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  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home...
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    36 Times in 22 Posts

    Main points in contract?

    Hi there! I opened my daycare last month and already handed out contract but I am thinking I missed some things and I want to hand out just some extras so parents are aware...I read a post on here that someone has posted in their contract about if there is an emergency and a child gets hurt, that they will be sent to the hospital in an ambulance but that YOU would not be going with them! I did t even think about that, but that is exactly what I would do and I want to add that into my contact! I feel like I missed a lot and I am wondering what your main headings are? Of course I have fees, late fees, vacation! I wish I asked for a deposit for holding spots as I am holding 3 spots for families for 2 months!! So I am out that money now while I wait! Boo! Also wish I asked for a 2 week security deposit....I will be adding that for all future clients! Do you have anything posted for if power goes out? Or do you remain open in this case? Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    946 Times in 686 Posts
    My contract just covers the 'financial' agreement .... so it is 1 page to print .... I personally do not want to be printing out a dozen of pages of contracts specially when you have to do it in duplicate for the clients records and than again for my records ... and than every time I change something 'minor' that is more of a policy and does not affect t he financial end of things ... that is a lot of paper to be keeping on file for 7 years or more .... so they sign the contract which has the final paragraph that states they 'agree to abide by the policies and procedures for service in parent handbook'.

    My handbook can than be paperless and therefore can be more detailed, in a larger easy to read font and so forth cause it is not wasting paper being printed all the time or whenever a minor change occurs, it is emailed in PDF format to clients as well as it is on my website parent portal for easy reference for clients and if I make changes to it the bottom of it has the 'dates' of all revisions and I than I can just send out a notice to clients about the 'change' but they do not need to than 'resign' all their financial contracts unless the change affected that and if I were to change something that was a deal breaker for them than they have the right to give two week notice of course under the current contract before the 'change' takes place!

    As for what to have in your contract or handbook .... these are some of the things I have learned are helpful from my experience in centre care, some just from networking online and hearing horror stories of other providers and wanting something in place to avoid ever having to deal with that myself and some are ideas gotten from workshops and seminars I have attended on best practice in business in general or in the early years field specifically and so forth

    What to consider having in Daycare Service Contract

    • Hours of Care being committed to ~ days of week, hours of day
    • Security Deposit ~ how much is it and is it non refundable or refundable under what circumstances such as two weeks written notice and so forth.
    • Fees ~ exact amount of fees due each week
    • Payment schedule ~ how often do they pay and when fees are due
    • How late fees, NSF and other poor behaviour on part of client is handled
    • Fee polices around closures for stats, vacation and your sick days or family emergency or inclement weather of acts of nature beyond your control (no power, water, heat) and do clients still pay those days
    • Fee polices around if the client is absent ~ do they pay for sick days or absences
    • Contract changes ~ how often is it reviewed, subject to change, resigned and so forth and what procedures and notice will be in place for those times.
    • Termination of contract by either party ~ how much notice and what behaviours will warrant NO notice!

    What to consider having in a Handbook or directly in the contract

    Mission Statement ~ purpose of your business

    Philosophy / Curriculum ~ how you feel children learn best and what the program will entail

    Progress & Developmental Milestones ~ how will you reflect that the program is meeting the children’s needs, what tools or resources will be used?

    Hours of Operation ~ days of week, hours per day, ongoing or consistent closures, how much vacation is planned for provider and so forth?

    Fee Payment Policies ~ this is a place you can explain in more detail the contract obligations if you want to keep your contract short and sweet
    • Security Deposit
    • Program Fees & Vacation Policies
    • Payment Options
    • Tax Receipts
    • Withdrawal / Changes of Care Required
    • Late Pick-up Policy

    Custody Arrangements ~ how does the program deal with separated parents and what are the expected behaviours of clients with this

    What to Expect upon Enrollment
    • Registration Procedures ~ what information is required for registration
    • Orientation ~ how are new children ‘introduced’ to the program
    • First Day Checklist of things you expect to be on hand at all times for all the seasons
    • Arrival / Departure Procedure ~ what are expectations during this time
    • Release Procedures ~ who can the child be ‘released to’ should be clear and in writing how it will be handled specially if someone else shows up like a grandparent or something.

    Supervision Procedures ~ a little blurb to make it clear if children cannot always be in your direct line of vision what is used to assist with supervision ~ aka monitors. If older children are allowed to be left ‘alone’ in a play area and so forth.

    • Meals, Snacks and Beverages Provided
    • Birthdays and other Special Occasions

    Personal Belongings
    • Clothing
    • Personal Possessions
    • Soothers / Bottles
    • Lost & Found

    Physical Activity Philosophy ~ how often do you engage in gross motor activity and outdoor play. As well as Inclement Weather Determination ~ under what circumstances do you NOT go outside?

    Washroom Routine
    • Diapering
    • Toilet Training

    Health & Safety
    • Immunization ~ is it required, what records do you want on file, can they attend after having just been immunized
    • Communicable Illnesses ~ what symptoms are they NOT allowed to be care with
    • Illness while in program ~ how is this handled
    • Emergency Medical Care ~ calling 911 who pays for it and clarity that the child will be sent ALONE in the ambulance as you have other children
    • Medication ~ will you give it and if so under what circumstances
    • Safety Awareness ~ rules for your house around safety
    • Fire Drills ~ are they done, how often, is a plan posted, will parents be expected to participate on occasion and so forth

    Providing a Positive Learning Environment
    • Guiding Positive Behaviour ~ how do you deal with misbehaviour?
    • Code of Conduct ~ what behaviours are grounds for immediate termination from program?

    Communication ~ how is communication between client and provider to be handled if there is a concern or conflict ... in writing, verbally, at pick up or drop off or with an appointment and so forth? Does the program have a monthly calendar or newsletter to share info with clients?

    Privacy of Information ~ how are personal information and records on clients handled?
    • Collecting and Sharing of Information ~ who will you share info with and under what circumstances is extra permission required ... aka you can and will share information with collections agency if needed as well as if required by CAS, the Ministry of Education or Canada Revenue as part of an audit without additional permission however any other 3rd party will require ‘consent to release’.
    • Ensuring Accuracy ~ how often will your records need to be updated by clients?
    • Retention of Records ~ how long will you keep them (aka contacts need to be kept 7 years for tax purposes other records like accident reports or what not might be kept longer in case you ever get ‘sued’ down the line cause some client decides that little Johnny’s scrapped knee was really something more.
    • Disposing of Records ~ how will records be disposed of?
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  3. #3
    Starting to feel at home...
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    36 Times in 22 Posts
    Thank you so much!! I never thought about a handbook!

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