is easy for the parents to read.
Remember that the contract protects you so you must make sure that it contains all of the relevant information about how you run your business and the rules the parents must follow if they plan to leave their child in your facility.
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When to use a daycare contract?
What a parent leaves his child with a nanny or in a daycare center, he will have peace of mind after signing a babysitting contract or a nanny contract template. For professional daycare providers or nannies, such a contract protects you from the whims or irrational demands of patents.
Having all the terms of child care in writing protects both the providers of the services and the parents which is in the best interest of the child. Use this daycare contract if:
- You want to provide specific details about the childcare policies of the providers or the facility.
- You want to outline all of your childcare expectations.
- You want to get the agreement in writing to protect yourself and your child care facility.
For whatever reason, parents who place their children in daycare want to ensure that their little ones are well-provided for. The daycare or nanny contract template helps prevent any misunderstandings between the parents and the caregivers. All of the terms in the contract ensure that everything remains clear for everyone involved.
Make sure to include all pertinent information including parent obligations, pay schedules, payment amounts, pick-up and drop-off policies, and others. The local and state laws require that you include specific provisions in your daycare contract and these differ from one state or city to another. Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with these provisions and include them in your template.
Important parts of a daycare contract
If you’re planning to start your own in-home daycare facility, then you must come up with your own in-home daycare contract. This document will protect your business and yourself from any issues which might arise from dissatisfied parents. When drafting this contract, here are the most important parts to include:
The rates you charge your patents depend upon the age of the child and how much time they leave their child with you. Therefore, you may leave this part blank and only write the amount down after acquiring the information from the parents. Just make sure to include a space for the rates as this is one of the most important parts.
Include this section right before the part where the parent will affix his signature. Also, you may include an outline for early or late fees since some parents may choose to pick-up or drop-off their children at different times.
- Payment options
In this section, include information about the payment options you accept (like checks or cash) and when the parents must make the payments. If you want to keep your finances protected and easier to keep track of, set a specific day in the week or a specific date of the month. This is also where you include details about late payment fees.
- Vacation details
Although this section isn’t required, it’s a good idea to include it. If you plan to close your facility at specific times throughout the year, inform your parents about it. Also, include details about the policies parents need to follow if they plan to take a vacation with their children.
- Food and beverages
Apart from infants and newborns who require breast milk or baby formula, most daycares provide food and beverages for the children. If your facility offers these, include the fees when you’re thinking about the rates to charge the parents. Also, tell the parents that they have to inform you of any food preferences or allergies of their child.
If you manage a daycare facility, you must provide a safe and healthy environment for the children. Although it’s ultimately your decision in the end, it’s best to avoid accepting sick children, especially those who manifest severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or high fever. No matter what your policies are about illnesses, make sure to include them in your daycare contract.
For the safety of your children and your staff, never agree to administer medications without the authorization from the parents. It’s even better to come up with a form parents must sign if they ask you to administer medications to their children while they’re in your care. Again, this keeps you protected from any legal issues.
- Other information
Towards the end of your document, highlight other information which doesn’t fit into the other categories. This is the part where you can include all of this information including:
The operation hours of your daycare facility (if you’ve already stated this, restate the information here).
Any items the parents must bring from home like baby wipes, diapers, formula, and others.
Information about how the parents may terminate the contract when they don’t need your services any longer.
Pay special attention to these areas of the daycare contract
When it comes to daycare contracts, there are some areas which require more details and explanations. These are:
Since children are highly susceptible to illnesses, your illness policies must be extremely detailed. Children suffering from illnesses may be highly contagious, especially if the other children in the facility have weakened immune systems. Therefore, you must inform your parents about what they need to do in the event that their child gets sick before or while he’s in the daycare facility.
Include the types of illnesses which you won’t allow the child to come to school with along with the symptoms. Also, include the steps you will take in case the child gets sick or manifests these symptoms while at the facility. Include information about medical emergencies, administration of medications, and more. All this information will protect your facility from the wrath of disgruntled parents.
This is another important area to focus on. If you have a large daycare facility with a lot of staff members, they can take turns in taking vacations. But if you’re running a small facility with only a few staff members, you may have to take a break at some time or another.
Include the details about these vacations as well as the vacations parents will take with their children. That way, the parents can look for other childcare providers while you’re on vacation.
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