For many providers, keeping their child care forms and files in order is much more difficult than caring for the children. It certainly isn’t nearly as fun as being with the kids, but if you don’t keep the children’s forms and files current, you are not taking care of your business, and you could be putting the children at risk. Imagine if, God forbid, a child was injured and you couldn’t find the emergency contact information for him or her…
If you don’t already have a complete file for each of the kids in your program, I really recommend putting one together right now. Some providers keep each child's file in a separate folder, others use binders. You should use the method that works for you, and that you will be able to keep up with.
These child care forms are to get you started, but be sure to check with you local licensing agency to see what other forms you may need. Many states have additional official forms that you may need to keep on each child.
You should have parents sign-in at the time they drop off their child, and sign-out when they pick their child up each day. This is really important for several reasons. For liability purposes, you want to have documentation showing when a child is in your program and when he or she is in the care of their parents. If there is a fire or natural disaster and you need to be evacuated, the sign-in sheets let emergency personnel know if there is anyone still inside. Your sign-in sheets also help you keep track of enrollment which is very handy when you are doing your budget or taxes. In some states, licensing will also check to make sure that you are having parents sign-in and out.
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