K.H. asks from Tempe, AZ on June 08, 2010
S.K. answers from Kansas City on June 08, 2010
When did they start childcare? Ask them to tell you why and how they started and how long they plan to provide care.
Ask them if they prefer to be called a caregiver or a babysitter. This will show you if they take pride in their services or not. People that think of themselves as a babysitter are not going to provide as much in the way of teaching and they might not provide as much personal attention. Babysitters are just there to keep them safe, clean, and fed. Caregivers pour a LOT of their time, effort, and souls into their businesses.
Ask them how they decompress at the end of the day and how they handle frustrations when they are with the kids. They should be able to tell you how they handle their own emotions when life gets rough. Children are a mixed bag of blessings that include times of feeling overwhelmed. If they deny having these feelings, they aren't being honest.
Ask them how they handle a baby that is crying every time she puts the baby down. Do not think that your baby could never do this. Many babies that have been the sweetest and most laid back babies at home have become obsessively clingy when they start a new daycare. You and this person need to be on the same page about how to get the baby through this time. She will need to care for the other children and she will need to make and serve meals and visit the little girls room. So she needs to have a plan.
Ask her how often she gets sick and if she or her own children are susceptible to common viruses. For instance, some children get strep throat all the time and some never do. If a person gets enough rest, drinks plenty of fluids, eats well, and lives a smoke free and alcohol free lifestyle, I guarantee you that they get sick less often. Find out how she handles sicknesses, for her, her children, and for your child.
Ask her what she feels sets herself apart from other in-home caregivers. She should have an idea of what services or policies she has in place that are better or different than most others in her area.
I could go on and on about this topic. I personally think it's a great idea to ask many of these things and so many more through email first. That way, you don't waste time meeting with someone that's not going to work. You can narrow down your choices before you start to meet people. Also, you can spend your time during the interview just really getting to know each other. Your instincts will sway you. :)
2 moms found this helpful
D.S. answers from Phoenix on June 10, 2010
You need to know about the person's life outside of work. You don't want someone who has chaos in their personal life, because there is no way they will not bring it your home and child after a while. You need to make sure that they understand what being on time means. I had a nanny who would show up late everyday. Also, ask what they intend to do with the baby while you are away. You want someone active, not someone who will just sit there. Also, are they available long term so that you don't have to keep changing nannys. I have had my nanny for 3 years now (the first 2 I had to let go) and my son and I love here. He is so happy when she is around and misses her when she is gone - all good signs. Good Luck!
M.F. answers from Phoenix on June 08, 2010
It's hard to know what to ask and a lot of times parents forget their questions, so here's what I always make sure I tell prospective clients in an interview:
My education, background and experience in child care.
The number of children I currently have, I max out at and the ratio of adults:children I maintain.
My hours/days of operation, my fees, what basics I provide and what they will need to provide for their child.
Information about our schedule, our curriculum, my philosophy on child care and what developmental goals I focus on at different ages.
Questions about the child's current schedule and how we would work with that in the daycare setting.
How I handle disclipline.
The rules of the daycare that the children follow.
That I follow all State laws concerning child care and that everyone in my family and my employ have their fingerprint clearance cards and keep CPR/1st Aid current.
What I do, in general, during the day with the children.
My procedures concerning illnesses, contagious illness, cleaning and where I go above and beyond what State law requires.
My policy on missed days, how often I am sick, how I handle my child being sick, how often (HA!) I take vacation time.
Offer references of all current clients.
This is just the stuff I make sure I cover during an interview. I prefer to have the parents come interview and bring the child, so we can all spend some time together while talking. I also only do interviews during daycare hours, so the parents can see what goes on and how I am normally in the daycare. I don't rush interviews and have had some families sit and chat for an hour or more. If a provider you're considering is resistant to any of these things, I would not seriously consider them as a candidate. Unless you see them actually in a working setting, you will never know if they're being genuine during the interview or putting on an act.
Also, for your own sake, please check out the DHS home page and find out the basic laws for childcare (adult:child ratio, requirements for working in childcare, laws concerning illnesses, cleaning, etc.). Too many people don't know what's required by law and therefore can't easily spot a provider who is not complying.
My home daycare is in South Scottsdale and I do currently have an opening available for an infant. I'm listed in local businesses under "My Little Happy Place" or you can message me. I'd love to answer these and any other questions you have personally.
R.M. answers from Portland on June 08, 2010
If you're talking about a Nanny, I would ask her to talk about her experience, what a day with a baby looks like. How she handles stressful days. What are her long term plans in the field, you don't want the person to leave suddenly.
You can transition those same question to in home day care providers, (baby in care giver's home), but add to the list, questions about her holiday & vacation schedule. What she does when she gets sick. How many staff is on site & how long the staff has been there (high turn over is bad). What her safety plan is if there is an emergency, (if there was a fire, how does she get the kids out?)
Always do a back ground check on your care givers.
K.H. answers from Phoenix on June 09, 2010
ASk them if they are willing to care for your child the way that you do, for example, if you put your child down everyday at 9am and 2pm for a nap, will they do that too? Ask if they have their own cell phone, so they do not use your phone. Ask if they are will to play/interact with your child when he/she is awake. Ask if they know CPR and First Aid. Ask what they would do in case of an emergency. Ask for references and call those references. What type of experience does he/she have with infants?
S.S. answers from Chicago on June 08, 2010
make sure of the vacation policy for both yours and hers
ask what she does in an emergency
does she have a back up provider
how many children does she keep
who else lives in the home/will be around the children
what is her discipline policy
what is the nap time policy
who provides food / is she on a child care food program
does she have references
does she have extra insurance for daycare in case of injury
A.K. answers from Minneapolis on June 09, 2010
If you choose to go with an In-Home provider, I would recommend using a licensed provider and calling the county and checking her record first. Do a TON of interviews so you can compare and find the closest to what you are looking for. Here's a website with a list of questions for daycare interviews, maybe highlight the ones that are important to you since there are so many. Good luck to you!
http://tinyurl.com/j786b for home daycares
http://tinyurl.com/kzn2k for day care centers
L.M. answers from New York on June 08, 2010
Ask how long they have been providing childcare? How long does she intend to continue? Are they licensed? Are they first aid and cpr certified? How many children does she watch, and what are the ages? What would a typical day be like for your child? Ask about what happens when your baby begins eating solid foods, do you provide meals/snacks? Will she watch your baby if the baby is sick with a minor illness like a cold?
Once you've found the right person, make sure you have an agreement on the hours and rate of pay? What happens on holidays (the ones that you don't have to work, as well as the ones you may have to work - like Good Friday)? What if you agree to 8-5, what happens if your running late and can't be there until 5:30, extra charge?