Time to get specific about daycare center paperwork for employees and kids…

Now that you know more about how to prepare for and pass inspection, let’s talk about specifics of what you’ll need from daycare center paperwork.

Rather than try to muddle through based on complicated government guides, I hope mine can help simplify the process. Enjoy!

You can also learn everything about daycare paperwork in our video:


The employee file: lots to include

There’s a lot that needs to be included in your staff files. Part of what every teacher needs in their file is a physical form. It has to be recent (within six months). This ensures they don’t have any communicable diseases. In addition, this will also contain shot records like the T-Dap shot, records of a clean TB test, and so on.

Background check and fingerprint check

You’ll then have a background check sheet that teachers turn in when they turn in their fingerprints. The fingerprint check will search local, state and national records and staff will turn this in to be kept in your teacher file.

Background checks are required for everyone who works in your daycare center, not just teachers. Generally, anyone with a felony like assault won’t be eligible to work at your center as a result of their background. Keep all these clearances in a separate folder. In addition, check out this very useful state-by-state guide. It gives you information on everything from who to contact for daycare center licensing to how to arrange a background check, financial assistance and resources for kids with special needs.

Mandated reporter contract form

The mandated reporter contract form is an employee’s commitment to report any signs of abuse.

For example, if a kid comes in with bruises this needs to be reported to the state. The employee will also sign off on your guidance and discipline policy (for example, look at my guidance and discipline policies in my parent handbook for The Nook). The employee will also have to sign off on licensing standards (which should be covered during staff orientation).

Staff credentials and training records in a centralized, online location

Every time an employee does training, gets a new degree and so on, they submit it through an online portal. In my state, this online repository is called Gateway. Every state has a comparable online portal to keep staff accreditation. This is a centralized place for employees to keep their records. It also gives daycare center directors an overall location to access for reviewing or updating employee credentials.

Organized and detailed filing is a good way to keep track of required daycare center paperwork for kids and employeesOther things to include in the staff file …

      • Shaken Baby Syndrome Training Certification
      • Mandated Reporting Training Certification
      • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Training Certification
      • Food Handlers Training Certification (need at least one person in daycare center who is city and state-licensed to work in a kitchen, even if you only have a catering contract and don’t have an employee who’s specific role is as a cook).
      • Instructions for the above training certificates (tests are usually done online)
      • Resume
      • 3 Signed and verified letters of recommendation
      • Copy of Official Transcripts and/or High School Diploma / Associate’s degree
      • CPR and First Aid certificates of completion (And any other noteworthy certifications)
      • W-4 Form
      • I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification)
      • Payroll Employee/Contractor Profile
      • Payroll Direct Deposit Form

You can also add other certifications they received as a result of additional training. Some training courses are mandated by regulations, but you can choose to make your employees even more capable. It’s always good to go the extra mile, and if that is financially impossible for you at the moment, look into ways of earning extra revenue and booking more spots by using Hopping In.

When you’re starting a center you don’t always want to hire a dedicated kitchen employee. Rather, you as a provider might make meals yourself when you still have small enrollment. In this case you’ll have to get these food handling/sanitation training courses under your belt.

Daycare center confidential…

Keep Background checks and authorizations in separate, confidential file. In addition, remember that all your records in a daycare center are confidential except for licensed staff or approved parental authorization. Training records should be stored in a separate file. Ensure that CPR certifications in a separate file (a minimum of one person needs to have CPR on staff at all times, depending on size of center).

Now time for kids’ files… Daycare center paperwork for kids and employees can be very extensive and detailed.

Fair warning, your checklist for what to keep in kids’ files is going to be long! The actual forms will take up even more space so make sure you are prepared.

  • Registration Packet
  • Birth Certificate (also, you’ll need a copy of this within 30 days of enrollment)
  • Health Appraisal (record of having no communicable diseases)
  • Tuition Agreement (usually this is built into the registration packet already. This tuition agreement paperwork should include a legal agreement arranging payment)
  • Parent Handbook Receipt acknowledging they received a copy. You can include this in the registration packet. (In addition to covering every aspect of your daycare center’s philosophy and operation, the parent handbook should include info about rules and guidelines)
  • Summary of Licensing Standards Receipt (this sums up your daycare center’s standards. In my state the licensing authority provides a condensed pamphlet that summarized licensing standards nicely. You can also include this in the registration packet)
  • Topical Non-prescription Medical Form (authorization for use of ointments and so on)
  • Guidance and Discipline Policy Receipt (parents sign that they have received and read the discipline policy within the parent handbook. This signed agreement is then filed in the registration packet)
  • Also, you’ll need the Child Facts Sheet (information on the kids’ likes, dislikes, any issues, any especially relevant info staff should know)

There you have it …

Now that you know a bit more about the forms you’ll need in your daycare center paperwork for employees and kids, we can move on to the next phase of starting a daycare center. Sign up to join our e-mail list and check out Part 8: Ready to Rock!

How to start a daycare center table of contents

1: Location and Square-Footage

2: Finding Funding and Calculating Expenses

3: Learn Your Way Around Red Tape and Zoning

4: All About Daycare Center Construction

5: Classroom Signage and Daycare Center Setup Basics

6: Passing Daycare Center Inspection

7: Daycare Center Paperwork for Employees and Kids

8: Ready to Rock!

Author: Hopping In Blog

Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.

To contact him or for media inquiries email s.strick@daycareteam.com

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