SOESD / School Improvement Services / Child Care Resource Network / Start & Operate a Home Child Care Program / 10 Tips for Interviewing Parents
10 Tips for Interviewing Parents
Ten Tips for Interviewing Parents
1) Offer an initial interview during non-business hours when the parents and children can be present so you can be relaxed and prepared. Suggest a second visit during business hours to see how children get along. Encourage more visits as needed.
2) Try to have your family present for at least part of an interview to see how the interaction works.
3) Have your materials organized for presentation and take time to go over each form. Here are some examples of items you may have prepared: Business flyer, policies, registration/enrollment form, contract, permission form, food program enrollment form, menu and activity examples, reference letters, a document explaining your two week trial period, etc.
4) Have your training certificates and cards available including any professional membership documents, and your license information.
5) Have your interview checklist available to you can make sure you cover all important topics.
6) Take time to show the parents the different play areas, including outside. This is a good time to talk about how activities, naps and meals are organized.
7) Assess whether you feel this family is a good match for you before signing any contracts. Do the children seem to get along? Did the parents arrive on time? Did they wince at or argue about your rates? Do they seem to jump from one provider to another (or town to town)? Encourage the parents to take your information packet home and read through it, that way everyone will have a chance to reflect and review any new questions that may arise.
8) Keep the contract until the parents indicate they are interested in your services, then go over each item in detail and reinforce the information before the final signing of two copies, so you both have one.
9) Ask the parents for the names and phone numbers of past providers (if they have had any). Call and find out how the family has been with previous providers.
10) When you accept a family into care, get your fees upfront and consider pre-payment of a week or two of services. If the match does not appear to work after the two week trial period, either party can then terminate with no ill feelings or obligations.