Your parent handbook outlines all important information for families enrolled at your childcare centre. Creating a parent handbook for your ECEC involves highlighting contact information, outlining policies and procedures, explaining fees and costs, and including any other pertinent information.
Your parent handbook will also act as a contract between you and your families, helping to avoid miscommunication and adding a layer of protection for your centre. The more in-depth your parent handbook is, the less confusion you will have. In this blog post, we will outline how to create a parent handbook for your childcare centre. Keep reading to get started building your centre’s handbook.
Start With the Basics
Highlight basic information about your centre at the beginning of your handbook. Include the name, address, and contact information of your ECEC. You may also wish to include the names and contact information of owners or directors that may be contacted with questions or in the case of an emergency.
Hours of Operation
Make sure to include hours of operation for your centre including drop-off and pick-up times. Also, be sure to include your check-in/check-out procedure and any late fees your centre charges.
Make sure parents know which holidays your centre observes and closures or hours of operation on those days.
Showcase Your Childcare and Teaching Philosophies
It’s important that families know your centre’s philosophies around teaching so they can understand what and how their child will learn. Share more about your centre’s philosophies when it comes to teaching, development, and discipline.
Mission, Vision, and Values
In addition to your teaching philosophies, it’s important to explain your centre’s mission, vision, and values. This helps parents understand your centre’s goals when it comes to educating their children and what you hope to become. Your values highlight what’s important to you as a school and can help families connect to your centre.
In addition to building relationships with parents, knowing your mission, vision, and values is extremely important for building your centre’s brand. Having a strong brand image can positively affect your marketing efforts and boost enrolment. To learn more about building a brand and improving your centre’s marketing strategy.
Outline Policies and Procedures
Your centre is going to have different policies for various circumstances. Clearly outlining these policies is crucial for keeping parents informed. Here are a few important policies to include in your handbook:
· Vacation Policies
· Sick Policies
· Casual Booking Procedure
· Enrolment Policies
· Withdrawal Policies
· Waitlist Policies
· Check-in and Check-out Procedures
· Code of Conduct
· Discipline Procedures
· Health and Safety Regulations
· Emergency Procedures
Update Parents on Your Curriculum and Activities
Share your centre’s curriculum plan so families understand which concepts and skills their child will learn. Also include any special activities, events, or field trips children partake in throughout the year.
Many centres find it beneficial to include an example of a child’s day so parents can get a better understanding of their child’s experience.
Refine Your Supply List
If you require parents to provide food or supplies for their child, specify that here. Some examples could be:
· Extra Clothing
Give Instructions for Mobile Apps and Services
If your centre uses a parent engagement software like Kangarootime, include information on the service. This could be a parent guide or information sheet outlining the app, where to download it, how to use it, and more. It’s becoming increasingly popular for parents to be connected to their children throughout the day. Using a childcare management software like Kangarootime is an easy way to connect with parents and increase the value of your centre. With Kangarootime parents can:
· Pay their bill
· See photos and videos of their child
· View upcoming events
· Monitor daily activities
· Check their child in and out
Include this information in your handbook so parents can make the most of their mobile platform.
Clearly Explain Tuition and Fees
Make your billing policy clear in your tuition and fees section. Include when parents will be charged, applicable discounts, and payment options. If there are additional fees associated with certain payment options, like credit card processing fees.
Provide Required Forms
If you require families to return specific forms like immunisation records, a registration form, contacts, etc., provide them in your handbook. This makes it easy for parents to fill out and return these forms to your centre quickly.
End with the Acknowledgement and Signature
Finally, include an acknowledgment and required signature at the end of your handbook. This ensures the families have read and understand the handbook and agree to what has been written.
Now, you’re ready to get started creating your parent handbook!
Keen to learn more about Kangarootime? Join a quick 5-minute webinar to get a feel for our software. In this presentation, we will give you an overview of our features. You’ll be able to interact with our product consultants and ask questions along the way. Register here and select a time that works best for you. Join a 5-min walkthrough presentation!