Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Brain Picking Session

(sorry for those of you who were hoping for noses, today I need your brains!)

Tomorrow evening Tim and I are going to talk with a lady who will be a potential babysitter for the boys. I do not know her. I got her number out of the paper. She is just starting day care and I don't believe she has any other kids yet. She has an 8 month old daughter of her own and works third shift, but wants to do day care so that she can stay home with her baby. That's all I know.

Here is where I am looking for input. What kinds of questions should I ask her, what should I look for in her home, how much are the going rates for home day care? I know some of you have some extensive experience with this, so spill your knowledge!

When I called her cell phone, there was some music playing while waiting for her to answer. It was Casting Crowns "The Voice of Truth". I don't know if she gets to pick her own music or not, but it was very reassuring to have Christian music come on!


SamandSawyersMom said...

Well, you are right on track with listening to her background music (she definitely picked that herself) because you MUST look at the things that aren't as easy to look at. I mean anyone cn seem like a great person on the phone or for a 10 minute interview.

The fact that she hasn't done it for awhile is a bit concerning for me simply because she might not even know her tolerance for children. As long as I have been doing this, I know that it would take A TON to make me lose my cool or "lose it". How would she know (or you for that matter) if she has no experienmce with multiple children and different temperments etc??? I would ask her that.

As far as her house goes, I wouldn't be very picky except for obvious safety things. The messier or more cluttered it is the better in my book because she probably has a lot for the kids to do and her attention would be on the kids. I never trusted care givers that have perfectly clean and orgainzed homes because how would they have the time?? The answer usually is that they don't allow much out at a time and they are too focused on their homes and not the children. Clean is fine, perfect is not. Not to mention that she would charge you for anything they break etc.

There have been questions in my career that have thrown me for a loop. I will think of those nad others. I will say the more you ask and the tougher you seem, the more likey she will be to follow the rules with your kids nad watch her step. The picky parents get the most oil if you knwo what I mean. She may secretly hate you but your kids will be taken care of.

I feel like I give all the kids great care but the "crazy" parents get a better glimpse into my program daily because they demand it. I also write their papers with more detail. I will be back to give you my advice for questions.

Char said...

Since i worked in a day care center it might be a little different. But here is what I'd ask. Is she going to be certified to day care? or is she already? how many kids does she plan to take on? will she prepare meals or will you need to bring food for them? What about breakfast? Is she flexible on times and days? will there be any other adults your child might come in to contact with? you could ask about holiday's and her plans for them, if any. ask about what her plans are for discipline - i mean if someone is being ornary or won't listen or whatever. What is her plan for what they will do all day? What happens if a child is sick - yours or hers?
Check out her yard area and make sure it is safe, fenced and gated. Since she only has a baby she might not have fun kid stuff to play on yet.
Are there any pets?? Dogs? Cats? any other pets (snakes, gerbils, birds).
I'll post more if I think of any.

Crystal said...

Charity already said most of the questions I was going to tell you to ask, but I would also ask her if she has a contract, and whether she is going to claim the payments on her taxes. You don't want to pay someone under the table because then you can't claim the money you shell out for daycare on your taxes! Make sure she's a ligitamate business on the books. Don't waste your money on someone who is not legal.

Also ask her about traveling, what kind of vehicle she has, what her menu consists of, whether or not she will be taking the kids on field trips and where she will be taking them. Make sure the house is clean and safe and ask to see where the kids will sleep. Ask to see the toys and crafts that the kids will be doing. Also ask her if you still have to pay her even when you don't bring the kids when they are scheduled to come. And ask her what she plans to do in an emergency, and for vacation. Will she have a backup sitter and if so, set up a meeting with that person. If I think of more, I will come back.

SamandSawyersMom said...

although I think most of the questions, I do want to say that you shouldn;t waste your time with some questions. Select them wisely so that you get the most out of your interview. i dio agree that it is stupid to pay under the table when you could claim all of it. Also, I want to add that I am not certified for VERY good reasons so don't think that only good providers are certified.

SamandSawyersMom said...

the biggest questions that MUST be asked are:

What other adults will be around my children and can we run background checks on all of them?

Do you have a criminal record?

Will you claim our fees?

How do you discipline?

What do you do with them all day?

Are you certified in CPR?

I would charge $65 a day for your 3 kids and that includes 2 meals, 2 snacks, all art and such and up to 10 hours of care a day.

SamandSawyersMom said...

it would be great if you could find a place that does not include food and you can pack it since you get food so cheap with coupons.

Lura said...

Well, her ad in the paper said $2 an hr. So that would be about $42 a day I'm figuring for all 3. Thanks for everyone's input. I totally forgot about the CPR and that is a big thing with me.

SamandSawyersMom said...

oh wow, you must not need many hours. My hourly rate is 3 bucks if part time like that. I figured it was cheaper up there than here. I mean you guys have drive throughs without the smell of pot so I figured your child care was affordable.

Crystal said...

Make sure her rate isn't cheap because she's doing it under the table. Alot of times, people who are doing it under the table charge less....but it's still a ton of money not be able to claim on YOUR taxes.

SamandSawyersMom said...

i bet that is nto cheap for that area Crys. She lives out of the city. My rates are the same as everyone around me. I bet she is the same as everyoen else.

Another common reason for people charging very little is that they have a ton of kids. She might be planning on taking every kid who ask that too.