Child Care Provider Job Description

Child care providers offer day-to-day care for children in all age groups by monitoring their safety, designing and leading daily activities, and assisting them with all personal tasks. Day care centers, schools, and parents most commonly hire Child care providers. These professionals work full- or part-time hours during all shifts, including evenings and weekends, with little to no supervision. Some child care providers work as independent contractors.

People in this career work in school and daycare environments as well as inside personal homes and often travel with children to doctors’ offices, school, and special events.


Child Care Provider Duties and Responsibilities

Job duties for child care providers vary based on the age of the children and the needs of the hiring company or parent. Based on job postings, the core duties for child care providers are universal regardless of these differing factors:

Monitor Children

Child care providers monitor children at all times to stay aware of their physical and emotional needs and to maintain their constant safety.

Assist with Personal Tasks

They assist children with personal tasks such as eating, dressing, and using the restroom.

Maintain Schedules

Child care providers maintain a regular schedule of meal times, nap times, and play times.

Keep Children Active

They also keep children engaged in fun learning activities and design daily activities and events for children.

Clean and Organize

Child care providers perform light housekeeping duties and keep all meal, nap, and activity areas clean and well-organized.

Consult with Parents

They regularly update parents and primary caregivers on their child’s development and of any observed problems children are having with socializing, learning, or physical activity.

Follow Guidelines

Child care providers follow all curriculum guidelines of the hiring company and/or special rules as laid out by parents.

Assist with Homework

Child care providers assist school-age children with all homework and ensure that homework is properly completed before other activities begin.


Child Care Provider Skills and Qualifications

Child care providers are patient, responsible professionals who love children and know how to speak to and play with children of various ages. Parents and businesses that hire child care providers look for candidates who have previous experience in addition to these essential skills:

  • Communication – Child care providers know how to speak to children of all ages as well as their parents, which requires excellent verbal communication skills
  • Creativity – They have creative skills to design activities that provide children with social interaction, help them learn, and keep them physically and mentally engaged
  • Patience – Because children can be unreasonable and irritable at times, child care providers have the skill to stay patient and maintain their composure
  • Diligence – Child care providers are diligent and continuously monitor children to maintain their safety and well-being at all levels
  • Leadership – Child care providers have leadership skills to stay in control of children and guide them through meal times, nap times, learning times, and playtimes


Tools of the Trade

Child care providers work with private clients as well as within centers and schools using:

  • Books – (textbooks, story books)
  • Toys – (plush animals, dolls, building blocks, etc.)
  • Sporting Equipment – (safety gear, balls, bats, basketball hoops, jump ropes, etc.)
  • Feeding Tools – (small spoons, bottles, bibs, high chairs, booster chairs)
  • Personal Care Items – (diapers, pull-ups, baby wipes, training toilets)
  • Safety Equipment – (car seats)


Child Care Provider Education and Training

Child care providers must have a high school diploma or equivalent to find employment. Many businesses and parents additionally require candidates who have previous experience with caring for children and ask potential child care providers to provide references. Child care providers must also have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.

Businesses like daycares and schools do hire entry-level child care providers with little or no experience and provide them with training for the job, which is monitored by a more experienced child care provider. The length of the training period varies based on the hiring company.


Child Care Provider Salary and Outlook

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Childcare Workers” earned a median income of $21,170 annually and $10.18 hourly in 2016. Childcare workers attend to the basic needs of children and perform the same job duties as child care providers. In 2016, there were more than 1.2 million jobs for childcare workers. The BLS estimates that jobs for these professionals will grow by seven percent from 2016 to 2026, which is as fast as the U.S. job growth average.

Full-time child care providers who are hired by a business, such as a daycare, receive basic benefits packages that include health insurance. Some companies may also provide dental and vision coverage with basic healthcare packages. Child care providers who work directly for parents, or who work for themselves as independent contractors, do not receive benefits. These individuals must see to their own insurance needs and speak with parents to schedule days off, vacation time, and sick leave.


Helpful Resources

Learn how to be a more successful and effective child care provider using the tools and resources available through these books and websites:

A Childcare Provider’s Guide To: Home Childcare Business: Dealing with Bratty Kids and Clueless Parents – This book was written by a child care provider with 20 years’ experience to help other professionals learn strategies for managing children, communicating with parents, and handling day-to-day child care situations.

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) – This website is designed for child care providers of all kinds to provide accreditation information, learning conferences, instructional webinars, and other useful content.

Teaching Social Skills to Youth: A Curriculum for Child-Care Providers – Use this guidebook to learn how to teach children the social skills they will use for a lifetime to make better choices and develop in a healthy, positive way.

National Child Care Association (NCCA) – Members of the NCCA website make use of benefits packages, networking forums, articles, and other resources designed to help child care providers at all levels of their career.

A Survival Guide for Child Care Providers (Early Childhood Education) – Child educators contributed to this book by Karen Levine to teach child care providers how to educate children and guide them through the process of growing up.


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