Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and child care institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.
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Child care workers are expected to experience job growth that is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects will be good because of the many workers who leave the occupation and need to be replaced.
Employment of child care workers is projected to increase by 11 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. An increasing emphasis on early childhood education programs will increase demand for these workers. Child care workers often work alongside preschool teachers as assistants. Therefore, increased demand for formal preschool programs will create growth for child care workers. Although only a few States currently provide targeted or universal preschool programs, many more are considering or starting such programs. A rise in enrollment in private preschools is likely as the value of formal education before kindergarten becomes more widely accepted. More States moving toward universal preschool education could increase employment growth for child care workers. However, growth will be moderated by relatively slow growth in the population of children under the age of five, who are generally cared for by these workers.
High replacement needs should create good job opportunities for child care workers. Qualified persons who are interested in this work should have little trouble finding and keeping a job. Many child care workers must be replaced each year as they leave the occupation to fulfill family responsibilities, to study, or for other reasons. Others leave because they are interested in pursuing other occupations or because of low wages.
Child care workers held about 1.3 million jobs in 2008. About 33 percent of child care workers were self-employed; most of these were family child care providers.
Child day care services employed about 19 percent of all child care workers, and about 19 percent worked for private households. The remainder worked primarily in educational services; nursing and residential care facilities; amusement and recreation industries; civic and social organizations; and individual and family services. Some child care programs are for-profit centers, which may be affiliated with a local or national company. A very small percentage of private-industry establishments operate onsite child care centers for the children of their employees.
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience maybe helpful in these occupations, but usually is not needed. For example, a drywall installer could benefit from experience in installing dry wall, but an inexperienced person could learn the job fairly easily.
These occupations usually require a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job related course work. In some cases, you may need an associate's or bachelor's degree.
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.
Drywall installers, fire inspectors, flight attendants, pharmacy technicians, retail salespersons, and bank tellers.
In these occupations you can often use your knowledge and skills to help others.
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For an electronic question-and-answer service on child care, for information on becoming a child care provider, and for information on other resources, contact:
- National Child Care Information Center, 10530 Rosehaven St., Suite 400 Fairfax, VA 22030. Internet: http://www.nccic.org
For eligibility requirements and a description of the Child Development Associate credential, contact:
For eligibility requirements and a description of the Child Care Professional designation, contact:
- National Child Care Association, 1325 G St., NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.nccanet.org
For information about early childhood education, contact:
- National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1313 L St., NW., Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.naeyc.org
For information about a career as a nanny, contact:
State departments of human services or social services can supply State regulations and training requirements for child care workers.
Sources: O*Net data version 12.0
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Department of Labor
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