This blog was originally published in 2019 and was updated on July 14, 2022, with new information.
Staffing shortages are commonly cited as one of the biggest challenges facing child care businesses today. It’s difficult to find the right people to hire and retention can be a challenge, too.
That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions when hiring for a position in your early childhood learning center. The growth of your business which heavily depends on the passion and skills of the staff members who make it great.
By taking a strategic approach to the interview process for daycare staff, you’ll feel confident in your hiring decisions and, ultimately, make your child care center a better place for children and current employees.
What makes for an insightful daycare interview question? Early childhood requires a unique set of skills and a passion and personality that many other jobs do not, so your interview questions must rise to the occasion.
So to best use everyone’s time, carefully narrow down your child care interview questions. When you ask candidates the right questions, you’ll get a holistic view of their credentials, get to know the interviewee on a personal level and be able to determine if his or her care-giving style will work well with your center’s distinct vision.
Five Child Care Interview Questions to Ask
With these five questions, you can judge each candidate fairly and find a new employee that everyone feels comfortable and excited about. Here are some essential questions to consider asking:
1. Why is childhood development so important to you, and how do you think caregivers can provide it more effectively?
This is a great question to kick off an interview with because it gives interviewees an opportunity to relax and talk about something that should be easy: their passion for childhood development and how they hope to make a difference. Make sure you hone in on what qualities someone in early childhood education should possess so you get a sense of the candidate’s personality. Their answers will help you gauge whether he or she will fit in your current staff members and their style of teaching and care.
2. Describe a time you resolved an issue with an unhappy parent.
This gives interviewees an opportunity to walk you through a real-life scenario they experienced. Their answers will help demonstrate to the interviewer how they approach difficult exchanges with parents, their patience and ability to resolve issues.
Child Care Staff Evaluation & Assessment
This free template helps ensure you cover all your bases when you review your child care staff’s performance.
3. Why is clear communication so important in child care?
This is another question that gives a candidate the chance to emphasize the importance of communication. Whether it’s among other staff members, parents or the children under their care, they should have a method that works for them. In addition to communication, this question could be tailored to any core value of a center such as honestly, transparency, integrity and so on.
Remember that young parents are always on the go, but they crave updates on what activities their child is doing at child care. Family engagement benefits everyone and candidates should have a plan to use technology and software to leverage this engagement.
Ask them what kind of technology has been helpful to them in the past for keeping parents connected, including what child care app they have used, and introduce them to your daycare software.
4. What is the biggest child care challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
There’s always going to be conflict that arises in a child care center and it’s important that the interviewee has a plan for when it does.
Understanding the challenging nature of this unique workplace is important to ensure that staff members won’t get discouraged and can work through things. The wrong approach could hamper the reputation of your organization.
5. How do you stay organized and structure your day so a classroom runs smoothly?
The nature of a child care job involves dealing with busy, and sometimes hectic moments. Learn what the interviewee would do to manage these challenges and create a better daycare experience moving forward.
The right candidate will understand that there are a multitude of skills young children develop in child care such as following directions, sharing and fine motor skills. Learning about which ones he or she plans to emphasize is a good indicator of how the applicant will run a classroom, including in bullying situations.
Whoever you bring into your center should have every intention to ensure that children under their care are happy and safe. Of course specific protocols can be taught and applied, but you must have a solid understanding of an interviewee’s awareness, problem-solving skills and overall approach to conflict.
How Procare Can Help!
When creating your daycare interview questions, start with thinking about what qualities you desire in an employee and develop questions from there. With a mix of personal, educational and real-life scenario questions. you will provoke thoughtful answers and be well on your way to finding your next great staff member.
And as an employer, you can more effectively hire and retain qualified candidates by offering tools to simplify and streamline education and development.
Procare Solutions has teamed up with Learning Beyond Paper, Inc, the leader in digital curriculum, to offer early educators a tool they’ve been waiting for — a fully online curriculum program tailored to child care centers.
Procare Early Learning powered by Learning Beyond Paper is an all-digital curriculum specifically designed to meet the unique needs of educating children from infancy through pre-kindergarten. The integration with Procare makes this curriculum easy to use.
New content, training and tools arrive automatically! And its saves hours of time each week, which in turn saves your center money! It embeds Learning Beyond Paper’s early childhood curriculum, which was designed by educators with decades of combined experience, into the Procare platform, making it easier and less time-consuming for busy teachers and administrators to provide high-quality education.
This curriculum can be used in ALL child care center classrooms, with 52 weeks of lesson plans and more than 4,000 daily activities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and pre-kindergarteners. Learning areas include STEAM, language and literacy, physical development, cognitive, music and
movement as well as interactive reading.
Learn more here about how Procare Early Learning can help your staff stay happy while enhancing the education you offer the children in your care!
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