As a licensee running a family child care, you will need to have a contract and handbook. The current FCC Licensing Rule requires some specific materials to be included in both your contract and handbook. It also requires that the legal guardian signs off that they have been provided with these materials. Licensing does not provide you with set language, but rather you have the flexibility to develop language that reflects the services you are offering children and families. This can be overwhelming, but you do not have to start from scratch. There are many national resources available and Maine licensees with many years of experience willing to share what they have developed.
It is recommend that your contract and policies handbook be two separate documents. Any change to a written contract must be in writing and signed by both parties. For any change in your policies you also notify clients, but it does not need to be written notice or require signatures.
To make this simpler you can think about needing material for 3 areas:
Contract – a legal document that spells out the hours and days you will provide care in exchange for money paid by the responsible client.
Policy Handbook – contains all the rules for how your program will operate (sick policy, meal policy, activities, behavior guidance, etc.).
Emergency Preparedness Planning – for natural disasters and human-caused events, including but not limited to, fire drills.