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Child Care Worker Interview Questions

Illustration of a childcare worker, holding a child. Toys, books, and other playtime objects adorn the ground. Text reads:
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Child care workers are responsible for the basic needs of children and play an important role in fostering early childhood development. Child care worker duties and responsibilities, including overseeing play, preparing and serving snacks, changing diapers, organizing activities and keeping a record of each child’s progress.

When hiring a child care worker, look for ​​valid CPR and first-aid certifications, a caring and compassionate attitude and patience. Great candidates for your child care worker role may also have teaching experience, problem-solving skills, creativity and strong interpersonal skills.

Ask 5-10 of the following interview questions to get a better sense of a candidate’s child care skills and experience.


  1. What is your favorite part of being a child care worker and why? See answer
  2. What do you find most challenging about caring for children? See answer
  3. How have you dealt with upset or angry parents in a child care setting? See answer
  4. What is your philosophy about caring for infants in a child care setting? See answer
  5. What activities do you feel are most beneficial to children in this setting? See answer
  6. Child care workers are responsible for being kind and understanding when working with the children in their care, even when they are overwhelmed or irritated. This question gives interviewers a chance to learn what coping strategies the candidate uses to stay calm and respectful when kids are acting out, causing disruptions or ignoring instruction. A strong response demonstrates understanding that kids can be annoying at times while still being empathetic with the child’s perspective.
  7. Are you CPR certified?
  8. What age group do you least enjoy working with and why?
  9. What action would you take if you suspected a child in your care had an unaddressed learning disability?
  10. 10, What strategies do you use to discipline children in this age group?
  11. How would you teach an activity while addressing all kinds of learning and communication styles?
  12. Are you familiar with local child protection regulations and best practices?
  13. How do you start building a rapport and developing trust with a new child in your care?
  14. What crafts, games and activities do you most enjoy leading during recreational time?
  15. Have you ever worked with sibling groups? How do you handle the sibling dynamic within a larger group setting?
  16. What strategies would you use to help a shy student exhibiting withdrawn behavior to engage with others?
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6 Child Care Worker Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What is your favorite part of being a child care worker and why?

A:

It takes a great deal of patience to care for children, so you want to ensure that your candidate really loves the role and is not simply seeking a job. Watch for signs of affection for children as well as a desire to make a positive difference in children’s lives. You’ll want to hire someone who is kind, gentle and caring while also being firm and detail-oriented. What to look for in an answer:

  • Playful attitude and a love of children
  • Desire to positively impact the lives of children
  • Experience in caregiving
Example:

“Ever since I volunteered to participate in educational activities for children at my local library, I have wanted to help take care of children. I see the potential of being a positive influence in their lives and helping them learn in an age-appropriate manner.”

Q:

What do you find most challenging about caring for children?

A:

Children can be difficult to care for on a daily basis. You’re looking for a realistic and honest answer of the things this candidate finds the hardest. If a candidate cannot come up with anything challenging, that should be a red flag for inexperience. Look at not only the challenge but how the candidate approaches the difficulty as a child care worker. What to look for in an answer:

  • Honest answer reflecting child care experience
  • How candidate deals with the challenge
  • Realistic expectations about child care job
Example:

“I find disciplining bad behavior the most difficult aspect of child care, but I understand it takes time to gain control and respect of the children.”

Q:

How have you dealt with upset or angry parents in a child care setting?

A:

Parents can have very high expectations of child care facilities. Your child care workers will inevitably face upset parents during their tenure, and this question is designed to help you understand the candidate’s approach to conflict. See if the candidate focuses on listening to the complaint and diffusing the situation. Argumentative individuals may add fuel to the fire in situations of parental complaints and conflict. What to look for in an answer:

  • A willingness to listen to parental complaints
  • An approach that focuses on diffusing the situation, not defending themselves
  • Flexibility and a desire to achieve a positive resolution
Example:

“I understand that, when parents make a complaint, they are simply seeking the best for their children. I try to listen and resolve the situation.”

Q:

What is your philosophy about caring for infants in a child care setting?

A:

If you’re seeking someone to take care of babies, you’ll want to ensure that the candidate’s comfort level and philosophy matches what your center can deliver. For instance, some child care workers may insist on a very low baby-to-caregiver ratio. If your candidate feels that they can only care for two babies at one time but your center assigns four babies to each caregiver, the match will not work. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding infant-to-caregiver ratio preferences
  • Experience with this special age group
  • Evaluating preferences in working with this group
Example:

“Although I strongly believe that lower baby-to-caregiver ratios are better, I am comfortable with caring for up to three babies at one time.”

Q:

What activities do you feel are most beneficial to children in this setting?

A:

You can target this question to the particular age group you are hiring for. If you’re looking for a child care worker to manage your toddler room, you’ll want to evaluate experience and understanding of that age group. For instance, attention spans are short, so you’ll want a child care worker to have many ideas that alternate between quiet and energetic as well as educational and fun. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with the age group you’re hiring for
  • An understanding of that age group
  • Creativity and planning of varied activities
Example:

“Toddlers are interested and active. It’s important to change activities every 20 minutes or so and provide plenty of opportunities to get the wiggles out.”

Q:

Child care workers are responsible for being kind and understanding when working with the children in their care, even when they are overwhelmed or irritated. This question gives interviewers a chance to learn what coping strategies the candidate uses to stay calm and respectful when kids are acting out, causing disruptions or ignoring instruction. A strong response demonstrates understanding that kids can be annoying at times while still being empathetic with the child's perspective.

A:

Successful responses to this interview question include:

  • Accountability for being the adult in the situation
  • Stress relief strategies
  • Patience and tact
Here is one example of a good response to this question that shows the candidate's aptitude for being patient with children:
Example:

"I always try to approach people from a place of understanding and empathy, whether I am working with children or adults. At my last job as a receptionist at a pediatrician's office, I frequently had kids run up to me from the waiting room to ask questions and play with the pens at the desk. When I got frustrated, I would take deep breaths and wait five seconds before politely redirecting the kids back to the toys in the waiting room. This helped me stay calm and focused while still being kind to others."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021