Job Title: Daycare Provider For Our Daughter

The research. The networking. The thrill of the first call. The interview … from the first “no way in hell” to the last “that person was awesome,” I loved every minute of our daycare search. Yep. You read that right …

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Before you call me out as the most insane mom you’ve ever met, I have a confession to make: I may have a bit of an advantage. You see, it’s my profession and passion as a corporate recruiter to network, read resumes, assess candidates’ skills and experience, work with the interview team to select the best person for the opportunity and finally, to put the offer on the table.

The thought of filling the most “hard to fill” job I have ever recruited for (Job Title: Daycare Provider For Our Daughter) didn’t intimidate me one bit; it motivated me and challenged me. I actually get excited just thinking back on the process. I am weird. I know that many moms don’t share the same energy and excitement for their daycare searches – probably far from it – so I thought I’d share a few tips that were helpful to my husband and I as we searched for and selected our daycare provider.

Ladies, put on your “recruiter” hats and let’s get started!

What’s your job description? In the recruiting world, we sometimes see enormous lists of skills and qualifications within job postings; often, every single item is listed as “required.” These lists are unrealistic and usually don’t end up resulting in qualified candidates. Your job description for your daycare provider simply can’t say,“Take care of my precious daughter that I love with my whole entire being while I am at work. Care for her and play with her as I would. Kiss the top of her head and tuck her in for naps just like me. Love her with your whole heart.” Bottom line: no one can do the job just like you. Focus on what is most important to you and what is optional. Write down your requirements (ex: must have a state license and a background check on file) and what you would prefer (ex: willing to use cloth diapers) and refer to them throughout your search.

Recruiting is a process, not an event. All recruiters know that recruiting takes time. You don’t walk into work one day, read some resumes and say “I’m going to fill that job opening today” then make an offer by the end of the day. It just. doesn’t. happen. Same goes when searching for your daycare provider. I think I drove my husband nuts by calling a few places at a time, talking on the phone a lot, visiting a few places here and there, putting our name on some wait lists, and then starting the process all over again. In total, we spent about six months searching, calling, visiting, and reference-checking before we chose our provider. It wasn’t six months, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week straight; it was an ongoing process.

Recruiters must be persistent. There are candidates that I or another recruiter on our team have had in our “pipeline” for a long time before the right opportunity came along to hire them into our organization (Hi Spencer! Hi Marie!). These are often people we have “courted” for months or even years, checking in on once in awhile to see where they are working, asking if they are looking for a new gig, updating them on our business, and just generally being friendly. The daycare provider that my husband and I selected for our daughter didn’t have an opening when we first called; I checked in a few times over the course of our search, but to no avail. Then a funny thing happened: she called us right before our daughter was born and said she may have an opening. We were still looking, so we interviewed with her, and it ended up working out!

Prepare to be interviewed. Hold the phone: you thought you were doing the interviewing, right? Think again. In the recruiting world, the strongest candidates will often have a list of questions and discussion points prepared for you in addition to what you have prepared for them. The best interviews we had with daycare providers were the ones where the providers had just as many questions for us as we had for them. As we interviewed one another, it was evident that they wanted to be our partners in care for our daughter. After one of our interviews, we crossed our fingers as we left and said, “I hope she picks us! In the end, she did, and we picked her, too.

Since it’s my profession and passion, I could “talk recruiting” all day long – but I’d love to hear your thoughts: What tips did you find helpful as you conducted your daycare search?

Hi, friends! I’m Erin and I've called Kansas City home for over nine years. I am the girl who always thought I’d have kids by the time I turned twenty-five and swore I’d never meet my husband in a bar. I moved to KC right after college and lived it up for several years as a single, working woman for a wee little greeting card company here in town. Not only did I not have kids according to my self-imposed timeline, I ended up meeting my now-husband Eric at O'Dowd's on the Plaza! I have lived all over the metro and have explored the city as a single gal, a married woman, and now as a mama to my daughter, Lilly (born October 2012) and Baby #2 (due June 2015). This city has something for everyone—artists, musicians, farmers, athletes, technologists, families, innovators, and more—which is why I love it! I now live in western Shawnee, KS where my husband and I tend to a 500 square foot vegetable garden, host barbecues on our deck, cheer for the Chiefs, and pray for the day when Glacé or BRGR open locations that are closer than thirty minutes away.

1 COMMENT

  1. I feel like I want to go search for a baby sitter now! What a fun read Erin! I know it must be a hard but very important decision to make. I loved hearing how you did it1

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