Childcare Worker Career

childcare-worker-500Child care workers provide nurturing care for children when their parents are at work.

In general, they maintain a safe play environment, monitor, observe and draw conclusions about children’s behavior and learning progress, and plan activities that foster children’s ability to achieve developmentally appropriate goals. They may work with a lead teacher or director to plan these activities, and the place they’re employed may provide resources for this as well. They also communicate with parents regularly, at the beginning and end of the day.

Childcare Worker Career Snapshot

Child care workers typically work at a day care center, child care center or after school program at a public or private school. Child care centers are certified by the state they’re located in, and the requirements vary from state to state. Self-employment is a possibility through a home day care service, and this requires additional certifications and inspections from the state you live in.

Further details on a career as a childcare worker are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual pay for childcare workers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a High school diploma while 13% have an Associate’s degree.

Childcare Worker Education

Typically, a child care worker may have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or even elementary education. The minimum requirements to be employed as an assistant vary from state to state, but you typically have to have taken at least child development at some point in your education. Fifty-two percent of child care workers have only a high school diploma or equivalent.

Childcare Worker Job Outlook

Child care employment is expected to grow 5 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities are also expected to be favorable. Many households have two working parents nowadays, so the need for affordable child care will always exist.

Childcare Worker Salaries

According to May 2016 reports, the average yearly salary for a child care worker is $21,174, and can vary based on a specific position. Lead teachers are typically paid more for being more educated, while associate teachers and assistants are paid less.

Childcare Worker Job Duties

Depending on the type of children they work with, a child care worker will attend to children’s most basic needs, including bathing and feeding. Older preschool aged children participate in basic literacy, math and shared play activities planned by the child care worker. Those employed in an after school program may assist older children with their homework. They are often expected to communicate with parents and other colleagues and should be comfortable contacting parents throughout the day in case their child is sick or injured.

Childcare Worker Skills & Traits

Childcare Worker Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Childcare Workers:Typical Work Activities:
• Monitoring
• Service Orientation
• Speaking
• Critical Thinking
• Oral Expression
• Oral Comprehension
• Problem Sensitivity
• Speech Clarity
• Balance or gross motor equipment
• Emergency medical services first aid kits
• Mobile phones
• Oral liquid medication syringes
• Assisting and Caring for Others
• Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
• Getting Information
• Training and Teaching Others

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