17 Daycare Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a daycare teacher, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Providing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment for young children is the goal of every daycare teacher. And while experience and a degree in early childhood education are certainly helpful, being able to answer common daycare teacher interview questions successfully is key to getting the job.

Daycare teacher interviews will likely focus on your experience with children, your approach to child development, and your ideas about creating a supportive learning environment. You may also be asked about your ideas for organizing and running a daycare classroom.

To help you get started, we’ve gathered some common daycare teacher interview questions and answers. Reviewing these questions and thinking about your own responses will help you feel confident when you walk into your interview.

Are you certified or licensed to work with children?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine whether you have the necessary qualifications for working with children. If you are not certified or licensed, explain what steps you took to become qualified and how it helped you in your career.

Example: “I am a certified teacher who has worked with children of all ages for over 10 years. I love my job because I get to work with kids every day and help them learn new things. My certification allows me to teach without supervision, which gives me more freedom to create lesson plans that best suit the needs of my students.”

What are your greatest strengths as a daycare teacher?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their team. They want to know what makes you unique as a teacher, so be sure to highlight any skills or abilities that make you stand out from other candidates.

Example: “My greatest strength is my ability to connect with children of all ages. I have worked with many different types of kids, and I feel like I can relate to most of them. I am also very good at encouraging others to do their best work. In previous positions, I noticed that some teachers were not always supportive of each other, but I made it a point to encourage my colleagues and help them improve their teaching methods.”

How would you handle a child who is upset or crying?

This question can give the interviewer insight into how you interact with children who are experiencing challenging emotions. It is important to show that you have empathy and patience when working with upset children, as this can help you create a safe environment for them to express themselves.

Example: “I would first try to calm the child down by holding them or sitting next to them until they feel comfortable enough to tell me what’s wrong. If I’m unable to get an answer from them, I will ask their parents if there is anything specific that may be upsetting them. Once I know what the problem is, I will do my best to solve it so that it doesn’t happen again.”

What is your experience with basic child development and education?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with teaching children of different ages and backgrounds. Use examples from your previous job or discuss what you have learned in school that can help you succeed as a daycare teacher.

Example: “I’ve worked with children for the past five years, starting out as an assistant teacher at my local preschool before moving on to work as a full-time teacher at a private elementary school. I also took several courses in child development during college, which helped me understand how young children learn best. This knowledge has helped me create engaging lesson plans and activities for the students I teach.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to discipline a child.

Discipline is an important part of teaching, and employers want to know that you can handle situations like this. In your answer, try to show the interviewer that you are able to be firm but also compassionate when disciplining a child.

Example: “I once had a student who was very disruptive in class. I tried talking with him about his behavior, but he didn’t seem to understand why it was disrupting others. Eventually, I decided to take away one of his toys for the rest of the day as a consequence for his actions. He seemed upset at first, but after a few minutes he went back to playing with the other children. After that, he behaved much better.”

If a parent is late to pick up their child, what would you do?

Parents sometimes have unexpected delays when picking up their child from daycare. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle these situations in a calm and professional manner. In your answer, explain that you would try to keep the child occupied until the parent arrives. You should also let the parents know what is going on so they are not worried about their child’s whereabouts.

Example: “If a parent was late to pick up their child, I would first try to distract the child with an activity or snack. If the parent still hasn’t arrived after 10 minutes, I would call the parent to see if there was any delay. I would then tell the child that their parent will be arriving soon. This way, the child isn’t left wondering where their parent is.”

What would you do if a child was allergic to an ingredient in a meal you prepared for the entire group?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your ability to handle challenging situations and make decisions that benefit the entire group. In your answer, demonstrate your problem-solving skills by describing how you would address the situation while keeping the child’s best interests in mind.

Example: “If I learned of a child’s allergy before preparing their meal, I would find an alternative ingredient or prepare something else entirely. If I found out after serving it, I would try my best to calm the child and help them understand why they couldn’t eat what was served. Then, I would take steps to ensure everyone had access to a nutritious meal.”

How well do you handle stress?

Daycare teachers often work with young children, which can be a stressful situation. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to handle stress and remain calm in these situations. In your answer, explain how you manage stress and provide an example of a time when you did so successfully.

Example: “I find that I am able to handle stress quite well. When working with young children, there are always going to be moments where they get upset or distracted. I try my best to remain calm during these times, as it helps me better communicate with them. For instance, last week one of the kids was throwing a fit because he didn’t want to eat his lunch. Instead of getting frustrated, I calmly explained why he needed to eat his food. He listened to me and ate his lunch.”

Do you have any questions for us about the daycare teacher position?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research about the position and are interested in learning more. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about the daycare, its policies or the community it serves.

Example: “I am very excited about this role because I love working with children of all ages. However, I do have a few questions about the program. First, I noticed that there are two other teachers who work alongside the lead teacher. Is there a reason why there are three teachers per class? Also, I was wondering if you could tell me more about the curriculum you use here at the school.”

When do you think is the best time to discipline a child?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your disciplinary style. They want to know how you handle discipline and when you think it’s most effective. In your answer, explain what factors influence the best time for you to discipline a child.

Example: “I believe that there is no one right time to discipline a child. It depends on the situation and the child. For example, if I notice a child has been acting out all day but then suddenly stops, I would wait until later in the day to talk with them about their behavior. If they are still acting out at that point, I would address it immediately. However, if they have stopped for the rest of the day, I would give them another chance before addressing the issue.”

We want to improve our outdoor space. If you were in charge of this project, what changes would you make?

This question is a great way to see how you would use your creativity and problem-solving skills in the classroom. When answering this question, it can be helpful to include specific examples of what you would do to improve the outdoor space.

Example: “I think one of the most important things we can do for our children is get them outside as much as possible. I would start by making sure that all of the equipment was safe and usable. Then, I would make sure there were plenty of activities available for the kids to play on. For example, I would add more slides and swings so they could have fun while getting exercise.”

Describe your favorite activity to do with a group of children.

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your teaching style and how you interact with children. Your answer should include an example of what you did, why it was your favorite activity and how it helped the children learn or develop important skills.

Example: “My favorite activity to do with a group of children is a game called ‘I Spy.’ I use this game when introducing new vocabulary words to the kids. For instance, if we are learning about animals, I will say something like, ‘I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter A,’ and then the kids have to guess what animal I am talking about. This helps them learn new vocabulary while having fun.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or experience that makes you unique from other candidates. You may also want to mention something that relates to the job description.

Example: “I have been working in childcare for five years now, but I still love my job as much as when I started. I think what makes me stand out is my passion for teaching children. I am always looking for new ways to engage kids and make learning fun. I also believe that I am an excellent communicator, which helps me build strong relationships with both parents and students.”

Which age group do you prefer to work with?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you are a good fit for their school. It also helps them understand your teaching style and how it may differ from other teachers in the same facility. When answering this question, try to be honest about which age group you prefer while also explaining why you enjoy working with that age group.

Example: “I have worked with children of all ages, but I find that I really enjoy working with preschool-aged children. They’re at such an exciting time in their lives where they’re learning so much, and I love being able to teach them new things. I feel like I’m making a real difference in their lives when I work with this age group.”

What do you think is the most important skill for a daycare teacher to have?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a strong understanding of what it takes to be successful in this role. When answering, consider which skills are most important for your own success as a teacher and highlight those.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills for a daycare teacher is patience. It’s essential to remain calm when working with young children who may not understand something right away or who may get upset. Patience also helps teachers stay positive even when things get hectic. I am always patient with my students because I know they’re learning and growing every day.”

How often do you think a child should be outside playing?

This question can help an interviewer understand your philosophy on outdoor play. It’s important to consider the climate of the community you’re interviewing for and how often children are likely to be outside in that area. You should also think about what kinds of activities you plan to do with the children when they’re outside, such as games or sports.

Example: “I believe a child should spend at least half of their day outdoors playing. I like to incorporate plenty of physical activity into my lessons so the kids get plenty of exercise throughout the day. In my last position, we had a large playground where we could run around and play tag or other running games. We also played kickball and soccer during our recess time.”

There is a bug in the classroom. What would you do?

This question is a behavioral one that tests your problem-solving skills. It also shows the interviewer how you would react to an unexpected situation in the classroom. In your answer, describe what steps you would take to solve this issue and reassure the interviewer of your ability to remain calm under pressure.

Example: “If there was a bug in the classroom, I would first try to identify it. If it’s harmless, I would leave it alone. However, if it’s harmful, I would remove all children from the room and call my supervisor for advice on how to proceed. Once the children are safe, I would capture the bug and release it outside.”


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