How to start documenting if you just started a family day care?

How to start a family day care? | Step-by-step Documentation Guide
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When you start a family day care the amount of documentation required and regulatory requirements can be quite overwhelming and it can be difficult to work out where to start. I found it quite time consuming setting up my family day care business as there was just so much information out there and I did not know where to start. 

I also discovered that the information available only addressed certain elements of running a family day care business and as a result I kept changing from app to app in search of the right tools for my business. 

Eventually I stopped searching and designed TopFormz. A single software platform and app made the most sense for my business as it would be flexible to change as my business changed.

How to start a family day care? | Step-by-step Documentation Guide

If you have just started your family day care business and you are starting to work through TopFormz then I would suggest that you incorporate your compliance and documentation requirements into your daily routine. Here is a a step-by-step documentation guide for educators who have just started their family day care business. 

Child Care Software or Apps can facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements and can empower you to record compliance on-the-go. You will also find that you will be spending alot less time after hours working on your documentation.

Step 1: Prepare an Educational Program and Menu for the Week Ahead

A a family day care educator I would incorporate my family day care documentation into my daily routine. I would generally start my routine on a Sunday where I would finalise my educational program and menu for the week ahead. Once complete I would post the educational program and menu to a closed facebook Group for the parents/guardians to view prior to coming into care for the week.

Step 2: Duplicate and Update The Prior Days’ Daily Safety Checklist

Each morning I would do a quick clean and set up the activities or meals for the week based on the educational program and menu that was put together for the week ahead. I would then duplicate the previous days’ daily safety checklist using my mobile phone and update the date. I would also scan through the checks performed for the day to see whether anything has been missed and then update the checklist as evidence of these daily checks being performed.

Tip: Save time by duplicating the checklist from the prior day and updating it with changes

Step 3 : Prepare a Daily Communication for Parents or Guardians

Documentation was a key way for me to re-inforce all of the wonderful activities the children were engaged in and to re-inforce the educational program and practice. It was also a way for me to track the children’s development against the EYLF Milestones, EYLF Outcomes and NQS. I generally made use of About My Day Reports for daily reports to parents and guardians as it includes information about a child’s health and sense of well-being as well as any other matters that you would like to communicate to a parent i.e. food and drinks consumed, toileting, naptimes, observations, incidents, etc. 

Tip: Save time by duplicating and updating the record for a similar aged child

These About My Day Reports automatically produce Summative Assessments in the TopFormz application and can be used as a means to inform the Educational Program and Practice for the week ahead. If I identified any areas of extension or follow-up, then I would create an Educational Program for next week and include the areas identified in there. As the week goes by I would therefore continue to add to my Educational Program for the week ahead. 

Tip: Create and add to your Educational Program for the week ahead on a daily basis

Step 4: Reflect on the day and document your reflections

Reflections can be short and simple. When preparing your daily communications, reflect on the day and record your reflections into TopFormz. It is highly recommended to categorise your reflections as it can help you identify trends, gaps and key areas of focus in your business. It also allows you track whether any actions planned have been taken.

Step 5: Record expenses as-you-shop

Record expenses as you shop. By doing this you can keep track of monies spent and make more informed and strategic tax decisions. 

Step 6 : Record income on a weekly basis

Record income received from parents, guardians or schemes on a weekly basis. In this way you can keep track of your taxable income positions and make more informed and strategic tax decision.

Step 7: Assess the Development of Each Child Against the EYLF Developmental Milestones

On a quarterly basis, reflect and summarise the progress each child has made against the EYLF Developmental Milestones per age group. This can then be used to inform the Educational Program and Practice for each child in care. It can also be shared with parents and families in order to re-inforce a child’s learning at home.

Tip: It is important to understand what the EYLF is and how it fits into the educational program and practice of your family day care business

Step 8: Lodge your BAS online or consult with a Tax Agent to lodge it for you

You can save time by lodging your BAS online. Your BAS statement generally includes GST and PAYG payments for the month, quarter or year – the period you will be reporting under depends on the way you have been registered for tax purposes. If this is the first time that you are doing your BAS then I would suggest consulting with a Tax Agent.

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