Ask the caregiver to give you at least two professional references of families for whom she/he has worked. Ask for at least two references other than relatives or friends. Check all of the references you are given. People do not like to give a bad reference. Direct questions may help you get an honest answer. Try some of the following:
- How long have you known this caregiver? Why did you choose her?
- Did she/he meet your expectations? Please give examples.
- Would you choose her/him again? Why? Why not?
- What did your children enjoy most about her/him?
- With what age do you feel she/he works best?
- Does She/he offer creative activities? What are they? Does she/he provide daily outings? Does she/he use appropriate behaviour management techniques? What arte they? Does she/he seem safety conscious?
- Why did she/he stop working for you? What did your least/best like about her/him?
- Would you recommend her/him as a caregiver?
If a reference seems reluctant to answer some of your questions, be frank about your concern for the quality of care you want for your child and the importance of his/her answers. Try to contact all the parents who are currently employing this caregiver.
The caregiver’s references should confirm your feelings about her. If the references are not positive, you may wish to give her a chance to refute negative comments or go back for another interview before you decide.
Compliment of The Ontario Early Years Centre – Leeds and Grenville