Staying on top of all the daycare paperwork that's required is not easy. There is so much to keep track of and its far simpler when everything has a place.

How to Organize Daycare Paperwork

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Staying on top of all the daycare paperwork that’s required is not easy. There is so much to keep track of and it’s far simpler when everything has a place.  Running a home daycare is an all encompassing job.

How to Organize your Daycare Paperwork

This job is not for the faint of heart. It can be very overwhelming.

Daycare organization ideas

There are a few simple tricks and daycare organization ideas you can use to make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to organizing daycare paperwork. Let’s start with the big one, TAXES! For your taxes you need every receipt ever known to man, along with your utility bills, bank statements, check stubs and payment records, just about anything you can think of. Where do you put all of this stuff you so you can find it again?

And check out these room and playground ideas too.

Need tips on simplifying your daycare in more areas, check this out. 

organized daycare paperwork for home daycare in a desk

Have a place to organize your daycare receipts and papers

You need a shoebox or drawer to plop all of your receipts in. Let’s face it, every time we clean out our purse, we don’t have time to log every receipt in there. You can have a place to plop and run and later when you have a few minutes during nap to do some paperwork. Grab out what’s in there and log it on a spreadsheet or in a notebook.

When the end of the year comes, your totals are ready to be figured and you aren’t spending a month logging receipts after you have already forgotten what you bought. For expert advice on how to fill out your taxes, check out Tom Copeland.

Daycare receipt 

I would recommend logging NO LESS than once a month so things are still fresh on your mind. Some providers do it weekly. I’m not going to lie, my first years of daycare, I did it all at the end of the year.

Every year I swore I never would again and then I would do it again. I try to start logging at the beginning of the year and generally I make it through about October before I fall back off the wagon, but any receipt that got logged in a timely manner gets you a step closer to victory.

Another thing you need a plopping place for is your other bills, stubs, payments, etc. I have a drawer in my filing cabinet and after I pay the bills, I shove them in that drawer. Bank statements and my husband’s work papers go in there too and about once a month I try to file it all. It would be even better if you would file things as they come in, but for me, it’s probably never going to happen.

Daycare sign in and out sheets

Let’s talk about how to keep track of attendance, meals, and payments. I use Tom Copeland’s Calendar Keeper as a sign in and out sheet for my daycare and I absolutely LOVE it! I log my payments right in there with the sign in and out.

At the end of the year, I have a handy place with all the info and I can transfer it to a spreadsheet and get my totals within a few minutes. I love doing that! Also, I use my sign in and out sheet from my calendar keeper to do my food paperwork at the end of each day (or two or three) I try to keep it up daily, but I just don’t always.

organizing daycare paperwork on bulletin board and shelves

Each year, when I get my Calendar Keeper, I cut all the pages out of it and punch holes in them and stick them in a three-ring binder. I have the calendar on one side that holds all of my important obligations, and on the other side is my daily sheet.

This way I can have everything at my fingertips. I have a bookshelf that is writing height, and it’s on the top shelf.

Daycare organization tips

In the back of the notebook, I keep the school calendar, my waiting list, my grocery list for the cycle menu, and other important info I need on occasion. On the shelf under my notebook, I store my purse, my papers for our daily activities, my garden map and plans, and any other projects I have going on paper are in that pile too as well as things I need to go through.

If I see a great idea in a magazine, I put it in that pile to work through later. There is a bulletin board above this notebook with all of the required display items posted on it.

My license, my emergency phone numbers, my fire and tornado drills, my cycle menu and anything else I have to have posted for DHS or the food program. The exception to that is my liability insurance information. We are required to post that at the entrance of the daycare, so it’s at the front door.

We are just getting started on the paperwork that we have to keep up with so let’s move to my DHS notebook. I have one three-ring binder in which I keep ALL of the papers my licensing worker needs to see when she comes. She tells me how much she loves my notebook and how she wishes all her homes and centers would use it. This is one of my best daycare organization tips.

daycare paperwork notebook for DHS visit

Home daycare paperwork notebook

My notebook has my CPR/First aide certificates for myself and my husband as well as my vehicle insurance verification forms in the front pocket. The first section has all of my training certificates and my childcare organization memberships as well as our OSBI background checks. I use dividers like you used in high school to separate the sections and it helps her find just what she needs when she needs it.

daycare paperwork organized in notebook

Free printable daycare forms

The second section of the daycare paperwork notebook has my child information forms, shot records, medication permission slips, transportation permission slips, a copy of everyone’s signed contract, their food program enrollment form, and any injury reports for that child. Each child’s information is stapled in a group so when I need to find something of theirs, I pull the whole “file” out at once.

In the next section, I have my policy and procedures and animal vaccinations. The last section of the notebook has my stars program compliance information. In recent years, I quit the stars program, so I no longer use that section, but that’s where I would store all of my necessary stars paperwork if I were in the program. If you want to see why I left stars, click here.

My next daycare paperwork notebook contains blank copies of all the forms for enrollment and the mandatory food paperwork I am required to give to parents upon enrollment. I have a section for contracts. My contracts have a blank spot for the child’s name, parent’s names, and days of attendance and total fees per week.

I can write all of this stuff in when we are discussing them at sign up, and they are in the notebook ready to use. Then there is a section for DHS enrollment forms, one for food program enrollment forms, one for medication/transportation permissions, and one with copies of program goals, policies and procedures, and food program sheets I’m required to give, or all of the parent information items.

Oklahoma childcare requirements for in-home daycare paperwork

Next, let’s talk about our compliance files. In Oklahoma we are required to have a daycare paperwork file for parents continuing our last few monitoring reports from our licensing worker, Parents are allowed to ask to see it anytime they want to check out how we are doing with licensing.

I also keep my licensing requirements in it. I do this so I can easily locate them and so I can show them to any parents who would like to see them.

Let’s talk about the new FBI background checks next. They are required to be kept under lock and key so if you have a lock box or safe, that would be a good place for them, but if you don’t, you can do what a few friends and I did and lock them in a bag. This bag is like a bank bag with a lock and key and it’s not able to be cut open. I keep this in the back of my filing cabinet behind my files.

Food daycare paperwork

My food paperwork is done online on KidKare, so I have my posted menu and other required notices on my bulletin board, and I have my in and out sheets on my notebook on the shelf. I take them out of the binder and carry them to the computer to do my daily paperwork and then put them back again. This works great for me. I love it.

Tell me what you do to keep your life sane with your daycare paperwork?

Providers have to stick together and help each other by sharing information on childcare trends, problems, resources and other things that will make our daycare jobs easier. Share your knowledge and get information on the business of family childcare

For a planner made JUST for home daycare providers, this jewel will help you get all of your business organized-AND, it’s gorgeous! There are tons of great provider helps on this site. I wish resources like these ladies have were available when I started. There was no help for home daycare providers back then. But don’t forget to always take care of yourself so you can take care of others!

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  1. HI,
    I am getting ready to reopen my home daycare. I closed after having a baby. I would love a copy of your drill sheet that has all the drills on it that you have on your board. I used to have one, but I can not find where I saved it. I am also in Oklahoma. Thank you

  2. omg! I need an assistant asap! doing this alone is a lot of work. you make everything sound sooo easy but I don’t even know where to start when it comes to forms, bulletin board, folders, meals, and everything you mentioned!

    1. It is a lot of work, but you can do it. Just make a list of what you need to take care of and try to tackle one part each day. This is not an easy job for sure. Have you started your daycare yet? If not, get a bulletin board and find out what you are required to post and start by adding what you already have. Then get a notebook and have that ready for what you need to have available. Baby steps.
      1. Find out what is required to post and what is required to have on hand and make a list.
      2. Get a bulletin board and a notebook.
      3. Post on the bulletin board what you already have off your list for it.
      4. Put everything else you already have in the notebook.
      5. Make a list of what you still need to add to the board and notebook.
      6. Make packets of forms for new clients to enroll with whatever you’re required to have them fill out.
      7. Start planning your menu.
      8. Talk with families and get kids enrolled and their paperwork filled out.
      9. Make a shopping list and get supplies.
      You can do it!

  3. Thank you so much I am reading all of this to help my mom stay on top of everything she been doing this a very long time

  4. The many ideas are a great help! Just starting on this journey, Im going to need all the wisdom I can get.

    1. You’ll need some kind of place to keep track of them, you can buy computer software, make excel spreadsheets, or keep track of them on paper. You’ll need to make a column for each type of expense, such as advertising, supplies, toys, food, etc. Then you’ll take your receipts and log the expenses from them onto those sheets. That way you have your expenses all listed in one place when it’s time to do your taxes. 🙂

  5. Hi, thanks for the great ideas. I as wondering did you make the sheet for your fire drill’s and other drills yourself? I like that they are all together.

  6. For receipts, we have a folder labelled with the Month and Year on it. All the receipts go in there throughout the month. Once a new month starts, we add another new folder. After about three months, we place those folders in a box to be calculated at the end of those three months or year.

  7. Someone shared the idea of putting receipts in a fish bowl, jar or vaof on your desk or counter. It works good. I can see when they are piling up and its time to get them into my Cashbook program. Love that program by the way. Its easy, in expensive (free trial) and does so. Much of the work for me. After I enter a teceiot I let it into a folder for the month. I use 12 pocket folders one fir each month.