A child care contract assures that there are no misunderstandings between you and your clients. It also protects you and your business from potential litigation. The contract states requirements and policies that both you and your clients must follow. A daycare contract form should include at least the following:
Hours of Operation: List the days and hours your child care center will be open for business. Also detail any holidays you will be closed or any other days that the child day care center will be closed, if applicable.
Fees and Payments: State the fees per week or month. Be explicit about whether or not sick days, holidays and vacation days are paid days. Some things to consider and disclose: When are weekly and month fees due? What are the consequences if fees are unpaid? (Termination? Suspension? ) How much will you charge for returned checks? How many returned checks will you allow before the client must pay in cash?
Arrival and Pick-Up Policies: State your cut-off times for pick-up. Establish your late fees for late pickups. Also explain that only pre-authorized persons may pick up a child and that verbal and written permission must be received before a child may be picked up by an unauthorized person.
Illness Policies: Your contract should include a statement that explains when a child is too sick to attend daycare and how long the child must be symptom free before returning to daycare. Also detail your procedures for your course of action when a child becomes sick in daycare. You will also need to have a separate medical consent form in place. Also note what by time the parents must notify you if their child will not be attending daycare due to illness.
Withdrawal and Termination: What are the grounds for termination? What type and length of notice do you require for withdrawal from your daycare center? List that information in this section.
Damages: Sometimes children purposely break household items, toys, and other child care equipment. Who will pay for damages beyond the normal everyday wear and tear (when a child purposes to cause damages)? Your contract should be explicit about who will shoulder the burden of damages and repairs.
Toy Policies: Are children allowed to bring their own toys to your daycare center? What about other personal items of comfort like pillows or stuffed animals? State your policy here.
Potty Training and Diapering Policies: In this section, detail whether or not you potty train and what your potty training philosophy might be. Do you supply diapers or pull-ups? Is there an extra fees associated with potty training? Do you allow cloth diapers?
Subsidies: Does your childcare center participate in federal government programs that offer daycare subsidies? If so, state that any fees that are not covered by the subsidy are the parents’ responsibility and that fees are payable in advance on the first of day of the month.
The client (parent or guardian) and the childcare provider must sign and date the form. Give a copy to the client and keep copy for yourself.
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