When running a day care, it is important to draw up a contract between yourself and the employees as well as a contract between the day care and the parents. The employee contract is like any standard employee contract, with the added stipulation that the employees maintain up-to-date infant and child CPR and first aid certifications and that they have not committed a criminal act against children. The parent contract should outline drop-off, pickup and sickness/injury parameters.
Specify the range of time during which the child can be dropped off, e.g., between 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. This way your staff can be prepared to intake the children.
Outline what responsibilities the parent has in terms of providing adequate cold-weather clothing, snacks, vitamins and other items.
Stipulate whether your day care will administer medicines to children, and if so, outline exactly what the procedure and policies will be. For example, you may require that the parent write and sign a notice detailing exactly what dose, how many times per day for how many days, of the medication must be given. Or you might avoid the hassle by insisting the child stay home during the course of treatment.
Detail what the procedure will be if the child is injured. Write in the contract language that stipulates that the parent agrees to this course of action in the event of an injury.
Outline discipline procedures, such as whether you will put the child in time-out, and under what conditions the child may be expelled from day care.
Outline what day of the week payment is due, what late payment penalties are and how much you charge if a child is left at your day care after closing time, e.g., $0.50 per minute after 6 p.m.
Outline the pickup guidelines with specific attention given to whether the child can be picked up by a person other than the person who dropped the child off. Some parents arrange schedules so a babysitter or aunt picks the child up in the afternoons; other parents have custody splits. Outline in the contract what proof you require in order to release the child to any adult other than the specific individual who is signing the contract.
State that the employee is working at will, which gives you the authority to terminate the employee without cause at any time. This will protect you from wrongful termination lawsuits.
Insert a clause that states that the employee must maintain valid and current CPR and first aid certifications applicable to infants and children. Detail whether the employer or the employee is responsible for paying for this training, and note that the employee is responsible for submitting proof of certification.
Ensure that the employee consents to submit to a yearly registered sex offender screening, and outline whether you or the employee will pay the cost of running a search through the sex offender database. This cost varies state by state but usually runs $10 to $25 per person.
- child image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com