Does your ideal workspace include a colorful rug with small furniture instead of a desk with a computer? Are you more cut out for circle time than conference calls? If you love kids and answered “yes” to these questions, maybe you’d enjoy a career at a daycare center.
Along with brushing up on your nursery rhymes, here’s how you can prepare yourself for a career in the early childcare field.
Get the Right Education and Training
Working at a daycare center, you’ll be part of a team that teaches children while you make sure their basic needs are met. Because of the great responsibility that comes with this position, having the right education might improve your chances of landing a job in the field. Your academic training should include subjects such as the basics of caregiving, early childhood growth and development, and health and safety. You should also complete an internship that will give you valuable hands-on experience to help you understand what a typical day on the job might look like and which age group suits you best.
Along with the right education, a professional certification will showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities. It will also show future employers that you are dedicated to your profession. The Child Development Associate (CDA) certification offered by the Council of Professional Recognition is a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates your qualifications for working with young children.
Qualify for Employment
To qualify for employment, many states, including Michigan, require that you pass a comprehensive background check and complete a training program. All staff must also pass a tuberculosis screening in order to work in a daycare center and should be up to date on their vaccinations.
Build the Necessary Skills
It’s no secret that working in a daycare center is a demanding job. After all, it’s challenging to care for one child, so being responsible for a classroom full of them requires a special set of skills.
These skills include:
You must be able to provide children with clear instructions to keep them on task. You will also need to answer children’s countless questions ranging from the basic to the silly and absurd. And you won’t have to communicate with just children. You’ll also need to update parents on their child’s progress and keep them informed of any issues that may arise.
To be successful in a childcare setting, you need to be patient. On a typical day you will have to repeat instructions many times, intervene with children who don’t get along, and remain calm when things get messy.
Your job will not only include teaching and also caring for and playing with children. You’ll also need to clean up after them and teach them how to clean up after themselves. These tasks can be physically tiring, so you will need a lot of energy to keep up with the demands of the job.
Have you ever come across a grumpy preschool teacher or daycare worker? Probably not. That’s because they love what they do! They create a welcoming and nurturing environment for the children in their care by being cheery and positive. And because positivity is contagious, a happy preschool teacher is more likely to have a happy classroom.
If you want a challenging and rewarding career working with small children, check out the Child Care Assistant Program at the Jackson campus of Career Quest Learning Centers. Fill out the form to get started now.