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  #1  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:36 AM
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Default Interview Questions

I was wondering what questionsyou asked during your parent interview.
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:03 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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I hold a phone interview (when they initially contact me) and then a person-to-person interview.

For the phone interview I ask
  • The parents full names, phone number, email address and home address.
  • How did you hear about us?
  • Start date needed
  • Hours of care needed
  • What days, full or part-time
  • Temporary or long-term
  • Child'd name, age and DOB
  • Current child care arrangements
  • Reason for needing childcare
  • Work/school schedule
  • What is expected from childcare?
  • On another waitlist?
  • Backup provider?
  • May I contact the previous childcare provider?

I also go through my "deal breakers" (non-negotiables) such as are you willing to allow vehicle transportation, go over illness policy, nap-time, tuition amount and tuition/deposit details etc.

Then during the person-to-person interview I ask a lot of the same questions (to make sure that they give the same information as they did over the phone) and ask for more details:
  • Confirm parents information and whether they are working/school, FT or part-time, hours, address of work/school,unemployed? Absent parent?
  • Confirm the child's information, special diets? (sugar, juice, vegetarian, meat etc)
  • Child's favorite activities
  • General information about the child's development
  • If they are diapering I ask how often they change a diaper (how many hours, as needed, is child prone to diaper rash?) and then I go over how I diaper.
  • Toilet learning. Is the child toilet trained? When was the child's last few accidents? Is the child learning and in diapers? Is not yet toilet learning, when will they approach it? And then go over my toilet training policy.
  • Does the child take naps? What is the child's nap routine? How long does the child nap? Then I go over my nap routine and nap policies.
  • What is their method of dicipline? Then I go over my discipline policy and how I handle difficult behavior, vulgarity, physical altercations, biting etc.
  • What kind of entertainment is ok (TV, computers, gaming systems etc.) and for how long? How much time do they spend doing these things at home?
  • Does the child have any special needs based on health issues?
  • Allergies?
  • Is the child on any medications? I then explain my medication policy.
  • Does the child have any special needs based on religiou beliefs?
  • I ask for the last 3 childcare providers (including relatives that were caregivers) and ask for details about how they liked/disliked this arrangements, how the child did, did they give or will they give a 2 weeks notice, reason for leaving and their contact information.
  • Is someone available to pick the child up by the scheduled pick-up time?
  • Do you have emergency back-up care?
  • What are their expectations for me as a childcare provider?

Then I go through my handbook page by page and offer to email them a copy of it and the contract, fee schedule and holiday schedule. I think that's everything, I hope I didn't forget anything.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:12 AM
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daycare daycare is offline
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Location: Mars
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
I hold a phone interview (when they initially contact me) and then a person-to-person interview.

For the phone interview I ask
  • The parents full names, phone number, email address and home address.
  • How did you hear about us?
  • Start date needed
  • Hours of care needed
  • What days, full or part-time
  • Temporary or long-term
  • Child'd name, age and DOB
  • Current child care arrangements
  • Reason for needing childcare
  • Work/school schedule
  • What is expected from childcare?
  • On another waitlist?
  • Backup provider?
  • May I contact the previous childcare provider?

I also go through my "deal breakers" (non-negotiables) such as are you willing to allow vehicle transportation, go over illness policy, nap-time, tuition amount and tuition/deposit details etc.

Then during the person-to-person interview I ask a lot of the same questions (to make sure that they give the same information as they did over the phone) and ask for more details:
  • Confirm parents information and whether they are working/school, FT or part-time, hours, address of work/school,unemployed? Absent parent?
  • Confirm the child's information, special diets? (sugar, juice, vegetarian, meat etc)
  • Child's favorite activities
  • General information about the child's development
  • If they are diapering I ask how often they change a diaper (how many hours, as needed, is child prone to diaper rash?) and then I go over how I diaper.
  • Toilet learning. Is the child toilet trained? When was the child's last few accidents? Is the child learning and in diapers? Is not yet toilet learning, when will they approach it? And then go over my toilet training policy.
  • Does the child take naps? What is the child's nap routine? How long does the child nap? Then I go over my nap routine and nap policies.
  • What is their method of dicipline? Then I go over my discipline policy and how I handle difficult behavior, vulgarity, physical altercations, biting etc.
  • What kind of entertainment is ok (TV, computers, gaming systems etc.) and for how long? How much time do they spend doing these things at home?
  • Does the child have any special needs based on health issues?
  • Allergies?
  • Is the child on any medications? I then explain my medication policy.
  • Does the child have any special needs based on religiou beliefs?
  • I ask for the last 3 childcare providers (including relatives that were caregivers) and ask for details about how they liked/disliked this arrangements, how the child did, did they give or will they give a 2 weeks notice, reason for leaving and their contact information.
  • Is someone available to pick the child up by the scheduled pick-up time?
  • Do you have emergency back-up care?
  • What are their expectations for me as a childcare provider?

Then I go through my handbook page by page and offer to email them a copy of it and the contract, fee schedule and holiday schedule. I think that's everything, I hope I didn't forget anything.
This is a really good list.

I will just add a few things..

I ask who will be participating in dropping off and picking up. They will need to also be read and sign my contract about THE rules

Talk about the food program if you are on it and how it works

I teach preschool, share my lesson plans and philosophy

I talk about my days off, and who my back up provider is

If you are working on contracted hours really explain this well. Some parents think that if you are open from 7 to 6 that those are they hours they can use.

Illness policy is a big one. NO sick children period

Field trips....

Extra Fees

OPen communication and phone calls/ text messages. Let them know how you want them to communicate with you.

Open door policy

Do you have a trial period? Talk about how that works and is it a PAID trail?

I have a bullet point check list of my PHB I go over everything briefly. If they decide to sign up, I then go over in more detail....
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:22 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Location: Ventura County, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
This is a really good list.

I will just add a few things..

I ask who will be participating in dropping off and picking up. They will need to also be read and sign my contract about THE rules

Talk about the food program if you are on it and how it works

I teach preschool, share my lesson plans and philosophy

I talk about my days off, and who my back up provider is

If you are working on contracted hours really explain this well. Some parents think that if you are open from 7 to 6 that those are they hours they can use.

Illness policy is a big one. NO sick children period

Field trips....

Extra Fees

OPen communication and phone calls/ text messages. Let them know how you want them to communicate with you.

Open door policy

Do you have a trial period? Talk about how that works and is it a PAID trail?

I have a bullet point check list of my PHB I go over everything briefly. If they decide to sign up, I then go over in more detail....
Yep, everything you listed I have in my handbook which I go over during this initial interview so I'm covered . The only thing that I do different is that I don't ask them to sign a contract yet. I want them to go home and go over the contract and handbook and absorb and think about the information (I email them a copy, if they ask for a printed copy then I will give them one but otherwise I want to save paper and ink). My contract covers all of the money and time details which is already in my handbook anyway. If they decide to sign up then I schedule a 3rd interview with them (if I like them) where they come during DC hours so that I can see how the child interacts with the other children. It's more of an observation really, I want to make sure that we are a good fit for the child and vise versa. Other than that, we're both on the same page
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:23 AM
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daycare daycare is offline
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Oh one more thing. If their child has never been in group care, really take the time to explain to them how group care works.

I ran into a major issue of this in the past.

I am sure if you take infants, there would be more that you need to ask.

Like can they drink from a bottle, sleep on their own with out assistance of a person or device......and etc..
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Yep, everything you listed I have in my handbook which I go over during this initial interview so I'm covered . The only thing that I do different is that I don't ask them to sign a contract yet. I want them to go home and go over the contract and handbook and absorb and think about the information (I email them a copy, if they ask for a printed copy then I will give them one but otherwise I want to save paper and ink). My contract covers all of the money and time details which is already in my handbook anyway. If they decide to sign up then I schedule a 3rd interview with them (if I like them) where they come during DC hours so that I can see how the child interacts with the other children. It's more of an observation really, I want to make sure that we are a good fit for the child and vise versa. Other than that, we're both on the same page
sounds like it. I have a similar print out for the first interview so that I can capture all of their information.

I also won't sign anyone up on the spot. I tell them to please go see other providers or care takers in our area. I want them to have something to compare me to and I want them to make sure that they are 100% comfortable with their decision.

I tell them, when you drop your child off in the morning and back out of my drive way, I don't ever want you to second guess your decision to leave your child in my care. I want you to drive away knowing that you made the right decision.
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:01 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Location: Ventura County, CA
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Of course, I think that when interviewing going over all of your policies is important. Everything that you can think of I have included in my handbook and I go over it with the potential clients.

My handbook covers
  • Non Discrimination
  • My childcare phylisophy
  • My mission statement which explains that I don't do an academic curriculum, I do developmental
  • Explains what licensed childcare means
  • My resume (training, experience etc.)
  • How mu waitinglist works
  • How priority for available space works
  • The admission process (required forms)
  • Supplies that a parent must provide, supplies that I provide
  • The trial period and how it works
  • My business hours vs their scheduled hours of care
  • The security deposit, how much, what it's used for etc.
  • Tuition and explinations of FT, PT and drop-in childcare.
  • Accepted forms of payment (cash, credit card, check, e-payments)
  • Billing statements and receipts through MMK
  • Late payments. How they are handled and fees.
  • Holding fees and an explination of what it is.
  • Returned check penalties and how I handle them.
  • Late pick-up/Early drop-off fees
  • Homeowners's association fees that I incur because of a client and how they are responsible for paying those fees.
  • "Loaner" Items (clothing etc)
  • Unpaid tuition and fees and how I handle these.
  • Services that I provide (childcare, occasional evening/weekend childcare, cloth diapering etc.) and guidelines fo rthese
  • Arrival & Departure (walking their child in and out, signing in and out, idling vehicles etc)
  • Releasing a child (intoxicated adults, other authorized poeple etc)
  • Parking guidelines (where to park, where not to park)
  • Referrals (incentives)
  • Substitutes and staff (what happens of I can't get a substitute, staff requirements etc)
  • Policy revisions
  • Infant and toddler curriculum
  • Nap/quiet time (infants and toddlers)
  • Field trips and outings
  • Our pets
  • Attendance (FT and PT attendance based on enrollement not attendance etc)
  • My sick days
  • Parent and provider vacations
  • Extended absenses (maternity leave etc.)
  • Personal days (professional development)
  • Holiday schedule
  • Supplies from parents (replenishing them, writing their names etc.)
  • Forgotten supplies (i'll supply it but parents are billed)
  • Meals for snacks (infant feeding, what I serve, explination of food program)
  • Food from home
  • Beverages (what I serve, what I don't serve and why)
  • Donations (parent's that want to bring supplies)
  • Illness policy
  • Universal health precautions (hand washing etc)
  • Medication policy
  • Hygeine (children arrive clean in fresh diapers)
  • Immunizations
  • Cleaning & disinfecting surfaces and toys
  • Smoking
  • Emergency contacts
  • Emergency procedures (earthquake, fire, off site meeting area etc)
  • Emergency supplies that I have
  • Toilet learning process
  • Daycare rules and why their important
  • Clothing for the kids (must be adequate for current weather conditions, not brand new, well fitting shoes, may get dirty/ruined etc)
  • Personal property from home
  • Behavior policy
  • Discipline
  • Termination process

A parent can pay and pick up on time every single day but may do other things that you don't like so it's always important to address these things and point them out before they even become an issue. Lots of other childcare providers in my area joke about my long handbook .... until their new client starts to send ho ho's to DC or smokes on the front porch and says "But there isn't a policy against it" . Go over EVERYTHING during the interview
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by daycaremom05 View Post
I was wondering what questionsyou asked during your parent interview.
Welcome to the Daycare.com Forum! I upgraded your status. You can post freely now..
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:40 AM
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Thanks MarinaVaness and Daycare. Very helpful information.
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