Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Family Handbook, Written Agreement or Contract

Mrs. Armstrong was looking for child care for her 3-year-old son, Devon. She arrived for a tour of “Happy Kids” and was greeted by Ms. Jackson. Mrs. Armstrong asked many questions.

  • "What is your policy for inclement weather?"
  • "How do you handle challenging behavior in your program?"
  • "Devon is very active, and I need to be sure that he is well taken care of while I’m at work. What are your policies for keeping children safe?"
  • "Devon has a severe allergy to milk. What accommodations can you make for him?"
  • "Devon’s speech is delayed, but with the help of a speech therapist, he seems to be making gains. Do you have experience working with special needs children?"
  • "Some programs I have visited charge a late pick-up fee if children are picked up after 6:00 in the evening. May I have a copy of your tuition rates and extra fees, please?"
open doorway with welcome mat
Welcome Families with Helpful Information

Ms. Jackson was well-prepared to answer Mrs. Armstrong’s questions and after the meeting, Mrs. Armstrong felt reassured that Devon would have a positive experience at Happy Kids. Still, she was glad to receive a parent handbook that described Happy Kids policies and answered many of her questions.

This section helps you review, revise, or create written policies for families that meet the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: Information and Policies: ADM 1.4. These policies can be described in a variety of documents, including your program’s family handbook, written agreement, or contract.

Select the Requirements tab to learn about key information or policies to include in your document.

Requirements

Let's look at the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: Information and Policies: ADM 1.4. The following interactive shows you the requirements for each program type. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot for information about what to include in your documentation.

Select the option that applies to your program type:

 

Child Care Center
ADM 1.4: Information & Policies Information provided to families includes a mission and / or philosophy statement, policies and practices for: health; safety; positive behavior practices; tuition / enrollment; inclusion of children with disabilities or special health care needs; communicating with families; physical fitness; nutrition; curriculum; and child assessment. Documentation to submit: Family Handbook, Written Agreement or Contract

Family Child Care
ADM 1.4: Information & Policies Information provided to families includes a mission and / or philosophy statement, policies and practices for: health; safety; positive behavior practices; tuition / enrollment; inclusion of children with disabilities or special health care needs; communicating with families; physical fitness; nutrition; curriculum; and child assessment. Documentation to submit: Family Handbook, Written Agreement or Contract

School-Age Only
ADM 1.4: Information & Policies Information provided to families includes a mission and / or philosophy statement, policies and practices for: health; safety; positive behavior practices; tuition / enrollment; inclusion of children with disabilities or special health care needs; communicating with families; physical fitness; nutrition; and activity planning and implementation. Documentation to submit: Family Handbook, Written Agreement or Contract

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: Information and Policies: ADM 1.4, your program's handbook, written agreement, or contract includes:

The Policy or Statement Builder interactives provide step-by-step guides for creating your policies.


































































Policy or Statement Builder

These interactives help you create statements and policies that describe your program's practices and procedures. After typing responses to a set of prompts and questions, you have the option of emailing your responses to yourself and editing your final policies. You are encouraged to type your responses in full sentences to make it easier to edit your policies before adding them to your family handbook, written agreement, or contract.

 

Build-A-Statement: Mission / Philosophy Statement

Build-A-Policy: Health and Safety

Build-A-Policy: Tuition / Enrollment

Build-A-Policy: Inclusion

Build-A-Policy: Communicating with Families

Build-A-Policy: Physical Fitness

Build-A-Policy: Nutrition

Build-A-Statement: Curriculum (Family Child Care / Child Care Center)

Build-A-Statement: Child Assessment (Family Child Care / Child Care Center)

Final Touches

Check your policies as you prepare to upload your documentation to the Maryland EXCELS System. Remember, your written document may be a family handbook, written agreement, or contract.

 

Check to be sure your documentation includes:

 
 
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Positive Behavior Practices
  • Tuition and Enrollment
  • Inclusion of children with special needs, including children with special health care needs or disabilities
  • Communicating with families
  • Physical Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Curriculum (Family Child Care and Child Care Programs)
  • Child assessment (Family Child Care and Child Care Programs)
  • Activity planning and implementation (School-Age Only Programs)
 

Save your document:

  • Use a file name that you can find easily when you upload it to the system (example: family-information.docx)
  • Use any one of these formats:
    • Typed electronic version of your written policies and information for families (examples: Microsoft Word, PDF)
    • Scanned versions of your written policies and information for families (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)
    • Identified section within your family handbook (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)

Next Steps

Use the following steps to upload your documentation, look ahead, and think about plans for continued growth and improvement.

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Your Document

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate the document you saved on the computer
 

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

Congratulations! You are ready to submit documentation to meet the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: Information and Policies: ADM 1.4. If your documentation meets the requirements for ADM 1.4, it also meets the requirements for ADM 1.5.

Plan for Improvement

Maryland EXCELS supports ongoing reflection, evaluation, and improvement. Set a goal to review the information you provide to families in the coming year. Consider gathering feedback from families about other information they might find helpful in a handbook, written agreement, or contract. Remember to upload any revisions or additions to your policies to the Maryland EXCELS System.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (ADM 1.4, ADM 1.5)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your family handbook, written agreement or contract.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation