Saturday, August 5, 2017

Child Care Checklist


1. Gives parents a chance to determine what THEIR desires, expectations and absolute must-haves are for the child care position for which they are interviewing providers

2. Gives a good checklist for comparing providers they interview, rather than relying on memory or in-complete notes

3. Gives parents a more thorough checklist of interview topics than they probably would have come up with on their own, especially first time parents.

4. Provides providers and centers a checklist to see where their strengths lie, and where they could possibly improve their program to be more competitive, or to be more clear in presenting their program to potential clients

5. Provides a comparison tool for checking out your competition and rating it against your program.

This was a quick put-together, so feel free to comment with additions, deletions, questions, suggestions.

Parents are always asking me what makes a great child care situation. I can't answer that, because every family, every care giver, every family situation and every child is very different. I do believe that the best situation will be a marriage of beliefs and philosophies on child rearing between a child care provider and the parents/guardians of the child. 

I think that personality matches are also important, that all parties feel open to be themselves and express their opinions and concerns freely.

Beyond that, there are some key elements that most parents would like to see in their child care situation. 

At this time, it should be standard that home providers get at minimum:
  • 10 paid vacation days
  • 5 paid time off [PTO] days for sickness or appointments
  • Paid major holidays 
Child care, especially home care, is a long, stressful day. Most providers are open a minimum of 50 hours a week and put in 10-20 hours a week in addition to that on cleaning, maintenance, shopping, curriculum, etc. It is VITAL that they have time off to re-charge and get away. 

Without it being paid, many providers will not take time off, and it is to their AND YOUR CHILD's detriment if they do not get some down time. I TRY to submit my time off a minimum of 3 months out so that my clients can make other arrangements. 

I personally don't take MLK or President's day, but other providers take their birthday, their child's birthday, Good Friday, etc. Our business, we can do that! When my brother was doing care, his contract had that he got off on Halloween every year, his favorite holiday.

Here in Kansas, regulations have become so restrictive that it is nearly impossible to get back-up providers who can come in while we go to doctor or dentist appointments. PTO days are becoming a necessity. 

My contract basically states that the clients have read and agree to my Policies & Procedures.

I belong to a child care marketing group. I don't need to market mine, I'm full for 3 years with a wait list at this point and have clients trying to plan pregnancies around my future openings. But I love to mentor others, and I do have some corporate marketing experience, and friends and clients with marketing backgrounds. One of the key aspects to marketing is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and those of your competition

Hopefully, this checklist will help parents and providers better assess a child care situation.