Typically home daycare providers interview families before they accept them as clients. Sometimes called a “meet and greet.” As you know, parents have a lot of questions about daycare providers, but what are the questions that home daycare providers should ask prospective clients? Below we’ll discuss some of the most important home daycare interview questions to ask based on our experience interviewing parents in need of a quality childcare provider for their children.
The home daycare interview questions asked by home-based providers are more in-depth than those from a traditional childcare provider because the home care center is providing not only child care but in many cases, additional things like the administration of medications, basic first aid, and even pre-kindergarten level education.
First things first, it’s important to speak with all guardians, if possible. Often mothers and fathers (or grandparents) have different goals/needs when it comes to childcare. It also helps to have all guardians there so that one can fill in the blanks if the other one forgets a detail.
The following home daycare interview questions are designed to give you a better idea of what the family’s home, life, and values are. Ask these questions when you conduct your home daycare interviews so that each prospective parent has an opportunity to tell their story.
Home daycare interview questions about children’s personalities
What you’re trying to do with these questions is determine whether or not the children will be a good fit at your daycare and whether or not they will fit in with the other children.
For example, if you have a daycare that is currently full of toddlers, a 9-year-old might not be a great fit. It’s good to get these questions out of the way first because if the child isn’t a good fit there is no reason to continue with the interview. Here are some examples of other questions you’d want to ask:
“What are your child’s best qualities?”
“What areas of their personality would you like to see them grow in?”
“How does your child react when they make mistakes or don’t get what they want?”
“When it comes to discipline, how do you think that we should handle things? How is discipline handled at home?”
“Has your child had behavioural problems at other activities or schools before coming here (if applicable)?”
“Has there been anything that has affected them lately as far as changes in the family dynamic?”
“Are they good around strangers/new people?”
“What are their best friends like?”
“Do they have any behaviours you would like us to be aware of ahead of time?”
“What is your typical routine during the week?”
“Any favourite hobbies, food likes or dislikes, or favourite toys or activities the child enjoys?”
Home daycare interview questions about the family’s needs and what they’re looking for in a childcare provider
It’s important to make sure that the answers to these questions are very clearly understood. The care provider needs to know exactly what is expected of them. Establishing clear boundaries from the beginning will make for a better childcare experience all around.
For example, while most daycare providers are open on weekdays, there are some that offer overnight and weekend care. Being upfront about exactly what hours your home daycare is open is imperative so that everyone is on the same page and the children have continuity of care. Just because your business is in your home doesn’t mean that you don’t need to set (and stick to) business hours. Here are some examples of questions you might want to ask:
“What daycare hours do you need?”
- Hours per week (e.g., Mon.-Fri. from 9am to 5pm)
- Number of days in a row for childcare services each week
“Can the children take care of themselves/sit independently if needed during playtime/meal times?”
“Do they need help from me when it comes to feeding them?”
“Do you want me to provide transportation for your child(ren)?”
“How do you feel about pets in the home?”
“How will we communicate with each other?” (Phone, email, text or messenger)
“What is the best time for me to reach you?”
“What are your hours of availability?”
“Will I be able to contact you if necessary on weekends or after-hours emergencies?”
“Do you have any values we need to know?”
The interview questions about important health information
The home daycare provider should always inquire about any chronic illnesses and especially allergies. Knowing what kind of allergy or illness a child might suffer from allows them to better prepare for home childcare emergencies. Here are some more sample questions to ask:
“Does your child have any allergies we should know about (including milk, nuts, gluten)?”
“How often are your children sick? Do they have any health issues we should be aware of before accepting them as clients?”
“Do they need any daily medications administered?”
“Is there anything else you would like us to know about your home daycare needs and wishes before we get started setting up their care plan?”
This list is by no means exhaustive, but these questions should give you a good start when conducting interviews with prospective home daycare clients who are considering an in-home daycare facility. There will also be follow-up questions as to whether or not different activities like swimming lessons or sports practice need to be coordinated by someone else on behalf of the home daycare provider.
At this point, you should also have a basic intake form that you give to the parents to fill out. It contains all the legal and emergency information about the child as well as the name of the pediatrician, dentist, custodial parent information, and who will be allowed to pick up the child at the end of the day.
If you’re a home daycare provider, it is important that you ask parents the right questions during an interview. Parents are not always forthcoming with information they may think is too personal or irrelevant to your business, but these details can be vital in determining if their children will have a good experience in your care.