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Old 01-04-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
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Help with in home childcare interviewing

So Im looking to go back to work ASAP part time. I put an ad up on craigslist this morning for in home childcare, and I already have 4 responses!!! So I'm totally overwhelmed now!

I just don't even know where to start? I mean I think I know what I'd like, but I'm not sure of questions I should be asking, if I should do background checks, and how to go about that. This is totally new to me as I have never even had a babysitter for DD that isn't a family member!

DD is 14 months old. She is a pretty easy baby. Her only issue is she is lactose intolerant. The only "special" requests I have are cloth diapering, wholesome organic cooking, and no TV.

Any ideas as to where I should start??

THANKS in advance!!!!


Momma to Lily Grace Ryan 10/22/07 and Avaya Kai 10/30/10 Expecting #3 11/5/2014
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:29 PM   #2
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Re: Help with in home childcare interviewing

I would definitely ask for references...

Ask what a typical day is like. What her menu is like. What is nap time like. Does she do weekly/monthly menus? Does she do a daily sheet for you to take home?

ETA: Thought of a couple more. Is she CPR/First Aid certified. Is she licensed care provider?
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:19 PM   #3
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Re: Help with in home childcare interviewing

Your county should have a list of licensed day care providers and what they're issues have been in the past if any. Here, day care providers are randomly inspected for things like where the household chemicals are and if the kids have access and what the food is and all kinds of stuff. You can ask if they or anyone in the house smokes, are there guns/weapons in the house, how do they handle late pickups, is there vacation for them or for you, how many kids are there, what is the sick policy, do they cio if you're opposed, is it really scheduled or just a loose routine, will they be in a vehicle with the provider, do they have car seats, can you inspect them, do they have car insurance, do they have pets, do you need to give a deposit, do you have to give notice to get a deposit back, when is payment due, how much is payment.... I'm sure there's more but that's what I can think of right away. I would really strongly reccommend a background check of all adults in the house if they are not licensed because you just never know. GL mama, btdt and it can be scary!
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: Help with in home childcare interviewing

When you posted your ad did you specify organic cooking and no tv? That might be hard to find!!! Most daycares will provide the same food for all of the children so it would be either organic food for all the kids (very unlikely) or your daughter will have to eat what they eat OR you can provide seperate food for her everyday. Also since it is an in home daycare, they may have toddlers or an after school program for grade schoolers and for the older kids they may allow tv or even have a video time scheduled.

Questions to ask:
1. What are their hours of operation? (Will that even fit your schedule?)
2. What is their price? (Don't assume that cheaper is better....)
3. How many other children are there? How many adults? What are the ages of the other kids---(will your daughter have someone else to play with?) ALSO make sure you know of any other adult that will be in the house but NOT actually a roommate/boyfriend/husband/whoever might be around your daughter without your knowledge. You can never be too careful in today's world.
4. Are they willing to work with your daughter's dietary needs? Are they going to provide organic food?
5. What other supplies, if any, do they provide? diapers,wipes,snacks, etc
6. What does the play area look like? Is the area clean with age appropriate toys? Is it well lit with fresh air?
7. What is the vacation and sick policy?
8. Will they ever be leaving the house with your daughter? If so, who will be going? For example, if they go to the pool in the summer, how many adults go with them? How long do they stay? What cost is there to these field trip activities?
9. Are they a strict schedule keeping daycare or free play all day? Somewhere in between? What about CIO? Where will your daughter sleep for naps and are they willing to work with her current nap schedule or do you have to get her used to their schedule?
10. How long has the daycare been in business? Are they licensed? Do they have references? What specific training do the workers have? Are they parents also? Do they have training from other daycares or possibly college educations?
11. When can your daughter start? What is the deposit? Is there a probation period?
12. Make sure you schedule to go by and SEE the daycare when it is in session if possible! In general, are the kids clean and happy? Is it a wild and loud atmosphere with kids running everywhere? Can your daughter come by and play for an hour just as a trial run?
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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Re: Help with in home childcare interviewing

Originally Posted by iggyloo View Post
The only "special" requests I have are cloth diapering, wholesome organic cooking, and no TV.
Well, good luck with that.

With all the home daycares I interviewed, all of them were fine with cloth diapers so I doubt that will be an issue. However...

ALL of them watched TV. I could not find an in-home daycare provider who did not let the kids (regardless of age) watch TV for part of the day. One provider came HIGHLY recommended by several people, and when I talked to her the daily schedule was:
TV from arrival (which for me is 7am) until 9am, then activities, lunch, nap, activities, then TV again from 2:30 or 3pm until pickup...
FOUR HOURS of TV time in a 9.5 hour day is NOT my idea of excellent care.

I also think "wholesome organic cooking" is going to have to come from you, not the DCP.

PP's have given you a great list of questions. What you need to think about is what your priorities are for care, and where you can be flexible. You won't find someone perfect (only YOU are going to be perfect!), but you need to realize what is critical to you for the care, and what can be different.
Mom to 2007 and 2010.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:12 PM   #6
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Re: Help with in home childcare interviewing

I don't think you will be able to find those qualifications at anything near a reasonable price. I would think those qualifications could easily be met at a daycare center like Goddard but not in home care. I have a fantastic care provider but the kids do get to watch TV in the morning as everyone is arriving and parents are leaving. It gives the kids something to focus on and settles them in for the day.

My provider feeds healthy food but she definately does not give them a homecooked meal everyday.

Good luck in your search.
Emily....Proud wife of Drew, mother to Kole (8/07), Chase (7/09), Ansley (4/11), and Avery and Camden (10/13)
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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Re: Help with in home childcare interviewing

Did you start your interviews yet?I agree that it would be surprising if you could find a daycare facility to follow all your requests. You will just need to decide what you can give on and what is absolutely necessary. My daycare kids aren't put in front of the tv although every now and then the two oldest will watch a video or cartoon. I could never promise a parent that their kids would never see tv although it is not a part of our regular schedule for them. I do not provide any food for my daycare kids. Their parents have to provide all food and snacks. I would be willing to do cloth diapering for a family as long as they provided all supplies and took home the wash each day. Good luck in your search.
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