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Policies for Daycare Centers- What’s Right or Wrong?

This article is mainly suited for parents who are looking for childcare and daycare owners who are constructing policies on what their daycare center rules should be.

The main objective of a parent handbook in the daycare setting is to establish rules and boundaries for the parent and daycare provider. Without boundaries and rules many issues erupt which could have been avoided in the first place. It is extremely important for you the parent to understand what your provider expects. As well as the provider, it is important for you to lay down the ground work so that no confusion lies between you and the parent.

Below will be a guideline that you may wish to follow regarding rules and standards established for your daycare center.

A parent handbook about daycare centers should have the following information:
1. Sick policy: What are the guidelines that the center will use when a child becomes ill? When will the parent be called, how high does the temperature need to be for a parent to be asked to come pick-up the child? What if the child has an unexplained rash? Loose bowel movements? Falls and hits his/her head? What is the policy for re-entering childcare after being home with illness? What contagious diseases are not allowed in your center? Will you allow sick children to be in your center? These are all very important questions that need to be addressed by the parent and the daycare provider as well.

2. Pick-Up Child Policy: Issues should be addressed on who is picking up the child, and what if someone else shows up to pick up that child and you don’t know about it. Are both parents together or divorced and what is the arrangement with custody. If there is a situation that a parent is not allowed to pick up a child it would be wise to have legal documents on file stating the arrangement by court. If a child is walking from school or being picked up by your center there should be paper work on file stating these arrangements.

3. Tuition: A contract stating price and payment should be filled out by both the parent and the daycare center. There should be a clear understanding of how many days the child will attend and what the charge will be. There should also be an understanding of what charges there will be when a child is not attending childcare.

4. Vacations and Time Off: Will the daycare provider be taking off for a vacation and will the parents still need to pay for childcare? What about emergency closings, what are the policies regarding this. What holiday’s will the center be closed and are they paid holiday’s or not.

5. Punishment and disorderly behavior: What are the rules of the daycare center regarding punishment? What ages and what ways does the center try to correct behavior? What are the daycare centers grounds for termination? What are the guidelines established when talking to parents about problems.

These are the fundamentals of a day care parent handbook. Remember that all concerns should be addressed in this handbook; it is there to help the parent and the daycare center and especially to protect the safety of the child.

The Daycare Diva, Christine G. Groth, is the creator of The Guide to Instant Daycare Profits. To learn more about this step-by-step program and to sign-up for her FREE Start a Daycare tips and articles, visit