If you are thinking about putting your child in daycare, you will undoubtedly want to do your research. Deciding on a person to care for your kid is nothing to take lightly. Know what to look for in resumes for child care providers so you can choose your provider with complete confidence.
Reviewing Child Care Provider Resumes
With so many child care options available to you, you want to make sure you find the perfect match for your child and your family. By reviewing resumes of potential nannies, babysitters, or daycare providers, you can become better familiar with the prospective caregivers' experience, education, and child-rearing beliefs, helping you make an informed decision based on your needs and wants.
Finding the perfect child care provider can feel like a needle in a haystack. Narrow down the search by considering an interview with the following people:
- College students looking to make extra money - This works great if you need them just a few hours a week or have a flexible needs schedule that meshes with their class schedule. Look for prospective care providers working towards a degree in a child-centric or educational fields of study).
- Au pair services - This is a pretty significant child care commitment, so be sure to know the pros and cons of such a setup.
- A nanny - Nannies often help with other child-related duties such as tutoring, driving to activities, and even light cooking and cleaning if agreed upon at the beginning of the child care arrangement.
- In-home child care provider (licensed or unlicensed) - You take your child to someone else's home where another adult watches them along with other minor children.
- Daycare center - Your child might not receive one-on-one time and attention here, but there are many other advantages to going with a daycare center.
The type of provider you will choose likely depends on several factors, including:
- Financials: Some child care services are more pricey compared to others.
- In-home versus out of home: Where do your needs and beliefs lie?
- One-on-one attention versus a social and group setting: Both have perks and drawbacks.
Experience Watching Children
One of the first things you want to look at is your prospective child care provider's experience with children. You likely only want to review child care resumes of people with some level of experience caring for or working with young kids. How much desired experience should be based on both your judgment as a parent, and on your child care needs. If you need someone here and there, have older children, or will be in the home (working remotely) during care hours, someone with less experience might suffice.
If you need a child care provider to be with your kids for long periods or overnight, someone to watch very young babies or multiple children, or providers who will be juggling many tasks like driving, schooling, and otherwise, ample experience is a must.
Most communities and colleges provide numerous opportunities for child care providers to take classes, helping them improve their skills. Ask for a list of current continuing education programs they have attended or completed. Prospective care providers should attend at least one per year to stay current in their craft. On child care resumes, look for courses and classes that pertain to what you are searching for in an employee. Consider someone who has:
- First aid or CPR certification
- Education courses or early childhood development courses
- Courses that correlate with your core family values (music, art, foreign language courses)
- Water safety training (especially crucial if you live near water or have a swimming pool or spa)
Licensed or Unlicensed?
Somewhere on the resume, you may find a certification issued from the state indicating the resume holder is a licensed daycare provider. If they have a daycare in their home, a certification means they are running it legally and within state guidelines. A nanny may also have some certification or representation from an agency.
Other Important Factors to Consider
There are some things you might not find on a resume that you will want to check into.
You are leaving your child with a stranger, and no matter how wonderful they seem, you always want to ask them for a background check. You can request they have the results mailed directly to you. A background check will let you know if prospective child care providers have spent any time in jail or have ever been arrested.
If care providers are married or live with a partner and their significant other will be around your children, ask to run a background check on them as well. Essentially, you want to clear all adults spending time alone with your kids.
Smoking is a personal preference, but if you are a non-smoker, this may be important to you, especially if you are taking your baby to their home. Even if the provider does not smoke around the children, smoke can stay on the furniture, carpet, and clothes, which may adversely affect your baby. You have the right to ask if anyone living in the home smokes.
If you are thinking of enrolling your child in a center or have a preschooler who will need some introduction education, ask to look at the provider's daycare curriculum. Providers who can show you a curriculum often offer a more structured environment that emphasizes learning. Not everyone sees this as a crucial component of childcare, but if you do, don't be afraid to see some plans and ideas.
Reviewing resumes for child care providers will help you narrow down your choices, but resumes alone should not be the ultimate deciding factor. Before hiring an individual or center to watch your baby, make sure to interview them in the working environment.
Visit During Hours
Ask if you can visit while your possible new care provider is watching other children. This will show you how kids interact with them and how they respond to everyday situations. Ask just to observe the relationships, the climate, and the tone of the environment. Feel free to bring your child alone and watch how your child behaves in this new space. Remember that kids pick up on parents' demeanor. Be open and relaxed and allow your child to explore their feelings and thoughts about this new person and place.
Jot down any questions you have while reading child care resumes and ask them in your interview. Resumes can be wonderful ways to open up dialogues between employers and employees. Do not be afraid to ask anything important. It is key that you and any child care provider display openness and honesty regarding your child.
Making Your Decision
You will want to consider many factors when looking at resumes for child care providers. Go with your gut instinct and choose the person with whom you and your kids feel the most comfortable. This is a crucial decision, but when knowledgeable and prepared, all parents can confidently make the right choice for their families.