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  #1  
Old 10-29-2018, 12:04 PM
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Default Contract vs Handbook

I was wondering what should go in a contract. My contract is separate from my handbook and right now my contract contains the starting date, days and hours the child will be attending, their rate, and then I have a statement at the bottom saying ďI have read the policies and procedures contained in the handbook and agree to abide by themĒ or something along those lines, and then the parents sign. Everything else is in my handbook but Iím wondering if my contract should contain more such as late fees, late pickup, etc? Am I missing anything? Iím just confused as to what goes where.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:08 PM
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My handbook contains all of my policies and procedures and then parents sign an agreement saying they will abide by those policies and procedures. The agreement they sign pretty much like yours, it has their names, child names, date, signatures, hours and rate.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:29 PM
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http://tomcopelandblog.com/whats-the...t-and-policies
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:07 PM
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Mine is like yours ... parent names and info, child name, signature, date, start date, tuition rate, when tuition is due, their schedule etc. It also has an "I agree to follow the handbook" piece. I don't add my fees in there because I may change them frequently so I just have something about how the fees are in the "Rate Schedule" which is a separate sheet I have that lists all of my tuition rates and penalty fees.
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Mine is like yours ... parent names and info, child name, signature, date, start date, tuition rate, when tuition is due, their schedule etc. It also has an "I agree to follow the handbook" piece. I don't add my fees in there because I may change them frequently so I just have something about how the fees are in the "Rate Schedule" which is a separate sheet I have that lists all of my tuition rates and penalty fees.
Legally I think you have to list your fee in the contract for it to be enforceable; add a clause stating rates may be increased up to 5% yearly on a set date to cover increases... a contract is supposed to reflect payment between 2 parties & not listing a fee in my eyes spells trouble. Also changing your rate too often can be a bad signal to clients. Here is how Tom phrases it

A contract is a legal document between you and a parent that spells out your legal obligations to each other. Namely, the days and hours that you will deliver child care services and the amount the parent is to pay you for your services. Time and money are the two terms of your contract that are legally enforceable. Your contract should also contain the names of the parties, how the contract can be ended, and signatures of both parties. Any change to a written contract must be in writing and signed by both parties.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:47 PM
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All I have in mine about money is this ..
Quote:
This portion of the contract pertains to the policies set forth in the Helping Hands Policy Handbook governed by Helping Hands Childcare. It is the parents’ responsibility to read the policy handbook completely before signing. It is the parent’s responsibility to abide by all of the policies stipulated in the policy handbook in conjunction to this contract.
A definition of FT, PT and drop-in care

Quote:
The child care rate for the child stated in this contract will be listed on the signed Contracted Schedule agreement.
If the client is receiving subsidized assistance from a government agency, the client is responsible for paying the full amount of any fees under this contract that the government agency does not pay to the provider.
Quote:
Before child care will commence the client is required to give a non-refundable security fee equivalent to two-weeks of care ...
Quote:
Child Care Rates
The rates for child care services are listed on the Rates and Fees sheet included in the client’s Parent Packet. Additional updated rate sheets can be downloaded from the [DAYCARE] website.
The provider may raise the child care rate yearly but not more than once a year and will give a minimum of two weeks’ notice in writing.
Quote:
Payment
Child care tuition fees for full-time and part-time clients are due and payable no later than Fridays at 5:00 p.m. Payments are paid in advance and will cover the following week of child care.
Fees are charged by the week and are based solely on enrollment, not on attendance. There are no deductions in fees regardless of whether a child is present or not. Fees are paid 52 weeks in a year.
Quote:
Late Payments
If payments are not paid in full by Friday at 5:00 p.m. a late payment fee of $10.00 will be immediately added to the client’s account. An additional $10 per calendar day will be added to the amount until it is paid in full, this includes days that fall on weekends.
If payments are not received when due, child care services will be suspended until full payment is made, which includes late payment and other fees. Payment will still be owed for any days that the child does not attend due to failure of payment of fees.
Quote:
Returned Payment Fees
The fee for non-sufficient funds or stopped payment checks is $35.00 plus the amount of any bank charges to the provider’s account, if any. All clients are allowed one non-sufficient funds or stopped payment check. After that personal checks will not be accepted from the family.
Quote:
Late Pick-Up and Early Drop-Off Fees
A Late Pick-up fee of $20 for the first fifteen minutes and $1.00 for every minute thereafter for any unscheduled pick-ups made after the child’s scheduled pick-up time. The fee must be paid no later than at drop-off on your child’s next scheduled drop-off.
There will be a $1 a minute fee if your child is dropped off without prior approval before your scheduled drop-off time. This fee is due at the time of the early drop-off or your child will not be accepted until your contracted time. Unapproved drop-offs before 7:00 AM will not be accepted.
The daycare clock will be used to determine the time.
That's all I have about money but I do have other clauses about Holidays, sick days, absences, illness (the refers the client to the illness policy in the handbook), Immunizations, and withdrawal.

It have mine looked at by an attorney friend of my husband's and so far it has held up once already in court. I think it does also depend from state to state and court to court possibly even judge to judge.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:43 AM
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My contract and policies are the same document. Each page has a "I have read and agree to follow" place for DCPs to initial and the last page is where they sign.
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:44 AM
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I used to have a handbook but no one followed it, so I turned it into a couple of pages "contract" that expires yearly.
I put in my contract all the deal breakers, and knowing that at the end of the year they may or may not get renewed based on behavior, parents respect every single rule on it!
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Old 10-30-2018, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
All I have in mine about money is this ..


A definition of FT, PT and drop-in care















That's all I have about money but I do have other clauses about Holidays, sick days, absences, illness (the refers the client to the illness policy in the handbook), Immunizations, and withdrawal.

It have mine looked at by an attorney friend of my husband's and so far it has held up once already in court. I think it does also depend from state to state and court to court possibly even judge to judge.
As a prior process server; I agree; not all states will accept your contract. I use to serve court documents on families - what flies in one state, won't in another, so I created mine to the point it worked in most, if not all states because I moved a lot. When it didn't quite work, I re-worded it, however most require a stated fee somewhere in payment section
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:56 AM
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So if a contract is legally binding but a handbook isnít then anything regarding money should be in the contract it sounds like.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:03 AM
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So if a contract is legally binding but a handbook isnít then anything regarding money should be in the contract it sounds like.
Yes, correct.

You can take a parent to court for not following your contract but you can't take a parent to court for not following your policies/handbook.

This link helps explain all of it really well
http://tomcopelandblog.com/whats-the...t-and-policies
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:06 AM
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Mine is an all-in-one document.

I used to separate the two but realized then that nobody ever read the handbook because they didn't have to sign it. Even with the clause "I will abide by all policies and procedures outlined in the handbook."
So, I reworked the handbook to require initials in the most important parts and signatures at the end of the handbook. Being that I am based on contracted hours and each family may have a different rate- I left a box open for ME to write in hours and rate with my signature.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:37 AM
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I have mine all in one. I probably shouldn't, but I require tuition payments on Friday for the following week. I ask for a two week notice and have only had one family leave and got more than 2 week notice. I guess I plan ahead financially and if someone left without the notice, I probably wouldn't want them around anyway so I wouldn't plan to take them to court. Winning doesn't mean you will ever see payment anyway and would mean taking time off for court.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmom View Post
Mine is an all-in-one document.

I used to separate the two but realized then that nobody ever read the handbook because they didn't have to sign it. Even with the clause "I will abide by all policies and procedures outlined in the handbook."
So, I reworked the handbook to require initials in the most important parts and signatures at the end of the handbook. Being that I am based on contracted hours and each family may have a different rate- I left a box open for ME to write in hours and rate with my signature.
My contract was the same... blank space for me to fill in hours of attendance, days needed & in the payment section, rate paid & when due (the 1st of month - I required monthly pay, not weekly)... I also had a clause in there that stated if payment wasn't received by the day required, that the contract automatically changed to Drop-in contract & the higher daily rates applied if they wanted to continue care; I didn't want to mess with late pay fees, weekend phone calls etc, and never had an issue with parents after I started that 10 years ago lol..I also made a copy at the time of signing to give parents with the words...COPY handwritten at the top in a different color ink, so they couldn't change words by white out... Original contracts were also printed burgundy, copies made were black & white
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by LysesKids View Post
As a prior process server; I agree; not all states will accept your contract. I use to serve court documents on families - what flies in one state, won't in another, so I created mine to the point it worked in most, if not all states because I moved a lot. When it didn't quite work, I re-worded it, however most require a stated fee somewhere in payment section
My fee agreement is a separate signed agreement. That agreement has their days, hours and schedules as well as their rates. For me it's easier to have all clients sign a contract once (4 pages) and then just sign my fee schedule whenever there are rate increases, changes in their schedule, move up or down from PT to FT etc. The fee agreement is only one page so less for me to have to re-print and save on file whenever there is a change. The separate signed fee agreement works as it's own contract in conjunction to my regular contract and handbook. It's just a different way of doing it but because everyone's signatures are on there it works legally.
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