Here is an article written by my friend Tracy who also does family child care on the other side of Oklahoma. Good information for anyone starting out or providers who need to tweak the way they are running their business so it will go more smoothly. Thanks Tracy for sharing with us!
All family child care providers should have policies and a contract in place in their business. These protect both the child care provider and the parent. They establish what the provider and the clients can expect from each other. In Oklahoma family child care providers are required by licensing regulations to have established business policies. The contract and the policy should be two separate items. The contract is often a one page document that establishes the amount and when the child care provider will be paid while the policies may be longer and in much more detail. Establishing your contract and policies will be one of the most important steps in your business success. Establishing your contract and policies will be one of the most important steps in your business success.
The contract should have a section listing the child’s name, the provider’s name, days and hours that child care will be provided, and an area for the parents and provider to sign and date. Some providers put an ending date on their contracts, others do not. You may also wish to add a sentence that by signing the contract the parents agree to abide by the policies that you have established.
The policy section can be as simple or as detailed as you like. An online search will help you see some samples and you can also ask other child care providers in your area what they put in their policies. However, make sure that you meet the requirements set by Oklahoma child care licensing in your policy. The following is taken from the Licensing Requirements for Family Child Care Homes and Large Child Care Homes.
1) the location and accessibility of the licensing compliance file;
(2) days and hours of operation, including holidays the program is closed;
(3) procedure for:
(A) receiving and releasing a child from care, including a method of verifying the
identity of a caller or person who picks up a child;
(B) notifying parents if a concern exists when a child does not arrive as scheduled;
(C) handling illness and injuries; See Supplement VI, Injury Report Form – Sample.
(D) storing and administering children’s medication;
(E) notifying parents of field trips; and
(F) transporting children;
(4) care of ill children;
(5) mandatory reporting of child abuse or neglect; and
(6) behavior and guidance policy.