Handling paperwork can be one of the most overwhelming parts of having a home daycare. Check out how to simplify handling paperwork for your home daycare.

Handling Home Daycare Paperwork

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Home daycare paperwork can be one of the most overwhelming parts of running a childcare business. Here’s how to simplify handling paperwork for your in-home daycare and be more productive in your daycare business.

Woman doing paperwork.

Simplifying Your Daycare Paperwork

Creating and printing daycare contracts and other forms for parents to fill out, filling out daycare paperwork, organizing and filing – it’s never-ending in the home daycare business

Ever have a visit from DHS and not be able to find the paperwork your licensing specialist needs? What about tax time? Is that ever a confusing nightmare of receipts and forms? 

I’ve been there and I’ve felt like I was drowning in paperwork from every side in this job. But there are ways to get things done that simplify the process and help you know where your stored paperwork is when you need it.

There is such a volume of papers sometimes it can be overwhelming, but if you have a system in place for where each thing goes, you will get in the routine of having everything in its place. Your days will run more smoothly when you can find what you need.

In-Home Daycare Paperwork Solutions

The first thing that will help you keep track of your daycare forms is storing them on your computer in a file together. I like to title all of my enrollment documents “Little Sprouts” so I can quickly look for them on the drive. Little Sprouts contract, Little Sprouts business policy, etc.

Next, you’ll need a filing cabinet or tote, binders, and a drawer or box to put receipts in for expenses. If you keep everything in a good location when you first start, everything will be simpler throughout the year when handling paperwork.

Woman doing paperwork.

Handling Paperwork

Once you have all of the enrollment forms filled out and filed for your kids records, you still have to find a system to handle daily, weekly, monthly and yearly paperwork.

  • Daily: You’ll have sign ins and outs and you’ll need to keep track of meals served. You’ll have to fill out your food program paperwork daily as well. 
  • Weekly: Record payments received. 
  • Monthly: Log expenses for your taxes and turn in food paperwork.
  • Yearly: Income reports and taxes as well as renewing licenses, subsidy contracts, yearly paperwork for parents to renew, and similar items need to be done yearly. You may have certifications that need to be renewed yearly or every few years.
  • If you do lesson plans, you can create those daily, weekly or monthly – whatever works best for you. 
Printable sheets for daily home daycare planning, daily reports, licensing visit checklist, menu planners and more.

Organizing Paperwork with Binders

I love to use binders to organize my paperwork. I order a Tom Copeland calendar keeper every year. I cut out the pages and place the in and out forms on one side with the calendar for that month on the opposite page so I can see them at the same time. 

I use this calendar to plan and record everything. I love it. I have it in a binder with my waiting list in the back and all my important phone numbers in the front. I keep my grocery lists in there for food buying as well.

I have another binder with enrollment forms, insurance verifications, pet immunizations, training certificates and membership certificates for my DHS worker to review when she comes. I keep this on a shelf near my regular notebook. It’s labeled DHS. 

Redleaf press calendar keeper used in a binder for daycare paperwork

These binders will help you keep your life in order and make your licensing visits shorter. Your DHS worker will love you for it too.

There are other papers that need to be posted at the front door, by the phone, and on my bulletin board for parents, the food program and DHS. These forms include my license, menus, WIC brochure, drill records, notices to parents, and emergency phone numbers.

Getting Your Daycare Paperwork Done

The best way to keep your paperwork from becoming overwhelming is to set a time for filling it out every day. I like to do it as soon as the kids leave, before I get distracted doing other things. 

You need to choose the time that works best for you. I don’t have small kids of my own at home, so I have a lot of freedom in my schedule to do things the way I want.

But if you let the paperwork pile up, it’s far more overwhelming. We’ve all waited until the month was over to start our food paperwork. And besides the fact that we’re not supposed to for food program regulations, it just makes it much harder to complete. 

It’s a great idea to put reminders in your phone to help you get things done. You can have one at the end of the day for daily tasks. Another alarm can go off on the weekend when you do your weekly tasks. And another on the first or last day of the month to remind you to do your monthly tasks.

You’ll also find that the more you do these tasks, the faster you’ll become at them. Practice always makes perfect. Forming good habits will become easier. Once you do something for a while, it becomes second nature. 

Be kind to yourself and keep up with it regularly. Just sit down and work on paperwork for at least 15 minutes and see how much you can get done. You’ll be surprised at how much that actually is. Find a quiet place, put your head down and focus.

For more help in staying organized and planning out your day, check these productivity tools out on Etsy

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my series on how to run a home daycare and increasing your productivity: 

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