When you own a family daycare and you want to hire an assistant it is a little different that hiring an employee for another business. I always recommend getting set up with your payroll and insurances before you start the interviewing process. Some providers may want to run their business very casual and think that paying under the table would be ok to start out. You will want to do everything the legal way for lots of reasons. 1st off you want to be legal so you don't get sued, have to pay for medical bills if there happens to be an accident, or chance getting your business shut down. I know some may want to take their chances on those, but the other benefits to hiring legally are worth it as well. If you are paying your assistant with taxes and social security being taken out, then you can write these costs off on your taxes. Otherwise you can't claim this expense. The cost of your employees will most likely be your biggest expense as a family childcare provider, you will want to write this off on your taxes! Another reason to pay your employees legally is because though you may be hiring at an entry level position, you will want your employees to see you as a professional. If your employees see you as a professional, they will more likely act professionally them self. As you gain respect with your families as a professional, there's nothing worse than having to give excuses for your staff if they are not caring for the image of your company. If you have worked so hard at building your company, you will want your employees to represent you well. Being professional from the get go with them will help them respect your professionalism as well.
This brings me to my next topic of where do you find great assistants? There are many places to find employees. Family and friends is one option. In my opinion, I do not recommend mixing friendships or family with business. The reason for this is, if there is ever an issue that needs to be handled, it may cause strife to a relationship, or worse never get addressed and can be a real downer for your business. So if not family or friends, putting an ad for employment is where you will want to start. Craigslist, care.com, employment agencies such as Indeed are good places to start. Local Facebook pages are also good options. One place that worked best for me is my local community college. They had a job board to put an ad up.
In your ad you will want to put your minimum requirements and what your rate of pay will be. Include what characteristics you are looking for in an employee as well. Putting a minimum education requirement is a great idea as well. If you are looking for an assistant with 12 ECE college units, you are more likely to find someone with a passion for working with children. They have already invested some time learning and may not need as much training. Requiring experience is helpful as well. This can help weed out those that may require lots of training. Also include the hours per week you will be needing an assistant.
You will need to come up with some interview questions to find a good fit for your daycare. When creating these questions you will want to include some that will help you get to know their work ethics's as well as their personality. When looking at their personalities make sure they would compliment yours! If you tend to have a driver personality, you may or may not want to have two of you. If you tend to be detail oriented and prefer things to be organized and orderly, you may not want to hire someone that is very easy going and chill. It's so important to find a friendly and cheerful person to represent your daycare well. You will be spending a lot of time with this person, you will want to enjoy being around them.
After you have found and selected who you feel is a good fit, it is important to have policies and procedures in place. Have an orientation day where you have them fill out all the nessasary legal paperwork as well as some guidelines you feel are important. These may change as the years go by depending on things you value, but having basic rules is important. Include things like cell phone use, how they record their hours, when payday is, and other expectations you may have. It's also important to have written your philosophy of you childcare in with your employee policies.
I would recommend having many opportunities to communicate with your employees on a regular basis. And create an evaluation form to use to every 6 months to check in with their performance. Work hard at building a great relationship with your employees and remember if you are hiring more than one, create opportunities for them to build teamwork skills and good relationships with each other.
Lastly make sure you treat your employees with excellent respect and friendliness. Buy them gifts, treat them to lunches or coffee occasionally, and keep a positive attitude around them. After investing time and effort into your employees, you will want to keep them happy.