Careers in the Child Care Industry

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By Kenya McCullum

With American parents working harder than ever to make ends meet, it's imperative for families to have access to qualified child care providers they can trust. In order to fill these positions, many people pursue degrees in child care, which help them learn how to properly take care of children, as well as run child care facilities.

Types of child care degrees
Child development degree programs prepare students for a number of positions in the industry, including careers in education, social services, and government. Students who earn bachelor's degrees in child care typically pursue entry-level positions, while those who want to enter administration, supervisory, or research positions are generally required to obtain master's or doctoral degrees.

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Similarly, child care management degrees are for those interested in not only working with children, but running child care facilities. In these programs, students explore topics such as business accounting, marketing, parenting, child development, nutrition, child safety, and first aid in order to give them the knowledge and skills they to manage a child care facility. Graduates can pursue a number of careers, including day care manager, preschool teacher, or child care worker.
Careers in child care

Child care worker - Child care workers are responsible for the basic needs of the children in their care. The duties of these professionals include preparing meals and snacks for children, changing diapers, ensuring that children maintain good hygiene, and determining when they should exercise or take naps. In addition, child care workers are responsible for engaging children in educational activities, monitoring their emotional and developmental progress, reporting any abnormal behavior to the parents, and helping children develop their interests.

There are a number of different kinds of child care workers, including family care providers, nannies, and babysitters. These professionals work in several settings, including families' home, preschools, public schools, and child care centers. The education requirements of child care workers depend on where they seek employment. While some in the field can get a job with a high school diploma, many workers are required to obtain at least an associate's or bachelor's degree. In addition, some states require that child care workers earn a certification to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Also, these professionals may be required to be certified in CPR or first aid, depending on the requirements of their employer.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of child care workers is expected to increase by 20 percent nationwide between 2010 and 2020.

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Preschool teacher - Preschool teachers work with children, generally between the ages of three and five, to introduce different subjects to them -- such as science, reading, and writing -- that they will learn when they go to kindergarten. In addition, these professionals organize daily activities for their students so they have periods to learn, play, and rest. Preschool teachers are also required to plan and develop a curriculum for their students that monitors their motor, language, and social skills; inform parents when there are signs of emotional or developmental problems with their children; and keep records of how students are progressing in class. Preschool teachers work in a variety of settings, including charitable and religious organizations, as well as public and private schools.

Those who want to pursue a career as a preschool teacher are generally required to earn at least a bachelor's degree, although some employers will hire workers with just a high school diploma. In addition, some states require preschool teachers to earn national certifications, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) or the Child Care Professional (CCP).

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be a 25 percent increase in the amount of jobs available for preschool teachers in the United States between 2010 and 2020.

Preschool or child care center director - Preschool and child care center directors are responsible for completely running their respective child care programs. Duties of these professionals include hiring, training, and supervising staff; creating budgets and ensuring those budgets are adhered to; developing policies for their facilities and communicating them to parents and staff; and ensuring that the facility is in compliance with state laws.

Preschool and child care center directors generally earn at least a bachelor's degree. In addition, depending on what state they live in, they may be required to obtain a license, as well as various professional certifications. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for these professionals is expected to grow by 25 percent nationally between 2010 and 2020.

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Kenya McCullum is a writer for This article was originally published on
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