Record Keeping in Child Care: How and What to record?

October 05, 2022
  • Although record keeping is part of every business on the planet, you must know that it is even more essential in the childcare business. As a strictly regulated niche, childcare providers are expected to document everything. From the food, you serve the children to the activities they partake in and every incident that happens, no matter how small.

    Got your attention now? Yeah, it is a whole lot of work. I understand how scary this can sound to new providers. Hence, I put together this article to explain the types of records to keep and some tips to ease the process.


    Types of records to keep at a childcare center

    This may differ among daycare types and locations. So, be sure to double-check if you need to remove or add to the list.

    • Parents contact forms
    • Children’s health records including immunization, medication, sick days, doctor’s contact, etc.
    • Review/inspection
    • Children enrollment forms
    • Staff/employee details and training
    • Financial records including receipt of all expenditures, cost of field trips, bank statements, payroll, etc.
    • Cars/transportation available in the facility
    • Accidents no matter how big or small
    • Meals are served at the center daily
    • Inventory including supplies, toys, books, furniture, equipment, food, etc.
    • Insurance
    • Daily diary of each child’s activities, improvement, etc.
    • Improvements/renovations made to the facility
    • Attendance/time sheet for children, parents, visitors, and staff.


    5 Tips to Maintain Record Keeping in Child Care Centers

    1. Use both physical and digital storage

    The first on your to-do list is to decide whether to use physical or digital storage. I prefer a combination of both. I like to have my files and folders in the physical location, but I also understand the ease and security digital record keeping offers. You can integrate the process further with software that helps you keep track of everything.

    1. Don’t mix personal and business account

    Financial record is one of the hardest to maintain, especially for small centers where the owner is using their money to finance everything. To ease the record-keeping process, I recommend having different accounts.

    1. Pay attention to content

    Record keeping is important to give a complete picture of the information needed. Recording half the details do not help you achieve this goal. When inspection day comes around, it is not just the folders they want to see, they want to check the information recorded. Be sure to include every vital detail.

    1. Stay updated

    It’s not enough to just have a file for each of these records. You need to make the effort to keep it up to date. Don’t wait till the weekend to file. You can do that right away. I prefer to write everything down immediately. You will think you would remember, however, time has taught me that is not always the case. It’s best to file right away.

    1. Keep everything in one location

    With so many records to file, it can get really daunting retrieving each of these files. One trick I use is to keep everything in one location. With color codes, you can easily separate different records even if they are in the same box. Be sure to assign a folder to each child or record and file those related information in that folder. Then organize them into different categories in one or two boxes. This way, you know where to go when you need any information.



    Record keeping is a compulsory task in every early education learning program – be it a childcare center or an in-home family child care. This is important to keep you on the safe side of the law and more importantly, to help you assess the children’s development. It may sound like too much work, but you will appreciate the benefits once you get started. Baby steps!

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