When you have selected a family childcare provider for your child, before your child starts care you should expect to be given a comprehensive written list of the provider’s policies and procedures and a contract. It is important that you carefully go over the contract and the policies before your child starts Go over each page with your provider and make sure you understand what is expected of you and what you expect from them. Ask questions and make sure you get a satisfactory answer for any questions you may have.

At any time you need to amend the contract (for example, your hours or days needed for care change), make sure you make the changes in writing and it is signed by you and the provider. Expect the provider to do the same if fees or any conditions in contract are changed. It is always a good idea to give a 2-4 week notice before changes go into effect.

You should expect to see the following items in your contract with the childcare provider:

• Names of each party entering into contract

• Names and birth dates for each child

• Specific times and days you have agreed for care for each child

• Whether or not the times and days are flexible

• Whether there is a deposit required and amount

• If it is refundable and under what conditions

• If there is a trial period

• If there are assistants and who they are and are they licensed

• Payment rate and when payment is due

• If there is a late payment fee charged and amount

• How payment can be made (Check, money order, cash)

• Are there fees for picking up or dropping off child and the amount.

• Holiday and vacation schedules and payment agreements

• Closures: Illness of provider, illness of your child, when child can and cannot come to care, and payment agreements

• Termination procedures: amount of notice needed, (payment during termination period)

• Forms you are responsible to submit and keep up to date

• Agreement on who supplies specific items: (diapers, formula etc)

• Add to contract any specific instructions such as child custody agreements and/or restraining orders. Make sure you supply provider with a copy of any legal documents pertaining to these orders.

Each family is different, and you may have specific needs that are not included in a standard contract. To guarantee that there will not be any misunderstandings, any negotiations between you and the provider that you discuss and agree to verbally needs to be added to the contract that is signed and dated by both you and the provider.