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Child Care Counselor Duties and Responsibilities
A child care counselor may be responsible for performing a wide range of different duties based on the organization where they work. However, most child care counselors hold a few key responsibilities:
Supervise Children The main responsibility of the child care counselor is to supervise children, both individually and in group settings. They ensure kids are following rules and provide discipline as needed. Child care counselors may also create activities and lessons for the children.
Monitor and Track Progress As child care counselors supervise kids, they monitor their behavioral, mental, and physical progress. They keep detailed records of this progress and analyze them so they can create individualized strategies to help children continue to grow and learn properly.
Report to Supervisors and Parents Depending on their employer, child care counselors report on children's progress to supervisors, school administrators, and parents. This may involve creating presentations and delivering them in group settings.
Create and Enforce Daily Schedule Child care counselors are responsible for creating daily schedules for the children. This often involves planning activities, learning plans, and field trips. Child care counselors are also responsible for enforcing the schedule to ensure children get the most out of their days.
Respond to Emergency Situations Child care counselors are often the first line of response for children during emergency situations. As such, they need to be prepared to lead children away from dangerous situations, intervene during fights, and deliver first aid.
Child Care Counselor Skills and QualificationsSuccessful child care counselors have a love for children and a passion for helping them grow. They have a deep understanding of child psychology and know how to apply those principles to real-world situations. Employers look for candidates who have at least a bachelor's degree in early education along with one year of experience in a related field. Employers also prefer the following skills in potential child care counselors:
- Child care experience - child care counselors should have experience working with kids. This experience can come in many forms, ranging from nannying to specialized child care positions
- Relationship management - child care counselors can maintain relationships with both children and adults. They can easily switch between managing each relationship and utilizing skills appropriate for both
- Time management - child care counselors are excellent at managing time and schedules. They need to be able to adhere to schedules so children experience an enrichment every day
- Communication skills - since child care counselors work with both adults and kids, they are experienced in advanced and simple communication styles. They can easily translate between the two levels, as well
- Caring and nurturing personality - child care counselors should be passionate about their role in children's lives. They are caring and nurturing, which allows them to look past the mistakes children make and see the potential in every child
Child Care Counselor Salary and OutlookThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that child care counselors make a median salary of $21,170 per year, or $10.18 per hour. Child care counselors with more experience or more training may earn up to $15.25 per hour, while those just entering the field may earn as little as $8.26 per hour. Benefits can vary depending on whether the child care counselor is full or part time. Full-time employees usually receive full health benefits, vacation time, and sick time. Part-time employees usually only receive partial health benefits along with vacation and sick time. The child care industry is expected to grow 7 percent over the next 10 years, according to the BLS. Parents will always work, which results in a constant need for child care counselors and other child care workers.
Here are some resources you might find helpful in your path to becoming a child care counselor:
ChildCareAware.org - the "Providers" section of this website features resources that help you learn more about starting a child care business, child care training, and creating a welcoming child care environment for kids. This organization also provides a hotline you can call to speak to a live representative to find more resources
Early Childhood Education and Child Care Forum for Professionals and Parents - this LinkedIn group has over 38,000 members and provides a free space for parents and child care professionals alike to ask questions and get answers
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character - this book offers insights into the minds of children who come from poverty and the ways that parents do or don't prepare their children for adulthood. Reading this book will help you learn more about the different backgrounds of children and how you can help each child succeed
The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives - written by a clinical neuropsychologist and a motivational coach, this book offers a unique look at the ways you can help children find the drive to succeed within themselves
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