Keep in Mind
Policies are written statements about what you believe and where you describe in detail how you will operate your childcare business. They guide your day-to-day operations. It is critical that you take the time now to carefully research and think through any important issues you wish to address in your policies, then put them in writing and make a plan to implement them. Parent or staff handbooks are not policies. These handbooks summarize important information for parents and staff, whereas policies are much more in-depth documents.
Materials to Help You Write Policies:
SFTA has created a template for Group Child Care policies, which covers all required items and which you may adapt to describe the program you are planning. If you are interested in purchasing a template via check or money order, click here. To pay by debit or credit card, use the Paypal “Buy Now” button below.
You may also wish to consider contracting with one of our advisors, for creating customized policies for you; for more information, contact Gabi Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several decisions you will make as you develop your policies relate directly to your budget and your ability to succeed in the child care business. You need to have fee policies that will make it clear to parents how you charge for services, how they need to pay, when they need to pay, and exactly what will happen if they do not pay. You need to make it clear to staff what they will and will not be paid for, what benefits you offer, and how you will manage other working conditions. Policy decisions need to be made before you can fine-tune an operating budget.
Policy Development is Easy as One, Two, Three
If you are going to develop your group policy from scratch, these first steps will get you started!
Develop an outline for each policy (see below). Gather information regarding each topic to read and review. Decide what procedures would work best for your particular, unique program and write it down. This is a long and involved process. It takes a great deal of time and effort.
Complete the Group Day Care Policy Checklist indicating the page numbers of all the items listed. Remember, the items asterisked are required information that need to be included in your policy.
Mail a copy of your policy draft and the group policy checklist to your SFTA Technical Consultant for review and comment. When you meet with your Technical Consultant they will share any recommendations they may have to clarify language, suggest revisions and discuss best practice.
A copy of your completed policies and checklist will be sent to your Licensing Specialist as part of your application packet. You may want to develop Parent and Staff Handbooks as well as policies. These handbooks are not required but are a good business practice. Most policies are too detailed and do not apply to parents or staff.
||Describes the procedure parents go through to enroll their children
|Discharge of Enrolled Children
||Tells parents what to do when they intend to withdraw their child, and explains why and how the center might terminate an enrollment
|Fee Payment and Refund
||Explains what the children will be doing all day in your program and why they are doing these particular activities
||Describes to staff and families your philosophy of guiding children’s behavior and the prohibited forms of punishment
||Describes procedures for all potential emergencies and staff responsibilities
||Defines procedures for ensuring a healthy and safe child care operation. These policies relate directly to regulations
|Mildly Ill Child Care
||If program wishes to be licensed for this specialty
||Defines food service procedures
||See 251.04 on the Group Policy Checklist
|Orientation of New Staff and Volunteers
||Explains who is responsible for orientating new staff, when this will happen, and how it will be documented
|Continuing Education of Staff
||Describes for staff the process of obtaining and documenting continuing education
||Including job descriptions, benefits, hiring/firing procedures