Interview Questions to Ask About Discipline

Nannies, Au Pairs & Parents Need to Be On the Same Page When Disciplining Children

There may be no topic more important for nanny candidates to ask potential employers than how the parents’ discipline their children. All childcare providers discipline (teach) children each and every day. During the job interview with potential employers is when you should first discuss their discipline style and strategies and how they plan to support you in your efforts to teach their children.

When caring for children it is always more effective to have the parents and nannies on the same page right from the start of a working relationship. It is important to know before accepting a nanny job If the parents are authoritative, yell, or spank the children, since most nannies won’t feel comfortable working in such an environment.

Ask Parents the Following Questions:

1. What is your discipline style?

2. Specifically, how would you punish each of your children if their behavior requires punishment?

3. Are you consistent with your discipline style?

4. How will you support me when disciplining the children?

5. Are you open to my using different and new creative methods of discipline?

6. Can you assure me that you will never spank or use unnecessary harshness or spank the kids when disciplining your children?

7. How and when will we meet each week to discuss issues about the children?

What questions do you ask parents when interviewing for a nanny or au pair job?


  1. Do you have a cleaning lady, housekeeper, chef, dog walker, or other household help? Do you have pets? Are you willing to meet with me on a regular basis so that we can discuss how things are going? Will you pay part of childcare related classes, workshops, and professional conferences? What is the rate for overnight or 24 hour duty? Will you pay for my CPR/First Aid certification or renewal?Do you plan on using video cameras to monitor children’s and nanny’s activities? What are the kids’ favorite activities? Will you pay for all car expenses?Will there be petty cash?What is your back up plan if I am sick? Do the children have allergies?Do the children have special dietary needs that I should be aware of? What is most important to the parents about the care of their children?

  2. I read these questions to ask in your newsletter, Be the Best Nanny Newsletter. I think it was Betty Davis (don’t quote me) that listed these questions. Hard to remember but I am pretty certain it was her. I have kept them in my portfolio.1. Who was your best caregiver and why? 2. What would be a perfect day in the mind ofyour children? 3. Why did your last caregiver leave?4. What are the most important characteristics you are looking for in a caregiver?Susan P., Newborn Specialist, Nanny 10 yrs, Wash DC

  3. The only other thing I can think of to ask might be a hypothetical situation. You might want to ask the parents “If (child’s name) were to push or hit his sister what would you want me to do?” Or another typical discipline issue that children and nannies often experience.Maria L., Miami FL

  4. Parents and nannies are on their best behavior during interviews and although they don’t intentionally mislead one another when asked about how they discipline children they answer how they think the other wants to hear. Who admits they yell at kids? No one. But, in stressful moments with kids we make mistakes. Just not really possible to know how parents discipline and how they want you to discipline until you are actually living and working in their home.

  5. Great questions overall. Should set nannies/au pairs up for a wonderful year if they can answer these as best possible and then plan to conform to each other’s styles. The only thing I can add:Will you support me in front of the children even if you disagree with the discipline I used (and then correct me later out of their earshot) – so the children don’t become confused.

  6. HiI read this post two times.I like it so much, please try to keep posting.Let me introduce other material that may be good for our community.Source: Tough interview questionsBest regardsHenry

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