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Running your daycare: What should be in your parent handbook?

Creating a parent handbook is a must for li licensed child care providers.
Creating a parent handbook is a must for li licensed child care providers.

Family child care homes need handbooks just like any other business. Without a handbook, it becomes difficult for the provider and the parents to really understand the daycare’s policies. Parent handbooks encourage consistency and are also a great backup when a parent claims not to know about a certain procedure you have developed or implemented. It is a great reference tool. It keeps parents informed and helps providers keep their day-to-day business organized and flowing smoothly.

The State of Colorado Department of Human Services – Child Care Division revised their rules and regulations regarding family child care homes this year. In this revision, there is a list of 33 things that must be included in your parent handbook. In the State of Colorado, licensed child care providers are required to give parents a handbook that covers all 33 of these topics, and you are encouraged to include more if applicable.

It is a lot of information to include, so try to be as brief as possible in putting together your handbook. The less they have to read, the more likely that they’ll read the whole thing. Consider using some graphic elements like bulleted lists, tables, graphics, text boxes, and whatever other elements you think might break up the monotony of the text.

It does not hurt to have the parents sign a form stating they have received a handbook and are responsible for reading it. That way no one can come back and claim that they were unaware of this policy or that procedure.

To see the rules in their entirety go to the State’s webpage and look under 7.707.5 Admission Procedures.