Running a childcare business is an exciting and rewarding venture, as it allows you to impact the lives of children and their families positively. One crucial aspect of a successful childcare business is hiring the best childcare workers who are qualified, dedicated, and capable of providing a safe and nurturing environment for children. Whether you are running a childcare business, are trying to figure out how to start a childcare business, or are merely hiring daycare workers, below are excellent tips for hiring qualified, skilled, and responsible staff.
1. If You Hire Through an Agency, Choose the Right One
If you hire a worker through an agency, choose the right one. You want to find an agency that’s been in business for at least a few years with a good reputation. Ask other people in your position or at a child care center which agencies they’ve used and which they like. Does a particular agency have references, and can you call them? Do they have a website you can look at? Does it look like they know what they’re doing? It’s also good to look at their photos and read their staff member bios. If the agency seems professional, they will likely have proper childcare worker requirements and send you suitable candidates.
2. Ask for References
For candidates, asking for the names and contact information of at least two references is essential. Dedicate time to call and connect with each reference. Ask the reference if they would hire the applicant again. Ask about the applicant’s work ethic, ability to follow instructions and fundamental interactions with children.
3. Conduct a Background Check
A background check will give you valuable information about an applicant’s past. Ask the applicant to submit copies of any documents related to the position, such as insurance certificates, childcare licenses, CPR certifications, and a driver’s license. If the applicant has been working in childcare for more than five years, ask for the names and phone numbers of the applicant’s last three employers.
4. Conduct Comprehensive Criminal Background Checks
Child safety is of utmost importance in a childcare setting. Conducting thorough criminal background checks on potential childcare workers is essential to ensure a secure environment for the children and maintain parents’ trust.
These checks should include a comprehensive review of the candidate’s criminal history, including any records of violence, abuse, or offenses that may pose a risk to the children. Partnering with a reputable background check provider can help streamline this process and ensure compliance with legal requirements.
5. Interview the Candidate
A job interview is your chance to get a feel for the applicant’s personality and how they interact with children.
The interview process can tell you a lot. Ask the applicant to describe a typical day and how they would handle special situations, such as a sick child, an aggressive child, or a crisis. Ask the applicant to discuss their experience with emergency procedures and any special training related to the position.
Below are some common questions you should be asking each applicant when hiring daycare workers:
- Describe the best and worst things that happened while caring for a child.
- Tell me about your experience with children with special needs.
- How do you teach early childhood education skills, such as toilet training or helping a child learn how to read?
- Can you give me examples of how you’ve taught children these skills?
6. Offer a Trial Period
Let the applicant work for a few days or weeks before you make your final decision. This will give you time to observe the applicant in action and give the applicant a chance to show you they can do the job. Keep an eye on the children’s interactions with the applicant and consider these when making decisions.
7. Evaluate the Childcare Workers You Hire
Follow up on observations. Note any problems like tardiness, lack of communication, or unapproved absences. Ask the applicant to explain any issues you observe. Ask the applicant how they are dealing with any ongoing problems or issues.
8. Set Standards and Expectations
When hiring childcare workers, set clear standards for your interactions with them. Some topics to discuss include:
- What time workers are expected to arrive and leave
- The length of a worker’s day and the time they need off
- How much notice a worker needs to give you if they are unable to work
- How a worker is to interact with the children, other adults, and yourself
- What do you expect a worker to do if a child becomes ill or starts crying
- How they should handle any problems or special situations
Hiring the best childcare workers is critical in running a successful and reputable childcare business. By following the steps outlined in this blog, including conducting thorough criminal background checks, meeting childcare worker requirements, and implementing a comprehensive interview process, you can build a team of dedicated professionals committed to providing children a safe and nurturing environment. Remember, investing in your staff’s ongoing training and professional development is crucial for their growth and the long-term success of your childcare business.