Interviewing the Child Care Worker
A list of child care interview questions are great to have on hand before interviewing a child care worker. As the director of a daycare facility or in-home child care, it is your responsibility to hire responsible, professional, early childhood educators that will provide a safe and stimulating environment for the children in your care. Whether you are caring for infants, toddlers, or preschoolers, a child care worker in your employ will need, not only a loving, nurturing demeanor, but also professionalism and the ability to lead lessons and activities in your facility that are appropriate for the social, emotional, mental, and physical development of the children in their care. That is why child care interview questions are so important. Extension online courses can help to educate the director and providers under his/her supervision in courses such as:
- Leadership 101: The Basics of Maintaining an Effective Child Care Program
- Effective Communication Strategies
- Getting a Clue: Observation & Assessment
- Positive Guidance: Why, What, & How?
- Classroom Management
- Developing Appropriate Learning Environments for Infants & Toddlers
- Supporting Children's Social and Emotional Development
- Positive Guidance and Discipline
- Responding to Challenging Infant Toddler Behavior
- A Classroom Where Everyone Belongs
Developing a list of child care interview questions, as well as, a comprehensive hiring and retention plan will help bring the needs of your center into focus. Items that need to be addressed before starting the hiring process include:
- Developing a well-defined job description outlining the responsibilities included in the position.
- Developing a plan for recruiting, including staying in contact with local child development schools, colleges, child care organizations, professional organizations, and other directors.
- Advertising. Contact local colleges and universities. Establish relationships with early childhood program professionals. Ask to place flyers in schools of education. Maintain regular communication with professors to find interested and qualified students. Post notices at community centers, public libraries, YMCAs, Churches, and other parent and community events.
- If you have a budget for advertising, you may also consider the community newspaper, Internet, and professional publications.
- Address the issue of why employees are leaving your employ. This can provide insight and help you work to have a consistent and dependable staff.
You will also want to have an interviewing plan to accompany your child care interview questions. This should include:
- An application
- A writing sample (if writing is required for the position)
- Informal assessment
- Formal assessment, including observing the applicant leading a lesson in one of your classrooms
- Written test of knowledge
- Communication with other staff members (peer interview)
- Tour of your center, allowing candidate to observe a classroom and discuss his/her impressions
- Request of portfolio of past work, references, and lesson plans.
Be sure you understand that you may only assess abilities required for the position. There are questions that you cannot inquire about directly or indirectly, such as age, race, color, ancestry, origin, etc. See Extension Online's "Leadership 101" course for a more comprehensive list and further details that will help you hire a professional staff for your child care facility.
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