District Specialist, Communities, Families and Youth
University of Massachusetts
Family Day Care Facts series
YOU WILL LEARN:
– what records must be kept for your business.
– how to set up a record keeping system.
WHY KEEPING RECORDS IS IMPORTANT
As a family day care provider, you must keep good records. You are running a small business.
You must keep records of your income and expenses. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and your state Department of Revenue require them. You are in business to earn money. Good records will show you how much you are making.
Your support and licensing agencies require you to keep attendance and health records and medical authorizations for the children. These records are also needed to give emergency care. Your Child and Adult Care Food Program sponsor will review your menus and attendance records. Then, you will be paid back for some of the cost of the meals and snacks you serve.
SET UP A SYSTEM FOR KEEPING YOUR RECORDS
The first thing you need is something to hold your records. You can use a file cabinet, a drawer, or a sturdy box. A box or drawer is easy to carry. You may be able to take it to a table and do some work while the children are napping.
You need to put your records in order. You'll need separate files for the children's information, business records, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and other records that your sponsors need. Your records can be kept in large envelopes or file folders. You can make your own files from paper bags or cardboard.
CHILDREN IN YOUR CARE
You will need a folder for each child. Each child's folder should contain:
- enrollment information such as the child's name and birth date; food likes and dislikes; toileting habits; nap schedule; discipline methods; parent's home, work, and school addresses and phone numbers; parent's schedule.
- records required by your state licensing or registering agency.
- medical and health records, including emergency medical authorization and immunization records and information about any allergies.
- a signed copy of the Parent-Provider Agreement.
- copies of letters sent to parents.
- attendance records.
Your business records should include:
- receipts for all your day care purchases (groceries, toys, VCR tape rentals, etc.).
- your mileage record.
- a monthly record of income and expenses.
- a yearly record of income and expenses.
- copies of your liability insurance policies.
- copies of your tax returns.
- tax forms and instruction booklets.
- warranties for day care purchases.
CHILD AND ADULT CARE FOOD PROGRAM
Records for the Child and Adult Care Food Program may include:
- monthly menus.
- meal and snack attendance records.
- nutrition information.
ACTIVITIES TO DO
1. Make a business record box. Find a box to hold your records. Ask for a box at the grocery store. It should be big enough to hold 9″ x 11″ paper. Cover the box with contact paper. This will make the box sturdier.
Make dividers from stiff cardboard. Label the dividers by subject. Your labels could include “Children in Day Care,” “Monthly Income and Expenses,” and “Child and Adult Care Food Program.” Make or buy files for your records. Files can be grocery bags, manila file folders, or large envelopes.
Just for practice, decide where would you put the records listed below:
- Parent-Provider Agreement signed by Judy Smith's mother.
- Receipts for disposable diapers and two baby dolls.
- Menus for the month of November.
- Medication permission slip for Joseph Olevio.
- Liability insurance policy.
RESOURCES TO EXPLORE
Visit day care providers in your neighborhood and see how they set up their record-keeping system. Ask your day care organization to show you and other providers how to set up your records.
National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Part of CYFERNET, the National Extension Service Children, Youth and Family Educational Research Network. Permission is granted to reproduce these materials in whole or in part for educational purposes only (not for profit beyond the cost of reproduction) provided that the author and Network receive acknowledgment and this notice is included:
Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Bettis, C.A. (1991). *Family day care record keeping*. (Family Day Care Facts series). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts.
Any additions or changes to these materials must be preapproved by the author .
FORMAT AVAILABLE:: Available only on the Internet
DOCUMENT REVIEW:: Level 2 – Cooperative Extension Systems: Universities of
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut
ENTRY DATE:: July 1995