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What Do Child Care Workers Do?

Working with children requires patience.
A young child playing.
Article Details
  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2014
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Child care workers play an important part in helping to care for children when their parents are working or are busy with other tasks. They watch the children before or after school. For children who are not attending school, they may watch them on a full-time basis. While some child care workers are employed through a school or day care center, others are self-employed and work out of the home.

The main objective for child care workers is to keep the children safe. Also, they must keep the children engaged in various activities that are not only fun but stimulating. It is important that child carers know many games and activities to keep the children engaged, whether it be on a full- or part-time basis. Another important aspect of the job is to keep the children healthy and to make sure they are in a clean environment.

Child care workers need to be extremely patient, be able to talk to children and have a good amount of energy. It is also important that the person have a good personality, be someone that children can easily get along with and have an entertaining way about them. They must be adept at handling many types of situations, for example, if the child falls down or if the parent needs specific questions addressed.

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Some child care providers are around children on a daily basis, so on occasion they may give reports to the parents on how their child is doing. Since some help with homework, they have an insight as to how a child is handling the work. They also have a good insight on how the child interacts with other children and how they react to certain key situations, such as when they lose a game or when another child asks to share a toy. This is useful information to the parents about how the child behaves when they are not around.

In many cases, child care workers play the part of a teacher, motivator, and babysitter, among several others roles. They have a high level of responsibility and must make sure that, at the end of the day, the child is safe and happy. It is an important position, vital to helping the lives of many families run smoothly.

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Discuss this Article

irontoenail
Post 3

@pleonasm - There just needs to be a balance between the two. Love and discipline are both very important to young people and any good childcare training will help to develop both of these aspects of your practice.

It is important not to neglect either of them though. I've worked with kids who never experienced any kind of structure when they were young and were suddenly expected to sit still for long periods during school hours and do whatever the teacher told them to do.

That just doesn't come naturally to a child who has never experienced it before. And it does become a safety issue when they think they can run off in the middle of class.

But, at the same time, you want all children to feel supported and understood. If they aren't having fun with you then you're doing it wrong.

pleonasm
Post 2

@pastanaga - That's true of a lot of jobs. I will say that daycare teachers do need to be careful not to become "friends" with their charges though. You have to make sure that they know that you are the boss and if you say something needs to be done, it should be done straight away.

I'm not saying to bully them, or leave them without any choices. But if you act more like a friend than a parent you undermine discipline which they do need to learn. Without getting a good basis in discipline during their early years they will have trouble settling into school routines.

pastanaga
Post 1

To me, the most important aspect of this kind of job is to make sure you're completely focused on it. I find that if I'm distracted or just waiting for the day to end, the hours seem to drag and I become impatient with the kids. It might seem like a childcare worker's salary isn't enough to make you want to be truly dedicated, but not giving your all is only going to make you miserable.

When I'm enthusiastic and happy to be there, the kids can sense it and they become happier as well. We just have fun together, rather than being adversaries.

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