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What should you ask when interviewing for a child care program?
Need some ideas for child care interview questions? Actually, there are many things to consider when you are choosing the right child care setting for your child. After you search for options on our child care search, we recommend taking a few more steps to find out which one will be the best fit for the needs of your child and your family. We put together a comprehensive list of child care interview questions to ask child care programs when you call or visit them.
- Start with the non-negotiables: openings, schedule needs, cost, and any other factors that could break the deal if not answered correctly.
- And then include questions about things that would be of interest so that you can focus in on those that sound most in line with what you are looking for.
Interview Questions (preferably in person)
First of all, we would suggest the following basic questions:
- How long have you been doing child care and in what capacity?
- Why did you choose to do child care?
- What do you like most about working with babies/children?
- Have you ever found it challenging working with babies/children?
- What are you looking for in working with parents?
- When working with parents, what challenges do you find very common?
- What would you be doing with my baby/child all day long?
- How do you handle a child who is “misbehaving”?
- How do meal times happen here? Toileting? Napping?
- for Family Child Care: Who else lives here?
Then, you can learn more about the fit of the child care by asking the “what if” scenarios such as:
- What if my baby is fussy? Sometimes all day long? Or when two babies are fussy at the same time?
- What would you do if another child hurts my child?
- When my child gets sick, what would you do? Is there a sick policy? What if you (the provider) get sick?
- What if there is an emergency (fire, earthquake, accident)?
Check License Status
After you have identified a child care provider you are considering go to the licensing website, where you can see a record of previous licensing complaints, if the provider has any. Now is the time to do this. Not before. You need to narrow down your choices and have your own personal experience of the provider to know how to interpret the information you receive.
Remember, you can always go back and ask the provider about what you learn. It is up to them to reassure you. Or not.
If you have not already learned about certain policies and procedures in the child care, now is the time to ask questions such as:
- How does payment work?
- Is the program open during holidays?
- How do you handle sick and vacation days?
- What about your (the provider) sick and vacation days?
- Is there a deposit?
- What kind of notice would I need to give if we want to leave the program?
- Do you have a contract for me to review?
- How would you transition my child into your program?