Do you love being surrounded by small kids and interacting with them? Do you find yourself getting attracted towards kids whenever you spot them? How about becoming a child care worker and dedicating yourself towards their care and development? The easier it sounds to become a full-fledged daycare worker, the more difficult it is to handle numerous kids at one time, catering to each one’s needs. With more and more women opting to become working mothers, the demand for child care workers is increasing drastically. But do not assume daycare workers to be found only in child care centers and private homes, as they work in various other environments, thereby giving you more industries to choose from. As such, you need to pick up the right source to gather the right knowledge and experience to present yourself in the industry.
Becoming A Child Care Worker
Candidates applying for a childcare worker should have at least a high school diploma and some basic training in childcare. You should obtain a child abuse clearance, be up-to-date on immunizations, and have a criminal/background check. Most employers prefer applicants with training in CPR and first aid. There are several local social and human service agencies that provide some form of childcare training program at a very low cost or even free. This training includes an overview of topics, such as basic care and safety of young children and support, along with planning play or learning activities appropriate for each age group. Acquiring a proper training program will increase your chances of getting hired in a reputed daycare center. Qualify in the certification test to become a certified daycare worker and get registered with state or regional organizations.
Obtaining an associate or Bachelor’s degree in child development or early childhood education will be an added advantage for those willing to take up childcare on full-time basis. Courses in education, nutrition, psychology, and speech will help you further with your job. Apart from attaining the minimum educational qualifications, you will be required to qualify a certification test to be able to legally care for kids in daycares, schools, and even in your home day care. Contact your local social or human services agency for the examination. Alternatively, you can do a certificate course from a local hospital or ambulance corporation to keep yourself ahead of other applicants in terms of saving life.
To begin with, you should have a passion for caring for children to become a good daycare worker. A daycare worker will be required to handle and help infants and young children with their personal and educational growth. You should be capable of developing a good rapport with kids easily and keep them engaged in yourself for longer durations. You should be alert and enthusiastic about your work. Since you will be surrounded by lots of infants and kids, you have to be energetic, fun, and patient, all three at the same time. You must also possess the qualities of preventing problems and dealing with children that are troublesome and hyperactive. The working hours of a daycare worker can vary widely. You may have to work as early as in the wee hours of morning to late evenings until the parents come and pick up their kids. Hence, you should be prepared to work for long durations with frequent changes.
Roles & Responsibilities
As a day care worker, you will be required to baby-sit and care for infants and children while their parents are away. You will have to take care of their basic needs and ensure that they are safe under your custody. Further, you may even have to keep them engaged by playing games, and reading books so that they can spend time easily. Apart from babysitting them, you will also be responsible for their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development for it is at the day care where kids gain new skills and learn how to mingle with one another. You will be serving as a role model for them in helping them to explore new and different things, build self-esteem, and acquire the essential skills necessary while entering school. Most of the times, you will have to work as a babysitter or nanny as most kids that you will receive at the day care would be infants or toddlers. As such, you have to bathe, dress, and feed them, apart from making their bottles and changing diapers. You should be able to take down notes regarding the problems faced by children and talk to their parents or guardians to overcome them effectively. As such, you have to be in regular contact with parents to provide feedback about the child’s development, needs, and progress.
After you have successfully completed all the qualifications and training programs, you can begin with nanny positions or babysitting. This will provide you the correct experience of taking care of children. Further, parents will be happy to include their names as excellent references. You can proceed with working in your church nursery or at a day camp. Contact local childcare centers and schools for any openings. Most of these jobs are part time but with time, you can find a better and permanent full-time childcare job. You can also convert a portion of your home into a daycare and begin providing childcare services. This will be easier for parents to bring their kids to your home rather than you traveling to the child care. With the increasing number of young children who have working parents, opportunities for child care careers are on the hike. Every parent looks out for a reliable day care worker possessing the right skills and training to provide safe and affordable care. Apart from day care centers and private households, you can look for the job of a child care worker in elementary and secondary schools, amusement and recreation industries, nursing and residential care, civic and social organizations, specialty hospitals, personal care services, and scientific research and development services.
Prepare yourself with good stamina and tolerance levels for dealing with problematic and super-active kids before moving ahead with becoming a child care worker. With so many industries and fields to opt for as a day care worker, you are likely to be in great demands once you gain a good reputation in your community. Get sufficient work experience and you can begin your own day care center that will serve kids for years to come.