This is an article I came across just the other day from another provider who is a director of a daycare center for 30+ years. I really love her content and will be featuring different articles in my blog over the coming months. She goes by “The Spunky Childcare Provider” and requests to be anonymous. My republishing of her article is with permission. Enjoy the article she wrote!
I’m the One Doing the Interview 😳
So I see you’ve posted you have a line up of providers you are interviewing for your child. You are asking people what to look for, what questions to ask and what areas to look at. I’m thinking we have a bit of miscommunication going on.
First let me explain choosing child care. Child care is a service provided by providers. A nanny is one that comes to your house and cares for your child and what ever else you agree to in an employee-employer relationship. A babysitter is the one that comes to your house for you to go out or just watches your kids. You are in control of hiring the babysitter and the nanny. They work for you.
The child care provider provides a service, sets up a program and has their own policies. They will schedule an interview to meet you and your children and they will go over all their policies and expectations. You do not hire them they choose to enroll your family and you in turn pay for their services.
So often I see posts and hear parents talking about how they hire the provider and they are going to start doing this and that because they work for you. Some where along the way their is a misconception of your child care provider.
If you choose to send your child to private or public school do you tell the teacher they work for you? Of course not. You wouldn’t think of demeaning them.
Why would you go to a provider and start stating your demands of no naps for your little one. You tell them when you will pay and when you want to pick up. You have your list of demands because you’ve had advice of friends who let you know you have to be in control of your provider.
Some providers will allow interviews during daycare hours but that is becoming less and less due to safety issues. You’ve been given the advice to see every room. You’ve been given the advice to use the bathroom and prowl through cabinets and closets. It’s your right. It’s also the providers right to show you the door.
Yes providers know this child is your precious treasure. We understand that. This is why providers take the utmost care in designing their facility with your child in mind. The select the best equipment and toys. With your child and all children in mind.
Whether it is in a center or home their are areas not allowed by anything be other than providers and staff. To be brutally honest the office, bedrooms and private areas are not anyone’s business but theirs. Many have locks on things. Private means just that private.
Does that mean they are hiding something? No, it simply means they don’t want things messed with. You know what I’m saying. You really don’t want people looking through your jewelry box or going through your refrigerator do you? I’m pretty sure if you hired a nanny there would be areas off limits.
So what to expect with an interview.
🍎kindergarten readiness, social and emotional development and behavior.
🍎the provider will be observing parent-child interaction.
The providers is deciding whether your family will be a good fit. Just because they have an opening does not mean your child will be enrolled.
Factors determining whether your provider wants to offer a provider-family relationship depends on communication, temperament and hours. If the family appears to thrive on drama and likes to challenge the provider then they probably won’t be enrolled. To be honest Child Care is hard enough without added stress from a family.
For me the first thing I’m looking for is respect for me as a professional. If a parent comes in demanding things from me. Telling me they are the boss and they are only paying for days attended then it’s over. If you tell me you want open to close hours I’ll explain contracted hours. If you let your child control you and disrespect me There’s a good chance I’m not going to enroll you. If your child is one tantrum after another and you make excuses for the behavior I’m probably going to pass.
At the end of the day your provider runs the business. The business or a parent will not run them. Always remember the provider chooses to enroll the child. They are the one taking responsibility for the care of children in their care and they are going to choose wisely.