Daycare Interview Tips | CHILD CARE PROVIDER TIPS

hey guys Sara here from work-life glue

today I'm gonna be doing a daycare

related video so many of you on this

channel and our other channel merit

igloo have asked in the past how I run

my interviews any tips I have for

interviews and that kind of thing so I

thought I would just do a whole video

dedicated to this now this is a warning

this is gonna be a very detailed long

video because as I was preparing for it

I realized there's so many things I want

to say things to do before interviews

things to do during red flags and stuff

like that so I just wanted to cover it

all in one video to be as helpful as

possible so let's jump in right away and

get started so I just want to preface by

saying I'm no expert I have only been a

childcare provider for about two years

now and I'm no expert but I do have a

group of amazing families I have learned

a lot I have terminated care before and

stuff like that I've dealt with issues

of parents and things like that and so I

feel like I am a lot better equipped to

answer these questions now than I was

two years ago and I feel that my

interview process has been really solid

pretty much from the start and now I

know a lot of things to look for and

some tips along the way so I'm no expert

and obviously every area is different

some people can be pickier than others

some things might not work in your area

some things might not work in your home

some things you may just not want to do

but this is what works for me and that's

what I'm sharing so before you even get

to the interview portion of the

enrollment process I think it's very

important to already have a very solid

website setup that you can send parents

to now I use Wix calm and I do pay for a

domain name it's just my daycares name

calm so that it's very professional it

looks really nice it was really easy to

set up you don't need to know like HTML

and stuff like even though I do know all

that it just I wanted something really

easy that looks nice and it's bright

it's colorful it's professional I have

pictures of me I have pictures of my

space I have pictures of the kids

playing to kind of give parents an idea

of what my programs like and the reason

I recommend having a really solid

website is so that parents already have

a good sense that they want

to enroll after they see your website so

you don't have to waste your time

interviewing families that maybe your

philosophy doesn't work or you're not in

the right area or your hours don't work

so just make sure you have a lot of

stuff on your website like your

philosophy if you're more play-based if

you're more structured if you offer

curriculum if you don't if you only take

infants and toddlers if you only take

preschool age if you don't do school age

whatever it is that you enroll make sure

that's on your website have pictures

have descriptions show some sample meals

so parents know what they're getting

talk about your curriculum if you use

one and then also I would include a

sample schedule so parents know kind of

what happens in the day and can decide

if that would work well for their child

if that's what they're looking for and

just try to give as much detail I

wouldn't put your handbook or your

policies or your rates or things like

that on there just because those can

change and because you know you want to

entice parents to want to enroll and

then you don't want to tell them all the

details upfront in my perspective just

because maybe you're a little bit more

expensive than they want but if you show

them the value you're providing they may

be willing to pay for that once they

realize what you what your rates are

later on when they talk to you if that

makes sense and then another thing I

always do before the actual interview is

I try to set up a phone interview and I

have a phone interview template I use

and I will link that below so you guys

can kind of see what kind of questions I

ask but basically I do this so that I'm

not wasting my family's time with a

family that I already know their hours

don't work or they don't like my rates

or whatever I'm not spending an hour at

night when I could be spending time with

my family I'm getting the phone

interview out of the way and then if it

works out well then we'll meet and I try

to schedule the phone interview during

nap time so I'm not trying to talk to

the kids and talk to someone it just

doesn't work well and I don't think it's

very professional but I also don't

schedule them at night just because that

is precious family time and I only want

to sacrifice some of that family time if

it means I might enroll a family that I

really love already and some things I

try to talk about during the phone

interview are the things that I don't

like to talk about so like rate

my days off things like that I just get

it out of the way at the phone interview

so I don't have to worry about it when

they come I'm not a salesperson I'm

introverted I'm pretty shy but like I

come across as very confident and

professional when I'm speaking to

families but I don't really like to

discuss those things in my home and have

my kids around and stuff so I like to

get those out of the way ahead of time

that way if your rate is too high or

your days off won't work or something

like that

then you don't have to bother setting up

an in-person interview so if parents

have seen my website we've talked on the

phone and everything seems to be a good

fit my hours work days off rates all

that sounds good to them then we will

schedule the in-person interview and I

try to always schedule those when my

husband will be here just for safety

reasons and because he can kind of help

watch our children and just I think it's

important for the parents to meet

everyone in your household personally

just I know if I were a parent enrolling

my child in somebody's day care I would

want to meet their spouse if their

spouse will be around my child just for

you know peace of mind and just because

I think it's important and then I also

want to make sure their kids will be

there at least the ones that will be

enrolling and or might potentially be

enrolling and have both parents there

because you want to see how the kids are

you want to see how the parents and the

kids interact how the parents interact

together and stuff like that I think

it's important to meet everybody who you

will be dealing with on like a daily

basis okay before I get into how my

interview is actually set up when

parents come I want to just have this

huge disclaimer and this huge notice

that I think it's super important for

providers to know that it's more

importantly that you are interviewing

the parents then the parents are

interviewing you if the parents have

gone through all the steps of reading

your website getting to know you on the

phone and really like your program

chances are it's just going to seal the

deal when they come but I think it's

very important that the provider have

the final say the provider is the one

that's interviewing the families because

you at the end of the day as the

provider are the one who knows your

group of kids you know you

parents you know your policies you know

what you like what you don't like you

know how you communicate and how you

want to communicate with parents you

know what kind of personalities work

well with yours and which don't and so

it's really important that you are the

one interviewing them more than they're

interviewing you know obviously the

parents want to meet you feel

comfortable with you and all that kind

of thing but they shouldn't have the

final say if they enroll that should be

up to the provider because you're

looking out for your group and your

business and this was kind of hard for

me in the beginning because I just

wanted to make sure I got people in the

door but I've just learned when a family

doesn't mesh well with your program it

can be really difficult for you spending

your days with a child who maybe just

doesn't work well with your group we're

parents who don't actually abide by your

policies or you just don't have the

right communication styles I think

there's a good daycare out there for

every kid but it may not be yours and so

you just want to really make sure when

you're interviewing you're not nervous

like oh I hope they want to interview

and they I hope they want to enroll

you're more confident like you know I

really hope they want to enroll but I

also really hope that I want to enroll

them and I usually have a really good

sense after they left of like yep that's

not gonna work or yep I definitely want

them to enroll I really hope they sign

up and that's not to sound like arrogant

or anything but I just think you really

have to protect your business and your

group of children and you want to have

the best fit possible obviously you need

an income coming in but it's usually not

worth it to enroll a family if they're

not a good fit because you're gonna end

up regretting it and you could spend a

couple more weeks trying to find the

right family who will be the perfect fit

and then you won't regret it now based

on that there are some red flags I kind

of look for and a lot of it's just kind

of gut feeling but there are certain red

flags that I would say are just like an

automatic no so in one of those is if

the child has no respect for the parents

and the parents lack control over their

children that's a big red flag to me I

don't want to be the child's parent I

don't want to be the one who always has

to be the bad guy I want parents who

parent their children similar to the way


and control the environment in my

daycare I don't want permissive parents

who just let their kids do whatever they

want cuz that will mean the child will

be really hard and have a hard time

fitting it in my daycare because that's

not how I run it and that's just me

personally but I would say if the child

lacks respect for the parent they're

probably gonna lack respect for you as


if the family shows up late or doesn't

come at all and isn't very good about

communicating why that's an automatic

note to me I would probably not

reschedule it depending on their excuse

but if they're 10 minutes late too that

says a lot I mean that wouldn't be an

automatic no but it really does say a

lot that maybe they're not respectful of

your time maybe they wouldn't be on time

to pick up the child or they would be

early to drop them off and things like

that but you don't want to run into if

parents are super eager to get in and

they don't even really want to listen to

what you have to say about your program

they may be hopping daycares and they

just need to get somewhere and they

don't really care what your program is

like that's not the kind of family I

wanted my program and that might mean

that their child got kicked out of

daycare for some reason or the family

got kicked out because maybe they had

issues or they weren't paying on time or

something like that I want families who

are really excited about my daycare and

want to get in because they like me they

like my program they like my home and

they really want their kids to be there

another red flag is just glossing over

past daycare history when I asked things

like you know what are you currently

doing for care why are you looking for

care if they just kind of brush it off

um that may mean they were terminated or

they may have been difficult to deal

with or maybe they just left they didn't

give it two week notice I try to ask a

lot of follow-up questions the things

like that just to kind of read between

the lines you don't always know you

probably won't know a lot of the details

but you try to get the best answers you

can to try to figure out what might have

happened in the past and I don't want to

enroll a family who's been terminated

from multiple daycares because chances

are they're not going to do well here

either and then just another red flag is

that they just don't mesh with you some

people just don't get along well with

other people it's just personality maybe

it's the way they communicate maybe it's

the way they

convey themselves maybe they just seem

to have a completely different lifestyle

than you that you know you wouldn't want

bringing into your daycare whatever it

is if you just get a really bad vibe I

don't think it's probably a family you

want to enroll in that there may be

nothing wrong with a family there may be

a great family but maybe just not for

your daycare maybe they'd fit well

somewhere else I don't think there's

anything wrong with that you're just

looking out what's for what's best for

your family your business and your

children and your other families because

their children will be around the other

children you want to enroll families

that you think would have similar styles

of parenting and philosophies on life

and things like that so you just want to

be really careful and selective of the

types of kids and families you're

breaking in and as I'm saying this it

comes out as it sounds bad but I just

think you should really be selective for

the sake of every wine and you just want

to have a good vibe with the family when

they leave if you're going to enroll

them so the way I conduct my interview

the families come in they come to the

front door which families when they're

in my care they come to the back just

the way our house is laid out it just

makes more sense to have them come to

the front and we shake hands introduce

ourselves I try to get to know the kids

names and the parents names if I haven't

memorized that already and then I just

give them a little overview of what the

night will be like I say we're going to

do a tour first you guys can see the

house and the layout and where your kids

would be sleeping and all that kind of

stuff and then we will sit down and I

have a little presentation and then we

can go over questions that way they kind

of know what to expect so we start I

show them the dining room the kitchen

the living room and I explain like we

only watch TV in here during these times

and so as I'm going around the house I'm

kind of explaining our day and I'm

explaining this is where your kids would

put their stuff this is where the

calendar is and you can take a look at

the calendar this is where we do crafts

and I kind of go over what kind of

crafts we might do and what times we do

them so they're getting a sense of not

just the space but how we use a space

when we use each space and stuff like

that and then the kids are free to kind

of take toys out as well I don't care


that as long as depending on the age

they're not left alone but if their

older siblings or whatever I'm okay with

them playing well the parents and I go

talk but other than that we just kind of

walk her on the house takes about five

minutes just kind of get to know each

other small talk and pointing out the

features and benefits of my program

throughout the space then we go and sit

in my living room and what I do I have

as a former teacher and someone who I am

NOT the best at speaking with people I

don't like small talk and stuff like

that and it does give me some anxiety I

like to have a visual aid to help guide

me because I can tend to ramble

especially if I'm nervous so I use this

website called amaze calm it's free I

just made a really simple presentation

and I hook it up from the laptop to our

TV which looks really professional but

it's actually really easy to do or you

could just have your computer sitting on

the coffee table or a dining table or

wherever you are and have parents look

at that or have some kind of printout to

give to them for me personally this just

works really well to have something to

look at and to guide our conversation in

my presentation I have some of the main

things that I think are important to

talk about I don't go over every policy

we'd be there forever but I go over our

sickness and illness policy and how

strict I am and I give examples of what

I've sent kids home and when I haven't

and just you know talk about respect and

not medicating your child before coming

and stuff like that I talk about our

meals and I give them a sample menu so

they can see what kind of meals I offer

we talk about opening and close times

and my policies regarding late pickups

and things like that and what's worked

really well for me since I don't have a

late fee I don't have a fee for parents

coming late at the interview I always

say I don't have a late fee and this is

because my parents really respect me and

my time and if it became an issue where

they were chronically late we would sit

down and talk about how the sticker

probably isn't the best fit and just me

saying that I have never had an issue

with it I've had a couple of late

pickups only during like emergency

situations with weather and stuff like


so I highly recommend saying something

like that if you don't have a late fee

or just be really blunt and honest and I

try to be as transparent as possible

with parents in the interview to about

why I have these kind of policies we

talk about nap time and how every child

lays down we talk about my rates and

what's included and the benefits of all

of that we talk about my days off and

how my calendar works when I give out

the calendar with days off and things

like that so parents know and I talked

about how I communicate with parents so

that we have a newsletter we have

parents can text me throughout the day I

put daily photos and descriptions on a

private Facebook group and stuff like

that so I try to give them a really good

overview of my program in a little more

detail than the website has and then

this allows them to ask questions along

the way at the very end of that

presentation I have a slide that says my

expectations and I think this is really

important because I want parents to view

me as a professional as and as someone

that does have a say in what happens in

my daycare and that it's not just a

one-sided thing that they get to do what

they want and I say that my house will

be dirty sometimes it will be messy

there's kids up play here I am NOT a

babysitter I'm a childcare provider this

is my business and sometimes I have to

make really hard decisions that may be

best for my business or my family but

may not be the best for one specific

child and that I want parents to know

that going into it that I'm looking out

for what's best for the group but I

can't make everybody 100% happy all the

time it's just impossible and so

sometimes there will be decisions made

that may not make one particular family

super happy but it's just what what I

have to do and I think saying that up

front really makes parents view me in a

professional way and also sets them up

so that if I do have a switch to a

policy or I have to stick by something

they already have seen that coming

because I talk about it and they may be

in the interview so at this point it's

probably been about like 25 30 minutes

maybe longer depending on how many

questions they've asked along the way

then I ask the parents if they have any

questions and a lot of times they don't

because I've already gone over


but they may ask just various questions

about you know what do I offer days off

for the families and stuff like that

just specific little questions and I

just answer them and then after I've

answered their questions then I have a

whole sheet of questions I ask that and

I also leave that in the description

below so you guys can have some sample

questions of what to ask families at

interviews and I think this is a really

important time to get to know the

specific family's needs and style of

parenting and expectations so just some

sample questions I asked them are how do

you discipline your child I asked where

they work I asked what time do you

typically have to leave for work when

you get there when do you get off and

when would you pick your child up and

then I asked like if your child was sick

and need to be picked up who would pick

them up how long would it take them to

get here what is your plan if I have to

close unexpectedly what is your plan for

days that I'm already you're expecting

that I'll be closed I just really want

to have a sense that they have a good

backup plan so that I don't have to feel

bad if I'm throwing up or my child is

throwing up and I have to close I ask

about the child sleep schedule how do

they go to sleep at night do they have a

routine I ask about foods they like

dislike just to get a sense to know the

child what are things they like to do

can they get dressed by themselves are

they potty-trained depending on the age

how do they like to be soothed I ask if

they have any health concerns I ask

about previous daycare history and then

I ask some questions like how would you

let me know if there was an issue in my

care what if there was something I did

that you didn't like or you know I

handled something a certain way and you

didn't like that how would you bring

that up to me would you bring it up at

pickup would you text me would you call

me what would you do and then we kind of

talked about what my preferences are for

that kind of thing and I obviously I

hope that nothing would happen like that

but it's just nice to know even for

little tiny things how we would

communicate and then I ask if they have

any concerns like what is your greatest

concern about switching daycares or

starting at a new daycare you know what

are your fears what are you excited for

things like that and then if it's an

infant I'm enrolling I go over

guidelines for that about sleep about

feeding they need to be able to take a

bottle they need to be able to fall

asleep on their own Kenner can they not

be swaddled depending on the age and the

type of swaddle and I have a whole

printout I give them as well which I

will also link below for you guys that

really helps set those guidelines

because especially in Minnesota we have

very strict guidelines about sleep and

feeding and things like that and when

you have a multi age group I can't just

be feeding the child all day I have to

be able to put the child down and work

with the other kids as well

so it's important that the parents

really work with the infant beforehand

on those kinds of things so then after

all my questions are answered and all

their questions are answered I give them

a little folder with a sample menu and

when I play I am learning handout which

I'll also leave below it's my philosophy

that we learned through play so we do a

lot of hands-on stuff so I just want to

give them kind of an idea of what kinds

of things are learning when they do

play-doh and painting and imagine a

dramatic play and stuff like that so I

send that with them and then I also have

pre filled out a little sheet with a

rundown of my rates the child's name the

child's birthdate paydays like when they

need to pay with days the child becoming

the hours and then also tells about the

holidays and paid days off so that when

they're talking about it they can kind

of have all those kind of details in

front of them to make the best decision

for their family and then also some

business cards so if they want to hand

them out or put them on their fridge or

whatever they can so at that point after

all of that it's usually about an hour

and then I just say if you guys decide

you want to enroll let me know I'm

conducting other interviews but if you

think this would be a good fit for you

let me know and then I will get back to

you on if the opening is still available

and in the back of my head I usually

already know if I would want them to

enroll or not a lot of times I would

just because I have done all those

screening processes in advance and so I

leave it in their court and then they

usually will call me the next day or

whatever and say I want to enroll and

then often I'll say awesome I can't wait

this is the next steps but sometimes I

say you know I am currently still

interviewing I'll get back to

at this date or I just say you know I

think I don't think my dick here is the

best fit for your family or whatnot

depending or maybe they don't want to

enroll and that's fine too

so I hope this video helped you guys

very detailed very in-depth make sure

you check out those resources below as

well I hope you find them helpful if you

have any other daycare related questions

or video ideas leave them in the

comments below and I will try to answer

them and thank you guys so much for

sticking to the end and I will see you

next time bye guys