CREATING A PARENT HANDBOOK If you own or operate any type of child care home or center, it is critical that you develop a parent handbook.  The parent handbook can serve as a contract between you and the parent.  You should have them sign a form in which they acknowledge that they have received, read, and agree to abide by the principles outlined in the handbook.  Below is a list of possible items you may wish to include in your handbook.  Remember this is only an example and is not meant to be exhaustive.  You may wish to add, delete, or rearrange the list of subjects.  Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to have different policies.  Speak with a person from the agency which licenses your program and ask them what you should include in your handbook.  As always, make sure any written forms or handbooks you have are checked by a lawyer who can make sure they are legally sound and adhere to any applicable state or federal laws.

  1. Child care center name, address, and phone number.
  2. Name of the owner, director, and any other people in management or leadership
  3. Hours/Days of operation
  4. Holidays/ Other days child care Center/home is closed
  5. Ages served
  6. Fees/Payment policies and procedures (including acceptable form of payment and late fees)
  7. Termination of care (under what situations you will refuse to continue caring for children)
  8. Philosophy of care (overall goal of child care center/home)
  9. Discipline (How you will deal with behavioral issues)
  10. Items that cannot be brought to your center/home
  11. Items that are needed for the different age groups
  12. Program summaries (brief description of your different classrooms/programs/age groups) - you may want to have a separate sheet or booklet each parent gets as their child moves from one classroom/age group to the next-
  13. Required forms needed before child can begin attending
  14. Table of contents and/or index