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Responsibilities of Assistant Teachers in Daycare Centers

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an assistant teacher in a daycare center. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about education, job duties and salary to find out if this is the career for you.

Assistant teachers in daycare centers work to assist lead teachers in a variety of functions, including observing, supervising and disciplining children, organizational duties, and optimizing the learning and play environment. They may work with other assistant teachers to further aid the teachers and support students.

Essential Information

Assistant teachers in daycare centers work with children to provide a safe and nurturing environment for social and academic growth. They provide supervision, discipline and other forms of general care, in addition to helping with instruction and clerical work. Education requirements vary for teacher assistants, with a high school diploma or the equivalent being sufficient for some jobs, and others calling for some college training.

Required Education Varies from high school diploma or GED to some college or an associate's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for all teacher assistants
Median Salary (2015)* $24,900 for teacher assistants in child daycare services

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Overview of Assistant Teacher Responsibilities

Supervision

Assistant teachers are responsible for observing and monitoring student activity at all times. In a classroom or gymnasium, on a playground, during field trips or during meals, assistant teachers must be constantly aware of the locations of students and keep them in line of sight. Through this observation, they must be able to recognize inappropriate behavior and discipline students accordingly. Assistant teachers must be familiar with the disciplinary procedures specific to the individual daycare center and adhere to them consistently so as to provide safe conditions for children.

Instruction

The academic role of assistant teachers involves working with students and instructors to provide an optimal learning environment. They offer aid to children when needed, as well as helping teachers prepare and execute lesson plans and activities. This includes performing organizational duties for teachers, like copying, printing and other computer work. In addition, they continue their monitoring duties to ensure that student injuries are avoided and equipment is not damaged or used improperly.

Assistant teachers are often called upon to work closely with disabled children or students with special needs. They also facilitate individual and small group work so that students can enjoy a more specialized learning experience. Depending on the situation, two or more assistant teachers might be assigned to a classroom or group of students in order to better provide assistance.

Basic Care

Maintaining the health and well-being of the children under their supervision is another key responsibility of assistant teachers. This can take the form of cleaning, meal preparation and dealing with minor injuries. Children with special needs often require other forms of care that assistant teachers provide. Assistant teachers work with children, disabled or otherwise, to improve both their academic and social skills. Additionally, assistant teacher duties may include keeping medical records or attendance rosters, as well as contacting parents in the event of a serious injury or disciplinary issue.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

As of May 2015, assistant teachers working in child day care services earned a median salary of $24,900 per year. Expected employment growth for all teacher assistants is 6% from 2014-2024, per the BLS.

Assistant teachers in daycare centers have a variety of responsibilities, and work to help a teacher in many ways. They are an extra set of eyes to watch children while playing, and may help to discipline or facilitate learning activities. Jobs in this field are expected to grow by about 6% during the next decade.


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