Business Practices

Programs implement policies, procedures, and systems that support stable and strong business practices.

Key Practice 1: Program offers families practical opportunities to be involved and connected.

Entry

DELACARE Regulations for Early Care and Education and School- Age Centers:

7. Procedures for Initial Licensure

15. Governing Body

23. Center Policies- Parent/Guardian Handbook

28. General Qualifications

32. Orientation

73. Program Goals and Planning

Emerging

  • Program leaders develop a mission statement considering: the site’s core values,
    • features that are unique to the program, and
    • benefits those features bring to children and families served by the program.

Developing

  • Program leaders create a shared mission with the educators in the program and uses this information to update their current mission statement if
  • Program leaders engage staff with the program mission and strategic
  • Program policies connect to and reflect the program mission.

Advanced

  • Program leaders align the goal of the mission with what occurs within the program.
  • Program leaders use program mission to drive future planning.
  • Program leaders collaborate with families and community partners to engage them with the program’s mission.

Key Practice 2: Program/Agency implements an effective financial management system.

Entry

DELACARE Regulations for Early Care and Education and School- Age Centers:

 7. Procedures for Initial Licensure

15. Governing Body

Emerging

  • Program leaders are knowledgeable about budgeting and fiscal management.
  • Program has a process for maintaining records for all business income, payments, insurance and taxes on a monthly basis.
  • Program leaders use past data to project a comprehensive annual budget that includes all income and expenses.
  • Program has policies and procedures in place to minimize financial risk (i.e. Internal Controls).

Developing

  • Program formally tracks income received on a monthly basis (i.e. Cash Flow Statement).
  • Program formally reviews income and expenses monthly (i.e. Income Statement).
  • Program has a financial statement capturing their assets, liabilities, and net worth, and updates it at least annually (i.e. Balance Sheet).
  • Program leaders implement policies for collecting full tuition to stabilize income.
  • Program has a process for annually reviewing tuition and fees.

Advanced

  • Program monitors and adjusts budget quarterly, at a minimum, using a variety of reports and adjusts as needed.
  • Program builds a projected 3-5 year comprehensive budget that includes all revenue and expenses.
  • Program uses formal financial systems to adjust for the financial health of the business and for decision-making purposes.
  • Program implements a consistent separation of financial duties.

Key Practice 3: Program/Agency implements an effective marketing plan.

Entry

DELACARE Regulations for Early Care and Education and School- Age Centers:

7. Procedures for Initial Licensure

Emerging

  • Program leaders have knowledge of marketing.
  • Program has a basic marketing plan.
  • Program has marketing materials.
  • The program’s mission and unique features are represented in the current marketing process.

Developing

  • Program has a minimum of a quarterly internal (for staff and enrolled families) and external (broader community and prospective families) marketing plan.
  • Program leaders reflect on their areas of strength and growth to identify marketing needs and challenges both internally with families and staff as well as externally.
  • Program leaders determine market audience and best form of communication for that audience.

Advanced

  • Program has a formal comprehensive monthly marketing plan addressing internal and external needs.
  • Program leaders develop a programmatic image that differentiates them from those of competitors.
  • Program leaders collect data on their marketing process to identify marketing tools/needs directly related to their program.

Key Practice 4: Program implements a comprehensive risk management plan.

Entry

DELACARE Regulations for Early Care and Education and School- Age Centers:

17. Telephones

19. Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Requirements

20. Positive Behavior Management

21. Food Service Policy

23. Center Policies- Parent/Guardian Handbook

28. General Qualifications

29. Adult Health Requirements

32. Orientation

35. First Aid and CPR Training

37. Staff Communication

38. Parent’s Right To Know

39. Enrollment

40. Child Files

45. Hazardous Materials

47. Smoking and Vaping

46. Air Quality and Windows

48. Heating and Cooling

49. Indoor Space

50. Kitchen and Food Preparation

52. Area for Children Who Become Ill

53. Outdoor Area

54. Pools and Swimming

55. Riding Toys

56. Sleeping Accommodations and Safe Sleep Environments

57. Equipment

58. Sanitation

60. Standard Precautions

63. Administration of Medication

64.Child Accident and Injury

66. Emergency Planning

67. Transportation

68. Field Trips and Program Outings

71. Meals and Snacks

72. Feeding of Infants

76. Activity Schedule

77. Infant and Toddler Care

Emerging

  • Program leaders enrich their emergency preparedness plan anticipating potential problems that could arise to develop ways to reduce those risks.
  • Program leaders assign roles and responsibilities for each identified risk.
  • Program leaders review the current Emergency Plan annually.
  • Program leaders develop a detailed plan to orient new staff to the emergency procedures upon hiring.

Developing

  • Program leaders engage in ongoing professional development in a variety of risk management topics.
  • Program leaders develop data collection systems to assess foreseeable problems.
  • Program leaders review their formal plans updating with any new foreseeable problems to the success of the business.
  • Program leaders share the full plan with all updates with the program educators annually.

Advanced

  • Stakeholders are involved in assessing threats to the success of the childcare facility and updating their formal plan as needed.
  • Program leaders use data to build a formal comprehensive plan to reduce all identified risks (i.e. Risk Management Plan), which is reviewed annually.

Key Practice 5: Program implements varied procedures to recruit and orient staff.

Entry

DELACARE Regulations for Early Care and Education and School- Age Centers:

15. Governing Body

18. General Human Resources and Personnel Policy

24. Staff Qualifications

26. Staffing

32.Orientation

Emerging

  • Program leaders have knowledge of state and federal labor laws and federal employee legislation.
  • Program leaders have knowledge regarding effective recruitment and orienting practices.
  • Program leaders have procedures for recruitment of educators and have established formal interview processes.
  • Program leaders have developed a multi-day orientation process to ensure that the new educator has received information on all areas as mandated by licensing.

Developing

  • Program leaders use their center mission as a baseline for building recruitment and hiring procedures.
  • Program leaders orient new educators over the course of the probationary period.
  • Program leaders complete a formal review at the completion of the staff probationary period.
  • Program leaders develop a mentoring system to support new educators.
  • Program recruitment policy includes a commitment to seek a diverse staff that reflects the children and community served.

Advanced

  • Program leaders use adult learning theories to design a comprehensive orientation system.
  • Program leaders reflect on retention data to determine the effectiveness of recruitment and orientation procedures.
  • Program leaders use feedback from employees to update the orientation system annually.