Preparing a handbook guide for parents can have many advantages and can especially be a very professional method of communicating with parents regarding your policies and procedures. You can have parents sign your parent handbook therefore they will acknowledge the policies and will fulfill the requirements with careful attention. Below you can find a list of topics which you can include in your parent handbook guide for your child care.
Start with a warm welcome letter and introduce yourself as the director/owner of your child care center. As the director of your daycare you might want to give a little information about your commitment to education, children and learning.
“Hello my name is Mary Jones, I am the director/owner of Pudink Daycare Academy. I am pleased to announce you the opening of our new program for the year 2014-2015. Our child care center is committed to offering etc .”
You should describe the programs you are offering at your daycare. You can mention the approach your preschool’s curriculum is based on. For example play based or academic. It is better if you explain all the different types of programs available for children of different age groups at the daycare. Therefore parents can easily understand how you care for all age groups based on their actual needs. You can give a sample daily schedule of one of your programs. Also if you like you can get into more detail and describe your goals for why you have chosen such a curriculum for your childcare.
Mission & Vision Statement
Once you have given information regarding your daycare facility and the programs offered you should then make a connection between the programs offered at your childcare center and your mission & vision statement. You might want to explain your philosophy as the director and goals for a successful education and learning environment at your childcare center.
You can for example make a list of your vision regarding your preschool and state each one separately. For more detail about how to write a mission and vision statement you can read our blog post “………”
Student – Teacher ratio
This is a very important subject, which should be in your parent handbook and policy guide. Providing information regarding your staff in means of number of students per teacher and how there is a connection between children cared for and the educated staff members working at your center is crucial. When it comes to education of preschoolers class size matters because caring for children at this age requires a lot of attention and achievement highly depends on quality staff members, so you might want to also mention your caregivers at your center as well.
Whether there is a registration fee required for enrollment, and the forms that need to be completed such as an enrollment application, policies that need to be read by parents or guardians, information regarding emergency or records required such as medical etc. that needs to be provided by parents and guardians. You can create an enrollment checklist and have it completed by parents which can save you a lot of time and can be easier for them to fulfill.
Child care hours
You need to indicate your center’s hours of operation, drop off and pick up times, whether you have any extra hours of operation, whether parents can pick up there children after hours and whether you are open on weekends.
You must give information about your payment policies and procedures. For the payment plan you can give information about the payment methods accepted at your childcare center, late fees and penalties for these payments. You should also indicate whether you charge any additional fees for like certain activities such as field trips or late pick ups etc.
Nutrition & Napping Information
Mention about the nutrition plans and the meals and snacks you provide at the center. Talk about how you care for healthy meal options and how your meals are prepared. Talk about the precautions you take to make sure children with allergies are cared for, ask for parents to fill out forms regarding food allergies etc.
Providing information about your emergency procedure and safety standards is required so that parents can give permission and contact information of the person that will be contacted during an emergency situation. Not only will you be asking them for contact information but you should also make sure to give details on how you take control of an emergency situation at your child care center. You will be mentioning about how your building and facility is equipped and also can explain briefly about actions that require to be taken during an emergency situation such as an accident that may occur at your center or any other urgent happening. Parents have the right to know in advance steps that need to be taken for example how you communicate with them and how children are being taken care of.
In this section you will be mentioning all of the medication and vaccination requirements that needs to be completed upon enrollment and actions that need to be taken on your daycare's and parents behalf. Here you will be explaining the health policies followed by your center and also giving information regarding the first aid knowledge of your staff should also be one of the things that you might want to let parents know.
List of activities offered
You might also want to provide information about the activities that you are offering for children at your daycare. You can list all the daily activities that kids will be engaged in during daycare hours. You also might want to indicate if further action needs to be taken by parents for any specific activity like for example any clothing required or any extra fees or whether the activity requires any permission.
Volunteering moms for activities. Methods of communication to keep parents updated and involved in the process of child development is a great topic to have in your handbook and this can actually be influential for parents or guardians and this can cause them to be more involved in the early education stage of their children .
Calendar of events, holidays and important dates
Give information regarding important dates, closings and holidays of your child care center.