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Daycare Worker Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated February 3rd, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
Name for me three activities appropriate for children age 3-5.
View Answers
How to Answer
It's time to show the interviewer that you have what it takes to be a thoughtful, creative, and active daycare professional. Your response to this question is what could set you apart from other candidates, landing you the job! Think of the activities that your previous little students have loved the most, and be sure to draw in the educational component. If you are new to the child care and education industry, here are a few ideas to get you started:

- Puzzles (age appropriate)
- Matching games
- Letter tracing
- Scavenger hunts
- Musical chairs
- Eye-spy
30 Daycare Worker Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. Name for me three activities appropriate for children age 3-5.
  2. Do you have any fun or unique talents that a child would love?
  3. Why are you the best childcare worker for our center?
  4. What has been the most formative experience you've had in your work with young children and families?
  5. What do you consider key elements in a high quality daycare operation?
  6. How would you react if a child was choking?
  7. Are you currently certified in CPR and First Aid?
  8. We believe in regular professional development. What skills would you like to learn?
  9. Have you ever volunteered?
  10. Do you have any plans for continued education?
  11. Would you consider yourself a creative person?
  12. Do you prefer doing work on a routine day-to-day basis or do you prefer mixing up your routine?
  13. Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual?
  14. What is your favorite age group, and why?
  15. Is compensation the most important factor for you when taking a new job?
  16. How do you prevent stress from your personal life entering your professional life?
  17. Tell me about a time when you improved communication between yourself and a co-worker, a parent, or a child.
  18. Do you have experience with special needs children?
  19. How do you keep your emotions in check when your patience is tested?
  20. Are you able to perform the physically demanding activities related to this role?
  21. What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
  22. What do you most enjoy about working with children? What is the most challenging aspect for you?
  23. How do you handle working under very close supervision?
  24. Why did you choose a career path in child care?
  25. We hire only those with a perfect background check. Is there anything that would prevent you from passing these?
  26. How do you prevent medical situations like a food allergy trigger in your daycare?
  27. Have you ever identified signs of physical or emotional abuse of a child? If so, what action did you take?
  28. How would you reassure an angry or concerned parent that their child is receiving the best care?
  29. What part of being a daycare worker brings you the most stress?
  30. How would you handle a physical altercation between two children? How do you address the issue of bullying?
15 Daycare Worker Answer Examples
1.
Name for me three activities appropriate for children age 3-5.
It's time to show the interviewer that you have what it takes to be a thoughtful, creative, and active daycare professional. Your response to this question is what could set you apart from other candidates, landing you the job! Think of the activities that your previous little students have loved the most, and be sure to draw in the educational component. If you are new to the child care and education industry, here are a few ideas to get you started:

- Puzzles (age appropriate)
- Matching games
- Letter tracing
- Scavenger hunts
- Musical chairs
- Eye-spy

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I know that kids age 3-5 are curious about the world around them. They need to explore, keep their hands busy, work on their vocabulary, as well as master their hand-eye coordination. Some of the activities that my current class respond to best include jigsaw puzzles with images they are familiar with, the game eye-spy where we guess from colors shapes and sounds, and also musical activities such as musical chairs."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The top three activities I like for kids age 3-5 include one math, one musical, and one reading exercise. First, I would have kids trace numbers, so they get used to how it feels to write them down. The second activity I would choose as age appropriate would be games about animals and the sounds they make. I prefer to teach this knowledge through the use of visual aids and music. Next, I would introduce easy-to-read words so they can gain confidence early on when it comes to their reading abilities."
2.
Do you have any fun or unique talents that a child would love?
This question is another way for the interview to inquire about how you stand out from other candidates. Why should they hire you? Feel free to have fun with this question. You see, a child doesn't care that you have an education in early childhood development; a child cares about the fact that you're good at making cupcakes with them! Discuss which unique talents you would bring to this daycare center.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have played musical instruments all my life and enjoy bringing new sounds into the center for the kids. Every week I will bring in a new instrument for them to learn. These instruments have included a keyboard, guitar, harmonica, flute, and even a didgeridoo! These musical experiences are always well received by the children and their parents, alike."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Before going into child care as a career, I was training to be a pastry chef. We have a commercial kitchen in my current center and, once a month, I bake with the 5-year-olds. It's hilarious to see them try to measure and figure out a recipe. They are so proud to show their creations to their parents at pick-up time. These experiences are fun but are also teaching kids about reading, hand-eye coordination, following instructions, and even figuring out fractions!"
3.
Why are you the best childcare worker for our center?
Interviewers want to hear about that one unique skill that sets you apart from the other candidates applying for this job. Think of your answer as your 'elevator pitch' or your qualifying statement. If you can't think of ways that you are unique, ask a few friends or family members what they feel sets you apart from other people. Their observations may help you understand how you are perceived.

Perhaps you already know what sets you apart! This skill could include any additional industry related training, a second language, or how involved you are in the community. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. In an interview, you are your most influential advocate.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In addition to winning the 'Employee of the Year' award in my current daycare center this year, I also bring an elevated level of education compared to most candidates. I have my Degree in Early Childhood Education and have also taught Level I FirstAid courses. I look forward to bringing this knowledge and influence to your esteemed daycare."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am known to offer creative solutions for educating preschool children, an approach many of the parents at my current center have praised. I have seen a ton of change in the early childhood education curriculum over the last few years and have adapted to every change or innovation with ease and excitement."
4.
What has been the most formative experience you've had in your work with young children and families?
The interviewer wants to know about an experience you've had, within your child care career, that has left a lasting impression on you. Perhaps you worked with a special needs child, giving them the confidence to read aloud. Maybe you helped a child with an issue surrounding bullying. Whatever your experience, briefly tell your story to the interviewer. Show the hiring authority that you have a genuine passion for your career path in child care.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The most formative experience was when I worked with a child, one on one, who was 7 and could barely yet read. Professionals were throwing out a diagnosis that included dyslexia, ADHD and more. Her parents hired me to work with her for three months. The progress she made was astounding. I feel that my work with her saved her from embarrassment in school, and even potential medication. This experience truly was one of the most gratifying times of my career."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"During my internship, I was working in a preschool. One of the students there was so cute and affectionate with me. I didn't know why she was drawn to me so much, but it was endearing. At the end of my internship, she made me a homemade card and cookies. Later, I learned from the director that this child had lost her mom the year before. I believe she saw qualities in me that made her feel safe, cared for, and mothered. This experience made me reflect on the fact that we spend more time with these kids than their parents can, some days. This fact means that we have to be even more aware of our actions and the overall vibe that we are giving to the kids we care for."
5.
What do you consider key elements in a high quality daycare operation?
As a daycare professional, what tools and resources do you believe you should have, to be successful in your job? The interviewer would like to know what you expect from their facility, so they know that their offering will be a fit for you. Discuss what you think a high-quality daycare operation should provide to the families that choose them for child care.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that every daycare should have highly qualified staff, an excellent nutrition program, a formal curriculum, and a huge amount of accountability; whether that comes from a board of directors or regular assessments and quality checks. Every child should feel comfortable and safe, warm. I see all of these elements at your program which is one of the reasons I felt so compelled to apply here."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Clear communication between the daycare center and the families are the top of the list. When communication is clear, the environment feels harmonious. Second, I believe every daycare operation needs to be incredibly tidy, clean, and organized. Third, hiring only the best of the best so that each child is receiving top-shelf care every single day. I see these elements here and am very impressed by your overall offering."
6.
How would you react if a child was choking?
Your training in CPR will teach you exactly what to do if a child was choking; however, the interviewer wants to see that you can recall your training under pressure.

When a child is choking you should:

1. Assess if the child can cough. Coughing is the best way to remove a blockage.
2. If the child cannot cough, call 911 and begin back blows and abdominal thrusts.
3. If the child cannot breathe, start CPR. Due to the blockage, the CPR will need to be modified.
4. Give chest compressions and rescue breaths until the item becomes dislodged and the child begins to breathe.
5. When emergency care arrives, let the professionals take over.

Walk the interviewer through these steps, showing that you have absorbed your CPR training to the point where you would be helpful in an emergency.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Only once in my childcare career have I had to help a choking child. It was so scary, but I knew what to do. It's amazing how quickly my instincts kicked in. I called 911 and, while waiting for the EMS to arrive, I performed back blows and abdominal thrusts. Luckily, I was able to dislodge the item, and the child was okay in the end."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I recently completed my CPR certification and learned a lot. I know the correct steps to take when a child is choking, and how to modify CPR should the blockage not become dislodged after administering back blows and compressions. I hope never to have to use this training; however, should the situation arise, I am ready to help."
7.
Are you currently certified in CPR and First Aid?
Most daycare positions require certification in CPR, First Aid, or both. It's wise for you to bring your current certification with you so that the hiring authority can take a copy of your valid documents and keep them for your candidate file. If your certifications are not up to date, at the very least, you should go into the interview with a plan in place.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My CPR certification expired last week, but my First Aid is valid for another six months. There is a recertification course being offered next week, at the community college, and I am registered to attend. If you would like, you are more than welcome to take a copy of what I have, and I will send you my proof of recertification the moment I have it."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I recertified my CPR and First Aid just last month. I brought my certificates with me so that you could make a copy for my file. Are there any other certifications you like to see, in regards to health and safety?"
8.
We believe in regular professional development. What skills would you like to learn?
This question means excellent news for you as you'll likely be offered chances to expand your education, helping you to push your career path forward. Think of the areas which you would like additional training and knowledge.

Perhaps you want to know more about early childhood education techniques. Maybe you would like to know more on the administrative side so that you can be a program director one day. Be specific about your learning goals and show enthusiasm for the opportunity to develop yourself professionally.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"If I were to further my knowledge in any area, I would choose a course on child safety and security procedures. I believe this knowledge will help me to grow into a leadership opportunity down the road. I appreciate the opportunity for professional development and would eagerly participate in any coursework your facility recommends."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I would love the opportunity to help create a core curriculum one day. From the research I have done, that would mean further courses in early childhood education. I look forward to the opportunity to grow and develop with your organization. Thank you, in advance, for the chance at further education."
9.
Have you ever volunteered?
Did you know that, according to LinkedIn research, 1 in 5 hiring managers prefers to hire candidates with volunteer experience? This question is an excellent opportunity to discuss how you are involved in your community and that you commit time to help others. If you have volunteer experience, you have a leg-up on other candidates.

Many non-profit organizations have a long onboarding process with background checks and references required so if you need to gain volunteer experience pronto, here are some options for a quick turnaround:

- Raise money for a cause, like the Red Cross
- Donate blood on a regular rotation or organize a blood drive
- Have a craft or bake sale to raise funds for a charity close to your heart
- Run in a charity race where financial pledges are required
- Advise high-school and University students on a crowd-sourced advice platform like CareerVillage
- Write articles for non-profit organizations, for free
- Sponsor a business owner in a third world country using a platform like Kiva.org
- Volunteer at your church camp
- Clean up a local park
- Volunteer to tutor a student
- Foster animals for a rescue society

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I currently volunteer every Saturday at the local animal shelter. I help to organize adoption applications and also screen the applicants. It feels great to help out, and it melts my heart when we make a perfect pet-parent match."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"After I completed High School, I went to build homes for Habitat for Humanity over one summer. This summer was when I realized the heart that I have for helping children to get a solid start. I owe my interest in child care and education to that volunteer opportunity."
10.
Do you have any plans for continued education?
Daycare workers can enjoy a plethora of career choices within child care, and education, in numerous settings. Depending on the role, you may require a higher level of knowledge when it comes to teaching or child development topics. If you are interested in higher education, it is essential that you express your desire to work in tandem with your classes. The concern of the interviewer is that you will be hired, trained, and then want to leave your job to go back to school full time.

Some organizations will offer tuition support or a reimbursement program for their employees who wish to continue their education. If they do provide this type of perk, you can indeed show interest but make sure that your continued education aspirations are related to the industry and job. If you are a daycare worker, you want to avoid saying that you would like to take courses in zoology.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that continued education is always a good idea. I like to expand my knowledge of child development whenever possible. With that said, my job would always come first. I understand that you have a tuition reimbursement program for your employees seeking related coursework. I would be interested in learning more about this down the road."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As a daycare worker, continued education is vital to remain up to date and effective when teaching and leading my students. I am very interested in continued education opportunities. My current center has a few opportunities for professional development throughout the year, in which I always participate. Could you tell me more about your professional development and continued education opportunities?"
11.
Would you consider yourself a creative person?
Kids love fun, exploration, and creativity. Talk to the interviewer about any interest that you have in creative activities and how you have implemented your creative desires in the workplace. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a 'creative person,' there is a significant chance that you have made creative minded decisions as a daycare worker.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Having been a musician all my life, I do believe that I am a creative person. I grew up playing the piano and still practice a couple of times per week. The kids I work with love it when I bring my keyboard. They dance and sing, and it's so sweet to see them express their creativity through music."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Yes, I do consider myself to be a creative individual. I will often work with my students on hands-on projects. I believe in the use of multi-media to teach, and learn, which takes a great deal of creativity."
12.
Do you prefer doing work on a routine day-to-day basis or do you prefer mixing up your routine?
The interviewer would like to know your preference when it comes to a predictable versus an unpredictable work routine. Working with children, you have a bit of both! You will have a set schedule in the daycare center, to provide structure for your students. However; kids' behavior is entirely unpredictable and no day will be the same.

Discuss with the interviewer if you are the individual who prefers to know what the method will be for the day, or if you thrive on the challenge and excitement of unpredictability. It's best to display a balance between the two, using the most current position in your answer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"No day is the same when you are caring for and educating children. I wouldn't have it any other way! I prefer to switch up the day, offer my students time to move around, have fun, and learn through exploration. With that said, the schedule is the same every day so that the kids have a routine. I do switch up the activities, games, and songs to keep it fresh."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"No day is the same when you are in the child care industry. I prefer to switch up the day, offer my students time to move around, have fun, and learn through exploration. With that said, kids do need routine as well. I always let them know what to expect in their day, so there are few surprises present in that sense."
13.
Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual?
Being a trustworthy and honest person is a significant requirement when you are working with other people's children. The interviewer would like to know how others see you. It is easy to say that you are trustworthy and honest, but it's best if you can back it up with a review or words from a previous supervisor. If you have a written performance review, talking about your character, even better!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am proud to say that my clients, co-workers, and family all see me as trustworthy and honest. I take great pride in my positive reputation. I have asked my most recent employer for a written review, which they are crafting right now. I would be happy to send it to you once it's ready."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"People see me as trustworthy and honest. I would not have it any other way. When you call my references, they will comment on my high morals and strong values. I pass these along to my students as well."
14.
What is your favorite age group, and why?
The interviewer would like to know which age group of children you prefer to care for, and what your reasoning is behind your response. Some people love the baby stage, while others adore older kids who you can reason with and teach. Whatever your answer, be sure to avoid pigeonholing yourself into one age category. Be sure you understand the age of care offered by the hiring daycare center, before your interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I love kids of all ages; however, I would say that age 2-4 is my favorite. Preschool children, such as the ages you care for at this center, are so curious, inquisitive, and eager to learn. The attributes of preschoolers make it fun and rewarding to teach them the basics of math, reading, and socializing."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Kids aged 1-2 are so sweet and funny and, although more challenging to care for, I can't get enough. It's gratifying to work with children who are so young. I love helping them to develop a solid foundation right from the start. When your job advertisement asked for experience from baby to preschool kids, I knew I needed to apply!"
15.
Is compensation the most important factor for you when taking a new job?
Depending on your region, the interviewer may not be allowed to ask you what you currently earn. This question will enable them to open up the compensation question without coming off too strong. The interviewer would like to know how much emphasis you put on pay when considering a new position. In addition to compensation, there are many other factors to a fulfilling career. These other factors may include:

- work/life balance
- overall medical and health benefits
- amount of vacation time
- the type of kids you would be working with
- the location of the daycare
- career growth opportunity
- the size of your new childcare team
- the center's reputation
- overall workplace culture

Talk to the interviewer about other factors that are important to you when considering a new job. If you are not sure on details for this role, you can ask!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Salary is important to me because I know that I am skilled and well educated in the child care space. With that said, I do look at the full picture which includes factors such as benefits and the amount of paid vacation time."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Several factors are important to me when taking a job. Compensation is a driving component but so is the daycare's overall mission, culture, benefits, and location. I am looking to have an easier commute than I currently experience, and I'd love to join a highly supportive team."
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