Childcare Worker Job Description

WHAT DO CHILDCARE WORKERS DO?

Childcare workers take care of children while their parents are working or away. Working in childcare centers, or out of their homes, childcare workers take keep children safe and care for their everyday needs. This includes diapering babies and toddlers, feeding, dressing, grooming, medical appointments or other activities, and making sure homework gets done.

Childcare workers keep kids active, play games, and sometimes discipline children when they misbehave, and report back to the parents when necessary. Childcare workers also create enrichment activities for children of all ages, helping them learn basic concepts and get ready for kindergarten.

Childcare workers in daycare centers or Head Start/Early Head Start programs might have a more structured curriculum, as well as regular daily schedules for kids. Childcare workers working from home may be less structured, but must meet similar standards.

HOW MUCH DO CHILDCARE WORKERS MAKE?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) childcare workers made $9.28/hour in 2010, or $19,300 a year.

WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?

Although they vary by state, a high school diploma is generally all the education that is needed to start as a childcare worker. However more employers are looking for candidates with at least an associate's degree in childhood education or similar. As of 2013, Head Start programs require that workers must at least be enrolled in an associate's degree program for early childhood education or similar.

Some states and some employers require certification, such as a Child Development Associate (CDA) certification or the Child Care Professional (CCP) certification. Additionally, CPR certification, and first aid training, and a valid driver's license will help you outperform the competition.

Some states also require facilities and home childcare workers to be licensed.

JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS

  • Communication and People Skills: Childcare workers spend most of their day with children, and will need to tell stories, ask and answer questions, as well as report back to parents and understand any instructions given to you.
  • Instructional Skills: Childcare workers need to be able to explain instructions clearly and in a way kids can understand.
  • Patience: Children can be frustrating, especially around nap time. Being patient will help you when tense situations arise.
  • Stamina: Kids are bundles of energy, and nannies need the energy to match. Carrying children, diaper bags, etc. require strength.

THE FUTURE OF CHILDCARE WORKERS

The need for childcare workers will grow faster than average between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS.