Record keeping forms an integral part of any childcare service. It is recommended that every childcare provider has an efficient record keeping system in place to ensure smooth operation of their business.
An effective record keeping system will:
- Track real income and business expenses on a weekly basis
- Project budget and cash flow
- Document tax deductions and prepare records for tax time
- Help you make effective decisions about marketing, staffing and policies
- Demonstrate the net worth of your business to a bank, lender or buyer
- Make a statement about your ability as manager and business owner
Have a separate Business Checking Account
Always have a separate checking account for all your business transactions, even if you provide private childcare service. Do not mix your personal expenses with your daycare business expenses. Deposit every dollar you receive into your account and pay all your expenses by check.
Maintain a Childcare Ledger System
Childcare Ledger systems are easily available and are meant specifically for childcare providers. These ledger systems let a provider keep a track of all their transactions.
Efficient file keeping is vital for the success of any business, let alone childcare service. Try to keep your filing system as simple as possible.
Here are some of the documents that every childcare provider should maintain:
- Receipts and paid bills – by month, alphabetical or category
- Receipts for assets valued at over $100, with purchase date and value
- Bank statements
- Child care information – food program and provider training records
- Contracts – business registration papers, licenses, insurance policies, lease, professional service agreements
- Customers – information about each child, customer contract, medical release forms, child immunization records, emergency contacts
- Inquiries (waiting list)
- Payables – bills that you need to pay
- Payroll records, if applicable
- Receivables- documentation of invoices that you have submitted and that should be received
- Staffing information
- “To do” tasks
Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center, http://www.startingadaycarecenter.com.