Finding and hiring a great daycare assistant can seem daunting at times. Sometimes it can feel like there aren’t any qualified people out there. To avoid onboarding & training mistakes the key is to not only have a great hiring process, but also a quality training system as well.
Even though the day care you worked so hard to open belongs to you, you cannot do all the jobs in a busy daycare facility. If you have several children who make that daycare their home every day, you may have rooms devoted to infants and to each age level up until early childhood.
So to know that each of those precious children are being cared for well, you must hire high quality daycare assistants that you can depend on and that you know will be your eyes, ears and hands to care for those children.
Avoid These Onboarding & Training Mistakes
Naturally when you think of hiring daycare assistants, there are the basics that you must do. Of course you are going to require a resume, some experience, references and a background check.
The safety of your children is paramount and in this day and age, being sure the daycare assistant you have caring for them are of rock solid character and aware of the proper way to handle children cannot be more important.
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Common Onboarding Mistakes
But beyond the basic requirements that the applicant is a trustworthy worker and one who has an interest in working with children, there is another level to being a daycare assistant that needs to be explored to find out how this potential worker will do when being with children for many hours a day, day in and day out five days a week.
There are aspects of character and personality type that make a good day care worker that will call upon you to develop some unique interviewing methods that are not necessary in other lines of work.
Interviewing A Daycare Assistant
You may wish to employ an interviewing method that brings out the real personality of the applicant. A lunch interview in which there is plenty of time to discuss likes and dislikes, share stories from the applicants childhood, learn a bit about his or her relationship with parents or where they are in their own parenting process can shed a lot of light on whether this is a good applicant for a daycare assistant position.
A young person who does not have children and who has not spent a lot of quantity time with children may have stars in her eyes about loving the little ones but not have the grit in her belly to deal with some of the tough times that working with the very young often bring as well.
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Let The Children Interview The Daycare Assistant
Now a lack of specific experience does not necessarily mean that this applicant will be a bad worker. Just being untried doesn’t mean inability or a lack of aptitude for the job. That is why one great interview method is to let the children interview him or her.
Schedule an hour or two to gather different groups of children from your daycare and simply put it out there to them by telling them, “Children, Susan here wants to be our daycare assistant. Do you have any questions?”
The variety of questions that will fly out of those little mouths will not only get you and the applicant laughing, they will be questions that you would have never thought or dared to ask. But when a five year old asks, “do you ever hit kids?” that kind of honesty is exactly what will surface the true daycare assistant in this applicant.
Moreover, you can watch the applicant’s face and the faces of the children as relationships form and get a feel for if this is a person who loves children or if they are getting on his or her nerves.
But even that level of interview may not surface issues that you need to know about. Temper is a big issue when dealing with children because as angelic as children are, they can become real devils sometimes.
A daycare assistant must be even tempered and be able to handle fights, sudden injuries, a bout of home sickness in a child or disobedience and administer the discipline prescribed by the daycare lovingly and without anger.
So a probationary period where it is understood that you or the applicant can walk away with no hard feelings can finalize the applicants qualifications as a daycare assistant you want to have in your daycare.
And once you find a good one, you never want to let her get away.