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Five Daycare Interview Questions Child Care Providers Should Ask Potential Hires

July 22, 2022

This post was originally created and published by Procare Solutions on July 14, 2022. You can find the original piece here. It is reprinted here with permission from Procare.


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:

woman preparing to shake hands at a daycare interview

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.

3. Why is clear communication so important in child care?

a teacher watches on as children color

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.

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