How to Become a Child Care Worker

If you enjoy working with children and are wondering how to become a child care worker, there are many ways to pursue this as a career in your community. Whether you decide you’d like to care for children a daycare setting, work in a school child care program or provide home child care, there are plenty of options for child care workers. Child care careers are in demand as most households that have young children require reliable child care workers who have the right skills and training to provide safe and affordable care. Here are steps you can take to become a successful child care worker.

Get an Education and Training in Child Care

Before attempting to care for children, it’s important to get at least a high school diploma and some basic training in childcare. Many local social and human services agencies offer some form of child care training program which may be free or low cost. This training should include an overview of each age group with topics such as basic care and safety of young children and support with planning play or learning activities appropriate to each age group. In addition, you will need to be able to pass a criminal background check to ensure you are safe to care for other peoples’ children.

Get Certified in Child Care

As part of most child care programs, you will be able to test to become certified as a child care worker. This means you have met the minimum requirements needed to be able to legally care for children in daycares, schools and in your home daycare if you so choose. The certification test is provided by the state or region you live in by a social or human services agency for a small fee. Once you pass, you are listed as a certified child care worker with state or regional organizations so that you can be contacted for work opportunities. In addition, you will be able to verify your skills and training as a child care worker for the purposes of finding work.

Contact Local Childcare Agencies

As you begin your search for a child care job, start by contacting local childcare agencies to be included in their referral list. You can choose to set up a portion of your home to start providing child care services which is often an easy way to manage a child care career, as parents will be bringing children to your home daily. Or you can start applying for child care worker jobs with daycares and schools in your community. Many of these jobs are part time at first, but over time you should be able to find more permanent full time child care jobs.

Continue to Develop Your Skills

Once you have secured employment as a child care worker, be sure to continue to get training and stay updated with current child care methods and laws. You will be a more productive child care worker if you stay up to date on child care issues, learning and activities and dealing with children who may have special needs. Over time, you will establish yourself as an authority in child care and you will have many work opportunities and the chance to better the lives of many children in your care.