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Become A Child Caregiver

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Working As A Child Caregiver

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

  • $27,473

    Average Salary

What Does A Child Caregiver 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 Caregiver

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 Length of Employment
Day Care Provider 4.3 years
Child Care Sitter 3.1 years
Child Care Teacher 2.3 years
Child Caretaker 2.2 years
Child Attendant 2.2 years
Child Care Worker 2.1 years
Child Caregiver 2.0 years
Child Care Aide 2.0 years
Day Care Aide 2.0 years
Day Care Worker 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Child Caregiver
Cashier 16.8%
Volunteer 5.6%
Waitress 4.9%
Internship 4.7%
Teller 4.4%
Hostess 3.5%
Server 3.5%
Manager 2.7%
Top Careers After Child Caregiver
Cashier 14.2%
Internship 7.0%
Volunteer 4.3%
Teacher 4.2%
Server 3.9%
Waitress 3.2%
Nanny 3.1%
Teller 3.0%

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Child Caregiver Demographics

Gender

Female

88.2%

Male

9.7%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.3%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.8%

French

10.0%

German

6.7%

Italian

3.3%

Polish

3.3%

Russian

1.7%

Portuguese

1.7%

Chinese

1.7%

Hebrew

1.7%

Swedish

0.8%

Mandarin

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Hmong

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Welsh

0.8%

Braille

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Czech

0.8%
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Child Caregiver Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.3%

Kaplan University

7.5%

East Tennessee State University

6.3%

Hinds Community College

5.6%

Liberty University

5.6%

Texas State University

5.0%

Michigan State University

4.4%

Ashford University

4.4%

Florida State University

4.4%

Tarleton State University

4.4%

Baker College

4.4%

Saginaw Valley State University

3.8%

Texas Tech University

3.8%

Brigham Young University - Idaho

3.8%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.8%

Long Beach City College

3.8%

Grand Canyon University

3.8%

University of Alabama

3.1%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.1%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.1%
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Majors

Psychology

15.2%

Business

10.4%

Nursing

8.9%

Medical Assisting Services

6.5%

Criminal Justice

6.4%

Early Childhood Education

5.5%

General Studies

5.4%

Health Care Administration

4.8%

Elementary Education

4.7%

Social Work

3.7%

Human Development

3.6%

Communication

3.5%

Nursing Assistants

3.1%

Sociology

3.0%

Education

2.9%

English

2.8%

Accounting

2.5%

Biology

2.4%

Cosmetology

2.3%

Kinesiology

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.2%

Other

32.6%

Associate

13.3%

Masters

6.9%

Certificate

5.6%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.4%
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Real Child Caregiver Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Child Caregiver Charles C. Clevenger North Royalton, OH Jan 22, 2008 $23,249
Child Caregiver Janie Docter Santa Monica, CA Apr 22, 2008 $22,936
Child Caregiver With Specialization In Morrocan Language and Culture Robert J Scavotto Vienna, VA Mar 08, 2012 $22,811
Child Caregiver Derya Ferendeci Pepper Pike, OH Oct 01, 2015 $21,079
Child Caregiver/Nanny Stephan Byam Washington, DC Sep 01, 2015 $19,827
Caregiver To Children Foster A Kid Inc. Port Charlotte, FL Jan 06, 2016 $17,948 -
$20,870

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Top Skills for A Child Caregiver

  1. Child
  2. AGE Groups
  3. Safe Environment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Accompanied director and his family to numerous university social and athletic events, providing childcare in highly visible and professional environment
  • Enhanced my skills of working with children of different age groups, specifically infants and toddlers.
  • Provided a safe environment by keeping a close eye on their activities and only allowing permitted people to visit.
  • Coordinated structured daily activities to engage children in shelter.
  • Help with meal preparation, laundry, washing dishes, running everyday jobs and other scheduled housekeeping duties.

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