There is an enormous amount of information out there for parents on what to look for in a child care, and what questions to ask. Because of this parents have become very savvy to what can be expected in a good quality child care program. I love seeing, parents come in with a notebook or list of questions. It makes my day, and I know that these parents could be someone I want to work with. There is little to no information out there for family child care teachers, providers and owners on what to look for in a good parent.
When I interview parents, I have a process, it is well rehearsed and practiced. I want to be in control of the situation and come off as professional and comfortable as possible. I don’t have a sheet of questions that I fill out or notebook I take notes in, some do. I go through my interview, and yes I mean my interview not theirs, with questions throughout the process.
Before the interview, you have already gotten some basic information. Here is a list of information and questions to get in the 40 minutes to an hour it takes for the interview. I am a talker, mine take about an hour.
- Has your child been in day care before?
- How long? and how many child cares situations? Grandpa & Grandma, centers, other family child care providers, etc.
- Why are you seeking child care?
- What is your working schedule? Will there be a problem with your child being picked up by closing time?
- What is your emergency back up care plan?
- Does your child have special needs based on religious or health issues?
- Are there any food restrictions?
- Are there any activity restrictions?
- Will you be able to take part in our in our special events, activities or field trips.
- What are your expectations of a child care provider?
- Who will be making payments?
- Are you willing to sign a contract?
- Tell me a little about your family?
- What is your night-time schedule like?
- Does your child live with both parents? One parent and visits another?
- Does your child have siblings?
- What does your child love to do?
- What struggles do you have with your child?
- How would you describe your child temperament?
- What general observations can you give me about your child’s development?
- May I have names of references or former child care providers?
These are just some questions, that can be asked during your interview process. I do recommend that if you get nervous in these situations that you practice. It may seem silly, but it is very helpful. Also, it is okay to end the interview with ” I have a couple more interviews, can I get back to you with my decision by?” Now, I know that filling spots is important, and you want to do it quickly. Trust me, it will cost you more in the long run, to enroll a family that you are not quite sure of and be repeating the interview process all over again in a couple of weeks.
This is your business, run by you. Getting a family that is a good fit, is important, and asking the questions during the interview process is critical. I want my families around a long time, and these questions help me to make the tough decisions during the interview.