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Parents  >  Checklists  >  Child Care In Your Home Checklist  >  Interviewing In-Home Caregivers

Interviewing In-Home Caregivers

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Name of Caregiver________________________________________________


Prescreening in-home caregiver applicants over the phone can help you eliminate candidates that are not appropriate for the job, and help you focus your energy on those that are. During the telephone interview, try to gather basic information about a provider. Ask if it is a good time to talk. Be sure to get answers to the following questions plus anything else you wish to know about the provider. 


  • Why does this position appeal to you?
  • What is your age? (For teenagers)
  • Where do you live? Do you have transportation?
  • What experience have you had caring for children? With what ages?
  • What were your responsibilities?
  • Have you ever cared for an infant?
  • Do you have any training or education in child care?
  • Are you available to work the hours required for the position?
  • What was your last job? Why did you leave?
  • Did you ever have to leave a job because of illness?
  • Are you on any medications?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have a driver's license?
  • Have you had CPR and First Aid training?
  • Are you willing to have a criminal background and driving record check?

    If you feel comfortable with the phone interview, set up an appointment to meet the caregiver in person, You may want to ask these additional questions:


  • What do you find most rewarding about working with children?
  • What other types of jobs have you had in the past?
  • Would you supply references from former or present employers?
  • Would you supply references from parents for whom you have worked before?
  • Do you have any record of arrests or convictions? (Check with your state before asking this question of someone)
  • Have you had a recent Mantoux (TB) test?
  • What kinds of hobbies do you have?
  • Do you enjoy cooking? (if applicable) Do you know how to prepare a simple meal?
  • Do you enjoy spending time outdoors?
  • How would you handle a household emergency? For example, a fire emergency?
  • What would you do if the baby would not stop crying, and you knew he/she was not hungry or wet?
  • What would you do if one of the children cut him/herself very badly?
  • What do you consider to be some of your best qualities?
  • What could you see as your biggest challenges as an in-home caregiver?
  • Do you mind taking orders and following instructions?
  • Do you enjoy playing with children?
  • What kinds of activities do you like to do with them?
  • How do you feel about children and TV viewing?
  • Would you be willing to drive my child to and from school or activities? (if applicable)
  • What is your method of disciplining children?
  • What would you do if a child slapped you?
  • Were you ever permitted to hit a child?
  • What is your philosophy regarding child development, discipline and toilet training?
  • What length of time could you make a commitment to this position?

    Additional Questions to Ask of Foreign Au Pairs:

    Most families do not have an opportunity to meet with potential foreign Au Pairs in person. However, you may be able to phone screen an individual. Check with the Au Pair agency you are working with to find out.


  • Have you ever traveled outside your country of origin?
  • Do you know any other Au Pairs in the area?
  • What do you hope to gain from your experience in this country?
  • How do you see yourself balancing your cultural experience and child care duties?
  • How comfortable are you with speaking English?
  • Are you willing to teach my children to speak some (Au Pair's native language)?
  • Do you have any friends or relatives in this country?
  • Are you used to being treated as a member of a family?


    Checking References

    Never hire a caregiver without personally checking her references. Call each person on the reference list and talk to them directly. If the person was a previous employer, verify information that the applicant provided on her resume or in the interview. Ask about work habits and ethics. Be aware of any past employers that will not give references - ask the candidate why.

    Listed below are some sample questions you may want to ask of other parents who hired a particular nanny or in-home caregiver:


  • How long was (name of applicant) employed by you?
  • How old were your children at the time that she cared for them?
  • How many hours per week did she provide care?
  • Why did she stop working for you?
  • How is she with children? Does she seem to enjoy working with children?
  • Describe to me a conflict that may have come up and how it was resolved.
  • What do you see as some of her best qualities?
  • What do you see as her biggest challenges?
  • Did you feel comfortable giving feedback to this caregiver?
  • Did you find this individual to be responsible and reliable?
  • Did you feel comfortable allowing this person to drive your children to school or activities?
  • Is this person a smoker?
  • Did she prepare meals or provide housekeeping duties, and how did that work out?
  • Is she able to handle emergency situations?
  • Would you recommend this person as an in-home caregiver?
  • Never hire a caregiver without personally checking her references