Home daycare record keeping is one of the most important parts of the job. After doing a great job with kids, it’s second to your path to success.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep good records. At tax time, at food program submission time, and at banking time, you NEED great records to be successful in home daycare.
For more information on running a home daycare, click here.
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My number one suggestion for keeping daily attendance and payment records is Tom Copeland’s Calendar Keeper. I wouldn’t live without it! It has in and out sheets, places to record payments, monthly calendars, sheets to tally totals and keep mileage, and more.
If you are looking for something less all-inclusive, you can get just attendance and payment sheets here that don’t have the extras. You can just download them, print them and put them in a notebook and they fit in a regular size notebook.
If you don’t keep track of receipts throughout the year, tax time will be a nightmare and you’ll end up losing money. If you don’t keep track of meals served and attendance, you’ll end up losing money on the food program. YOU are in charge of how easy or hard it is to run your business. Organized business records are key!
Home daycare record keeping
It can feel like a chore to keep up with all the paperwork, well, it just does, but it does make your life easier in the long run. Home daycare just has a lot of paperwork involved. There’s no way around it.
You can use a file box, folders, filing cabinets, whatever works for you to organize your paperwork. Just get a system, and use it. Anything you buy to store it in is tax-deductible anyway. Keep everything together in one place. Looking all over for records when you need them is no fun. So have a dedicated area. You’ll be glad you did!
It also helps to have a separate bank account for your business. This makes it clear what is business income.
Daycare record keeping
Daycare record keeping will be keeping track of all income and expenses. Save every receipt, even if you don’t think it’s tax-deductible. In case of an audit, they may request some records that aren’t on tax forms.
Records of what you buy second hand like garage sales, etc.
Mileage driven for daycare related errands
Credit card statements
Deductible expenses for home daycare can include but are not limited to:
Field trip expenses
Equipment like pack and plays and strollers
Classes and training
Home improvement and repair
Outdoor play equipment
Books and magazines
Soap and paper towels for the bathroom
Home décor for the areas used for childcare
Mowers and yard supplies
Safety equipment such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, plug covers, cabinet and door locks
Sofa, chairs, beds, tv and electronics
Washer and dryer
Freezer, fridge, and microwave
Computer and printer as well as supplies for them
I strongly recommend getting the Family Child Care Record-Keeping Guide to help you make sure you get all the categories.
Besides expenses, you’ll need careful records of all income, all meals served, all time kids are in attendance for each child, and all hours you work in your home total. This includes time with children and time working for them when they are not in care.
Income can include:
Food program reimbursements
You’ll spend plenty of time before and after work cleaning, cooking, cleaning, making lesson plans, working on paperwork, cleaning, talking with parents, planning, shopping online, and cleaning. Keep track of all of it on a calendar or list.
How to keep records in home daycare
You’ll save money by keeping meticulous records, just think of the boring time you spend doing it as paying yourself in savings. So don’t give up and think it’s not important. Profit margins in daycare are small, so use good home daycare record keeping to keep as much of the money you make as you can.
Save all records for at least three years. Some recommend seven years. There will be three types of expenses. 100% business expense, shared expense, and not deductible.
You’ll also need records for each child, enrollment information. And you’ll need a waiting list as well for when you have an opening. If you hire any employees, you’ll need employment records and staffing information.
Daycare income and expense worksheet
For printable income and expense worksheets, click on the highlighted links below.
Record keeping software
If you like to use technology to help you, you can make excel spreadsheets to keep your records on. I like to do this because it’s personalized exactly how I want it. But if you’d rather someone else make the format, there are many software programs you can get.
Whatever you do, spend some time and find something that you think will work best for you. The most recommendations I have heard personally are KidKare and Brightwheel. I use KidKare for my food program and it’s a clunky system with lots of bugs, so I would probably choose Brightwheel if I were interested in getting a program to use.
Again, record keeping is one of the most important parts of your job, so take the time to set up a system that works well for you.
If you want information on how to start a home daycare, click here.
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