daycare policies

Fundamental Policies for a Daycare Owner

Fundamental policies are essential to operating a childcare business. They clearly outline the standards of the childcare business. In addition, policies are the framework for making decisions. Review and update policies regularly to maintain good practices. There are several policies to include in a handbook and contract. These policies include:


Emergency policy and procedure should include the process for a kidnapped child, dangerous person on or around the property. It should also include stranger on the property, exposure to hazardous material, severe weather, etc.

  • Policy Example: If severe weather is imminent, the provider will notify the parent(s) whether the daycare will be closed. If a warning is issued during or after closing the facility, the provider will contact parent(s) to inform them if the daycare will close early or not open the following day. If the daycare does not open for the entire week because of the weather, half of tuition will be due.

Health and Safety

The health and safety policy should include a policy on when a child becomes sick while in your care.

  • Policy Example: If the child becomes sick, the provider will use their discretion when determining the need for a child to be picked up. The child cannot return to daycare within 24 hours of being sick. Provider must have a written statement from the child’s doctor stating that it’s safe for the child to re-enter the daycare if the child contracts a contagious illness. Anytime a child is hurt at daycare, or have any adverse reaction to a medication, the incident will be documented.


The payment policy informs parents what the provider expects and what they can expect from the provider. It should be well written to prevent parents from being surprised about their financial obligation when they receive your services.

  • Policy Example: A non-refundable application fee of forty-five dollars is due and payable on the day of enrollment unless specified otherwise. Childcare tuition is based on a five-day week, including holidays, earlier releases, a nonholiday day out of school, and absences due to illness or severe weather. If the child attends two or more days in a week, parent(s) must pay a full week’s tuition. If the child is out an entire week, half of tuition is due. If the child only attends the daycare for one day in a week, a fifty-dollars drop-off fee is due.


The immunization policy is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all children.

  • Policy Example: Each parent must submit written proof of immunization to the provider within two weeks of enrollment. If immunizations have not been or are not going to be administered because of a medical condition, a statement from the child’s primary health care provider documenting why the child is temporarily or permanently medically exempt from the immunization requirements. If immunizations are not to be administered because of the guardian(s) religious or philosophical beliefs, a legal exemption with notarization, waiver, or other state-specific required documentation signed by the parent/guardian should be provided to the provider. Immunization records must remain updated.


A behavior policy should include a procedure with effective methods to teach children self-control. It should include a positive model of acceptable behavior.

  • Policy Example: The provider has the right to reprimand the child when they misbehave. Discipline will be in the form of a “time-out” appropriate for the child’s age group. If a child’s behavior becomes uncontrollable, the provider will meet with the parent(s) to discuss the child’s behavior. Biting, cursing, fighting, talking back, or any other belligerent behavior will not be tolerated. After talking with the parent(s) in an effort to current the problem, the provider has the right to determine if the problem has been corrected. If the problem is not corrected, the provider will issue a two weeks’ notice to the parent(s) for termination of childcare.

Emergency Transportation

Emergency transportation is especially important for home daycare providers. An emergency service policy should state what happens if a child needs to be transported by an emergency service.

  • Policy Example: If a parent cannot be reached, the child will be transported by an Ambulance Service to the emergency room of a hospital. The hospital and its medical staff will provide the child with emergency medical treatment, which a physician deems necessary. If you have not specified any hospital(s), the child will be taken to and cared for at the nearest hospital. Parent(s) are financial responsibility for all medical expenses incurred.

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