Childcare workers supervise and tend to children in daycare centers, private homes, and schools. Because childcare workers typically work with younger children, they need to be patient and encouraging, and create a safe environment in which the child receives proper nutrition. In addition, there are responsibilities set by the family that need to be fulfilled, responsibilities that could entail assisting the child with his or her homework, supervision of chores, or maintenance of general hygiene. Some childcare workers are CPR-certified, while others are experienced in taking care of children with special needs. While the requirements needed to legally become a childcare worker vary from state to state, a caring disposition is an obvious necessity.
Due to the nature of the job, childcare workers often work irregular hours and are employed by multiple families at a time. To succeed in this role, they have to develop the ability to balance a loaded schedule, informing several sets of parents with regards to their children's progress and behavior. The average pay for a childcare worker is $19,510, resulting in many taking on other part-time or full-time jobs. Depending on their needs and concerns, employers can seek out applicants with certifications or postsecondary education. Childcare workers who are privately employed can obtain a national certification that requires coursework, experience, and a period of supervision. Those who work with children with special needs usually have additional certification. Many employers actually prefer applicants with postsecondary education, especially those pursuing careers in education.
When selecting childcare workers, personality and experience are usually the two biggest factors to consider. Employers can administer a personality test, which reveals behavioral characteristics that may not be readily apparent at first glance. The Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP), for example, measures the likelihood that an applicant will be conscientious, reliable and trustworthy. The Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP) is also popular with employers screening childcare workers, as it assesses key personality traits such as patience, cooperativeness, and relaxed style. To ensure candidates have verbal, math, and general job readiness skills, many employers will also use a skills test such as the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST).
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Rank in HireSelect:
153 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 582,970
Education level of Childcare Workers: