💕During an interview, what questions do you always ask families, to make sure they will be a good match? 💕
Last week we asked you "If you could change one thing about the caregiving industry, what would it be? " You'll want to check out all the great feedback! This week our question is:
During an interview, what questions do you always ask families, to make sure they will be a good match?
I typically will want to find out what works and doesn't work in terms of relating to the child. I also inquire about routines, favorite foods, toys and strategies to use in order to connect with the child. No two children are the same!
Is there any allergies that your child has or medical problems that I need to be aware of? Emergency contacts? How do you discipline your child and how should I handle the problem if a situation arises?
I usually write down the questions I have prior to interviewing to ensure I am clear on what the expectations are based on what the family is looking for and as a way to really nail down whether or not we'd be a good match. I always start with their discipline philosophies-even if they have a small child or infant. Sometimes, especially if they have a newborn or small baby, questions about discipline seem like a far off concept. But honestly, the infant stage goes by in an instant, and soon you have a toddler who is pressing boundaries, seeking autonomy, and exploring their new found skills and freedoms. I usually start by asking what they liked or disliked about the way they were parented. What values did they see as positives they want to pass on, and what things as parents, they'd like to change in raising their own child. This usually brings up some pretty strong feelings. Having a vision of what you want for your family is important to spell out. My first job as a caregiver is to support that vision-so I have to know if that vision matches up with my values and supports positive developmentally appropriate practices. I have pretty strong feelings about using positive discipline techniques and am always happy to guide parents in this-and I have a hard time with people who tend to "yell" or use corporal punishment. If I hear these things I don't agree with, I probably will not form a relationship with that family. Another red flag of not being a good match is if the parents disagree, Dad says he believes in one way and Mom has another conflicting idea. If they haven't talked those things through-that can be problems later on as a 3rd person in this child's or children's lives. Working with families and their children is probably the most intimate relationship beyond their core family group. I always tell parents, it's one thing to conceptualize parenting-everyone wants to do their best and come in with ideas and concepts about how things will go. But anyone who has worked with children knows these can quickly go out the window when reality actually hits. How will you respond the first time your toddler hits you in anger? What happens the first time they throw a tsunami tantrum in the grocery store? You can SAY you think you know how you will respond, but then you are put in the moment and you have to remember all the values, ideas, and vision for your family that you have in a very emotionally volatile situation. That's what makes parenting so hard-and why it's important to me that a potential family has a strong core of beliefs they desire to follow. That's why I always start with these types of questions-you can get a feel of where they are at and whether they'd be a good match. On the other side of the spectrum, I also like to follow up with what their expectations are with rules. Many people hear "positive discipline" and think "Oh, you mean letting kids do whatever they want". And that's absolutely NOT what that is. I may believe in using positive discipline, but that does not mean not having limitations appropriate for the age of the child. I usually ask parents what behaviors they find acceptable and not acceptable and see if that lines up with what I also find acceptable and not acceptable. All of these are good ways to start exploring if together the family and caregiver are a good match.
I would say Kudos to you for being so direct right off the bat. I studied child psychology and would love this directness from someone on a first interview. I find that many parents have not yet thought of many of these things, and I tend to lead them through it as we go along... but like you, I will not work for a family that I know my own core beliefs and styles do not match up with. Thank you for sharing this.
Thank you Shanna! I actually wasn't always so straight forward-I had a wonderful mentor many years ago at a center I worked at. It was my director and I was her assistant director. She taught me so much. Her most important gift to me however, was teaching me how to have difficult conversations with families. She just had this way of being direct and honest without being hurtful and somehow did it with kindness. Her philosophy was that being honest and straight forward from the start was the only way to build a trusting relationship. I watched her and grew in my confidence with this approach as I saw that it really works. If you say it in a genuine way and speak from the heart, I find that people respond in kind. Thanks for your reply! :-)
What forms of positive reinforcments do you use with your children? What sort of activities do your children find the most enjoyable/engaging and what do they need extra motivation to do? What do you as a parent find the most challenging issues you face with your children? What stragtegies have you tried when faced with these challenges? What values and attitudes do you strive to instill in your children?
Does your child have any special needs I should know about? What are my expected responsibilities as far as activities are concerned? What types of food does the child eat, or not eat? What is your disciplinary style when necessary? Does your child require medication while I'm at the home?
I ask family if I can comfortably share my faith. I want to feel like I can treat the child like family.
I'm an In Home Daycare provider.How do people see my profile?
Most questions will depend on the job requirement for example morning or after school care needs vary so questions will vary. I like to engage both parents and children because its then that you learn if you are a good fit for the family and if they are a good fit for you. I like to find out what a typical day looks like and do they want me to fit into it or are they open to change. This helps me figure out where to go with the questions. In addition, I ask questions to both parents and kids what the kids love to do, if they’re in school what their favorite courses are. I ask both parents and kids (depending on age) what their expectations are and what they hope will come out of this relationship. Some harder questions I ask are did they have a nanny prior to me and why did s/he leave. Also, I ask if they hope for a short-term or a long-term relationship. How do they handle discipline issues and how they expect me to deal with it? Other questions include allergies, if they’re open to play dates, and if there are responsibilities expected of me that were not included in the job post.
As a fellow nanny I would just like to say that I think that all of these are great questions! I am a person who asks many questions- as you seem to be as well. The more you ask, the more you know! Ask on!!!
During an interview, I would want my host family to understand that child care should be thought of as an extension to education field. Parents should want someone that has that understand and experience and not just seek someone that will "watch" their children or clean their home. I would want to make sure that young children develop through play and grow their empathy for others through good modeling & redirection. Having worked in the public school system for many years, I have seen how many children suffer from lack of social skills necessary to build the foundational skills for learning while at school.
I ask the parents what they think are the most important aspects of caring for children. I think that a babysitter being able to provide a safe and nurturing environment should always be the most important aspect of childcare.
I always ask families what they look for in a caregiver. Every caregiver has their own personality, but we can all adapt to help accommodate parents and ensure they feel comfortable with the care style their children are receiving. The more the communication, the better!
What is the most important value you want to pass along to your child or children? What type of person do you want your child to be when they grow up? What are some of your concerns or fears or issues as a parent, that you would like for me to help YOU with? My ultimate goal is to leave the family in a "better" condition than I found them in. This is something I take with me from cleaning houses as a child for snack money, and from my mother teaching me to be a conscientious houseguest. I hope that by asking these questions, I can get a better glimpse into the type of personalities and people within the family.
What rules do you have in the home? How are they enforced? Do you allow care givers to have children sit in a chill time chair to help them think about their misbehavior? Of course it's important to make their time brief as they rethink the situation.
I always ask families about their values and what they are ultimately looking for in their child caregiver. I think it's important to strive for if not epitomize what families desire in a person with whom they are entrusting their child/children and pets.
If they would be ready to accept a "loud" nanny into their household. I am such an extrovert and energetic and outgoing person in my child rearing mannerisms, that I would not fit in very well in a more subdued household. I am a wonderful role model, and not at all afraid to enjoy every moment I spend with the kids- even if that means things get a little wild and crazy at times.
I ask them to tell me about their child or children. What do they like? What do they not like? What would be expected out of me in this position? I ask if there are any special needs or circumstances to consider and anything else they think would be helpful to know.
I would always ask if the child/children has any allergies, the safety for the children I babysit is my top priority!
names, What the child or senior likes, I need to know that they trust me as much as I trust them. need to communicate, be flexible, Patient, responsible, understanding, thought-full, considerate, efficient, help-full, adaptable, clean and orderly. Need to know activities they like.
That more care givers where given free or low cost training. To learn proper care.. I have come across patients/clients that where not properly cared for.
*Do the kids have any allergies or medications that they need to take? * What do the kids like to do the most? Are they artistic? Do they enjoy listening to music?
Is the kids have any allergies?, if they any restrictions with the food, candies, snacks, sodas or juices, etc? And in case that they want to use any device how longer they can have it,
I usually ask them again, exactly what their expectations are of me, just to be clear. I also verify the schedule and I would ask them if there is anything special they would like me to do with or for their child\children.I also ask about discipline as far as what methods they use to make sure we are on the same page.
1. What values or morals do you prioritize teaching your child(ren)? 2. Would you prefer for me to lead them more often, let them lead me, or for there to be an in-between? 3. What do you find to be the quirks of your child? 4. Of all things in your home, what three elements do you feel contribute to the environment most, and what would you most like for me to contribute?
I would ask for a walk through of a typical day, what my responsibilities would be (am I cooking, doing laundry, etc.), rules for electronics, how they would like me to discipline a child if needed, and I would ask for emergency contacts.
I always ask what their parenting techniques are. It usually gives me a good insight into their personalities, the personalities of the kids, and through that I evaluate if I can see myself working for them or not.
I typically ask what the home is like on their day-to-day life, I like to know what they consider their normal day/night is like so I don't change it too much for the children. I also like to ask what the children's interest are, that way I can plan to do activities based off their individual interests.
What are some of your children's hobbies? What skills are you looking for in a child sitter?
What are your expectations from your child's nanny? Days and hours my services will be needed
Sharing experience between caregivers so we can actually have more comprehation of all situations and be more prepare as we go along with our careers.
What are your main focus to care for your child
what hours do you need me? am i babysitting in your home or mine? is the child on and medications? Does the child have anything that requires special attention? what other duties would you like me to do?
I always ask families how they want to build relationships with their caregiver.
What are your chilldren's favorite activities to do? Are there any things you would like to see your child to improve in?
How long have you and your spouse been at the current employers?
I love to chat with families about their approach to play, structure, and discipline. Since I'll be spending lots of time with their children, it's important that we share the same vision for how to structure their children's days and what activities are developmentally appropriate. Setting expectations and healthy boundaries from the very beginning helps ensure we build a strong relationship from the very beginning.
How can I be a great help to you?
What is your parenting style? Who will be my boss (to who I'm going to report any concern or ask)?
Would you like me to discipline your children, and if you do, what works for your family/child/children best? How would you like me to react?
If I were to prepare meals or snacks for the kids, I would be sure to ask the parents what type of food allergy the children have so I would know which foods to stay away from.
I would love to see more nannies and teachers putting healthy attachment & respect before academic achievements. I would change the laws and make it mandatory.
If there is anything specific i need to know when taking care of a pet or a child.
What do you expect from me as a caregiver?
That you don't have to be 18 to take care of kids. I am 15 and I have years of experience. I love kids and i love to take care of them and help their families out.
I always ask families to describe their family vibe, parenting style, and values.
What is the best way for us to communicate? How do you spend time with your children?
I need to know if the family is desiring someone just to be present with their child(ren) or a person who will help nurture and mold their little one?
I ask about the child's schedule and food habits.
1st I want to know if they smoke!
make sure the people really care and want to help that it isn't just a job
What is your family's daily routine?
if they have their own supplys
The income. I have lots of education. More then my girlfriend who is a nurse making almost triple my pay. Something is wrong with that. We teachers are educating the future.
What are your expectations in a sitter?
What makes a caregiver a great candidate based on your personal expectations?
I believe its not about a specific question necessarily but rather just spending time to get to know the parents and their needs, fears and goals. Children are very adaptable creatures and even the most nervous parent or shy child can find comfort knowing their needs are heard and respected.
I always ask about a child's needs and interests. For example, I make sure I'm aware of a child's specialized needs such as allergies or disabilities. I ask about interests so that I can make the child's experience with me fun as well as helpful. I want children to be comfortable with me and to keep learning, so I always plan fun and educational activities around the child's interest.
The questions I always ask are, "What are your children's personalities, likes, and dislikes?" "How do you want me to discipline your children?" "What do you want to see from me?" Finally and most importantly, "Are there any medical or physical issues I should know about?" (i.e., Allergies or injuries, etc.)
I always ask about flexibility since I have a lot of family out of town. When flexibility is always easily worked in for both of our schedules it makes everyones life easier!
I will ask general questions about how they spend their weekends, what the parents do for a living, etc. and what consists of their normal routine/schedules with the child(ren). These allow me to determine what their expectations are if I am chosen, in regards to routines, and also what they define as 'fun'. Asking vague questions, for me, allows me to avoid sounding like I'm prying while still obtaining the information I need to make a fair decision, if I am in fact chosen.
If I could change one thing it would be to give those in the care giving industry a psychiatric or mental screening to see if they have the patience to work with children. Lately, there have been too many times where there have been children under the care of people who didn't have the patience and have been seriously hurt ans abused.
The only I imagine that being practical is to make sure that parents are equally mandated to undergo the same psych evaluation because a large number (if not) most of these cases reports has to do with parents tormenting their own children. Additionally, that means that teachers and anyone who works with children would have to undergo the same evaluation; otherwise, it'll just be smokes and screen. Besides, people beat these tests all the time, so I reckon that being vigilant (but not paranoid), attentive and selective is a far more practical approach than an evaluation which might not hold water. Such evaluations could also be a double edged sword because it could up open up more ways for some groups to be marginalized and denied opportunities.
How do you handle discipline?
Titles for Early Morning Childcare
I would not change anything it feels just right to me
Hello my questions is about the benefits. Thanks
Initially, I like to ask if they share my views on education with young children. Often times, people don't realize how important it is to expose children early to learning opportunities.
I always would ask if they are willing to work with my student schedule. A lot of times I need to work early or later in the evening due to my class schedule, so I would make sure that was okay with them.
what is your child most interested in?
I believe its important to make the transition from a parent/ family sitter to a new sitter as comfortable as possible, that being said I like to ask my families how they enjoy spending time with their children. This will give be a better understanding as to what their children enjoy doing and as well as an sight as to what I activities i'll be part taking in. During this time it also opens up a conversation to what activities the family my not want us participating in.
Even though I know it's a pain, I always have to make sure that for long term sitting, I'm able to take off 9 days at a time every couple months so I can drive up to visit my fiance in Canada.
It's important to ask if the child has dietary restrictions, allotted screen time, and any bad habits the child might have that I should look out for.
No matter who fills this position, me or someone else, how does your ideal candidate work with your children and you on a daily basis?
What are you children's favorite activities to do throughout the day?
Are your children more independent or do they require more guidance?
I feel most comfortable asking parents about their expectations, what their ideal nanny is like and if they are any allergies or medical conditions I need to be aware of.
I ask for their parenting philosophy, whether their lifestyle is relaxed or high energy, and how they like to communicate (voice, text, pics, reports, etc). I find these questions are essential to finding out if we're a good fit.
In my case, I ask the practical questions first such as schedule match but in the end what I'm most interested in is to get to know the children's interests and activities to see if I would be a good match for them.
do you show up on time after shift?
Allergies? Medical conditions? Pay on the books?
Can you tell me little be about the family interest and what you expect from me? How the kids behave and interests?
I would ask them if I needed to know anything else about their child, allergies, allergic, medicine, etc. so I could perform my job better as a babysitter.
If a disciplinary issue were to arise while I was babysitting your children, let's say, they won't eat their dinner or they won't go to bed at your designated bedtime, how would you feel comfortable with me handling those types of situations? Do you stick to a strict "time out" policy, or a reward for good behavior type scenario? I never like to walk into a families household without knowing how they like to educate their children because that's important.
Have you ever had a nanny/sitter before? What did you like & dislike about the experience with them?
I always ask the parents how they're doing. More specifically with new parents, I ask, "So how's life with a new baby?" I like to engage in real conversation. I'm a mom too, so I look to relate, and I think that brings us both a level of comfort. I also work as a birth & postpartum Doula, so questions like this often give me some insight on whether or not new moms have symptoms of depression.
I also ask what are their goals for their children, are there any cultural or religious beliefs or practices that I need to be aware of, and if they have family or friends close by in case of an emergency.
What do you need the most help with?
Always ask the family about food allergies or any special instructions that they may have for caring for their kids; Make it a point to ask about the hobbies and interests of the kids, and make sure that there is agreement on all fronts and that you would be caring for their kids as well as possible.
I ask about scheduling and how important is for the parents to follow one. To be in the same page.
What kind of activities do your children enjoy?
I always like to ask families what their specific needs are and more than asking a question, I like to get to see the children in their natural environment and as well the parents to see if it would be a good fit.
It would be to let those know... that Care for Children should be one of our Top priorities, to love, honor and Nurture Children is a Must!
I always ask what activities or activity are their favorites to enjoy with their child/children. I would like to ensure I am a great fit as far as activity level and being able to fulfill their child's needs. As a very active person, I want to ensure I am keeping up with the best interests of the child.
I degree in Business with emphasis in Marketing so I would like to work with marketing and communication.
I always ask if there are any allergies or medications that I need to know about before as base questions to be up to date. I also ask how are you child(rens') true attitude(s) in general and what actions they take if the child(ren) "act out."
To be sure that a family is a good match for me, I like to ask how adventurous the kids are. I enjoy being kept on my toes so an energetic child is definitely a must!
What do you needme to do for the entire duration?
I always ask what activities the child likes to do so I'd be familiar with their likes.
Are you comfortable with me bringing my two month old daughter? What specific guidelines would you like me to follow? (ex. screen time, snacks, activities)
I always ask if there are any allergies. It's an easy question to forget to ask.
Is there any allergies I need to know about? If they have a special toy that I should have at all times? What time is bath time? What time do they normally eat? I know some families have different set schedules when they eat with the family. Any foods you would want me to avoid? Emergency contacts just in case of any emergency?
what i would change is that you should give everybody a chance just to see if they're right for our family if you're not sure about them being fit for your needs to message them.
what hours am I needed for.
What are your expectations of the caregiver as well as your child(ren)? For example, do you expect homework to be completed before play and homework help from the caregiver?
I ask families about their expectations of me as a babysitter to make sure that I can live up to what they will want for me. I also ask about the child's needs to make sure I am able to perform everything they will need.
Does your child have any allergies that I should be aware of?
I always ask about their family schedule and needs to make sure our schedules are flexible and will match well together.
I would ask mildly instrusive question, in the most simplest way to put it, to ensure even the slightest things that could turn into a very large problem quicly and easily are avoided. Questions such as religious background, smoking, work hours, what type of work someone my employer does, etc.
If I were to ask a family a question, I would ask: 1) Are you comfortable with a 16 year old taking care of your children? 2) Do you let your kids use electronics? 3) Would your kids appreciate homework help?
The first question I ask parents is how they spend time with their kids. It's an efficient way to learn what their kids enjoy, are used to doing, and might expect from me, so I know what to possibly bring to their house and prepare myself for. The second thing I ask is how parents choose to discipline their children, and what they expect from me in that department. There are usually misunderstandings between kids and babysitters, as we enter as strangers into the kids' lives, and it's important to know how I should talk to them or address something that's wrong within our dynamic. I then move to more superficial concerns, like any food allergies the household has, or foods you want me to avoid bringing or making. I also ask about first aid kits and other basic safety concerns. Here is when I ask exactly what duties parents expect me to fulfill; basically an in-person discussion of their Care bios. Lastly, I ask what our preferred method of communication will be, if the parents prefer I call or text, if they want me to give hourly check about their kids or not, etc. I also like to know, during pick ups and drop offs, where I will find the kids or if I'll be given one of their numbers to tell them when I arrive or not. These are all the questions I ask families during an interview!
Does your child have any special needs that I should know about? (for example, easy frustration, sensitivity issues, wont eat certain foods...list goes on..)