Child Care Authorization Letter

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Upd. 24, Jan, 2023
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A child care authorization letter is a legal document whereby parents give their written consent to a family member or non-relative to take temporary care of the child or children. This legal template enables non-parent caregivers to help children with any life situation they have. Fill out this child care authorization letter form on Lawrina, download it in PDF to share with the other parties.

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Template Description

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Create a child care authorization letter that is simple and perfect for when you need someone else to care for your child. A child care authorization letter template is available in printable PDF format from Lawrina. Answer the template-specific questions to fill out the blank fields and easily download a ready-to-use document.

What Is a Child Care Authorization Letter?

A child care authorization form is a legal document written and signed by parents who need to temporarily delegate their responsibilities to a person not closely related to the child. This formal document can help unrelated caregivers to be involved in various aspects of a child’s care—school, emergency medical treatment, travel, vacation, etc.—and make necessary decisions in the absence of a parent. 

Insight

Special authorization agreements define the limit of the care provider’s authority over the child. They may also specify the duration of the authority and consent to act as the “adult caregiver" –– an adult person whom a parent has authorized to provide temporary care for a child. 

Parties of the Child Care Authorization Letter

  • Parent(s) –– One or both parents, depending on custody arrangements, if any. When one parent cannot sign because of distance, legal restrictions, or mental or physical condition, the parent who is responsible for the child or children can be the only one named.
  • Caregiver –– The entrusted caregiver.
  • Child(ren) –– All children to be cared for.

Key Terms

Typically, authorization letters for child care include the following legal provisions:

  • Parties — The letter should clearly state the full names of all parties involved, including the children.
  • Scope — The child care authorization letter should describe what the entrusted caregiver is expected to do. Determine in advance what each party expects from the other to prevent misunderstandings.
  • Price and payment — Most caregivers in emergency situations or for vacations are relatives who do not charge. However, payment terms should be listed if the parents are paying a caregiver.
  • Timing — The child care authorization letter should state when the care will begin and end, even if it is simply an estimate in the event of an emergency.

Importance of Signing a Child Care Authorization Letter

A legal child care authorization letter sample can help parents in many circumstances create a document to ensure that the parents can rely on another adult caregiver. The core of an authorization agreement is to specify the permissions and obligations of a non-parent care provider when he or she is in charge of the minor children.

The following are typical duties that parents may want to mention in a child care authorization letter:

  • Consenting to any medical procedures that the child may require;

  • Enrolling the child in school, extracurricular or sports activities, and more;

  • Receiving and applying for the child’s confidential and legal documents on behalf of the child—healthcare records, school documents, driver’s license, job permission, birth certificate, state identification card, social security card, etc.;

  • Receiving public assistance on behalf of the child.

What To Include in a Child Care Authorization Letter

A standard child care authorization letter should consist of the following components:

  • The names of the childcare provider or relative (the person who will take temporary parental responsibility for the child), the parent or parents, and the minor child or children;

  • Personal data of each party, including date of birth, residence address, and phone numbers;

  • Consent for authorization;

  • Duties and obligations of the named childcare provider or relative;

  • Duration of non-parent care (optional); and

  • Signatures of the childcare provider or relative and the parent or parents and the date signed.

How To Write a Child Care Authorization Letter

Each section of the letter is essential and should be carefully considered before signing. Parents can use a child care authorization letter in any situation for anyone who may be taking care of their child or children in their absence. When preparing this letter, remember the following:

  1. Clearly state who is authorizing the caregiver to take care of the child. 

  2. All information shared in a child care authorization letter should remain strictly confidential.

  3. The person caring for the child must have a valid government identification card.

  4. Child care authorization letters do not require notarization.

  5. The parents or legal guardians of the child must sign the child care authorization letter.

  6. In case of emergency, parents and providers should keep copies of the child care authorization letter on hand. 

Parties’ Authorization Consent

In this section, the parties will add clauses stating that the parents agree to authorize the childcare provider to take care of the child during the specified period when the parents are away for work or other obligations. 

In addition, a purpose can be added for the child care authorization form. This can be described in plain language, such as “to delegate the parental responsibility to the entrusted non-parental care provider during the period of…”

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Here, the parties should describe the key responsibilities that the childcare provider should fulfill while the parents are temporarily unavailable. The following examples can be used in a child care authorization letter:

  • To take the child to his or her medical appointment, to consent to medical care as deemed necessary by the physicians and medical providers at the time of the appointment, and to purchase any required prescriptions;
  • To enroll the child in a day-care program, public or private preschool, primary school, or secondary school;
  • To take the child to his or her day-care program, public or private preschool, primary school, or secondary school;
  • To authorize the child to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, civic, social, or recreational activities, including athletic activities;
  • To authorize the child to obtain a learner’s permit, driver’s license, or state-issued identification card;
  • To authorize the employment of the child; and
  • To apply for and receive public benefits on behalf of the child.

Duration of the Child Care Authorization Form

Parents have the option to establish a specific period when they will need a non-parental care provider to be in charge of their child or children. The duration can include beginning and ending dates and times or be open-ended as applicable.

Warnings and Disclosures

This is an important part of a child care authorization form, as it explains what will happen in the event of problems with the chosen provider. A family lawyer may be able to help determine the most appropriate statements to include in this section. The following are some disclosures that may be included:

  • Consequences for the childcare provider for failure to take care of the child within the established period and scope of the agreement;
  • Conditions that divide the parental and non-parental responsibilities regarding the child and the scope of expenses;
  • Termination option for parents to change the duration of the child care authorization letter.

When Do You Need a Child Care Authorization Letter?

With this parents’ permission form, entrusted caregivers can seek essential medical treatment for the minor children, pick them up from school, or support them in other important ways when their parents are away.

Insight

Non-parent caregivers should provide a child care authorization form for parents to sign when taking on a new client. To get essential medical treatment for a child, the caregiver must provide doctors and hospital staff with a child care authorization form signed by at least one of the child’s parents.

Common Use Cases

Legally authorizing someone else to care for your child requires a child care authorization letter. Consider the following examples:

  • If you will be away on a business trip or vacation;
  • If your child needs medical treatment while in the care of a trusted adult;
  • When you are at work and need someone to keep your child safe;
  • If your child needs to be picked up from school or taken to a school play or a church bake sale;
  • If a caregiver is taking your child along on vacation; 
  • When your child needs to stay at someone else’s house for a few days;
  • When your child’s caregiver must complete official paperwork on your child’s behalf, such as school enrollment forms, medical consent forms, background checks, etc.; or
  • When presenting the child’s interests at court or other legal proceedings on behalf of the child.

There may be occasions when it is necessary for a parent to use a child care authorization letter simply to allow someone else to make medical decisions for the child, such as when:

  • Medical treatment is necessary and the parent cannot make medical decisions;

  • The parent is in the hospital and another person must make medical decisions for the child;

  • The parent needs someone to follow up with the child’s medical treatment after outpatient surgery; or

  • The provider must seek emergency medical treatment and manage healthcare records on behalf of the child.

Insight

In most jurisdictions, there is a list of persons that are entitled to consent to medical, dental, or psychological treatment of a child when the person having the right to consent cannot be contacted, for instance: a grandparent of the child, an adult brother or sister, an educational institution in which the child is enrolled, etc. 

When Not To Use a Child Care Authorization Letter

The child care authorization letter does not grant full legal custody of a child while his or her parents are away or unavailable. However, it does allow someone else to legally care for the child during that time. It allows someone to make certain decisions regarding the child’s health and safety as necessary, based on the terms of the legal document.

Warning

In general, the person with legal custody of your child must take care of your child if no one else is available to do so. You cannot leave your child with anyone without that person’s permission.

In case of an emergency, there should always be someone authorized to take care of your child. However, a child care authorization letter is not necessary if you are just going out for a short time.

Child care authorization letters do not confer any authority on the person taking care of the child. Additionally, they cannot:

  • Be used to establish custody;
  • Exclude child support from the parent’s responsibility.

State Law

There is no legal requirement for child care authorization letters in any state, but they are highly recommended when parents are considering hiring someone to look after their children. These letters can be especially beneficial if the entrusted caregiver will be required to make decisions on the parent’s behalf in his or her absence, such as when traveling.

Warning

A parent or both parents of a child may enter into an authorization agreement with an adult caregiver to authorize the adult caregiver to perform certain acts with regard to the child. In certain states, for instance, in Texas, there is a notarization requirement of such kinds of agreement. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be authorized?

Any adult person can be authorized to take temporary care of children, be it a close relative, babysitter, step-father, or a voluntary caregiver.

Can parents cancel the child care authorization letter?

As a parent, you can cancel the authorization agreement at any time or change the duration of the authorization form whenever you need it.

As a parent, can I change the care provider mentioned in the authorization agreement?

Yes. You can assign another person to take responsibility for your child but for more details, contact your lawyer or a legal professional.

What if I’m taking care of a child, but I’m not in the child care authorization letter?

If you expect to have care of the child for more than a day or so, you should contact an attorney and explore seeking a custody order or a temporary authorization form. Contact your lawyer regarding both types of these legal documents for expert legal help.