Just as with schools, professional daycare facilities, be it private or in-home care, require specific daycare forms to be on file before your child can attend. A few forms will vary from state to state based on childcare laws in each jurisdiction, but the majority of forms are all the same. It may seem like a tedious process to fill out these daycare forms, but they provide important information that may be necessary for the daycare provider to access while your child is in their care.
The most common daycare form is an immunization record. This form will require that you show proof of your child having received immunizations current with the schedule of immunizations as required by the facility and its county or state health department. Some facilities now require the Varicella, or chicken pox, vaccine before admittance. The immunization form will need to be updated at least yearly and will require a doctor's signature.
Another common daycare form is an emergency medical form. This is a standard form with information including emergency contacts besides the parents, the name and phone number of your child's pediatrician or family doctor, your preferred dentist, and in some cases your preferred choice of hospital. The form will also require you to either grant or deny permission for the provider to obtain emergency medical treatment for your child. This particular form alarms some parents as it is difficult to assign someone the right to make emergency medical decisions for your child in the event you couldn't be reached. However, it is for everyone's protection and you are in no way signing away specific rights. If you are uncomfortable about granting permission for medical treatment to be issued to your child in an emergency, check with your local 911 squad and ask what the specific procedure would be. If you are still uncomfortable, devise a specific plan for the facility or provider to follow and put it in writing as an addendum to the emergency medical form.
Other common daycare forms include health history, household income, registration, proof of custody, and in some cases, permission forms for transportation. Each daycare form will request basic information such as name, address, home and work phone numbers, additional contacts, etc. There should be a form included that allows you to grant permission for someone other than yourself to pick up your child.
When filling out daycare forms be sure to complete every field, leaving none blank. If a question does not apply to your situation, mark N/A on the form. Be sure to also verify emergency contacts and the numbers you have provided. If your health insurance will not cover treatment from specific providers or hospitals in emergency situations, be sure to indicate this as well. If you are asked to sign a waiver that you do not understand, be sure to verify what you are signing either with an attorney or with the department of children's services. Typically though, the standard legal daycare forms do not require signing away any rights you have to hold the daycare provider or facility liable for your child's safety.