Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sample Family Child Care Provider Contract

This contract is a sample agreement between parents and a family child care provider. You can download the .pdf version and print it or you can download the Word version and make changes to reflect your own business and policies.

Having a contract is important. It's tempting, because of the sometimes informal nature of relations between parents and home providers, to do business on a handshake. Many providers have gotten "burned" this way. Usually because of payment issues, but other issues arise as well. It's hard to enforce a policy when it's not in writing and the parent didn't know about it beforehand.

For example, if your hours of operation are 8:00 to 6:00 and you have a parent consistently coming at 6:30, it's easier to keep this in check when you have a signed agreement that you can point to and say -- you signed this, you agreed to it, there is a charge for late pick-ups and I'm going to have to charge it if you're late in the future.

You need time to unwind when the day is over. You need time to clean up and have time for yourself and your own family. Make sure that your policies reflect this. It's one thing to be bending and flexible when necessary, but it's another to let your business take over your life. Some parents will take advantage if they can, so offer them clarity from the start, and the relationship will be much better for it.

Note, too, that in many states, a contract like this is required before providers can become licensed. And even if it isn't, a contract like this can fulfill licensing requirements like having hours of operation in writing, having a written discipline policy, notifying parents of immunization requirements, etc.

.pdf version of sample family child care provider contract

Microsoft Word version of sample family child care provider contract

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