How to Write a Letter of Intent to Terminate Childcare

By Erica Loop
Children playing at childcare center
Children playing at childcare center

You've made the decision to take your child out of her current child care situation, but your contract doesn't allow you to just stop bringing her. Whether you're not satisfied with the school, you found a center that you like better, don't need out-of-the-home care anymore or want someone else to watch your little one, terminating your childcare arrangement starts with a formal letter. The specific statements that you make depend on your center's policies, the contract, why you're removing your child from the site and any applicable local laws.

Writing Time Table

Writing a letter a day or a week prior to removing your child from his daycare may not cut it. Even though you can pull your child out of his center any time that you want, it's likely that the school has policies regarding termination of services and payment. It's possible that submitting your letter too late will mean that you must continue to pay after your child no longer attends the program. For example, some daycare centers require 30 days notice prior to terminating the contract. This means that the letter needs a specific date for termination and you need to date the letter. If the center has a 30-day notification policy and you write the letter on August 1, you should choose August 31 or later as your child's last day.

Reason for Termination

Some centers may require or expect you to outline the reasons for termination. If the termination policy guidelines don't specifically say you must provide this, you may leave out this information. If the center does require a reason for termination statement or you feel the need to express your dissatisfaction with the care your child received, add this after the date for withdrawal. Reasons for termination may include a number of different scenarios such as a conflict with the center staff, improper supervision, a change in your work schedule, losing or quitting your job, moving or simply wanting to switch centers. Your own family or personal values must match up with the daycare's mission for you to feel comfortable leaving your child there, notes the website KidsHealth. If a mismatch between your values and the center's is at the heart of the termination, politely explain this in a non-accusatory way. For example, if you believe that children should follow rules and the center uses a choice-based approach, let the daycare know that the conflict in beliefs is confusing for your child.

The Care Giver's Infractions

Whether your child is in a daycare center, attends home-based care or has a nanny, you need a contract that spells out all of the expectations for all parties involved. If the care giver breaks her end of the contract, you need to state this in your letter of termination. This differs from stating your reasons, as breach of contract is a legal matter and not a subjective opinion. Instead of asking to withdraw your child, this type of termination letter may read more like you're firing the person or company who was providing care. For example, the in-home child care provider you use signed a contract stating that you can drop your child off after 8 a.m. When you bring your child at the specified time, the provider tells you that she can't watch your child and to come back at 9 a.m. Some days when you try to drop her off, no one is home and you have to find alternative care. The provider isn't holding up her end of the contract.

Temporary Termination

Some families need to stop childcare for an extended time, but plan on returning eventually. For example, you are taking 16 weeks off from work to stay at home with your newborn. You want your toddler home with you too during this time. This means that he won't need care for four months. If you completely withdraw him from care, the center has no obligation to readmit him later on. However, some providers allow a limited termination that permits your child to take an extended leave and then return to care at a specified date. If this is the case, state the date for temporary termination and expected date for return. If a reason is required, add this along with the dates.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.