Parent/Caregiver Contract - Sample #1
(reprinted with permission from Kaleidoscope Family Childcare Home)

Dear Parent(s),

Thank you for choosing "Kaleidoscope Family Childcare" for you childcare needs. Enclosed you will find a copy of my ~Parent Handbook~. Please read this ~Handbook~ thoroughly, as it covers very important policies and procedures that not only govern our childcare contract agreement, but also pertain to the care of your child. There may seem to be a lot of information, if you have any questions regarding my policies, please don’t hesitate to ask. We will go over this book during your interview, but this copy is for you to reference back to. There will be a yearly revision to this ~Handbook~ and the accompanying contract. All families will sign a new contract each year. I reserve the right to make changes to the policies and procedures, as I deem necessary. You will be notified, in writing, of any changes that may occur.

I look forward to welcoming you and your child into our childcare!

What I as a provider should expect from you, the parent:

Open communication. Explain clearly and carefully your wishes and expectations about how your child will be cared for. Also provide updates on problems and progress that you child is making. Good communication helps us work together in the best interest of your child.
Agreement on terms or arrangements. You should fully understand the terms of the contract and the policies and procedures that you as the parent are agreeing to.
Honesty and trust. This includes being honest about how you believe the arrangement is working. Although you need to be vigilant in order to safeguard your child, you should trust me as your childcare provider to do the best for your child. Show you trust by asking questions rather than jumping to conclusions when apparent problems develop.
Pick up on time. I as your provider have a personal life too. No trip to the grocery store etc. on your way here just because you find it more convenient, ultimately the care of your child is your responsibility.
Please do not send a sick, hungry or overly tired child to care. You should not expect me to cope with a child who has not had breakfast, went to bed four hours late or is to sick to be here. Payment on time and no “rubber” cheques. I have bills to pay and food to buy also.
Respect. Realize that taking care of children is a job and that not only am I a worker, but also a working parent. Recognize that this is not an easy job. I am not “just a Baby-sitter”. If you have the day off then give me the day off also. No jealousy. Try not to be jealous of you child’s attachment to me. Children who spend several hours each day with their childcare provider come to love that person. That love does not diminish the love the child feels for you. Last but not least. I am only human; I’m not “superwoman”. Please don’t expect me to do things that you yourself would not want to do.

Philosophy

We believe a child’s early experiences enrich and stimulate future growth. Children deserve to be treated and respected as individuals in an environment that welcomes reason, exploration, question, and imagination. We respect each child’s need for love, security, acceptance, warmth, and stimulation.

Goals

While in my care your child will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities, which promote all aspects of development. Family childcare provides for children the comfort and experience of belonging to an extended family. I provide a home like setting; therefore I do not follow a strict routine. My approach to childcare is child centered and child directed. Children are offered choices whenever possible. Your child will bring home a newsletter each month which will give a brief overview of what we will be doing. There will be some weeks your child will be bringing home papers every day, but there will also be weeks that your child does not bring home any papers. It will depend on the activities that we are doing. Just because you are not seeing anything in the way of papers does not mean that we have not been busy all day. A lot of our learning is done with hands on things like magnets, science, books, baking, etc…

Programming

Arts and Crafts: painting, colouring, scissors, glue, variety of paper, stickers, and many other materials. I also have available play dough or other modeling dough.

Science; water/rice table, baking, gardening, nature watching, outdoor adventures, discovery tables, weather charting and more.

Dramatic Play: Kitchen center, tool center, play house, dress up, doll house, dolls, puppets, ride-on-toys, adventure sets, and a wide variety of other toys.

Language and Reasoning: peg boards, puzzles, games, music, books, building toys, flannel board, nesting cups.

Outdoor Activities: swing set, merry-go-round, slide, teeter totter, sandbox, tricycles, bikes, and a variety of sports equipment.

Outings and Field trips; walks, library, forestry farm, events and parties hosted by local childcare associations, and other trips possibly related to pre-school curriculum.

Daily Program

Like most family homes, ours has a flexible routine that can change from day to day.

8:00a.m. *Children start arriving.
*Child’s choice of activity. May include: art, play centers, books, puzzles, TV program, etc.
9:30a.m. *Circle Time. Songs, stories, group games, sharing, etc.
9:50a.m. *Snack
10:10a.m. *Introduction of structured activities (art etc.).
11:15a.m. *Outdoor activities and play (weather permitting).
12:00p.m. *Lunch
1:00p.m. *Rest/nap time. All children are required to have a rest. This is my “coffee break” during the day, my time to re-charge.
3:00p.m. *Snack
3:30p.m. *Free play. Indoors or outdoors, projects etc
*The end of our day is tidy up and transition to home.

*TV note: I do not mind the children watching some educational, entertaining shows that are age appropriate, however, I will limit the time they do spend watching. The TV is mainly used as a transitional activity first thing in the morning and at the end of the day.

Fees for Childcare

Infant (0-18months): $ xxx.00
Toddler (19-30months): $xxx.00
Pre-School (30months +): $xxx.00
Kindergarten (upon attendance): $xxx.00
School Age (grades one and up): $xxx.00

*Fees are based on bi-weekly payments

Childcare Deposit

I will require a deposit for all families. The deposit will be the amount of one week’s childcare fee for your child or children. This will be refunded towards your last month childcare providing you give me proper notice as required before termination of care, and have no other outstanding fees owed to me. If you don’t give me proper notice and/or have fees outstanding, this fee will not be refunded.

PLEASE NOTE: I will not start providing childcare nor will your opening with us be considered saved until this deposit is paid.

Payment of Fees

All payments must be received every second Friday by 5:00pm in advance of the two weeks served. Failure to pay will be cause for suspension of services until full payment is made. Should daycare be closed for a holiday on a Friday all payments will need to be received on Thursday at 5:00pm before the two weeks served. At no time will childcare be provided unless full payment has been received in advance of the two weeks served. Should your child fail to attend on a Friday you are still required to ensure that full payment is received no later than 5:00pm. In the event that your child is absent or for other reasons you fail to render payment by Friday no later than 5:00pm, you will be charged a late fee of $5.00 per day. Late fees start at 5:00pm on Friday evening and additional charges will be applied each day at 5:00 until payment is received in full.

*There are no refunds in fees for absences due to a child's illness or any other reason. Full fees are required regardless of whether or not your child attends.

Late Payments

I realize the financial burden that childcare places on parents, and hope parents understand that as a business childcare places financial burdens on the provider. These include, but are not limited to groceries, utilities, insurance, programming, toys and equipment. I also have a financial responsibility to my family. An unpaid caregiver makes for a stressed and unhappy caregiver. My services are NOT FREE!

If fees are not received when due a $5.00/per day charge will be applied to the amount owing. This charge will be in effect until all monies plus late charges are paid in full.

**I will take all outstanding accounts to court and collections.

Cheques: There will be a $25.00 charge for all cheques returned N.S.F. plus any other charges incurred to myself and/or the bank. Parents who have two or more N.S.F. cheques will be required to pay by cash or money order.

Parent Holidays

Parents are still required to pay for their child’s space (remember, even if your child is not in the space, I am still holding it for you). If I receive one months written notice of "temporary withdrawal" for family vacation I will give a fee reduction of 50% for the period of the withdrawal. Maximum time for a family to receive a 50% reduced fee is 4 weeks per calendar year.

Leave of Absence

If you will be taking a leave of absence we will not guarantee your child’s space when you decide to return. If you wish to guarantee you child’s space you must pay half the monthly fee during your leave of absence. Prior notice of any leave of absence is required no less than one month in advance. We do make exceptions for parents not needing care during the months of July and August, but who will be returning in September. In this case I will hold your childcare deposit and if you don’t return in September the deposit will not be returned to you, unless I receive notice on or before August first in writing.

Provider Holidays / Sick days

* We are closed on all statutory Holidays, with pay.

* I will be taking four weeks vacation per year, two weeks at Christmas and two weeks in the summer. I will provide at least one months notice of the dates. Parents should make arrangements for alternate care during my vacation times. Fees will be reimbursed to parents during my holidays.

* I will utilize one working day per year for professional development, for attendance at a childcare conference. I would not provide childcare on this day, but because education is an important part of this childcare home, parents will be responsible for finding and financing an alternate for the day. I would cover all conference expenses out of the regular childcare fees, therefore, parents will not be reimbursed the percentage of fees this one day would cost them. I will provide one month’s notice to parents concerning this day.

* I will cover all other absences. When I do not have an alternate, I pay pack the daily rate less 25% for operating costs.

There may be an occasion when I am to ill to provide childcare and am unable to find an alternate at such short notice. The Parent should always have an alternate in place for emergencies such as these.

Adjustment Period

The first two weeks of childcare are to be an adjustment period. It is my responsibility to let the parent know if the child seems unhappy or the arrangement is unsatisfactory for any other reason. It is the parent’s responsibility to let me know the same. The parent or myself can terminate the contract anytime during the adjustment period in writing on or before the 10th day after care starts.

Termination of Childcare

One months written notice (on or before the first of the month, for the following month) is required by the parent to myself. Fees will still be due if the parent withdraws the child before notice is given, or at any given time during the notice. One month’s fees may be paid in lieu of one month’s notice.

I will provide the parents with one months written notice if I am no longer able to care for your child. You are still responsible for paying the monthly fees during this notice regardless of whether your child attends.

I will terminate our childcare contract immediately for any of the following reasons (but not solely limited to):

Failure to comply with the policies set forth in this book.
Failure to comply with the contract.
Destructive or hurtful behavior of child that persists even with parent cooperation in stopping the behavior.
Non-Payment of childcare fees or late and/or recurring payment of fees.
Failure to show up for 5 days in a row without any communication.
Failure to complete required forms.
Inability to meet the child’s needs without additional staff.

Hours of Operation

The daycare is open from Monday to Friday only. We do not accept children earlier than 8:00am. Hours of operation will vary among parents as I only work the hours you have contracted me for. Parents must phone if they will be late in arriving or absent for the day. If you arrive late without a phone call, I may not be present. It will then be the parent’s responsibility to find and finance an alternate for their child for the day.

To ensure the safety of your child, only you or your designate may pick up your child. Phoning me to let me know someone other than yourself will be picking up your child is fine if I know the person or your child can identify him or her.

Verification of legal custody: I must have a copy of the court order recognizing the parent who has legal custody of the child, as well as visitation schedules. Otherwise I have no choice except to release the child to his/her parent.

Overtime

There will be a $5.00 charge (per child) for every half-hour or portion thereof that your child is in my care earlier or later than their contracted hours. I realize that emergencies do happen and a quick phone call to let me (and your child) know is important. NOTE: Emergencies do not include shopping, getting your hair done, going to the gym, extra-curricular activities at school etc. I plan appointments and family activities according to each child’s hours and it really inconveniences my family and myself if you don’t show up on time.

It is important that you are punctual in picking up your child. I give your child “notice” that you are coming and have them tidy up whatever they are doing. It is very frustrating for your child to be waiting and watching for you. The hours you contracted me for are the hours your child should be here.

Health Policy

Ill children expose other children, as well as the provider, to the spread of the illness and require additional care and attention that I am unable to give. Moreover, sick children want care from their parent in the comfort of their own home.

If other children become ill due to exposure to your sick child, either because he/she was returned to childcare before recovery or he/she was not picked up promptly upon notice of being ill other families will be unnecessarily inconvenienced.

If my family or myself becomes ill due to exposure to a sick child, all of the children may need alternate care. This is disruptive to all. Cooperation is extremely important on this issue.

Obviously, it will not be possible to avoid the spread of all infectious illnesses. However, minimizing exposure, and providing good hygienic procedures in the childcare home are helpful means to limit and control the problem.

The Health Department regulations prohibit the admittance of any child into a family childcare home that exhibits any of the following symptoms:

Fever (100f. or higher) – child needs to be fever free for 24 hours
Diarrhea – child must be symptom free for 24 hours
Vomiting – child must be symptom free for 24 hours
Runny nose with coloured discharge –check with doctor
Rash –check with doctor
Discharge from eyes or ears
Lice – child needs to be treated before return
Communicable diseases – chicken pox, measles, mumps, conjunctivitis (pink eye), influenza etc. The child may return when the incubation and contagious period is passed and the child is well enough to resume normal childcare activities.

MEDICATION:

If your child is on antibiotics he/she continues to be contagious for 24 hors after the first dose of medication and can not return to childcare until this time period has passed. Parents must fill out a permission form when needing me to administer any medications.

I have the right to refuse to care for a sick child. If your child develops any of the above symptoms while in my care, you will be required to pick up your child immediately. If the child is not picked up within a half-hour of my calling a $5.00 for every 15 minutes charge will be assessed. If I have to call a parent to pick up a child that has been dropped off for care to ill to participate in the day the child will also be required to stay at home the following day.

*There are no refunds in fees for absences due to a child's illness. Full fees are required regardless of whether or not your child attends.

Injuries

I will make every effort to ensure the safety of your child while in my care. Unfortunately, minor accidents may occur. Parents are responsible for any medical bills that may arise from such.

I will notify parents immediately of any illness or accident, which requires first aid treatment.

In the case of a serious accident or injury, I will make every effort to contact you immediately. If I can not contact either parent, I will call the emergency contact numbers supplied to me to make the medical decisions for the child. If I feel the injury is life threatening I will call “911” or take your child to the nearest hospital. Parents will be responsible for any medical and/or ambulance bills that may arise from such.

Child Management

While in my care only positive encouragement is enforced. Children will NOT be subject to spanking, hitting, kicking, restraint, or to, verbal, emotional, or physical punishment. I believe the most effective ways of enforcing positive behaviors are: Praise, Respect, Re-Direction, and Positive Re-Enforcement.

I don’t play “REF”; I use strategies to engage children in their own problem solving. During conflict it is important for children to feel respected, secure, loved, important and special. They need to know I am always available to listen and help, not to judge. My goal is to coach the children so they can negotiate, compromise, brainstorm and work it out together. I do not believe in “adult initiated” time outs, as I feel when used punitively it takes away from a valuable teaching experience. I will only place a child in time out if I feel that they are a threat to the safety and well being of themselves or others. When this becomes necessary I make sure everyone is alright, then I stay with the child.

Damages

While we all realize there will be wear and tear on all the childcare equipment; if your child intentionally damages our toys, furnishings, equipment or property, through destructive behavior or roughness, you will be liable for the damages.

Weather

If we are under severe or threatening weather conditions we are closed: tornadoes, blizzards, and severe windchills and/or temperatures. Typically if the schools are closed then we are closed.

Meals

Parents are responsible for providing a nutritious lunch for their child. NO CANDY, GUM, etc. I will provide your child with milk or juice. I will also provide your child with two daily snacks. Parents are responsible for feeding their child breakfast at home before arrival.

Infants

Parents are responsible for providing diapers, diaper wipes, formula, milk, bottles, baby food, and other necessities.

Toilet Training

When your child shows readiness for toilet training, this will be done in a relaxed manner and in cooperation with you. I will only begin helping potty train a child after you have successfully began training at home for one week. Don’t ask me to begin potty training if you haven’t had success at home first. Your child will need to wear pull up diapers until well established, this is for sanitary purposes. I will gladly follow your means of potty training if you let me know what it is. For example, if your child is rewarded with a sticker, just provide the stickers and I will follow your lead.

Children’s Clothing & Supplies

Accidents do happen, so please leave a complete change of clothing here for your child.

SPRING & SUMMER: Please provide sunscreen, sun hat, bathing suit, and towel to be left here.

AUTUMN & WINTER: Dress your child according to the weather; snow suit, toque, mitts, and boots (layers work well on “iffy” days). Your child may also enjoy a pair of slippers.

Pets

We have one family pet, a Cat named Willow. She is used to having children around her.

Enrollment Requirements

All necessary forms MUST be completed before I will assume the care of your child. NO EXEPTIONS! All forms must be updated yearly. We fill these forms out together.

Signed parent hand book contract.
Client & General information forms
Medical, Emergency & Immunization forms
Permission to administer form
Parent fee contract
Transportation, Photo and Swimming(summer only) release forms

***I reserve the right to make changes to the policies and procedures, contract or forms, as I deem necessary. You will be notified, in writing, of any changes that may occur***

Communication

Communication is very important tome. When I accept a new family into my childcare, I like to be sure that we can share openly any concerns or questions that may arise. I welcome questions, feedback, or discussions of any kind that effect a positive outcome for the child. Sensitive issues will be discussed outside of regular hours either by phone or conference. You may call me between 7:30am – 9:00pm. If you call me during the day, please be aware that I may be busy with the children. All parents should check the parent board by the front door for important information.

Phone: xxx-xxxx Email: kaleidoscopecare@yahoo.com

Web-site: www.geocities.com/kaleidoscopecare

Parent Handbook Contract

This Parent Policy Handbook was designed to help things go smoothly in developing a good working relationship. The bottom line is:Ask me if anything is unclear. If any of my policies seem unfair or unnecessary, please take a moment to think about that policy and how it would apply to your current working situation….I’m sure it will make sense in that light. These policies are enforced for the same reasons policies are enforced in any job situation—For fairness and respect. Please sign by each subsection below, indicating that you have read, understood and agree to abide by each policy as written in the Parent Handbook.

Philosophy_________________________________________

Goals_____________________________________________

Programming______________________________________

Daily Program______________________________________

Fees for childcare____________________________________

Childcare deposit____________________________________

Payment of fees______________________________________

Late payments_______________________________________

Parent Holidays______________________________________

Leave of absence______________________________________

Provider holidays/sick days_____________________________

Adjustment period_____________________________________

Termination of childcare________________________________

Hours of operation_____________________________________

Overtime_____________________________________________

Health policy_________________________________________

Injuries______________________________________________

Child management_____________________________________

Damages_____________________________________________

Weather______________________________________________

Meals________________________________________________

Infants_______________________________________________

Toilet training_________________________________________

Children’s clothing and supplies__________________________

Pets__________________________________________________

Enrollment requirements________________________________

Communication________________________________________

I hereby acknowledge that I am aware of the conditions stated in the policies and procedures of this parent Handbook, and agree to abide by these requirements.

In witness whereof the parties have set their hands the______day of_________20____at _________________, in the province of Saskatchewan.

Parent signature_________________________

Parent signature_________________________

Childcare providers signature_____________________________


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