All You Need To Know About A Childcare Career
You dream about becoming a childcare worker but are still not entirely sure whether this is the right career choice for you or not?
Great! This article is exactly for you since I will show you all you need to know about a childcare worker career in the following chapters.
Not only will I show you how much you can make in childcare, but we will also talk about job satisfaction, career prospects, working hours, educational requirements and much more.
After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of what working as a childcare worker really means.
Moreover, at the end of this blog post, I also answer various questions about being a childcare worker you might have.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
What does a Childcare Worker do?
Childcare workers take care of children and make sure that kids have everything they need while parents have to work or do other important things.
Childcare workers also cook for kids and make sure that kids have a good time.
Responsibilities & Duties of a Childcare Worker
- Looking after kids
- Preparing food
- Making sure that kids feel good
- Playing games with children
- Making sure that childcare facilities meet regulatory requirements
- Cleaning of childcare locations
- Communication with parents
- Solving conflicts between children
- Coming up with educational activities
- Playing sports with kids
- Making sure that kids have a safe environment to spend their time
- Organization of events
What a Typical Day of a Childcare Worker looks like?
Childcare workers usually start their workday in the morning between 8 and 10 a.m.
The first thing you have to do is to check what children will attend your childcare facility that day and you also need to structure your workday in a way that you can pick up all kids and still have enough staff members left to look after the other kids.
After planning your day, you will prepare things to make fun activities with children.
You will also clean childcare facilities and make sure that everything is safe so that children can play in a protected environment.
Once the first kids arrive, you make sure that those kids have everything they need to feel well and that they also get healthy food to stay vital in the long run.
After looking after those kids for many hours, their parents will usually pick them up between 3 and 6 p.m. and after the last kid has left the childcare facility, your workday will usually be over and you can leave as well.
Childcare Worker Salary 2021
Childcare Worker salary brackets 2021
|Salary Brackets||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Top 10 %||> $54,000||> $26.81|
|Top 25 %||$43,000 – $48,000||$21.33 – $23.78|
|Bottom 25 %||$27,000 – $31,000||$13.29 – $15.36|
|Bottom 10 %||$18,000 – $23,000||$8.91 – $11.42|
|Range||$18,000 – $57,000||$8.91 – $28.34|
Childcare Worker 2021 by expert level
|Level of Experience||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Entry level||$18,000 – $24,000||$8.91 – $11.88|
|Junior||$23,000 – $29,000||$11.32 – $14.43|
|Professional||$28,000 – $37,000||$13.89 – $18.37|
|Senior Professional||$35,000 – $42,000||$17.36 – $20.78|
|Expert||$39,000 – $48,000||$19.32 – $23.92|
|Top Expert||$46,000 – $57,000||$22.87 – $28.34|
Childcare Worker salary by state 2021 (average)
|State||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|District of Columbia||$37,900||$18.82|
Job Security for Childcare Workers
Childcare workers have pretty poor job security.
Since many people can do this job, this means that you will be replaceable pretty easily and that you may lose your job from one day to another without prior notice.
Many childcare workers also only have short-term contracts and fluctuation in this field is often quite high.
Future Job Prospects of Childcare Workers
While there will still be a high demand for childcare workers in the future, there will also be many applicants who want to work in this field and overall future job prospects for childcare workers are therefore rather poor.
Working Hours of Childcare Workers
Childcare workers usually start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Hence, you will have lots of leisure and will also be able to meet up with your friends after work while many other people out there have to work much longer hours.
Job Satisfaction of Childcare Workers
While many childcare workers are happy with the work itself and really love to work with kids, most childcare workers are not happy with the money they make.
Thus, if material things are really important to you, chances are that you should not become a childcare worker but rather go for a medical or financial career instead.
Promotion Opportunities of Childcare Workers
Childcare workers have pretty poor promotion opportunities.
Once you work in this field, you will do the same job for many years or even decades and your performance at work will barely make any difference in your chances of getting promoted anytime soon.
Career Levels of Childcare Workers
- Intern at a childcare facility
- Junior childcare worker
- Senior childcare worker
- Childcare worker with personnel responsibility
- Manager of a childcare facility
- Owner of a childcare facility
Fields and Types of Childcare Workers
- Early childhood educators
- Childcare worker for elementary school kids
- Childcare worker for secondary school kids
- Childcare manager
- Childcare worker responsible for homework
- Childcare worker responsible for cooking
- Childcare worker focused on communication with parents
- Childcare worker who plans activities for kids
- Childcare worker who plays sports with children
Educational Requirements for Childcare Workers
You don’t urgently need a degree for becoming a childcare worker.
Instead, you just need to finish high school and can do an apprenticeship at a local childcare facility.
While you may get some theoretical education, you will still learn many important things on the job and the more experienced you get, the easier it will be to handle kids in a proper manner.
How to become a Childcare Worker
- Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a childcare worker
- Get some experience with babysitting and looking after kids
- Apply for internships in daycare facilities
- Do an internship and stay in touch with your colleagues
- Get decent grades and finish high school
- Apply at many childcare facilities
- Master job interviews at childcare facilities
- Choose the childcare job you prefer most
- Sign your working contract
- Get experience in this field and improve your skills
- Become an important part of the childcare team
- Become a leading childcare worker in the long run
Character Traits you need for Working as a Childcare Worker
- Willingness to handle difficult children
- Ability to question yourself
- You should have patience for kids
- Willingness to repeat things over and over again
- Strong personality helps to stay calm in tense situations
- You should love to work with kids
- Willingness to work in a job that doesn’t pay well
- You should be willing to protect kids in case of emergency
- Empathy helps to get kids what you want them to do
Hard Skills for Childcare Workers
- Knowledge of rules and regulations related to working in childcare
- Knowledge of hygienic requirements
- Cooking skills can help as well
- You should know how to handle difficult kids
- Good problem-solving skills are crucial
- You should know how to calm down difficult parents
- Organizational talent can help as well
- Playing sports is a plus
- Good multitasking skills help to keep things under control
Soft Skills for Childcare Workers
- It is crucial that you have patience for kids who don’t play according to your rules
- You should what drives kids and how you can use this to your advantage
- Good communication skills so that parents keep trusting you
- Ability to talk to each child in an individual manner
- You need good time management skills to get your plans for the day done
- Ability to handle lots of information at the same time
- Ability to question yourself
- Ability to apologize if you make mistakes
- Strong mindset to handle situations where kids are cheeky
- You should display a certain level of authority
Exit Options for Childcare Workers
While childcare workers will become excellent in how to handle children in a proper manner, they will still not learn many other hard skills.
In turn, it will be pretty hard for childcare workers to work in a different field and exit options are therefore rather poor.
Childcare Worker – Similar Careers
- Au Pair
- Social worker
- Camp counselor
- Psychologist for kids
Childcare Worker Career FAQs
Is working as a childcare worker physically demanding?
Working as a childcare worker is not physically demanding most of the time.
Quite often, you will just read books to children or will play some parlor games with them.
Hence, you will sit around most of the time and even if you play sports with those kids, you can let them play and only be the referee if you want to save your energy.
Is working as a childcare worker mentally demanding?
Working as a childcare worker can be mentally and emotionally demanding.
In fact, not all kids are nice and some of them will also try to bring you down.
Some will challenge you since they want to see how stable you are and to deal with all those things, you should really like yourself so that you don’t get discouraged by those things.
Is it dangerous to work as a childcare worker?
It is not dangerous to work as a childcare worker.
Most of the time, you will just spend indoors and play some games.
In case you are outdoors, you will also just watch those kids play soccer or other games and you will therefore have a much lower risk at work compared to firemen or police officers who risk their lives on a regular basis.
Also your risk of serious accidents at work will be rather low.
How long do childcare workers stay in their jobs?
Childcare workers stay in their jobs for many years.
On the one hand, most childcare workers really love what they are doing and can’t imagine doing anything else.
On the other hand, childcare workers often also have a hard time finding a new job in a different field and may have no choice other than to continue working in the childcare industry.
Is it easy for childcare workers to find a new job?
Since the demand for childcare workers is pretty high, it is relatively easy for childcare workers to find a new job in this field.
However, this also greatly depends on the region you live in.
While many childcare workers are needed in big metropolitan areas, fewer are needed in rural regions and your chances for employment may also be lower if you live in a rather small town.
Is it hard to switch from being a childcare worker to another field of work?
Since childcare workers don’t learn many valuable hard skills, it will also be pretty hard for them to work in a different field.
In fact, once you work in childcare, you will barely have any options to get out of this industry unless you get additional qualifications.
Do childcare workers have a high social status?
Childcare workers don’t have a high social status.
While people will appreciate your efforts and know that you do an important job, they will still not appreciate your work as much as the work of doctors who can save lives and are admired on a regular basis.
Can you help out your family and friends as a childcare worker?
You can also help out your family and friends as a childcare worker since you can look after their kids while they are away and you can also do some babysitting jobs if you want to make some money on the side.
In turn, your loved ones will also be happy since they know that you have experience in this field and don’t have to worry about their kids being fine while they are away anymore.
Can childcare workers work remotely?
Childcare workers are not able to work remotely.
Instead, they have to be present at their workplace in person and will therefore be less flexible compared to someone who works in a classical office job and can handle private and professional life at the same time.
You will also have to spend more time and money commuting to work compared to someone who works from home on a regular basis.
Is it easy to find a partner as a childcare worker?
It is not that easy to find a partner for a long-term relationship as a childcare worker.
While your working hours are pretty decent, you will still not make good money and many potential partners may rather want to go for doctors or lawyers who can provide for them much more easily.
Do childcare workers have to work on weekends?
Childcare workers don’t have to work on weekends.
In fact, most childcare facilities are closed during Saturdays and Sundays and instead of having to work, you will be able to spend lots of time with your family, with your friends or just on the things you like even more than working.
Do childcare workers have to work on holidays?
Childcare workers don’t have to work on holidays.
Instead, they can use those days to make nice trips with their family or just to relax in their garden while many other people like train drivers or waiters have to work during those times on a regular basis.
Do childcare workers have to work at nighttime?
Childcare workers also don’t have to work at nighttime.
Instead, you will just work in a classical 9 to 5 job and kids will be picked up until the late afternoon.
In turn, you will be able to leave your workplace pretty soon while many other people have to work in the evening.
Do you have to travel as a childcare worker?
You don’t have to travel as a childcare worker.
Apart from commuting to work, you will just do the same things at the same location over and over again and while other people who work in leading office jobs have to make business trips quite often, you will be able to stay at home and to spend more time with your family.
Are childcare worker pensions good?
Since childcare workers don’t make good money, their pensions will also be rather low.
Moreover, it is also pretty hard for childcare workers to put money on the side and once they get older and quit their active careers, many childcare workers struggle to pay their bills.
Are childcare worker salaries going up?
Childcare worker salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years.
This is due to the fact that barriers to entry to work in this field are rather low and almost everyone can do this job.
Consequently, chances are pretty high that wages in this field will remain low also in the future.
Can you have a positive effect on society as a childcare worker?
You can have a strong positive effect on society as a childcare worker.
In fact, you will raise and educate the next generation and if you put in a lot of effort to show those kids how to be a good human being, you can make a stand and contribute to a better world in the future.
How long does it take to become a childcare worker?
Since it is not urgently necessary to get a fancy degree for working in the childcare industry, you can start working in this field within a pretty short period of time.
In fact, all you need to do is finishing high school and you can apply for jobs in this field.
Is it difficult to become a childcare worker?
It is not difficult to become a childcare worker.
In fact, almost everyone who is interested in working in this field will be abe able to work in this industry, at least if he or she has a strong mindset and is also willing to deal with difficult kids on a regular basis.
Do you need to be smart to work as a childcare worker?
You don’t have to be super smart to work as a childcare worker.
What’s much more important than your IQ is emotional intelligence.
You really need to understand what drives kids and how to use those things to your advantage so that you can keep things under control.
Do childcare workers have a good work-life balance?
Childcare workers enjoy a pretty good work-life balance.
Since childcare workers don’t have to work on holidays, weekends or during nighttime, they will have more than enough time to spend with their families or on their favorite hobbies.
Do childcare workers have to work many extra hours?
Childcare workers don’t have to work many extra hours.
Instead, you will just work your shift and it is rarely the case that you will have to stay at work longer than expected.
In fact, this only happens if parents are late in picking up their kids. Otherwise, you will usually don’t have to work extra hours at all.
How to maximize your chances of becoming a childcare worker?
To maximize your chances of getting a job in the childcare industry, you should get as much experience in working with children as possible.
For that, you can start babysitting and also make an internship at a local childcare facility to get a head start over the competition who often does nothing other than to finish school and has no experience in childcare at all.
Can childcare workers work part-time?
While it is possible to work part-time as a childcare worker, most childcare workers still work full-time since hourly wages are pretty low and they would just not be able to make a living from a part-time job in this industry.
Hence, unless you have a second job, you should expect to work full-time if you want to make a living from what you are doing.
Do childcare workers work indoors or outdoors?
Childcare workers both work indoors as well as outdoors.
While you will stay indoors during times of bad weather, you will often go for a walk in the park and play soccer or other sports while it is sunny outdoors.
Hence, you should be willing to do many different activities as a childcare worker, both indoors as well as outdoors.
What does the workplace of a childcare worker look like?
Since you will work in childcare facilities, you will be surrounded by toys and many kids.
Thus, you should also not be afraid of loud noises and should also have some sense of humor to stay happy with what you are doing in the long run.
Do you have to look good for working as a childcare worker?
There is no need to look good as a childcare worker.
Instead, what’s much more important is that you have empathy for kids and that you also have a strong mental and emotional mindset so that you are not easily insulted by snarky comments of those kids.
Is a childcare worker career beneficial for your private life?
Working in childcare can also be great for your private life, especially if you want to have your own kids since you will get lots of experience in dealing with children and it will be much easier for you to raise your own kids due to all the knowledge you gather at work.
Do you need a college degree for becoming a childcare worker?
You don’t need to go to college for working as a childcare worker.
Instead, what’s much more important than looking good on paper is that you really love working with children and that you also have the patience to deal with tense situations in a proper manner.
Do you need to be certified to work as a childcare worker?
While it can help to get certified as a childcare worker to work in official childcare facilities, this is still not urgently necessary in many states and you will therefore be able to work in this field without having to spend lots of time and money on educational aspects.
How much does it cost to become a childcare worker?
Since you will not need to get any fancy education for working in childcare, you can work in this field at barely any cost.
Hence, while many other people have to go to college and have to spend lots of money on tuition, you as a childcare worker will even be able to make money right after finishing high school.
Is being a childcare worker a good career?
While many people who work in childcare are pretty happy with what they are doing, most of them still complain about the rather low salary.
Consequently, working in childcare can be considered a decent career if money is not important to you and you rather want to spend your time in a rather relaxed atmosphere.
Is it easy to start your own business as a childcare worker?
It is not that easy to open your own childcare business.
There are many rules and regulations you have to comply with when you want to start a childcare facility and this means that you would also have to do lots of paperwork and may not have any time for the kids.
Can childcare workers teach themselves?
While childcare workers learn most of what they need on the job, some theoretical knowledge on how to solve conflicts may help as well.
It can also be helpful to have experienced colleagues on your side who can assist you during tense situations when you might not know what to do.
Do childcare workers make good money?
Childcare workers don’t make good money from what they are doing.
Instead, they barely make enough to pay their bills, especially if they live in regions where living costs are quite high and the salary of a childcare worker will be hardly enough to cover basic expenses.
Is it ever too late to become a childcare worker?
It is never too late to become a childcare worker.
In fact, the older you get, the more experience you will have and the easier it will be for you to handle children.
Hence, working in childcare can be great for you if you are already older and still want to make a career switch.
Do childcare workers have to quit their careers early?
Most childcare workers don’t have to quit their careers early.
Working in childcare is just not highly physically demanding and while construction workers and other people who do physically demanding work will often have to quit their jobs due to health issues in their 50s, you will be able to work in childcare until you retire or even work as a childcare worker until you finally pass away.
What is the most challenging thing about working as a childcare worker?
The most challenging part of being a childcare worker is that you will have to deal with many different children and have to make sure that kids get along with each other.
You will also have to process many wishes and inquiries of kids a the same time and you therefore need good organizational skills to keep things under control.
Can you provide for your family by working as a childcare worker?
Since childcare workers don’t make good money, it will be pretty hard for you to provide for your family as a childcare worker.
In fact, if you want to have a big family, you may rather want to work in a field where you can make significantly more.
Will childcare workers suffer from old-age poverty?
Due to the rather low salary, childcare workers are often not able to save and invest enough money for retirement.
Moreover, their pensions are often pretty poor and many childcare workers therefore suffer from old-age poverty and are no longer able to pay for rent or other basic expenses.
Can childcare workers retire early?
Most childcare workers are not able to retire early since they just don’t make enough money.
In fact, some childcare workers even have to keep working at retirement age since their pensions are quite low and they need additional money to pay their bills.
Do childcare workers get a fixed or variable salary?
Childcare workers mostly get a fixed salary.
Hence, your performance at work will not make a big difference in how much you will make each year.
However, it can still make a difference when it comes to the decision of whether you should get fired or not and you should therefore still give your best if you want to keep your job, even though it may not translate into a higher salary.
Can you get rich as a childcare worker?
Since you will make pretty poor money as a childcare worker, it will be impossible for you to get rich from your job.
Thus, if your goal is to get wealthy or even rich, you may want to go for a medical or financial career instead of becoming a childcare worker.
Do childcare workers need a second job?
Due to the low salary, many childcare workers need a second or even third job to pay their bills.
In fact, if you live in an expensive region where rents are high, you may not be able to cover all of your expenses through your childcare job and may have to work additional hours somewhere else.
Do you get continuous training as a childcare worker?
You will not get continuous training as a childcare worker.
Instead, you will learn most things you need on the job and from the mistakes you make.
In fact, it is far more important to be practical in this field than to look good on paper and you will therefore not get much theoretical education in this field in the long run.
Are childcare workers organized in unions?
There is a childcare union that aims to improve working conditions and wages in this industry.
However, wages are still pretty low and chances are that this will not change significantly in the future, even though unions may try their best in this regard.
Do you get paid when you are sick as a childcare worker?
You will not get sick pay in most childcare facilities.
However, this greatly depends on the state and the childcare facility you want to work for and also on whether it is an official childcare center or a private organization.
If you are not sure in this regard, you should inform yourself how this is handled in your area since it greatly depends on the individual case whether you get sick pay or not as a childcare worker.
Do childcare workers have a high level of responsibility?
Childcare workers have a pretty high level of responsibility.
In fact, your mistakes can lead to serious adverse outcomes for the kids you look after and this means that you always need to stay focused to avoid those mistakes as best as possible.
Can childcare workers work abroad?
Since childcare workers are needed in all parts of the world, it is also pretty easy for them to work abroad.
However, you should still make sure that you learn the language of the country you want to migrate to since it will be pretty hard to find a job abroad otherwise.
Is it stressful to work as a childcare worker?
While working in childcare will not be physically demanding most of the time, it can still be mentally and emotionally challenging to deal with many kids at the same time and to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and safe in your childcare center.
Is it boring to work as a childcare worker?
Working in childcare never gets boring since there are just so many things to do all day long.
In fact, if you are interested in working in this field and really love working with kids, chances are that you will never get bored but that you rather enjoy your workday.
Is being a childcare worker hard?
Being a childcare worker is not that hard if you have a stable mindset to deal with snarky comments of kids in a proper manner.
You should also not be that sensitive to stay happy with what you are doing in the long run since comments from kids may ruin your mood otherwise sooner or later.
Are childcare workers at risk of burnout?
Most childcare workers are not at risk of burnout.
In fact, many of them really enjoy working with kids and if you have this kind of passion, your risk of burnout will be close to zero since your level of stress at work will be rather low most of the time.
Is there a dress code for childcare workers?
There is no fixed dress code for childcare workers.
Instead, you can wear whatever you feel most comfortable with and this can be a great plus compared to other jobs for which you have to wear a fancy suit or dress and may not like it at all.
What kind of childcare workers are paid the most?
The more experienced and the higher your level of responsibility, the more you will make as a childcare worker.
Hence, if you want to make more money in the childcare industry, you should strive for a leading role where you have personnel responsibility and also have a say in the overall strategic development of the childcare facility you work for.
What percentage of childcare workers are women?
The vast majority of childcare workers are female.
In fact, around 97% of all childcare workers are women and only a pretty small fraction of childcare workers are men.
However, while this industry is still dominated by women, you can still work in childcare as a man if you are passionate about working with kids and are fine with the possible social stigma that may come along with it.
Do I need a mentor to succeed as a childcare worker?
You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a childcare worker.
What’s much more important is that you have a passion for working with kids and you will just learn most of the things on the job.
Hence, mentoring in this field is not necessary at all and you should rather put your efforts into getting as much experience as possible.
Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a childcare worker?
You may be personally liable for mistakes as a childcare worker if you don’t follow the rules and regulations of your childcare facility and kids may get hurt due to your mistakes.
Thus, it can make sense to get proper insurance in this regard so that you are covered in case of emergency.
Do childcare workers have a high life expectancy?
Since working in childcare is not that stressful most of the time and you will also not have to work many hours and accidents at work are rather rare, you will have a pretty high life expectancy as a childcare worker.
Do childcare workers suffer from sleeping problems?
Since childcare workers don’t have to work in the evening or at nighttime, they also don’t suffer from sleeping problems, at least not due to the job they are doing.
In fact, most childcare workers sleep well and don’t suffer from health problems in this regard.
What states are best for working as a childcare worker?
Since childcare workers don’t make good money in all states, you should choose a state where living costs are rather low while job opportunities for childcare workers are decent.
Only then will you be able to make a living from your job as a childcare worker.
Who do childcare workers work with?
Childcare workers take care of many different kids on a regular basis.
Hence, in order to stay happy with what you are doing in the long run, it is crucial that you enjoy working with children and really want to make their lives better.
Is working as a childcare worker cool?
Working in childcare is not considered cool by most people.
However, you will still do an important job for society and you should also not choose your job from a coolness perspective.
What’s much more important is that you really like what you are doing and that you get happy with your job in the long run.
Can you start a side hustle as a childcare worker?
You can also make money on the side as a childcare worker.
While you can work as a babysitter for some additional hours, you may also want to start a YouTube channel or a blog to give people advice on how to deal with difficult kids.
In turn, you may be able to build a huge audience and may be able to monetize this audience pretty soon.
Do you have to be creative as a childcare worker?
Creativity helps in the childcare industry since the more creative you are, the easier it will be for you to come up with new ideas and projects you could do with kids.
In turn, the more creative you are, the more kids will like you since you can provide exciting experiences for them.
How employable are childcare workers?
Since there is a high demand for childcare workers, childcare workers are pretty employable.
However, there are also many people who can do this job and this is the reason why wages in this industry are pretty low.
Are childcare workers happy with their jobs?
While most childcare workers are happy with the actual work and the working hours, many of them are not happy with their salary at all.
Hence, if money is really important to you, you should not become a childcare worker but rather do something else instead.
Is working as a childcare worker exciting?
Working in childcare can be pretty exciting on an emotional level.
In fact, kids may surprise you with new things every day and if you are passionate about working with children, this can really become your dream job.
What are the pros and cons of working as a childcare worker?
If you are still interested in working in childcare, you should also check out all the pros and cons of a childcare worker career.
Interviews and own research.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
Wanna support my blog? Share it!