What to Include in Your Childcare Parent Handbook
A childcare parent handbook is the foundation of strong parent-teacher communication and is designed to promote a child’s holistic well-being. It acquaints potential parents and existing community with the philosophy, mission, policies, and curriculum of your childcare business.
That is why we have created a checklist for you to ensure you’ve got everything you need to build a childcare parent handbook.
Table of contents
- Welcome note
- Payment policy
- Parent communication
- Educational philosophy
- Emergency regulations
- Health protocols
- Discipline protocols
- Classroom activity rules
- Holiday list & sick day rules
- Meals & supplies
- Sample daily schedule
- Drop & pick up schedule
- Enrolment & withdrawal policy
- Operational information
- Make a good first impression.
- Keep the welcome note concise and to-the-point.
- Build an emotional connection with your parents by sharing your inception story.
- Add a high-quality image of your childcare to go along with it. Avoid stock images.
- Customize the enrollment form to fit the needs of each child.
- Share a sample of the daily report form to be filled by the teacher.
- Families that are waitlisted can duly fill out the childcare waiting form to get a confirmed spot.
- Incorporate childcare application forms to get information on the student.
- Traditional daycares have sign-in sheets to gather attendance data. However, when done manually, errors are frequent. Use Illumine’s digital attendance to save $1320 monthly on paper, stationary, and resources.
- Include billing policies like when are payments due, the penalty for late payments, and how parents pay.
- If there are miscellaneous charges, explain to the parents in advance so they know what to expect.
- Provide a detailed explanation of how vacations affect daycare billing. If the tediousness of the task puts you off, choose Illumine’s childcare billing software to fast track invoices, receipts, and billing reports, making payments 76% faster.
- In this section, include how often can parents expect to hear from you and at what times of the year, what is covered in these meetings, and how can they get routine updates.
- Let parents know what’s the mode of communication for important announcements and events. In case a parent needs to update a child’s basic details, Illumine’s efficient teacher parent communication software makes recording information fast, simple, and effective.
- Include who the parent has to connect with in case there is an emergency situation.
- Use parent-friendly language when drafting this section.
- Explain your approach, pedagogies, and metrics that you use to assess children’s development.
- Detail learning outcomes and objectives for children with special needs, if you have an SEN facility.
- Outline information on what is your plan of action in an emergency situation, like a child’s allergy aggravates, or in case of natural disasters, like earthquakes.
- Use factual language when drafting this section.
- Create an emergency fire exit plan. Better still, add an evacuation blueprint to the handbook, and be clear about how parents will be contacted.
- Put information about healthcare accreditation in this section.
- Mention the child-to-teacher ratio and list down the measures your childcare takes to ensure the mental and physical well-being of the child.
- Put the parents’ minds to ease by sending meal updates to parents in the form of photos or videos using our virtual daycare reporting app.
- Share a code of conduct with parents to lay down your expectations from the parent and child community.
- Give a rundown on how you expect teachers to behave towards students and vice versa,
- Summarize the disciplinary procedure for both children and teachers in case of an unforeseen circumstance. Include information on how parents can expect to be notified about such sensitive situations.
Classroom activity rules
- In this section, cover rules and regulations with respect to birthday parties and day trips.
- Include what children can and cannot bring to school, how you take parent permissions, and what happens in case a parent doesn’t grant permission.
- Clear your stance on gifts for children on the occasion of their birthday or the presents that students sometimes buy for their teachers. The kids may have good intentions, but some daycares have a policy in place regarding the same.
Holiday list & sick day rules
- Mention to parents that they need not send their child if they’re showing Covid-related symptoms.
- Students infected with Covid can restart preschool once they get a signal from their doctor. Make sure you check their medical certificate before allowing them in the campus.
- Your childcare parent handbook needs to include guidelines on what happens if a child falls sick in school. What is the protocol for contacting parents? Which emergency contact should be given preference? Is the child allergic to any medicines?
- If a family’s going on vacation, have proper rules in place regarding timely notification.
Meals & supplies
- Include information on the following: if you provide meals, how do you handle allergies? What cuisines do you serve? Are parents permitted to send meals from home? How do you handle food storage? Are students allowed to share food, especially in light of the pandemic?
- In the supplies section, intimate to the parents if they need to send the child with wipes, diapers, an apron, or any other essentials.
Sample daily schedule
- Give a rough outline of day-to-day care of the child, like when are meals served, when do they nap, when do they play, and when do they do activities. It helps potential parents understand how your daycare works.
- You can communicate with parents about your child’s upcoming lessons through our lesson planning app, which more than 455 schools use and love globally.
Drop & pick up schedule
- Include information about late/early arrival and departure and the penalty for children who are periodic defaulters.
- Share your policy on non-parent pick up too.
- Ensure children’s safety and keep parents worry-free with Illumine’s smart bus tracking app. Access bus driver’s details, bus route, and timely journey updates through GPS-enabled tracking.
Enrolment & withdrawal policy
- Mention enrolment information, including enrolment cost, program cost, eligibility requirements, etc.
- Write a brief message for waitlisted families too and let them know what they can expect in the early-enrolment window.
- Whether you like it or not, withdrawals are part and parcel of a daycare business. Include information about how parents should notify you in case they have to move cities. Make the end care agreement smooth and hassle-free.
- Manage your inquiries through lead CRM in Illumine to avoid losing out on potential clients.
- This list is in no particular order. We suggest you place this section at the start of the handbook.
- Mention care schedule, facility hours, and contact information.
- Include your phone number, website, email, and address.
While creating a handbook, ask yourself: Have you responded to every question that the parent may have regarding your childcare? If the answer is yes, you have done a good job, which deserves a pat on the back. If you’re struggling, book a demo with Illumine to streamline your daycare operations before we take the next step in the order of things. We’d love to guide you!