Choosing a daycare is very challenging. You want to make sure that your children are going to be well-cared for while you’re at work. Picking a daycare is a daunting process that involves lots of tours, meetings, and questions. But are you asking the right questions? Yes, knowing the daycare’s stance on play and curriculum is essential, but you need to be asking daycare interview questions that are specific to safety, illness, and injuries. Not sure what to ask? I’ve got you covered.
You need to be asking daycare interview questions that are specific for safety, illness, and injury. The daycare’s policies on different things will be buried in that parent handbook that no one takes as much time to read as they should. Most of the time we glance over it quickly and call it good. You don’t want to be surprised or caught off guard by the daycare’s policy after a situation has occurred. You need to know what to expect up front so your family can make an informed decision about the care of your child and so that you are prepared for potential outcomes when your child gets sick or hurt.
So, how do you get started? How do you pick a daycare?
Basic Information to Get First
Before you walk into fifty different daycares for tours, here’s some background work you might want to do first.
You’re not going to spend a ton of time googling, but it is essential to know a few things. You want to check your state’s childcare licensing agency to see if the daycare has had any infractions or disciplinary actions taken against them.
You might also want to take a look at the map. How easy would it be to change your route to the facility in the event of traffic? How quickly can you get to the daycare from home or work? While these questions might seem silly, they’re also good indicators for how quickly emergency services can get there too.
Ask Your Friends
Now that you’ve checked everyone on google, you can ask your friends!
- What daycare have they used?
- What do they like or dislike about them?
- Would they recommend them to you?
Asking these questions should help you narrow down your list even more. And once you’ve narrowed down your list, you’re ready to start preparing for your daycare interview questions! I would suggest having a list of 3 potential daycares to interview first with an additional three backups. Let’s hope it doesn’t get to the point of having to do six meetings, but it’s better to be prepared.
Preparing to Interview the Daycare
Call the Facility
Call your top three facilities. When you’re chatting with the staff, you’re looking for two things:
- Is there currently a waitlist?
- When can you meet?
Chatting on the phone can be hard. So, here’s a quick script you can use when you make the call!
“Hi! My name is _______ and I’m (the mother of x number of children OR due with my first child on x day). I’d like to meet with the director to see if your daycare is a good fit for our family. Do you know if there is a current waitlist for any of your classrooms? (wait for answers) Great! When can we schedule a meeting?”
Once you have a few meetings set up, go ahead and start planning what you want to ask!
Daycare Interview Questions
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask that are specific to safety, injury, and illness:
- What is your policy on immunizations?
- Is the staff trained in CPR and First Aid
- What is your childcare philosophy?
- How often are the toys cleaned and replaced?
- What is your sick-child policy?
I made a daycare interview form just for you! It has the 20 questions I always ask daycares and room to take notes. Grab your copy from the toolkit!
On Interview Day
Start evaluating the daycare as soon as you walk in. Remember, they’re applying to be YOUR childcare provider.
Evaluate the Facility
- Is the facility clean, and does it have clean toys and books?
- Is the staff friendly and helpful? Do they seem to operate efficiently?
- Do the current children in the classrooms seem well-cared for?
These are the questions you should consider shortly after leaving the daycare. Maybe make some notes on your paper, or on the daycare interview, you downloaded from the toolkit.
- How soon could the interview be scheduled?
- Was the tour rushed? Did the director seem open to questions?
- Did the communication feel natural? Were the director and staff easy to understand?
Once you’ve interviewed all of the daycares on your list, reflect on the interviews.
- Was there one daycare you seemed drawn to?
- Was there one that you didn’t care for?
Listening to your gut is one of the easiest ways to make this decision. All of the daycare interview questions you ask are designed to give your gut the time it needs to make the right call for your family.
Don’t forget! There’s an interview printable in the toolkit with over 20 questions you need to ask a daycare. Grab your copy today!
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