37 Child Care Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 29 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Child care professionals oversee the basic needs of children, including teaching them, preparing them to succeed in school and supervising their play. If you're planning to apply for a job in child care, it's important to prepare and review some questions hiring managers may ask during the interview. In this article, we share some common child care interview questions, along with examples and tips to help you effectively answer them.
General child care interview questions
Here are some general child care interview questions:
Why are you interested in working as a child care provider?
Are you capable of working in a team?
What do you enjoy about working with children?
What do you find most challenging about working with kids?
What aged children have you worked with before?
Which ages do you prefer working with?
What is your greatest strength as a child care professional?
What's your biggest weakness as a child care provider?
Why do you want to work for our organisation specifically?
What kind of work environment do you like best?
Questions about child care experience
These questions can help the hiring manager assess your goals, expertise and skills, determining if you're a good fit for the role:
Can you tell us about your experience?
What do you like least about working with this age group?
What do you think makes a great child care provider?
What do you like most about working with children in this age group?
How would you describe your approach to child care?
How do you motivate children to be more active?
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing child care providers?
What is the greatest thing you've achieved in working with this age group?
What do you hope to have achieved at the end of your working day?
Tell me a time you achieved something big.
These interview questions can help the hiring manager evaluate your ability to handle certain situations:
How do you handle confidentiality in your work?
How would you handle a complaint from a parent?
How would you report a safeguarding concern?
How would you handle a child who didn't want to take part in games or other activities with other children?
Describe a situation that tested your patience. How did you keep your emotions in check?
What would you do if two children were fighting?
How do you know if your child care approach is effective?
How do you maintain a safe play environment? Provide a relevant example.
Describe a time when you and a parent or guardian disagreed about how to react to a disobedient child. How did you handle the situation?
How would you encourage children to work or play together?
7 interview questions about child care with sample answers
Here are some common child care professional interview questions with sample answers:
1. What's your favourite part of being a child care provider and why?
It usually takes a great deal of patience to care for children, so hiring managers may ask this interview question to determine if you really love the role and are not simply looking for a job. To answer this question effectively, demonstrate your affection for children and your desire to make a positive impact in their lives. Hiring managers usually prefer candidates who are caring, gentle and kind, while also being firm and detail-oriented.
Example: "Ever since I volunteered for a programme that provides children with various educational activities, I've wanted to help take care of children. I see the potential of helping them learn in an age-appropriate manner and being a positive influence in their lives."
2. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of working in child care?
Hiring managers usually ask this interview question to assess your experience in child care. To answer this question effectively, be humble and honest. You can discuss a challenging situation you encountered in your previous role and describe how you resolved it. Consider using the STAR method, which focuses on the situation, task, action and result of the experience you're describing.
Example: "Caring for children of this age group definitely keeps me alert. It's also the age where many child care providers notice behavioural issues and learning disabilities. In my previous job, I encountered a child who has a learning disability. To help them learn, I did my best to spend extra time with them after every lesson. While other children worked on their assigned tasks, I would pay close attention to the child and provide guidance when needed. Though some days were frustrating, others were so fulfilling when they finally understood the learning activity,"
3. How do you handle an angry or upset parent in a child care setting?
Hiring managers ask this interview question to understand your approach to conflict. Parents often have high expectations of child care facilities, so you may face upset parents during your tenure. To answer this question effectively, highlight your ability to analyse the complaint and diffuse the situation. Demonstrate your willingness to listen to parent complaints and your desire to achieve a positive resolution.
Example: "When a parent first shows signs of being upset, I stay calm. I always approach parents in child care with understanding, even if I believe they're in the wrong. I would invite them for a meeting so we can talk about the problem. During the meeting, I would ask them questions and gather as much information as possible to offer solutions. I would diffuse the tension by cooperating and listening to what they have to say."
4. What's your philosophy about caring for infants in a child care setting?
Hiring managers ask this interview question to determine if your philosophy and comfort level matches what the centre can deliver. For example, some child care professionals may insist on a very low infant-to-caregiver ratio. If you feel you can only handle two infants at one time, but the centre you're applying to assigns four babies to each care provider, a different role might be better for you.
To answer this question effectively, understand the centre's infant-to-caregiver ratio preferences and mention what you believe is the right infant-to-caregiver ratio. Be realistic about the number of infants you can handle at one time.
Example: "While I strongly believe that lower infant-to-caregiver ratios are better, as this can help caregivers perform their job effectively, I'm comfortable caring for up to three infants at one time."
5. What makes you a good fit for this institution?
Hiring managers ask this question to determine if you're a good fit for their child care facility. Different child care institutions look for different qualities in their prospective child care provider. To answer this question effectively, prove to the hiring manager that you conducted a fair amount of research on the facility and understand its goals and overall character.
Example: "When I found this job, I immediately browsed your website. Through my research, I realised that this was a very forward-thinking child care facility that even had an onsite therapist for the children. I believe I would be a good fit for the role because I share many of the same values that you exhibit on both your website and on the grounds. I have many insightful and modern ideas, and I'm excited about fitting them into your vision and goals."
6. What activities do you think are most beneficial to children in this setting?
Hiring managers may target this question to the particular age group they're hiring a caregiver for. If they're looking for a child care professional who can manage their toddler room, they may evaluate the candidate's experience and understanding of that age group. For example, toddlers have short attention spans, so the centre may prefer a candidate who is fun, educational and has several ideas that alternate between energetic and quiet. To answer this question effectively, demonstrate your experience working with the age group the employer is asking about. Also, demonstrate your creativity and ability to plan varied activities.
Example: "Toddlers are active and interested. It's important to change learning activities every 30 minutes or so. I always provide several opportunities to allow them to let out their energy.”
7. How does personality affect the success of this age group?
The demeanour and overall personality of a child care provider may have a significant impact on the quality of care that children receive. Hiring managers ask this interview question to evaluate your understanding of this profound effect and your opinion on it. To answer this question effectively, describe your personality within the child care facility.
Example: "A child care provider's personality definitely affects the quality of care. It can be challenging to keep children's attention, and speaking only in monotone can exacerbate that issue. I have a positive, outgoing personality, which can be great for the position. In a child care centre, however, I try to be more outgoing and engaging to capture the children's attention."
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