What does a Day Care Assistant do?

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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2019
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The job duties of a day care assistant may vary, depending on the needs of the specific day care facility. In most cases, he or she is expected to assist in the care of children in the program. This includes direct interaction with children or working behind the scenes in planning or maintenance. Most of the time, a day care environment includes private day care centers and some preschool programs that are government funded.

In facilities where a day care assistant works directly with children, this is usually under the direct supervision of other staff such as teachers or directors. They are expected to be open to following direction from others. Those who work in this field should be willing to comply with the strict standards imposed on most day care facilities.

Most childcare facilities arrange their day around a combination of activities related to education and play. A day care assistant is typically responsible for helping arrange games and activities. They may be expected to clean up following activities and to make sure supplies and equipment are properly stored and organized. In some cases, the assistant may also be allowed to offer individual instruction and guidance to children enrolled in the day care program.


Maintaining the safety of all children enrolled is usually a top priority for most day care programs. In most instances, the responsibilities of a day care assistant play an important role in maintaining a safe and healthy environment. They are usually expected to keep a close and watchful eye on the children, especially during times of increased physical activity. They may also be put in charge of children who must be separated from the group due to accident or illness.

Applicants for positions as a day care assistant should be willing to undergo intense background checks. In many cases, those who have been convicted of a felony will be ineligible to work in these positions. In addition, applicants who have had mental health issues or drug and alcohol addiction may also find it difficult to gain employment in day care. Most jurisdictions require applicants to undergo screenings for drug and alcohol use, and may also screen for communicable diseases.


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Post 1

It's hard to believe how low the pay is! I worked as a day care assistant while I was in college and I made $7 an hour. That was over ten years ago, but it's still pretty low pay for really hard work.

Because that was the most exhausting job I've ever had! It was a summer job, so I was working full time, and I was exhausted at the end of the day. Of course, it was also really, really rewarding. The kids would call me "Miss Jenny" and it was gratifying when they would ask me to push them on the swings or help them with a puzzle.

Another kind of day care assistant is the cook! The center I worked at served a hot lunch. One of the assistants would help out with activities in the morning, then make lunch and do the dishes before going home (she was part-time).

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