One of the most important booklets that you'll need to write if not the most important is a policy handbook. Think of this as your child care business’s Bible. YUP, it’s that important! What types of things do you need to know about this special document? I got you!
Before you write a word, here are 5 things you must be clear on before writing your center’s policy booklet.
The first thing you have to get clear on is the intention behind a policy booklet inside. It needs to come from you. This policy booklet must set the tone of your business. Everyone that accepts a place in your program as well as anyone that works for you must be aware of your policy booklet.
It’s going to be filled with useful information that is going to help your staff do a better job but it's also going to help you run your business and protect yourself legally. Complaints policy, enrolment policy, cancellation of a contract policy, social media policy, just to name a few are all important topics you must include.
Making an outline and separating topics and subtopics can help you with the writing process.
The second thing to think about before writing a policy booklet is have you respected all the rules and regulations that your city, state, province, or town has imposed on you as a child care business. I'm in Quebec and when I was running my child care business there were a lot of policies that needed to be detailed inside my policy booklet so make sure you do your due diligence as a business owner and reach out to your licensing officer and ask questions.
The third thing you must be aware of when you are writing your handbook is that not everyone is going to agree with everything that you put inside this document and you know what that's okay.
If you want to be a happy child care business owner you must align your vision with your business and this relates to your marketing, clients as well as your policies.
This is why I do not encourage new business owners to copy other people's policy booklet because everybody's business is different.
Paper or digital
You can decide to offer your policy handbook in a paper format or digitally. If you are opt-in for a digital version, you can upload it on your website as well as on your social media platforms.
If you’re old school and prefer paper, think about budgeting that in because photocopying a handbook of 70+ pages can get expensive….. And you’ll always have parents that lose their copies and need another….
Not carved in stone
Give yourself some grace especially if this is your first time. You can always make edits and updates as your business grows and as you grow as a professional. Sometimes situations come up that you haven’t thought of adding to your handbook so having a google doc reserved for updates can be helpful when it’s time to make edits in your policies handbook.
So there you have it! Five things to consider before you start writing your policy booklet.
If you need help writing your policy booklet as well as your educational program and your team handbook I teach you all of that and so much more inside Childcare Business Online Academy.
I walk you through the process with step-by-step tutorials as well as templates to make your life so much easier. Click here to get more information.
Let me know in the comments your biggest struggle with your policy booklet!