How to Make a Home Daycare Handbook
Every business needs to have policies. A parent handbook is the best way to share your business practices with your daycare parents. It introduces your child care program to your clients, and lets them know what to expect from your home daycare. Keep reading for insider tips!
Starting from Scratch
Since my template for my daycare parent handbook came from a mentor, I don’t have the rights to share it with you. So I’ll do my best to let you know what it includes and how to format it so you can make your own!
If you want to learn more about what specific policies to put in your handbook, read this post.
Start a new Microsoft Word document. Make the front page of your handbook a short, warm welcome letter to your program.
As someone who know what it is like to be a working parent, I understand the stress related to choosing and using a daycare provider in an extremely personal way. I feel that my personal experiences allow me insight into your daily needs as a client. I run my business from my home because Family Child Care is an incredibly personal and emotional occupation – and I love this aspect of it! It allows me to get closer to my children and cater to my families’ needs and desires.
Thank you for choosing Aunt Shannon’s Daycare. I look forward to providing your child with a caring and enriching environment, and welcoming them into my family!
Next, write an “About Me” section. Write the same way you would talk to a parent – it doesn’t have to be formal and third person. Some things you can include here:
- Mission statement
- Closed Days
- Daily Schedule
Make each of these topics a heading with a short paragraph explaining underneath.
Communication and Working Together
Write up a paragraph explaining how you will communicate with your daycare parents and include them in your program. For example:
- Text Messages
- Daily Notes Home
- Bulletin Boards
- Facebook Group
- Participation in daycare activities and events
Read more about communicating with daycare parents here.
Learning at Daycare
Write at least one paragraph here explaining how you will teach your daycare kids. Will you make lesson plans for a preschool program? Will you teach non-formally through daily interactions with your kids? Did you purchase a curriculum to use? Let the parents know what to expect from you.
What is your behavior policy? Put a plan in place for kids whose behavior gets out of hand and stick to it. Write your specific course of action, such as time out, talking to mom and dad about it, and how many instances could lead to immediate termination.
Write down everything you can think of here that you’ll need to cover your butt financially. If you have a policy about minimum days a week, late payment fees, late pick up fees, etc. put it all here.
Read more about which specific policies you need here.
Are you providing meals or are parents required to pack them? If you’re providing meals, what times are they and what are you serving?
Read here to find out why I suggest providing meals for your daycare kids.
What items are parents required to send? Spare clothes or items for nap time? Where will these things be kept? What things are not allowed to be sent? Are toys and food from home okay? Explain it all here.
Your state probably requires a health certification and copies of immunizations. You probably want a policy that doesn’t allow sick kids or kids with lice to remain in care. Spell it all out for the parents here so they know what to expect.
Parents should always receive a copy of your emergency plan. Your local municipality or state education program may be able to help you with this.
I have a final section in my handbook where I disclose to parent that we have weapons in our home. As per state regulation, these are kept in locked storage, separate from the ammunition. I also let parents know here that I am a Christian, and that I teach the Bible and pray before meals in my daycare.
As you think of more situations that could become an issue for you, add it to your handbook! This is a business. Putting something in writing allows you to stand your ground when a disagreement occurs and run your business effectively.