Whether you are seeking regulated child care (North Carolina star licensed child care homes or centers) or unregulated child care (nannies, babysitters, summer camps and/or afterschool programs), there are certain questions you should ask. Print out this guide to interviewing your child care provider.
Nannies, Babysitters, After School Programs and Summer Camps
Choosing a nanny, babysitter, after school program or summer camp for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make. Most of these types of care are not regulated or licensed either federally or by the state. Therefore, it is up to you, the parent, to screen, ask questions, and check references of each person you leave to care for your child(ren).This is a basic guide to hiring an unregulated caregiver.
Nannies either offer their services independently or list through an agency that specializes in matching nannies with families. They generally are "live-in" or "live-out"; and always will care for your children in your home.
Babysitters also either offer their services independently or list through an agency. They do not live in your home, but will care for your children in your home. Young babysitters (ages 11-15) can be trained through the American Red Cross.
After-school programs offer care for your children in public settings such as schools. In North Carolina, some after-school programs are regulated and licensed, and have a rating of 1-5 stars. Go to www.ncchildcare.net for more information. After school programs can be accredited by the National After School Association, meaning they meet higher quality standards.
Summer camps also care for your children in a public location. Camps can be accredited through the ACA, American Camp Association. For more information, go to www.acacamps.org.
Babysitter and Nanny Hiring FAQ
- If the candidate is listed through an agency, ask the agency about background checks, screening, training and ongoing monitoring practices.
- Start with a phone interview. Talk about the start date, hours, how many children they will care for, whether or not they can drive.
- Schedule an in-person interview. Meet in a public place, such as a coffee shop so that you are not bringing a stranger into your home. Note whether or not she/he was punctual, how well she/he followed instructions, did he/she bring a resume or recommendations, and how well she/he presented her/himself. Other things to consider include her/his experience, child care knowledge, gaps in employment history.
- Check references and perform a background check. Check those that are provided to you but also ask if you can contact past families. If she/he doesn't want you to speak to past families, take that as a warning sign.
- Babysitters and nannies care for children in your home; therefore there are things you should do do to protect your family and your home. These include changing the passwords on all computers frequently, protecting yourself from identity theft.
All Child Care Hiring FAQ
Whether you are hiring someone to care for your child in your house, or your child will be attending a child care program, there are certain questions you should ask. These include:
- child care and child development knowledge
- care taking philosophy
- discipline philosophy
- educational background
- child care experience- length, ages and settings
- first aid training and/or other trainings
- Better Business Bureau
- Department of Child Protective Services (call your local Department of Social Services)