Child care workers play a very important and essential role in ensuring that children develop into responsible adults. Parents leave their children in daycare center, knowing that their children are safe, provided with the right environment appropriate to their age.
Childcare workers attend to the children’s needs by organizing activities that help stimulate the children’s intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth. They guide children as they explore their interests, build self-esteem, develop talents, learn independence and prepare to socialize with others.
Nature of Work
There are three classifications of child care workers, namely: private household workers; family child care providers; and child care workers. Each of them work in different settings and may have different duties as required, although most childcare workers are expected to provide a combination of basic care giving and teaching at the same time, as many real life situations can be an occasion for both teaching and care giving. They usually spend the majority of the day with children but they also keep in touch with their parents or guardians. They may have regular meetings or informal ones as needed where they can discuss the progress and needs of their child. Childcare workers usually maintain a record of each child’s activities and progress which they use as the basis for making suggestions to parents on how they can further help their children learn and develop skills at home. Childcare workers are in charge of organizing activities, such as drawing, painting, and singing. They discipline the children and develop measures for controlling unwanted behavior. They assist children and instruct them about personal habits such as eating and going to the toilet. They help in food preparation and serving, as well as oversee rest and recreation periods. Childcare workers are also responsible of helping handicapped children, monitoring children using life-support equipment, accompanying them to and from school when they go on outings and even medical appointments. They help children get dressed and change their diapers.
Educational requirements for childcare workers are minimal. Many of them have only a high school diploma and some have not even completed high school. However, many states require criminal record checks, and other types of training and licensing requirements. Some of those who want to become childcare workers have gone through formal programs in nutrition, early childhood education, and psychology. Candidates for this position must have the ability to make the children they look after feel safe and secure.