Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Child Care Provider

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This past weekend was so awesome!  I was able to attend my sister's wedding :)  She and her sweetheart are now married for time and all eternity! I'm not going to lie, I'm glad it wasn't me getting married. Even though my wedding was one of the best days of my life,  it can be pretty stressful leading up to the big event.  There is a lot of take care of, but in the end it is totally worth it!  I am so happy for them and I wish them the best!

Recently, I was realizing that if I was going to get everything done at home and at work I needed some help.  So  I began the hunt for the perfect sitter for my kids.  (I would still be home if they needed something, but that way they would be entertained and I could get some work done at the same time.  (Genius!  I know, right?  lol :))  So the hunt began.  Luckily I was able to find a fabulous girl that actually lived right down the street from me.  She is amazing with my kids and they adore her.  I love the arrangement and I feel like I get so much more done now.  She comes Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6pm.  And those extra 4 hours a week make such a huge difference.  Now I just need to make sure I don't waste that precious time.  :)  Time management is the key.  But that is a whole another blog post.

So here are some questions that you should ask when you are interviewing a child care provider.

A Nanny or Babysitter

If interviewing a nanny or babysitter, be sure to ask:

Why do enjoy working with children?
Why did you choose to work in a private home rather than a center?
Are you available to work the hours I am offering?
Are you CPR and first aid certified?
What is your experience?  Ask follow-up questions relevant to the type of experience you expect a qualified  candidate to have.  For example, if you have a child with special needs, ask if the candidate has experience with special needs children.
What is your education?
Do you drive?
Do you have a reliable vehicle?
Do you hold any child care credentials or certifications?
What is your salary range?
When are you available to start?
Are you flexible with scheduling?
When do you plan on taking vacation?
Do you like to pick up additional hours for additional pay?
Are you willing to travel with our family?
How do you feel about light housekeeping?
Can you prepare meals for my children?
What was your last child care experience like?  Why did you leave?
How long are you planning to stay at your next job?
Are you willing to make a one-year commitment?
What is your parenting philosophy?
What methods of discipline do you use?
What would a typical day caring for children be like?
How do you feel about kids and TV?
Do you develop a routine for the children?  Are you structured?
What do kids like about you?
What kind of activities do you do with children the ages of mine?
How do you handle a baby that is crying inconsolably?
How do you handle a temper trantrum?
Are you willing  to take my children to age-appropriate activities and outings?
What is your relationship with your family like?
With whom do you spend most of your time?
How do people describe you?
Do you have any special skills?
Do you have any habits I should know about?  What do you do for fun?
Do you have any habits that may negatively influence my children?
Can I have informations for contacting three references?

Now, I know this list may be extensive. You don't have to ask EVERY SINGLE question.  Just ask the questions that you feel are the most important to you and your family.  But also remember that hiring a care provider for your children is really important because they will be taking care of your kids for you and you want them to do and be the best possible fit for you and your kids.  So be thorough when interviewing them.

A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists: 100+ Lists to save you time, money, and sanity  by Michelle LaRowe