When I first started family daycare ten years ago, I had visions of a lovely business office with filing cabinet, desk, and bulletin board. Well, a lovely idea, but the reality is that the daycare playroom is in the space intended for a den, and the necessities of running a home-based business require stream-lined efficiency, not pretty unused real estate.
During my recent licensing inspection, the health officer was really keen on how I have my daycare business organized – The Business Binder:) It is simple and all the information she needs to inspect (and I need to access!) are at my finger tips, and portable in the event of a disaster.
I got the idea from The Fly Lady’s Control Journal, but altered it over the years to meet my daycare business needs. Essentially, it’s a go-to planner. I keep it open on my kitchen table (daycare hub) during business hours.
How to Make your Business Binder:
1) Pick a pretty binder – you’ll be looking at this a lot, so pick one you like. Mine is 2.5″, but could be bigger. Go bigger than you think you’ll need.
2) Open to your schedule. Mine is a Word doc that outlines my daycare day.
3) Flip to monthly daycare curriculum plan and The Fly Lady’s daily routine list and my binder index.
4) Binder Index: Attendance; Checklists; Non-Critical Incidents Log; emergency Preparedness; Home Schooling; Fly Lady Cleaning Zones; Current Registrations; Book Keeping.
5) I use the attendance sheet template given by daycare licensing. It is not as pretty as I’d like, but makes for hassle-free inspections as the Licensing Officer is confident everything is covered. Checklists – this section houses my daily playground inspections log.
6) The ‘Non-Critical Incidents Log’ section (not pictured due to sensitive nature) is where I make notes of unusual things that happen, but which I am not required to report formally (such as unusual bug bites, calling a parent to pickup a sick child etc); The Emergency Preparedness section has a record of my fire drills, floor plan, and disaster preparedness info.
7) I keep all Current Child Registrations filed in alphabetical order with binder dividers and use Month dividers for the Book Keeping section.
Each month has my receipts taped to paper and an annual spreadsheet for my accounting. I don’t find I generate a lot of book keeping work, so I generally add-up receipts and input to my Excel spreadsheet every couple of months. The receipts live in a basket by the phone waiting to be filed.
That’s it. All the personal and home-based business info I need to run my family daycare efficiently.