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Working As a Child Care Worker

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Deal with People

  • $25,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Child Care Worker Do

Childcare workers provide care for children when parents and other family members are unavailable. They attend to children’s basic needs, such as bathing and feeding. In addition, some help children prepare for kindergarten or help older children with homework.

Duties

Childcare workers typically do the following:

  • Supervise and monitor the safety of children in their care
  • Prepare and organize mealtimes and snacks for children
  • Help children keep good hygiene
  • Change the diapers of infants and toddlers
  • Organize activities or implement a curriculum that allows children to learn about the world and explore their interests
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure that children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring the problems to the attention of their parents
  • Keep records of children’s progress, routines, and interests

Childcare workers read and play with babies and toddlers to introduce basic concepts, such as manners. For example, they teach young children how to share and take turns by playing games with other children.

Childcare workers often help preschool-age children prepare for kindergarten. Young children learn from playing, solving problems, questioning, and experimenting. Childcare workers use play and other instructional techniques to help children’s development. For example, they use storytelling and rhyming games to teach language and vocabulary. They may help improve children’s social skills by having them work together to build something in a sandbox. Childcare workers may teach math by having children count when building with blocks. They also involve the children in creative activities, such as art, dance, and music.

Childcare workers can also watch school-age children before and after school. They often help these children with homework and may take them to afterschool activities, such as sports practices and club meetings.

During the summer, when children are out of school, childcare workers may watch older children as well as younger ones for the entire day while the parents are at work.

The following are examples of types of childcare workers:

Childcare center workers work in teams in childcare centers that offer programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start. They often work with preschool teachers and teacher assistants to teach children through a structured curriculum. They prepare daily and long-term schedules of activities to stimulate and educate the children in their care. They also monitor and keep records of the children’s progress.

Family childcare providers care for children in the providers’ own homes during traditional working hours. They need to ensure that their homes and all staff they employ meet the regulations for family childcare providers.

In addition, family childcare providers perform tasks related to running their business. For example, they write contracts that set rates of pay, when payment can be expected, and the number of hours children can be in care. Furthermore, they establish policies about issues including whether sick children can be in their care, who can pick children up, and how behavioral issues will be dealt with. Family childcare providers frequently spend some of their time marketing their services to prospective families.

Nannies work in the homes of the children they care for and the parents that employ them. Most often, they work full time for one family. They may be responsible for driving children to school, appointments, or afterschool activities. Some live in the homes of the families that employ them.

Babysitters, like nannies, work in the homes of the children in their care. However, they work for many families instead of just one. In addition, they generally do not work full time, but rather take care of the children on occasional nights and weekends when parents have other obligations.

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How To Become A Child Care Worker

Education and training requirements vary by setting, state, and employer. They range from no formal education to a certification in early childhood education.

Education

Childcare workers must meet education and training requirements, which vary by state. Some states require these workers to have a high school diploma, but many states do not have any education requirements for entry-level positions. However, workers with postsecondary education or an early childhood education credential may be qualified for higher level positions.

Employers often prefer to hire workers with at least a high school diploma and, in some cases, some postsecondary education in early childhood education.

Workers in Head Start programs must at least be enrolled in a program in which they will earn a postsecondary degree in early childhood education or a child development credential.

States do not regulate educational requirements for nannies. However, some employers may prefer to hire workers with at least some formal instruction in childhood education or a related field, particularly when they will be hired as full-time nannies.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many states require childcare centers, including those in private homes, to be licensed. To qualify for licensure, staff must pass a background check, have a complete record of immunizations, and meet a minimum training requirement. Some states require staff to have certifications in CPR and first aid.

Some states and employers require childcare workers to have a nationally recognized credential. Most often, states require the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Obtaining the CDA credential requires coursework, experience in the field, and a period during which the applicant is observed while working with children. The CDA credential is valid for 3 years and requires renewal.

Some states recognize the Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) designation offered by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. Some of the requirements needed to obtain the CCP are that the candidate must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, have experience in the field, take courses in early childhood education, and pass an exam. The CCP accreditation requires renewal every 2 years through the CCP maintenance process.

The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) offers a nationally recognized accreditation for family childcare providers. This accreditation requires training and experience in the field, as well as a period during which the applicant is observed while working with children.

Training

Many states and employers require providers to complete some training before beginning work. Also, many states require staff in childcare centers to complete a minimum number of hours of training annually. Training may include information about basic care of babies, such as how to warm a bottle, and customer-service skills.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Childcare workers must be able to talk with parents and colleagues about the progress of the children in their care. They need good speaking skills to provide this information effectively and good listening skills to understand parents’ instructions.

Decisionmaking skills. Good judgment is necessary for childcare workers so they can respond to emergencies or difficult situations.

Instructional skills. Childcare workers need to be able to explain things in terms young children can understand.

Interpersonal skills. Childcare workers need to work well with people to develop good relationships with parents, children, and colleagues.

Patience. Working with children can be frustrating, so childcare workers need to be able to respond to overwhelming and difficult situations calmly.

Physical stamina. Working with children can be physically taxing, so childcare workers should have a lot of energy.

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Average Yearly Salary
$25,000
Show Salaries
$13,000
Min 10%
$25,000
Median 50%
$25,000
Median 50%
$25,000
Median 50%
$25,000
Median 50%
$25,000
Median 50%
$25,000
Median 50%
$25,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Grand Rapids Public Library
Highest Paying City
Chicago, IL
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does a Child Care Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Child Care Worker in the United States is $25,636 per year or $12 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $13,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $47,000.

Real Child Care Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Child Care Workers Dan Lufkin Washington, CT Sep 02, 2010 $41,740
Child Care Workers Michael Shuman New York, NY Aug 23, 2010 $33,914
Child Care Workers Richard Young New York, NY Mar 23, 2011 $33,914
Child Care Worker Andrew & Julie Garlikov San Mateo, CA Mar 05, 2010 $32,056
Child Care Workers Derek Van Bever Alexandria, VA May 22, 2008 $31,305
Nanny/Child Care Worker Andrew Breckman Madison, NJ Jun 03, 2010 $31,305
Child Care Workers Kimberly Bitterman Princeton, NJ Jan 20, 2010 $31,305
Child Care Worker Rachel Lowy New York, NY Mar 25, 2010 $31,305 -
$46,958
Child Care Worker Valentin Gurvits Family Newton, MA Aug 14, 2008 $30,262
Child Care Worker Valentin Gurvits Family Newton, MA Oct 31, 2008 $30,262
Nanny: Child Care Worker Rosenhaus, Jordan Brookline, MA Dec 21, 2011 $28,954
Child Care Workers Ricardo Canizales Manassas, VA Jan 31, 2012 $28,787
Child Care Workers Peter Dechar Household New York, NY Jan 28, 2010 $28,175
Child Care Worker, Live-Out Sandra Coley Silver Spring, MD Jan 10, 2015 $27,924
Child Care Workers MRS. Wilma H. Jordan New York, NY May 28, 2009 $23,583
Child Care Worker Ann Gluck, Private Household San Marino, CA Aug 12, 2008 $23,583
Child Care Workers Kirsti McCabe New York, NY Apr 07, 2010 $23,583
Child Care Workers MRS. Stacey Pashcow New York, NY Jul 10, 2008 $23,583
Child Care Worker Nejat Kiyici Eastchester, NY Feb 11, 2010 $23,583
Child Care Workers MR. Bruce Mosler New York, NY Jul 08, 2010 $23,583
Child Care Worker Swati de-Das NY Oct 19, 2007 $23,583
Child Care Workers MRS. Lisa Hsia New York, NY Feb 21, 2008 $23,583
Child Care Workers Kalpesh and Girja Patel Delran, NJ Oct 19, 2010 $21,100
Child Care Workers Maria D. Vesey Bay Shore, NY Jul 19, 2010 $20,995
Child Care Worker Deck Rees Hillsdale, NY Dec 09, 2009 $20,870 -
$22,957
Child Care Worker Rajesh Shah Naperville, IL Aug 25, 2010 $20,870 -
$22,957
Child Care Worker Dean Borghi Harrington Park, NJ Mar 12, 2010 $20,870
Child Care Workers Lee Smith New York, NY Feb 13, 2008 $20,870
Child Care Workers Marcy Lefkovitz Millburn, NJ Mar 27, 2008 $20,870
Child Care Workers Jaroslaw Sacha Olde West Chester, OH May 17, 2010 $20,870

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Top Skills for A Child Care Worker

  1. Child Care
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. Crisis Intervention
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided therapeutic child care to court-mandated infants & worked closely with parents to promote family reunification.
  • Interacted with parents and identified potential signs emotional and behavioral issues to notify parents of.
  • Fostered compliance with agency rules and expectations with all residents as well as implemented therapeutic crisis intervention techniques, when necessary.
  • Facilitated engaging, developmentally appropriate recreational activities.
  • Provided direct supervision to child care workers I and II in a residential care facility for mentally and emotionally/behaviorally challenged children.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Child Care Workers

  1. Alaska
  2. Iowa
  3. Illinois
  4. South Dakota
  5. Kansas
  6. West Virginia
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Nebraska
  9. North Carolina
  10. Kentucky
  • (33 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (310 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (238 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (168 jobs)
  • (55 jobs)

Child Care Worker Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 27,851 Child Care Worker resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Child Care Worker Resume

View Resume Examples

Child Care Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

68.7%

Male

18.6%

Unknown

12.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.1%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

5.6%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

73.8%

French

6.7%

Portuguese

2.3%

German

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Russian

1.9%

Italian

1.8%

Arabic

1.6%

Hindi

1.2%

Chinese

1.1%

Urdu

0.8%

Swedish

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Dakota

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Polish

0.5%

Dutch

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Ukrainian

0.4%

Cantonese

0.4%
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Child Care Worker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.7%

Ashford University

7.8%

Liberty University

7.8%

The Academy

6.0%

Grand Canyon University

5.7%

Kaplan University

4.6%

California State University - Fresno

4.5%

Walden University

4.3%

Capella University

4.0%

State University of New York Albany

3.7%

San Diego State University

3.7%

California State University - Stanislaus

3.5%

Grambling State University

3.0%

Cleveland State University

2.9%

Arizona State University

2.7%

California State University - Sacramento

2.7%

College of New Rochelle

2.7%

Dutchess Community College

2.6%

Wayne State University

2.6%

California State University - Dominguez Hills

2.6%
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Majors

Psychology

14.3%

Criminal Justice

10.7%

Social Work

9.9%

Business

9.0%

Nursing

7.5%

Medical Assisting Services

5.4%

Sociology

4.4%

Early Childhood Education

4.3%

Human Services

4.0%

Human Development

3.9%

Health Care Administration

3.7%

Education

3.6%

General Studies

3.5%

Elementary Education

3.0%

Liberal Arts

3.0%

Communication

2.3%

Counseling Psychology

2.2%

School Counseling

1.8%

Cosmetology

1.8%

Mental Health Counseling

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.9%

Other

30.3%

Associate

13.8%

Masters

13.3%

Certificate

5.2%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.6%
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Updated May 19, 2020