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6 Childcare Forms to Run a Successful Daycare Center (+ Free Templates)

Childcare forms are essential to running a successful business. Stay organized and streamline your operations with these free, printable childcare forms.

6 Childcare Forms to Run a Successful Daycare Center (+ Free Templates)

6 Childcare Forms to Run Successful a Daycare Center (+ Free Templates)

Childcare forms are essential to the daily operations of your childcare business and many are required for compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. These forms also help your business stay organized, maintain essential child and family information, protect you from possible liability, and support your staffing needs.

Below, we review the forms you’ll need for your childcare business and why they’re important.

What are childcare forms (and why are they important?)

Childcare forms are any forms or checklists you need to operate your childcare business. These can include forms used for enrollment, daily reporting, attendance, staff evaluations, and regulatory compliance. These forms help childcare businesses provide the best experience for children, educators, and families.

With brightwheel's childcare forms, you can save time with simple form creation, easy digital document tracking, and quick sharing with families. Customize form templates to meet your needs, create fillable PDFs, and easily collect signatures digitally—no downloads or printing needed.

Comprehensive childcare forms signal to current and potential families that you manage an efficient, professional program. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 87% of parents think reliability is most important when choosing care arrangements for their child. Organized operational processes, including using standardized childcare forms, can help families feel confident in your business.

childcare formsSource

Printable childcare forms

When deciding which childcare forms to use, consider how your documents can work together to create necessary records. Some forms will need to capture important basic information, while others will include more substantial details and documentation. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork and maintain accurate records with brightwheel. Store all your childcare records digitally in each student's profile and log sleep checks, meals, and health checks with the tap of an icon. 

Some printable childcare forms you might need for your childcare business include:

  • Daily report forms
  • Sign-in sheets
  • Staff evaluation forms
  • Waiting list forms
  • Emergency contact forms
  • New family intake forms


Daily report forms

A childcare daily report form provides families with daily updates about their child's behavior, activities, and progress. 

Typically, this daily report covers everyday activities, such as meals, naps, and diaper or toilet routines. You can also add sections for notes about the child's day in case of a unique event, such as reaching an important developmental milestone or learning a new behavior.

It's best to use a different daily report form for each age group because children have varying needs and routines at different developmental stages.

In the event of an accident at your program, brightwheel's incident reporting feature allows you to document required information and share it with families immediately. You can create custom fillable forms that staff can use quickly in the event of an incident and store incident reports securely for easy access and compliance.

toddler daily report

Download our free toddler daily report template here!

sheets

Most programs are required to keep accurate attendance records to maintain the safety and security of the children in your care. Comprehensive attendance records can also improve standard operations like staffing and regulatory compliance. 

Sign-in sheets are a simple way to track attendance. You can use a daily sign-in sheet for each child or a single sign-in sheet for the entire school. But if you bill based on attendance, per-child sheets are the best method to gather data for each child. 

Here are some other benefits of maintaining accurate sign-in and sign-out sheets: 

Government regulations 

Some states have laws that necessitate attendance monitoring. For example, you might need to demonstrate that you are recording attendance to apply for and maintain a childcare business license. 

Childcare centers might also need to document attendance for children who are beneficiaries of government-subsidized care. Attendance records must reflect when a parent claims a child was in your care.

Although rules differ, childcare facilities that offer transportation are also legally obligated to take attendance before and after each trip.

Operations and daily planning

Daily attendance records help keep your daily operations and planning consistent. For example, you can use attendance records to determine the correct amount of supplies you'll need for your childcare business. 

Attendance records can also tell you how many staff members you'll need to hire to meet the required child-to-teacher ratio (according to your state's guidelines). Lastly, detailed records can help you predict enrollment numbers, aid your marketing efforts, and assess each enrollment session.

Regardless of the type of attendance sheets you choose, your form can include fields for each child's name, the date, and the sign-in and sign-out times. Sign-in sheets can also feature a column for notes, such as an explanation of absence.

sheet template_brightwheel

Download our free sign-in sheet template here!


Staff evaluation forms

Job feedback can occur at any time, but it's crucial to conduct employee evaluations regularly for a complete picture of staff performance. Schedule an evaluation every six to 12 months to offer feedback that can boost your staff's professional growth.

These evaluations can include a written assessment and an in-person review. Focus on creating an evaluation form that reviews all aspects of an employee's job responsibilities.

Give your staff the opportunity to complete a self-evaluation form as part of your employee evaluation process. This form can include sections where staff members can rate their own performance, list any achievements and strengths, and include any areas for improvement.

Using a comprehensive staff evaluation form supports your staff’s professional development and helps each employee understand how their own performance and goals impact the overall success of your childcare business.

Blog post_5 steps to effective staff evaluations_download-1-png

Looking for staff evaluation forms to use at your childcare center? Download  our free preschool staff evaluation forms here!


Waiting list forms

A standardized waiting list form can help you keep track of families interested in your program. When having families complete this form, you can also include your waitlist policies or any FAQs related to your waitlist to keep families informed and streamline your enrollment process.

A waiting list form can provide sections for families to add their child’s information and any important details needed for enrollment.

Your waiting list form can also include:
  • Any fees associated with an application to your center 
  • Your enrollment periods
  • When the center will accept a child in between enrollment periods
  • Any criteria for admission, such as priority age group or family with other children already enrolled
  • How families are prioritized such as first-come, first-serve order or based on children’s age
  • Your contact details for further questions
  • Enrollment offers
  • Terms and conditions 
  • Length of the waiting list and the position

Managing a waitlist can be a challenging task but using standardized forms can ensure you are capturing the correct information for each family and make the process as organized as possible.

Waiting List Form - brightwheel

Download our free waiting list form here!


Emergency contact forms

Emergencies such as illnesses or accidents may occur at your childcare center. While you hope to never use them, it is imperative to have emergency contact forms on file for each child in your care so you are prepared if an emergency situation occurs.

Emergency contact forms record parent or guardian information, who to contact in case of an emergency, and any relevant medical information for each child.

Here are the important sections to cover on an emergency contact form:
  • Child information: This includes the child's full name, date of birth, address, and any other identifying information such as height and weight.
  • Parent or guardian information: List the child’s parent or guardian name(s) and contact details including personal and work phone numbers, address, and email address.
  • Child medical history: Include any relevant details of the child's medical history, including any known health conditions, allergies, and prescription medications. This enables you to effectively communicate with emergency personnel in case of a medical emergency.
  • Emergency contacts: In addition to parent/guardian information, include other emergency contacts to call in case of an emergency.
  • Family physician and insurance information: Family physician and insurance information can help staff respond quickly in case of a medical emergency.

Emergency Contact Form - brightwheel-1

Download our free emergency contact form template here!


New family intake form

Your childcare business will benefit tremendously from frequent and positive engagement with the families in your program. When families first join your program, offering a new family intake form can make them feel welcomed and involved, while also providing you and your staff important information about their child.

This form can include a section for families to list any important details about their child’s personality, interests, and how they learn best. Your form can also capture any relevant information about each family’s unique circumstances, expectations of your program, and any questions or concerns they may have.

New Family Intake Form

Download our free new family intake form here!

Do more with childcare forms

Use childcare forms to improve your daily operations and communication with families. Having clear forms and templates makes it easy to collect and update important information that you need to run your business, so you can spend more time in the classroom and less time on paperwork.

Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at

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