Child care workers can be employed in a number of different settings incusing schools child care centers businesses and private homes. Many take care of children under age five but others watch school-age children before and after school hours and during summer and other school vacations.
Child care workers serve a variety of functions depending on the child's age and the expectations of an employer. Sometimes they are responsible for preparing food and feeing children. In some settings they keep records on individual children including a log of the child's activities food intake and any medications administered.
Child care workers change diapers or teach children about toilet training and they help with bathing and dressing. They oversee the child's play organize age-appropriate activities and read to the child. They must be familiar with safety measures in case of an emergency. Child care workers in private homes sometimes called nannies or babysitters may perform household tasks such as laundry and washing dishes. A high quality child care worker is aware of children's emotional needs and helps them develop a positive self-image.
Overall good child care workers must be creative patient and nurturing. In many states workers in child care centers must be licensed which requires a background check immunizations and in some cases specific education and training credentials such as an associate's degree in early childhood education. In private settings these requirements are usually not enforced and workers may not have a high school diploma or any experience with child care.
According to Bls.gov there are numerous job opportunities for child care workers because many leave the field every year. Hourly pay ranges from $8 to $10 with a median of $9 per hour. Typically job benefits such as health insurance are minimal. However live-in child care workers in private homes often get free room and board.