What Do Child Care Workers Do?
Working parents depend on child care workers to provide the best possible supervision and care for their children below pre-school age. Child care workers do everything from dressing, feeding, and bathing to play oversight in settings rangingfrom schools to day care centers to businesses to private homes. Employment in this field is projected to increase by 14% across the United States over the next several years. Data indicates a potential addition of 57,000 jobs annually.
Child Care Workers Skills and Abilities
Unlike other career fields, those interested in becoming child care workers must have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with both adults and children. Child care workers must be able to express themselves both verbally and in writing, as well as having strong written and verbal comprehension skills to understand information being communicated to them. Other skills and abilities necessary in this line of work include:
- Knowledge of safety and security procedures
- Customer and personal service skills
- Social perceptiveness in dealing with children and parents
- Problem sensitivity to recognize potential or existing problems
Child Care Workers Duties
The duties and responsibilities of child care workers are extensive and comprise administrative, supervisory and child care activities including maintaining daily records for each child, assigning schedules and duties to employees and teaching basic skills to the children. Other important duties consist of the following:
- Cleaning toys, desks, cots and so forth
- Organizing activities and events
- Preparing meals
- Monitor children’s health and behavior
- Taking children to school, activities or appointments.
The duties of child care workers range from changing diapers and cleaning bathrooms to creating and teaching developmentally appropriate lessons.
Child Care Workers Tools and Technology
The tools used in a child care setting differ greatly from the tools needed in other types of employment. As a child care worker, you will interact with alarms, passenger vehicles, car seats, playground equipment, and toys of many varieties. In addition, you will need a thorough understand of these technologies:
- Calendar and scheduling software programs
- Computer based educational software
- Internet browsers
- Word processing software
Education and Training for Child Care Workers
To pursue a career in child care, one needs at least a high school diploma or the equivalent, however, over 25% of those employed in this field also have some college education as well. Much of the time, there is no experience required to obtain a position as a child care worker, and there is often a short period of on-the-job-training at the beginning of your employment. For those with some college or who wish to obtain a degree in the child care field, you can expect to take courses in the following areas:
- Child Nutrition
- Educational technology
- Recognizing abuse
- Language Arts
- Special needs
Child Care Workers Salary
Across the United States, the median hourly wage for Child care workers is approximately $9.50 with the lower 10% earning nearly $8.00 per hour and the upper 90% earning just over $14.00 per hour. The median annual salary is close to $20,000 while the lower 10% earn around $16,500 per year and the upper 90% earn just over $30,000 per year.
Child Care Workers Jobs by Geography
Jobs in this field exist throughout the U.S. and her territories. The greatest child care job growth is projected to occur in Guam, Puerto Rico, Georgia, Arizona, and Texas with increases in need ranging from 24 to 30 percent over the next few years. Salary data shows that in recent years the highest salaries for child care workers were in New York, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Alaska and California with earnings ranging from $23,000 to $25,000 annually.