Here are some guidelines for interviewing caregivers and assessing good care that you may find helpful.

  1. Ask open-ended questions Start your questions with "what or "how"
  2. Balance specific questions demanding precise answers with very wide open questions which allow caregiver to express themselves. If you don't understand what she/he means, ask her to give an example.
  3. Try to make questions spontaneous and natural  so they flow into each other, encourage her to talk by nodding, leaning forward, etc., saying "tell me some more about ....". Try to get her to talk naturally without  questions and you may learn more.
  4. Allow yourself plenty of time. You may interview unsuitable candidates. Don't be discouraged. Have a rating guide prepared to ensure more objectivity. This will allow you to review all of the caregivers that you have  interviewed on an equal basis.
  5. Keep interviewing situation in context, e.g. mood, fatigue level and how this state may interview with your judgment. Ask yourself if you are ready to go back to work. Do you prehaps feel that only you can look after your child? Is the caregiver motivated and enthusiastic? Does she/he seem ill at ease? Perhaps she/he is not used to being interviewed.
  6. Consider how you feel about the caregiver. Do you have strong internal feelings that say"yes" "no" about this person? Pay careful attention  to these feelings.
  7. Clarify areas which contradict or are not clear, ie., present it again in a different way. Put in your own words what you think she/he said at the time.
  8. At the end of the interview, summarize what you feel are the important points disgussed.
  9. Set a date with the caregiver to confirm your childcare arrangements. Be sure to let her know one way or the other about your decision.

Compliment of The Ontario Early Years Centre – Leeds and Grenville 2004







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