Creating a Staff Handbook at Your Childcare Center - Kangarootime (2024)

Your staff handbook is the blueprint for your childcare center’s operations. By creating a staff handbook, you can ensure that your employees are aware of your center’s values, beliefs, and expectations. Your employee handbook also offers a level of protection when situations arise as protocols are clearly outlined. Use your employee handbook as a guide to help staff members thrive and seamlessly integrate into your center.

Creating your employee handbook can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure what information to include. Based on your state and the size of your center, your staff handbook will have different requirements. It’s important to include as much information as possible so both you and your staff members have a frame of reference. In this post, we’ll outline the importance of your employee handbook and what to include.

The Importance of an Employee Handbook

An employee handbook outlines policies and procedures your staff are expected to understand and follow. This can also be used as a support tool to help with staff onboarding and training. Think of your handbook as a roadmap when it comes to operating your center.

When situations arise at your childcare center, you’ll be able to reference your handbook for guidance on handling the situation. Your employee handbook will clearly outline the rules at your center along with the expectations and responsibilities of your staff. This ensures all faculty are on the same page, helps avoid conflict, and creates a unified company culture.

What to Include in Your Employee Handbook

Your employee handbook should cover the ins and outs of working at your center. This will include job descriptions, dress code requirements, time-off procedures, conduct policies, and more.


The introduction to your handbook will provide a high-level overview of your center. Include a welcome letter to your staff, the history of your center, and your center’s mission and vision. This will clearly outline your center’s brand and values, setting the tone for future expectations.

State Requirements

To begin you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with labor laws in your state. This will help you understand what you need to offer in terms of leave laws, severance, unemployment, etc. You should also look into what your state licensing regulations require in regards to a handbook. Some have specific requirements but others do not.

Job Description and Details

Next, outline the various job descriptions and responsibilities of various positions at your center. Be sure to include information like offered benefits, time-off, company holidays, number of sick days allotted, etc.


Your policies and center operating information will take up a large portion of your handbook as they outline protocol and set your expectations of staff members. Be sure to include the following policies in your handbook:

  • Cellphone usage
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Absenteeism and tardiness
  • Grievance periods
  • Time-off requests
  • Non-discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Payroll
  • Dress code

Center Operating Information

Your center operation policies include the day-to-day functions of your center. Be sure to include the following information so all staff and parents understand your center’s protocol:

  • Outline of your center’s spaces
  • Pick-up and drop-off policy
  • Software used (If your center uses a software program like Kangarootime, outline the software features, how the software should be used, and any training staff is expected to take)
  • Budget per classroom
  • Curriculum information
  • Diapering and toileting policy
  • Closing procedures
  • Parent communication guidelines
  • Sick child policy
  • Suspected abuse information
  • Social media/photography policies
  • Classroom management (cleaning, safety, etc.)

Tip: When in doubt, reference NAEYC’s Code of Ethics.

If you’re faced with a situation you haven’t prepared for and are unsure of how to handle it, refer to NAEYC’s Code of Ethical Conduct to ensure your center is compliant and the situation is handled properly.

Orientation and Training Information

When new staff members join your center, make sure they’re aware of how they’ll be onboarded. Include any orientation or training information in your handbook. Whether they’ll use training materials, shadow a teacher, or have a mentor, make sure they’re fully aware of these procedures.

Emergency procedures

If your center is closing due to inclement weather, experiences a medical emergency or a fire outbreak, etc., make sure a plan is in place. Outline your emergency procedures in your handbook to help ensure the safety of both your staff and the children in your care.

Contact Information

Include your center’s contact information along with who staff should contact if they have questions or concerns regarding the handbook. You can also use this section to collect your staff member’s contact information.

Signature page

Finally, have you and your staff members sign your handbook as a sign that you both have read it and agree to the terms.

For a full sample of a staff handbook to use at your center, see this template from Child Care Aware.

Kangarootime is the leading all-in-one childcare management software for daycares and preschools. With billing and invoicing capabilities, parent communication and staff management tools and classroom automation, Kangarootime helps childcare centers grow and scale. To learn more about optimizing your center with Kangarootime, visit

Creating a Staff Handbook at Your Childcare Center - Kangarootime (2024)


Creating a Staff Handbook at Your Childcare Center - Kangarootime? ›

Once the employer has updated the policies and formalized the common practices, legal counsel should review them, and HR should use these final policies for developing the employee handbook. Employers should also consider the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rulings and guidance pertaining to employee handbooks.

How do I create a new employee handbook? ›

What Goes Into an Employee Handbook?
  1. Company Values and Mission Statement. ...
  2. General Employment Information. ...
  3. Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Laws. ...
  4. Standards of Conduct. ...
  5. Employee Benefits. ...
  6. Confidentiality / Non-Disclosure Agreement / Conflict of Interest. ...
  7. Disciplinary Policies. ...
  8. Disclaimer.

Who creates the employee handbook? ›

Once the employer has updated the policies and formalized the common practices, legal counsel should review them, and HR should use these final policies for developing the employee handbook. Employers should also consider the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rulings and guidance pertaining to employee handbooks.

What policies should be included in an employee handbook? ›

Workplace policies and procedures, including when it comes to hiring, attendance, payroll, breaks, paid time off, cybersecurity, privacy, and anti-discrimination. Employees' rights under relevant employment laws, including regarding wages/salaries, employee benefits, and workplace safety.

How much does it cost to have someone create an employee handbook? ›

Typically, however, employee handbooks cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. You'll also need to factor in costs for each additional state, since state laws can be so different. If you're wondering, “Can I write my own employee handbook?” the answer is yes.

What is employee handbook template? ›

It provides clarity on employee rights and responsibilities, ensuring a harmonious work environment. The handbook covers employment basics, workplace policies, code of conduct, compensation, benefits, working hours, and termination procedures.

What are the headings of the employee handbook? ›

The standard sections of an employee handbook include Preface, Company Profile, Orientation & First Day, Health & Safety, Classifications & Schedules, Compensation & Benefits, Leave, Performance, Appropriate Use, Conduct & Company Policy, Discipline & Termination, Glossary, and Agreement.

How many pages should an employee handbook be? ›

Generally, employee handbooks are 10–50 pages, with an average of around 20 pages. It should be long enough to feel informative without going into too much detail. Using clear, concise language helps keep the page count down, while ensuring the handbook is fully read and understood by everyone at your company.

How long does it take to develop an employee handbook? ›

Building or updating an employee handbook and ensuring it complies with all federal and state policies can take as long as 8 weeks without the right tools. BLR's Employee Handbook Builder is the ultimate solution for easily creating and managing custom, compliant handbooks.

Where can I get an employee handbook made? ›

Adobe Express has you covered with dozens of customizable employee handbook templates for all levels. It only takes a few minutes to add your company information and save the design that matches your brand and catches your employee's attention.

What not to put in an employee handbook? ›

Company procedures, work processes, and job descriptions should not be included so that you will not need to update the entire handbook each time one of these changes. It is a best practice to outline these in your separate operations manual.

How do you structure an employee handbook? ›

So, keep reading if you want to know how to take what you have written and organize it into a coherent, intuitive whole!
  1. Start With a Preface.
  2. Provide an Overview of Your Company.
  3. Orientation: Describe the First Day of Work.
  4. Cover Time and Attendance Policies.
  5. Follow With Conduct Policies.
  6. List All of Your Amazing Benefits.
Mar 9, 2022

What makes a great employee handbook? ›

Handbooks should be easy to access and consistent because it's important for all employees to have the same information about the organization's policies. This can save your HR team from answering the same questions repeatedly. It also empowers employees to handle straightforward issues in the workplace on their own.

How legally binding is an employee handbook? ›

Generally speaking, an employee handbook is not a legally binding contract unless it explicitly states that it is. However, certain statements in the handbook can be interpreted as contractual promises if they are specific enough and imply mutual obligations between employer and employee.

Do small companies need an employee handbook? ›

Benefits of a Well-Written Handbook

An employee handbook makes a valuable tool for small businesses. It provides clear guidelines on company policies and procedures, as well as the expectations of employees. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.


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