Many times in this business, I hear providers say, I don't really need a daycare contract. But oh you do! A contract protects you and backs you up in so many ways. Think about if you were haggling with a parent who doesn't want to pay when their child is home sick. If you already had those policies written out and the parents had signed it, you'd have back up for your situation.
Contracts cover time and money, and policies cover everything else. Anything you want parents to know ahead of time goes into these two things. For more information on how to write them and to see the ones I've been using since 1995, click on home daycare contracts and policies here.
I have changed a few things here and there in these and DHS has required us to add a lot of ridiculous things in our policies here in Oklahoma a few years ago, but these have served me well.
When I do a daycare interview with a family, I go over each thing in the contract and touch on the important policies that I care about with them. That way they see them, they hear them, and they sign them. This takes care of a lot of the unknowns that may come up later. I don't ever just hand them the contract and let them sign it. I want them to know my expectations.
I also use the interview time to ask them their expectations so I know that up front too. I want to start the relationship off the best way we can. I hope these tips help you develop great relationships with your daycare families so you can have a more successful business for you, your parents, and your family.