ChildCare Worker

What Does a ChildCare Worker Do?

Childcare workers care for the basic needs of infants and toddlers, changing their diapers and preparing their meals. They also maintain the children’s schedules, such as play, nap, and meal times.They introduce babies and toddlers to basic concepts by reading to them and playing with them. For example, they teach young children how to share and take turns by playing games with other children.Childcare workers often watch school-aged children before and after school. They help these children with homework and ensure that they attend afterschool activities, such as athletic practices and club meetings.

Education Requirement

...Education and training requirements vary with settings, state regulations, and employer preferences. They range from less than a high school diploma to early childhood education certification.....Employers often prefer to hire workers with at least a high school diploma and, in some cases, some postsecondary education in early childhood education...Beginning in 2013, workers in Head Start programs must at least be enrolled in a program in which they will earn an associate’s degree in early childhood education or a child development credential.

Duties And Responsibilities

Childcare workers typically do the following:Supervise and monitor the safety of children in their carePrepare meals and organize mealtimes and snacks for childrenHelp children keep good hygieneChange the diapers of infants and toddlersOrganize activities so that children can learn about the world and explore interestsDevelop schedules and routines to ensure that children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtimeWatch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring the problems to the attention of parentsKeep records of children’s progress, routines, and interest

Skills and Aptitudes

Communication skills. Childcare workers must be able to talk with parents and colleagues about the progress of the children in their care. They need both good writing and speaking skills to provide this information effectively.Instructional skills. Childcare workers need to be able to explain things in terms young children can understand.Patience. Working with children can be frustrating, so childcare workers need to be able to respond to overwhelming and difficult situations calmly.People skills. Childcare workers need to work well with people to develop good relationships with parents, children, and colleagues.Physical stamina. Working with children can be physically taxing, so childcare workers should have a lot of energy

Work Environment

Childcare workers spend much of their day moving around the room to work with the children in their care. Carrying children, bending to lift children, and kneeling to be at eye level with children can be physically exhausting.Childcare workers held about 1.3 million jobs in 2010. They are employed in childcare centers, preschools, public schools, and private homes.Family childcare workers work in their own homes. They may convert a portion of their living space into a dedicated space for the children. About 30 percent of childcare workers were self-employed in 2010.

References Bureau of Labor Statistics Website