Skills Needed to Be a Child Care Worker

by Marie Huntington; Updated September 26, 2017
Child care workers assist children with indoor and outdoor activities.

Child care workers are responsible for the care and well-being of children. During their working hours, parents entrust their children to the care of child care workers. Therefore, workers have an important responsibility to maintain a safe and positive environment for the children. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, the median annual hourly wages of child care workers was $9.12.

Qualifications

The specific qualifications of child care workers vary by state and employer. Some states may require child care workers to obtain a certain amount of training to earn the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, while there are no specific requirements in other states. Some employers may hire high school graduates or individuals without a high school diploma, while other employers require the child care applicants to possess educational training in early childhood education or child development. Additionally, some child care provider companies sponsor workshops and on-the-job training programs. As a whole, many employers seek out candidates with some work experience in child care settings and have the ability to pass a background check.

Duties

Child care workers prepare meals and snacks for children. Also, they assist in the construction and preparation of daily activities for children, including indoor and outdoor activities. They also assist in the creation of the daily schedules of the children. Child care workers may utilize age-appropriate teaching strategies to promote the learning development of children. Overall, child care workers are responsible for keeping the children in their care safe and ensuring that the overall child care environments are safe.

Capabilities

Child care workers continuously create positive environments to promote high-quality child care experiences for children. Many child care workers have a passion for helping children and a passion for the development and learning process of children. They have good social and listening skills, and they understand how to communicate effectively with children.

Work Environment

Child care workers may work with infants, toddlers and school-age children. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 33 percent of child care workers are self-employed. Child care workers spend the majority of their time on their feet and actively working with the children. Most child care centers are open between early morning and late evening hours to accommodate parent schedules.

2016 Salary Information for Childcare Workers

Childcare workers earned a median annual salary of $21,170 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, childcare workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $18,680, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $25,490, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,216,600 people were employed in the U.S. as childcare workers.

About the Author

Marie Huntington has been a legal and business writer since 2002 with articles appearing on various websites. She also provides travel-related content online and holds a Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley Law School.

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