Interviewing Potential Child Care Provider
Phase 1: The Telephone Interview
Interviewing a prospective provider over the phone is an efficient way to gather very general and functional information.
When you call, be sure to introduce yourself, state how you got the provider's name and if they have any vacancies. If you are calling a center ask to speak to the director.
Ask them if they have 10 to 15 minutes of their time to answer a few questions.
Here are some suggestion questions you may elect to ask during the phone interview:
Do you have an opening?
What are you hours?
Are you licensed or accredited?
What is your vacation and illness policy?
What are your fees? Do you have any parent subsidies?
Are you a member of the food program?
What training or experience do you have?
Do you have pets?
Do you transport children to schools?
In addition, you can ask the following questions either over the telephone or during the face-to-face interview:
Tell me about yourself.
How did you decide to become a provider?
What do you like most about being a provider?
How long do you plan to be one?
Does your family support your in home business?
Can you tell me what a typical day would look like for my child(ren).
How do you handle emergencies?
Do you carry liability insurance?
Are children ever transported in a vehicle while in your care? If so, do you have a valid driver's license and what is your driving record?
Can parents "drop-in" for a visit?
What would you do if you and I disagreed about something?
How much staff turnover has there been in the past year?
What do you want to know about me (and/or my partner and child)?
Can you provide me with a list of references?
Even if you like the way a provider answered your questions over the phone, don't stop there. Ask when (and your partner) could set up a time to come and meet with the provider and tour the facility. This part of the interview/evaluation process will give you a chance to observe the provider(s) in action and inspect the site. Here are some questions you may choose to ask during your on-site visit:
Phase II: Visiting the Child Care environment/ facility
Can you show me the equipment and toys you have?
Where do the children nap?
What health precautions do you take?
Show me how you have childproofed your home.
What are you house rules?
May I see your contract?
May I see your license?
May I see the toilet facilities/kitchen/playground?
May I see your curriculum plan?
May I see a copy of your sample menu?
May I see a list of references?
May I see your CPR/1st Aid certification?