Toddler Care Careers: Job Outlook & Requirements

Mar 19, 2019

There are a number of careers that involve the care of toddlers. Find out how to become a toddler care professional, including what education is required. Get information on the job outlook, salary data and related job options.

Career Definition for a Toddler Care Professional

Toddler care responsibilities range from short-term babysitting jobs to long-term child development programs. Toddler care workers provide basic childcare services, such as feeding, bathing and changing children, as well as engaging them in educational and play activities. These workers may live with a family, work with a team of professionals in a day care center or provide child care services from their homes. Depending on the number of children in their care, toddler care professionals may need a state license. Opportunities range from part-time employment to full-time live-in situations.

Education High school diploma, associate's, or bachelor's degree
Job Skills Knowledge of childcare and lifesaving skills; communication skills; ability to maintain authority; able to sit, stand, and lift children
Mean Salary (2017) $23,760* (for childcare workers)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 7%* (for childcare workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A high school diploma and experience caring for children are sufficient for many toddler care professions, but some employers may require a bachelor's or associate's degree with coursework in childhood development. Certification, such as a national Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential may also be required for licensure by some states. Those who have completed early childhood education programs, such as those accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), may also have an advantage in the job marketplace.

Job Skills

Toddler care professionals must know basic childcare skills, such as how to prepare meals, bathe and clothe a young child. They must know lifesaving techniques and be certified in CPR for children and infants. They should be up-to-date on current practices in early childhood development, possess good communication skills and have the ability to maintain authority with young children, while providing a safe and nurturing environment. They should be able to sit, stand, walk, stoop and lift up to 50 pounds.

Economic Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that 1,216,600 people worked in childcare in 2016 and projected that the demand for childcare workers would rise by 7% from 2016 through 2026. The mean salary for this position in 2017 was $23,760, per BLS statistics.

Alternative Career Options

Careers that are similar to a toddler care professional include:

Preschool Teacher

Focusing on children from 3-5 years old, preschool teachers play, supervise and teach children in public and private organizations and daycare establishments. Depending on the state, teachers may need certification in early childhood education or an associate's degree. Licensing is required for public school teachers. The BLS projected a 10% job increase from 2016 to 2026. Preschool teachers, excluding those working in special education, earned a mean salary of $33,590 in 2017.

Teacher Assistant

Working under the supervision of a licensed teacher, assistants help with attendance, field trips and overall instruction. The education requirements vary from a high school diploma to an associate's degree. As of May 2017, teacher assistants made an average income of $27,950 per year, according to the BLS. The BLS also reported a job growth of 8% for these workers from 2016 to 2026.

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