A Well-drafted Contract For Your Daycare Service Can Mean Good Business

by admin on March 2, 2009

A contract is defined as a meeting of minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with respect to the other, to give something or to render some service. Everything must be put in writing so that details of the services should not be misinterpreted or misunderstood. This is what daycare centers should have to be able to execute a service well defined that both parties, childcare provider and the parents or guardians, may clearly know.

A contract that is comprehensive and infallible should be well drafted and this is a tool that a daycare business can utilize to protect itself from confusion and future transgressions when the business is already operating. It is also proved that daycare centers that have a foolproof contract have saved them from potential grief. This is important to know because if you want to establish a daycare business, you must remember that you will be taking care and responsibility of many children and this is such a sensitive cause.

What should a daycare contract stipulates
It is essential that when you draft a contract, you clearly set out the terms and conditions that apply when parents hire your services, the policies that must be religiously abided, procedures, and charging. Simply put, your contract must comprehensively state who are the parties involved, what services your business can and will render, at what price the services will be charged, duration of the contract, and how the stated services will be executed. Your contract should be clear and scrupulous to avoid misconceptions. This can also help you avoid complaints from parents who may not have understood your terms clearly.

Knowing what a contract must stipulate is important when you are drafting it. Initially, your contract must be based on your company’s mission. The specifics on what enrolments forms should you require, the number of days or hours that care will be provided, the needed supplies, and your policies on trial period and termination of services. In some cases, there are children who by some reasons can not adapt to the daycare environment and parents do have any choice but to opt out from the contract. This should be well taken care of in your contract.

Other important details that are often missed out when drafting a contract for daycare include: opening or operating hours, penalties for late payers, holiday closures, maximum number of children catered, ratio of staff to child, insurance, and license. Having knowledge on these details would save you from potential chaos.

Having specified your policies on these details, you can now draft your payment conditions. Spell out the particulars on how much you would charge, when the payment is due, what services are covered, non-attendance, onset of holidays, modes of payment and to whom payments should be given, your stringent policy on late fees, rate policy, and deposits or reservations terms. Detailing out on this matter can unbelievably save you from trouble! Money can be such a stressful issue between childcare providers and parents.

You can also include a general section in your contract that deals on matters pertaining to different rooms, programs offered, policies on why toys should be left at home, meals, changing of nappies, and policies on drop off-pick up routines. Some contracts may also incorporate your behaviour policy. This indicates what you do and what you don’t in certain situations. In toilet training for example, you may point out that parents’ role working together with your staff is really important.

A usually recurring and considerable big problem experienced in perhaps any daycare center is illness. Be clear in your policy for sickness and health of the children you care for. You surely do not want to be blamed for a child who goes sick while at your care, do you? Your policy on this matter should indicate the actions that you will employ when specific signs of illness will be observed. Naturally, having a contagious child roaming around your daycare center should not be the case. State that you will inform parents when a child is sick and that the child should be immediately picked up at a certain time frame. You should have a policy on medication administration for this including parents signing out a form.

Communication is a vital aspect in the relationship of the parents and the daycare provider. It is then important that you specify policies on how you could have an openline communication with parents and when meetings should be conducted. You might consider scheduling a regular chat with parents every night or an appointment may also be encouraged as needed for a more in-depth conversation about the child’s wellbeing. Another effective way to create a healthy communication line with parents is through the conduct of annual meetings. Doing this can patch up transgressions as soon as possible and can bring a deeper understanding of how each parties feel.

Being knowledgeable on what your contract should and must consist will save you from a lot of trouble. The contract will be an evidence that you have been specific in how your daycare center works in the first place.

Tuition rates for your daycare center: Ways in how you can institute
How much do you have and should charge parents who will hire your childcare services? There is this most important factor to consider—it would be on how much time parents want to leave their child for care.

Here are ways on how you could set up your pricing:

* Research on current trend in pricing. Know how much other daycare centers are charging. The internet is one effective way of doing this purpose. You can surf for how much daycare centers are charging parents. You may also go directly to daycare centers in your area and ask how much they are charging. This could be unethical to do sometimes because you are a competitor and you wouldn’t expect them to instantly divulge you their rates. You can pretend though that you are a parent who is just getting price quotations from different daycare centers. Your rates should at least be at par with the charging of daycare centers nearby you.

* Evaluate what programs your daycare center is offering that are unique from others. This can be a basis of how much you could charge.

* Based on your research, you can then establish a tuition rate for your own daycare center.

Remember though that your rate no matter how high or low should never ever sacrifice quality of service. With this, you can expect more business!

See: How to start a daycare business

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Tom Shieh has written 323 post in this blog.

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