Listed below are questions to ask a prospective caregiver, who may come to your home, either
on a temporary or regular basis. Even when a person is hired for temporary childcare, it is important
that you have the opportunity to talk with them at length, to ask questions, and check references.
When you first call a potential caregiver, explain where you got their name, what your child
care needs are, and that you would like to ask some questions. Also, allow them to ask questions of
1. What is your background with children? (Ask what ages they have worked with.)
2. Why are you looking for this kind of job?
3. What do you like most about children?
4. What is your past work experience? Why did you leave your last job?
5. Tell me about yourself; include how you yourself were disciplined as a child.
6. Describe what you would plan on a typical day, including indoor and outdoor activities, for my
7. Tell me about a situation with a child, such as a behavior difficulty, that you felt you handled well.
8. What are your long-range plans?
9. Do you have any training in first aid and CPR? How recently?
10. Have you been fingerprinted?
11. Has a previous employer done a background check on you?
12. If no, are you willing to a background check being conducted before hire?
13. Do you have references?
Some additional questions you may ask can relate to the ages of your children, for example, their
knowledge of infants or toddlers, and personal habits such as smoking. At this point, if you feel
comfortable with the answers you have received, let the person know that you are interested in having
them meet your child(ren). Observing the interactions with your child(ren) will be very helpful in
deciding if this is the right person for you. Make sure the caregiver is aware of any additional duties
they are to perform, such as transportation, meal preparation and clean up, etc.
Tips for a successful hire:
All child care arrangements require good communication between you and the caregiver. Give the
caregiver a tour of your home so that they are familiar with all the exits and location of telephones in
case of emergency. Inform your caregiver not only about the physical needs of your child, such as
toileting and napping, but also their typical behavior and personality traits. Include information about
favorite toys or books and household rules about visitors, television, bedtime, telephone usage, etc. It
is also important for you to clarify with the caregiver your discipline procedures on food, television,
and phone usage. The information included in the form attached to this listing; “Emergency
Information” should be kept current and posted next to a telephone.
Begin with you and your caregiver, working along side each other for a few days, if possible. In
addition, make unannounced visits home, especially during what would be the challenging part of the
your child(ren)’s day, for example, meals or naptime.
Have your caregiver keep a log each day. The log could include such items, as changes in your child's
health, behavior concerns, etc. Be concerned if your caregiver has difficulty doing this.
If you decide to install in your home one of the new types of hidden video cameras currently available,
tell your caregiver that you will be doing so.