Updated on January 30th, 2023
A daycare (child care) contract details the terms and conditions of a child care arrangement between a parent and a daycare provider. By signing the document, the service provider agrees to supervise and care for the child(ren) for a predetermined amount of time throughout the week. Details such as the hours of service, pricing, food allergies, and emergency instructions will be outlined in the agreement. The contract also summarizes the child care responsibilities, including any meal preparation or educational activities the parent might require.
The name and address of the daycare facility will be stated in the contract. If the child care provider is an individual, the contract should instead provide their first name, last name, and mailing address.
The daycare contract needs to specify the name and mailing address of each parent or guardian, as well as the name and age of each child enrolled in daycare.
Parents should make sure to detail their children’s food allergies and provide a phone number for someone to be reached in case of an emergency.
A service description will help establish the general responsibilities of the child care provider. Included with the description can be any other services the parent specifically requires, such as:
- Scheduled feeding times
- Educational activities
- Administration of medication*
*Daycare personnel are generally prohibited from administering medication without the written and signed authorization of the parent or guardian.
Daycare contracts will define the service fee and the frequency with which parents must furnish payment. In some cases, a fee may be charged for each minute of additional daycare provided past the scheduled pick-up time.
Pricing terms for this contract can be constructed in one of the following ways:
- Hourly Rate – The parents are billed for each hour of daycare services received.
- Flat Rate – The parents pay a fixed amount per day, per week, or on another agreed-upon basis. Sometimes, the daycare provider sets rates for different age groups.
- Other – If both parties agree, they can incorporate a different pricing structure into the contract.
When establishing a weekly daycare schedule, the parent and the child care provider must discuss and agree upon the following:
- The days that daycare services will be provided
- Drop-off and pick-up times
- The individuals who are authorized to pick up the child if the parent is unavailable
- Notice requirements for absences
- Days off for vacation and federal holidays
A daycare contract is needed when a parent chooses to enroll their child in a program where they’ll be monitored and cared for during the day by a licensed child care provider.
The contract should be entered into at the outset of the child care arrangement. By doing so, each party will know what to expect, reducing the likelihood of miscommunication and disagreements.
If the parent wishes to unenroll their child from daycare, they can end the arrangement by giving the minimum amount of advance written notice (2-4 weeks is standard).
- Note: Ending the contract before the expiration of the initial enrollment period will likely result in a loss of upfront tuition fees (if any).