It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Ten Tips

I was recently provided a link to an article offering Ten Tips for Choosing Childcare. Perhaps I might like to share it with my readers? It’s a decent enough list, as these things go, covering the basics quickly and efficiently. Nothing new and radical in there, but choosing childcare, while an important task, is not one which requires radical creativity. Just good communication, common sense and a gut feeling.

The wasn’t of great interest to me, mind you. I’m on the other side of that equation. And then I had my creative notion: it occurred to me that since you come here to get the inside scoop from a daycare provider, you might be interested in the other side. What’s your daycare provider thinking during that interview? How do you make a good impression?

Because an interview’s a two-way street, of course. Not only are you deciding whether you want to work with this woman, she is making the same decision about you.

Maybe I should be writing a list of tips, tips from my side of the babygate. A few lists occur to me, right off the top. Which would you like, I wonder? Ten tips to make a good impression at an interview? Ten tips to ensure your provider love you? Ten tips for dealing with conflict with your provider? (All this assuming I can think of ten discrete things, of course…)

Are there any tips you’d like? Things you’ve been curious about, but didn’t know who to ask?

And, I know! The lists won’t be just my opinion. I will solicit the opinion of two other caregivers I know, one a fellow home provider and one a nanny, all of us with 15+ years experience.

So, ask away. Which of the lists I suggested would you like to see — or are you interested in something else entirely?

June 23, 2011 - Posted by | daycare, parents | ,


  1. I love the idea, can’t wait to see your lists. A provider friend and I have a top ten “What not to say to your child care provider” list between ourselves for comical relief. One of them is “He threw up this morning, but I’m sure it was just……..phlegm, mucus, too much coughing, too much breakfast, overexcited, insert your own…and he will be fine! Another one…..”I didn’t bring any shoes for him, because I was sure you wouldn’t be going outside today.” πŸ™‚

    Ha! I have a few of those. Here’s one of mine: “I promised her you would take her to the library today. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind, since you go there a lot.” I should start another list for caregivers. I’m sure it would be very informative for parents, too. πŸ™‚

    Comment by chantelle | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  2. Fantastic idea. I also have a (mental) list of things parents should never say (or do) to their childcare providers; things about promptness, sending appropriate clothing, being honest with themselves about how sick their children actually are sometimes… that kind of thing.

    The best way parents can make a good impression on me at the interview is to be prepared. Bring questions. Know before you come what your preferred arrangements are for drop off, pick up, days needed, etc. And be sincere. Don’t try to tell me your child does not have one single behavioural issue or quirk because I’ll know there is something, and I’d far rather be prepared than have it sprung on me *after* the child starts coming.

    Looking forward to the list!

    It’ll be fun, I think.

    Comment by hodgepodge | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  3. “Ten tips to make a good impression at an interview? Ten tips to ensure your provider love you?”-these two get my vote.

    We already have in home care provider for our daughter but a friend of mine is about to start the interview process. Also I want to make sure that my provider stays happy with us and being a first time parent I’m terrified of doing something wrong.

    Okay. One vote for those. As to your worries about doing something wrong? If your provider is happy with you so far, and you’re being considerate and a good communicator (and assuming she’s all that, too!) you should be fine. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Melissa V | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  4. I’d love to see “10 Tips for Choosing Childcare Parents” – outlining what you look for in parents… But all of them sound interesting to me.

    Oh, now that’s good! Really, it would probably be the same content as “Ten Tips to Make a Good Impression”, only from the caregiver’s perspective. Exactly what I said I’d be doing in the post. Yes, I think that’s even better than my original idea!

    Comment by Rini | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  5. As a stay-at-home mom, I find your tips about discipline, sleep, eating, etc. most useful to me. But your dealings with parents are always entertaining too. πŸ™‚

    That’s good to hear!

    Comment by lisa | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  6. All of the above please! I love hearing about your perspective on parents, and your parenting tips are always reasonable and based on real experience, which makes a big change from the so-called parenting gurus who’ve never had their own…

    Comment by Gillian | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  7. I think it would be great if parents asked questions about things like holidays and vacations before they enroll so as to avoid the”What do you mean you’re closed for Thanksgiving” tantrums. It doesn’t matter if you put all this in a handbook. Nobody reads. And it would be nice if they discussed things like how you handle food issues so that if they don’t like your policy they can go elsewhere. And they could ask how you would like them to handle drop-off so as to make it as easy as possible for you and the kid. And they could ask what your feeling is about kids who don’t want to do the art activity. Some parents seem to think you should hold the kid’s hand and force it into the glue. In general, almost any question beyond what do you charge is a good sign.

    Comment by jwg | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  8. I’d vote for the 10 tips for choosing childcare parents. Mostly because I’d be interested and less because we’d be looking. πŸ™‚
    I guess the one thing I worried about with our center is “Is it okay that I view you as one of my partners in this whole childraising thing?” I realize that I am their parent, blah blah blah but I really appreciate honest advice from my providers about their behavior and general issues (ie sleep, potty training).

    Comment by Dani | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  9. All of the above.

    This is certainly apropos for me right now, isn’t it? BTW I’d like your opinion on the daycares I’ve checked out so far…

    Comment by IfByYes | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  10. I’d love any of the suggestions! I’m back at work after my second child, so have gone through the process a few times now. Unfortunately, we will be doing it again for September. Your suggestions come at a perfect time!

    Comment by Deborah | June 25, 2011 | Reply

  11. […] Nine Tips for Choosing Daycare Parents Here’s the first list of tips I promised. I didn’t quite make ten items, but this is a good start, I think! I’m sure there are […]

    Pingback by Ten Nine Tips for Choosing Daycare Parents « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | June 27, 2011 | Reply

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