This Child Care Center will be responsible to people, planet and profits (Hubbard Foods Ltd.). Its basic duty is to consider: a) lawful compliance; b) sound management of safety (Institute for Business & Home Safety 4-64); c) the protection, care and nurture of its integrity; and d) the provision of ample value added to the community (Johnson and Abramov 6; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). People will cover: a) its clients or customers including their families; b) its employees and agents; c) its owners, shareholders, investors, creditors and/or grant sponsors; d) its suppliers and/or contractors; e) the community where the center operates; f) its competitors; g) media and advocacy groups; h) society; and i) the local, state and national governments (Johnson and Abramov 5). Planet will basically cover the center’s immediate surroundings and the activities that it conducts and/or will conduct that may indirectly or directly affect the air, water and land. Profits will essentially cover: a) sound business practices for maximum profit; b) responsive and efficient use of business resources amid constant change; and c) due diligence and care in running the affairs and welfare of the Center.
This Center will be justified by these general principles precisely because its operations will be an interaction of people in our very own hospitable place in the planet. Of course, this is while earning a profit on such toils and labors. The Center will help parents raise kids who will be responsible adults through good examples by the standards set in this manual. More importantly, this Center will have a profound influence on kids since it will be in very a strategic position to mold young minds. In effect, this will be the Center’s greatest contribution to mankind for a better world to live in. This Center is not just making a buck. It will build lives, hopefully good ones, by the principles it will follow.
Principles of Responsibility.
This Center will comply with all laws and regulations affecting it or applicable to it. It will be a fair and honest member of society. It will become an active citizen of the United States by following the democratic principles on which this country is based on and by performing the duties associated with such principles.
This Center will likewise execute prudent actions that will comply with: a) the established norms of child care center safety; b) basic precautions against infectious diseases (American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care 9), and accidents and disasters, both natural and man-made; and c) essential security measures in personnel recruitment and crime prevention or mitigation. It will provide a safe, learning environment for its child clients and fairly acceptable facilities and equipment for its adult customers. The Center shall check, prepare, structure, maintain, modify and/or remove any/all facilities, equipment, immovable things and the people inside its premises to minimize or preempt any foreseeable danger against any child within the Center.
This Center will also preserve and enhance its integrity with the people it does business with. It will be concerned with the safety of child customers first and the provision of a quality learning environment second. It will be fair. It will have no religious bias or racial discrimination. It will respect gender equality and Americans with disabilities (U.S. Department of Justice), and provide equal opportunities to minorities. It will likewise take responsibility for and take prompt action to correct its mistakes, misconducts and/or misunderstandings (Johnson and Abramov 38).
This Center will likewise provide sufficient value added to its community, its stakeholders, grant sponsors and local government. It will meet the child care needs of the community and comply with local government laws, ordinances and regulations (US Department of Health & Human Services). It will establish connections and pursue good relationships with community organizations, grant sponsors, and the local and state governments. It will likewise promptly pay its fair share of taxes to enable local and state governments provide the necessary public infrastructure and services within the community. It will also provide fair and fruitful employment to professionals and qualified personnel within the community.
This Center will be justified by these principles of responsibility because government can make or break the business. Moreover, its main clients are the children that parents entrust with the Center. Hence, this Center acts as a second parent to its child customers as if these kids are our own. It is important that the Center builds a good name and reputation to keep its customers with us and encourage others to do the same. More importantly, the Center should value its community since this is the place where its pool of customers comes from.
- This Center will provide fair value to its adult clients and child customers. Children and parents will receive courteous, respectful and warm child care services. The Center will be committed to quality. In this regard, it will pursue and try to exceed established professional standards. The Center will also be transparent to all of its existing and potential adult clients and child customers on all issues that may positively or negatively affect their welfare within the Center.
- This Center will ensure and align its employees and agents to provide the same commitment to fair value, ensure compliance to law and professional standards, establish and maintain good client and customer relationships, exhibit honesty and integrity in a consistent manner, and take responsibility for and execute prompt action to correct mistakes, misconducts and/or any misunderstandings. It will treat its employees and agents fairly, professionally, responsibly and lawfully. In this sense, the Center is essentially the business organization that consists of its owners, facilities and resources, its employees, its commitment to customer fair value, and its good name and reputation.
- This Center will follow the established principles of good corporate governance. It will implement sound management actions, take prudent administration and care of the business, and ensure acceptable returns for its owners, shareholders, investors, creditors and/or grant sponsors. It will be courteous, respectful and warm towards them. It will take an aggressive pursuit of opportunities, a prudent and professional management of risks, a careful regard on its profitability, and a skillful balancing of customer fair value and available resources. The Center will also be transparent on all issues that may positively or negatively affect the welfare of the business.
- This Center will ensure and/or align its suppliers and/or contractors to: a) commit to fair value for goods and services; b) comply with law and professional standards; c) provide good client and customer relationships; d) maintain honesty and integrity; and e) ensure responsibility for and take prompt action on the correction of mistakes, misconducts and/or any misunderstandings. The Center will treat its suppliers and/or contractors fairly, professionally, responsibly and lawfully.
- This Center will be a good taxpayer to ensure that the community where it is located is financially sufficient in the provision of necessary services. It will also be a good neighbor and shall encourage its employees and clients to become active participants in community development. The Center will promote peace, goodwill and warm, friendly relationships within its community.
- This Center will compete based on its commitment to customer fair value and sound management of the business enterprise. It will keep the necessary professional distance from its competitors while maintaining a harmonious disposition towards them. It shall likewise cooperate with its competitors in matters of great importance to the child care center sector, the community, and the local, state, and/or national governments.
- This Center shall keep a low profile in announcing or advertising its accomplishments and shall be prudent in handling controversial or scandalous issues. However, it will vocally and actively advocate for the good welfare of its adult clients and child customers, the peace and order of its community, and issues important to the Center and its sector. It will likewise establish connections and pursue good relationships with the media and allied advocacy groups. It will refrain from announcing statements that may be offensive to its community and the general public. Likewise, the Center will be courteous, respectful, and civil to the media and advocacy groups at all times—even in matters of disagreements and debates.
- This Center will be a good and responsible business citizen of the United States. It will operate its business according to established government agency standards pertaining to it. It will provide gainful employment fairly and lawfully. It will comply with all laws affecting it or applicable to it. It will be courteous and professional in its dealings with local, state and/or national government officials, employees, representatives or agents. It shall distance itself away from any forms of bribery and corruption. Moreover, the Center will be loyal to the United States of America and shall refrain from or support any activities that may compromise its homeland security and national defense.
This Center will be justified by its people principles because parent clients and child customers are the lifeblood of its business. It takes a long term view on profitability by its focus on keeping its adult clients happy for the simple reason that any additional child in a family is a captive customer. The Center also values its employees and agents for these are its greatest assets more than its facilities and equipment. Also, high employee turnover and poor professional quality are likely to negatively affect the business-side of the equation. Moreover, the Center takes a sensible predisposition for its stakeholders since keeping and maintaining quality has its costs and should therefore generate appropriate returns. With adequate returns, this ensures that the Center can continue to provide quality child care center services that will benefit its community as well as its employees. Meanwhile, suppliers and contractors can either compromise or enhance this quality. Hence, this ethics manual also considers their importance.
Finally, this Center will also be justified by its people principles by taking into account its community, competitors, the media & advocacy groups, and the government. These sectors play an important role in the Center’s operations. Good collaboration and cooperation ensure the survival of the Center, increase its capacity to flourish and guarantee its ultimate success.
This Center will realistically contribute to the welfare of the planet by concentrating on the Center’s immediate surroundings and by engaging in the activities within its control. It will engage in internal actions that will improve the environment, slow down its deterioration, or prevent its destruction. For the same purpose, it will seek active participation with the community to encourage a sincere concern for the planet. It shall likewise encourage contributions to or participate in worthwhile causes that will help preserve or improve the environment and its flora and fauna in land, water and air. Through these, the Center will help raise kids that are responsible adults not only to themselves, or their families, or their communities, or even their society, or their country, but also, to the whole world as well.
This Center will be justified by its planet principles because it has a moral duty to share its blessings with the world and help preserve the planet for future generations to come.
This Center will pursue its profit objectives efficiently and effectively. It shall give the greatest priority to long term profits and sustainability rather than to short term ventures or measures. However, the Center shall keep its cash flow and cash burn rates within reasonable levels to ensure its continued operations and survival. The Center has a duty to make its profits fairly and lawfully. It will likewise manage and use its resources prudently and maximize the returns on its investments.
These profit principles will essentially guide the Center:
- Sound business practices for maximum profit. Sound business practices will refer to the tried and tested methods of the child care center industry including best practices from successful innovators within the sector or in other fields or industries. The Center’s executives and/or managers shall test all new approaches on a small scale, observe its efficacy or usefulness and modify it to the Center’s circumstances until a desirable outcome is accomplished. Full implementation of new approaches shall only take place after such described process. As a general rule, the Center shall principally follow acceptable business standards by the academe.
- Responsive and efficient use of business resources amid constant change. This will refer to the Center’s adaptability and flexibility to take advantage of any possible opportunities. It will likewise cover the minimization or total elimination of waste or wasteful practices that negatively impact the business’ profitability such as unchecked pilferage, exorbitant spending versus wise investments, inefficient administration, etc.
- Due diligence and care in running the affairs and welfare of the Center. This will refer to the Center’s well-managed administration and wise use of its resources. It shall likewise cover collaborative and cooperative efforts that promote the welfare of the Center and ensure its long life and continuous operations.
This Center will be justified by its profit principles because it has a duty and obligation to its stakeholders as well as its parent clients and child customers. The minimum requirements for successful business operations are survival and constant improvement of the quality of services that are provider.
Standards of Conduct and Performance.
- Professional Standards. Executives, managers, agents and all employees of the Center must have a high level of commitment, expertise and responsibility in their line of work. High commitment means serious concern for the company’s welfare and clients. Expertise requires sufficient practical and theoretical knowledge to perform jobs safely, authoritatively, efficiently and effectively. Expertise likewise covers constant knowledge-upgrade with focus on best practices and mastery of established criteria on performance for professionals and specialized workers by reputable professional organizations or standards-monitoring bodies. Most importantly, responsibility shall mean sufficient courage and honor to admit, report, and correct any mistakes, misconducts, or misunderstandings.
- Community Standards. Executives, managers, agents and all employees of the Center must conform to the norms of the community with regards to proper behavior, decorum and language. The Center and all its representatives must be courteous and respectful at all times. They shall refrain from acts of indecency or acts that will be scandalous, oppressive, negatively controversial, or immensely unpopular.
- Government Regulatory Standards. Executives, managers, agents and all employees of the Center must strictly comply with the published regulations of local, state and national governments, their agencies or attached offices, including their pertinent sub-units or lawfully constituted sub-organizations or quasi-governmental bodies.
Guidelines for the Creation of Documents Requiring Accountability
These guidelines will cover: policies, contracts, memorandums, detailed work instructions, job descriptions, employees’ duties and responsibilities, press releases, public reports and other related documents. The appropriate personnel tasked to create, evaluate and/or approve the above cited documents shall follow these enumerated steps sequentially.
- Follow the General Principles. The appropriate personnel shall incorporate the general principles of this manual most especially when drafting or modifying any contracts. Moreover, the human resources manager or assigned staff shall make all employees aware in writing and verbally of this Business Ethics Manual by its entirety or by its applicable parts as it fits the purpose of the document created or the occasion.
- Follow the Detailed Principles. The appropriate personnel shall incorporate the general principles of this manual wherever and whenever it is applicable.
- Consult with Affected Stakeholders and Parties. The appropriate personnel must consult with the stakeholders, staff and/or third parties affected by this manual. This is to establish the rules of engagements or deals, determine the propriety of certain actions or support for certain issues, and develop protocols in the conduct of ethical business practices.
- Get Management Approval. All created documents covered by the scope of these guidelines shall gain management approval considering the appropriate office hierarchies. No documents that fall under the scope of these guidelines will be official or valid without management approval.
- Provide Sufficient Time for Information Dissemination and Orientation. Management shall not allow retroactive provisions that pertain to the principles in this manual. Such provisions will violate the virtue of fairness and the already stated principles of this manual. Hence, it is a strongly recommended practice to provide sufficient time, preferably at least two weeks; to inform and orient any affected persons on these established principles as these are contained in the documents approved by management.
- Implement on a Definite Start Date. All approved documents that fall within the stated scope of these guidelines shall have a definite start date with due compliance to Step 5. Unclear or vague dates may compromise the intents and purposes of this manual.
- Repeat Step 1. In cases of changes due to obsolescence or inapplicability due to law, repeat Step 1.
- Separability Clause. Should any law or U.S. government office deem any principle or provision of this manual as inappropriate or unlawful, all other principles and provisions not affected shall remain valid.
American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care. Caring for Our Children. National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care. 2nd ed. USA: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care. 2002.
Hubbard Foods Ltd. “CEO’s Statement.” Triple Bottom Line Report. 9 July 2003. <http://www.hubbards.co.nz/triple_bottom_line/ triple_financial.html>. Johnson and Abramov 6.
Institute for Business & Home Safety. Non-Structural Mitigation for Child Care Centers. Tampa FL: Institute for Business & Home Safety. 1999.
Johnson, Kenneth W. and Abramov, Igor Y. Business Ethics: A Manual for Managing a Responsible Business Enterprise in Emerging Market Economies. Washington DC: Good Governance Program, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. 2004.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. “Starting a Child Care Center.” National Child Care Information Center. Administration for Children & Families. 26 March 2007. 21 June 2007. <http://www.nccic.org/poptopics/starting.html>.
U.S. Department of Justice. Child Care Centers and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disabilities Section. Civil Rights Division. Nov. 1997.