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Salary and Career Info for a Child Care Provider

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a child care provider. Get an overview of the requirements, job duties, education programs and certification to see if this is the right career for you.

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Child care providers can work in schools, day care centers, for families, or for larger, government funded childcare facilities. A high school diploma is typically the required level of education, although requirements depend on the employer. Child care providers look after the wellbeing of children under the age of five, or older children in childcare programs during out of school hours.

Essential Information

Child care providers are responsible for the safety and nutrition of pre-kindergarten children in daycare, as well as for school-age children in and before- and after-school programs. Education and training for child care providers is mandated by individual states based on the type of facility.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent at minimum; certificate and associate's degree programs available
Other Requirements State license and/or Child Development Associate credential
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% for all child care workers
Average Salary (2015)* $22,310 for all child care workers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Child Care Provider's Salary and Job Outlook

A child care provider's salary can vary by employer and education. Although the salary tends to be low, more education can correspond to higher salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of May 2015, the average wages of child care workers were $10.72 per hour, and the average salary was $22,310. The lowest paid employees earned less than $8.12 per hour, and the highest paid earned more than $14.78 per hour. Self-employed child care workers' income depends on the number of children in the program and the total numbers of hours worked. The BLS predicted average employment growth of 5 percent from 2014-2024 for child care workers.

Most child care providers have few employer-provided benefits. Most employers offer free or reduced-rate childcare to their employees. Some offer full benefits including health insurance and vacations, as well as seminars to enhance knowledge and skills.

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Child Care Provider Career Info

Education requirements for child care providers depend on the child care facility. Individual states regulate licensing requirements for child care provider education, with a high school diploma as the minimum. Some may require a Child Development Associate credential, awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition to candidates who pass an assessment of knowledge and skills to care for the physical and social needs of children in child care and development programs.

Some states require employees to attend community college classes in child guidance, health and nutrition. Certificate and associate degree programs offered in child development and early childhood education can include classes in child psychology and infant development. Certificate programs may last up to three semesters, and associate degrees take two years.

Child care providers can find employment in private, in-home day care centers that may have only a few children enrolled and are generally not regulated by the states. In this case, a high school diploma and prior experience may not be required. Larger centers and centers that receive government funding come under the stricter experience and educational requirements of the state. Additional requirements can include a background check and immunization shots.

Child care providers can also find employment in schools and nursing centers. Some also find jobs with family service providers. Large firms sometimes offer childcare to their employees as a benefit and hire child care providers to staff the onsite daycare programs.

Child care providers work to ensure the wellbeing of children. They often work at schools or day care facilities. They may look after children under the age of five, or older children in after school programs. While not all facilities are regulated, a high school diploma is a typical educational requirement. Some employers may require courses at the community college level.

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