Salary and Career Info for Day Care Providers

Sep 21, 2019

If you love looking after children and helping them grow up safe and healthy, a job as a day care provider could be right up your alley. Most states require day care workers to be licensed. Minimum education and training requirements are set by individual state licensing entities, but usually involve a combination of formal education and work experience.

Essential Information

Day care providers include childcare workers and administrators who take care of young children for working parents. The largest industries for childcare include in-home day care and organized day care facilities. Most states require that day care centers and child care employees be licensed. Requirements vary by state but usually include a combination of formal training and experience.

Required Education Courses for day care worker; directors may need an associate's degree
License Licensing required
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 2% for childcare workers
Mean Salary (2018)* $24,610 for childcare workers

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary Information for Day Care Providers

In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a mean hourly wage of $11.83 and a mean annual wage of $24,610 for full-time childcare workers ( Preschool teachers earned an hourly mean of $16.54 and an annual mean of $34,410. Preschool and childcare administrators, such as day care directors, earned a mean hourly wage of $25.96 and a mean annual salary of $53,990 for full-time work.

According to the BLS, childcare workers can increase their earnings with additional education. Professional certification can also enhance earnings. In a 2004 survey of professionals who have earned the Council for Professional Recognition's Child Development Associate (CDA) certification, half of the CDAs reported receiving a salary increase after earning their credential (

Career Information for Day Care Providers


Most states require day care employees be licensed. All states require day care centers, their administrators and their teachers to be licensed, with most states involving the CDA in the licensing process for day care centers. Licensing requirements for individuals vary by state and often depend on the size and type of facility, but generally include a minimum amount of professional experience combined with formal education. Employment opportunities for childcare workers can be enhanced by taking certificate classes. Teachers and day care directors often complete an associate degree program or higher.


In 2018, the BLS reported that 26% of the childcare workers were employed in child day care services. Employment in child day care workers was projected to increase 2% between 2018 and 2028. Of preschool teachers, 60% were employed in child day care services in 2018. Their employment was expected to expand 7% during that same decade.

Employment Industries

According to the BLS, the highest level of employment for child care workers was in the child day care services industry. Other industries with high levels of employment were elementary and secondary schools, and social or civic organizations.

As with many fields, in day care, the more you learn, the more you earn. Education, ongoing training, and voluntary certification can help day care workers bring home a better wage and access more job opportunities. This is especially those for those who earn a degree and can go on to become directors or administrators.

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