One of the most important things you will ever do as a parent is choose someone to look after your child when you and/or your partner aren’t around. It’s an emotional time for any parent to decide to leave their child, so you obviously want to make sure that you find the right person for the job. Trust is key, but how can you know you’ve made the right choice and feel completely comfortable with leaving your child in their care?
There are a number of important checks you should carry out and questions you should ask before entering into a contract with any childcare provider. We suggest making a tick sheet which will ensure you have seen each piece of evidence and discussed every aspect of your child’s care with any providers you speak to.
To help you out, we’ve pulled together some of the most important questions to ask:
- How much previous experience do you have?
One of the best ways to understand how your childcarer works is to look at their previous history. Do they/have they had any long-standing clients? If so this will show that they are trusted by other families, and have been for a long period of time.
Also, a childcarer’s overall experience will ultimately impact on every part of their work. From our experience the best and most successful childcare providers are the ones who have been caring for children for a long time. However, this is not to say that younger childcarers should be overlooked, if you have a good feeling about a childcarer their amount of past experience should not rule them out completely.
- How many other families do you currently work with?
This will give you an idea of not just their experience, but also how successful they are as a , as well as how comfortable they are in their role. If a childcare provider is working with a large number of families and children they will more than likely be extremely comfortable working with children, which obviously is the biggest factor when choosing a childcarer.
- Do you have any children of your own/young children in your family?
This is just an extra little way to help gauge whether the childcarer is firstly, comfortable around children, and secondly if they have much experience dealing with them.
- Why did you decide to go into childcare?
This question is excellent as it will highlight whether the childcare provider is passionate about what they do or whether this is simply another job. From our experience the majority of childcare providers love what they do and this is what drives them every day.
The answers to these questions are a good indicator of personality, experience and dedication to looking after children. Alongside these, there are a number of documents you should insist on seeing before you make a decision.
- Registration certificates and Insurance
- DBS / PVG check
- Paediatric First Aid qualification (optional)
- Vehicle Documentation and driving license
- Proof of identity
- References from past employers
When it comes down to it, always trust your instincts. You need to be sure you are completely comfortable with leaving your chosen provider in total responsibility of your child, which can feel like a heavy task to overcome! Taking all the above into consideration means you can make the best decision for you and your child.
There’s plenty more information, plus access to thousands of childcare providers across the UK, at www.childcare.co.uk