Daycare teachers are childcare workers who lead the children in lessons, games, and activities to entertain the young ones while expanding their minds. Becoming a daycare teacher is a way to help children learn and grow without having to deal with the structure and workload related to being a teacher of older children in the public schools.
|Average Salary in Michigan (2018)||$23,670 (childcare workers)*|
|Required Education||High school diploma/GED or higher|
|Field of Study||Early childhood education, child development, or a similar child-related field|
|Other Requirements||Pass background check; complete professional development|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
About the Background Check
If you have lived in Michigan for the last five years, a regular background check that includes fingerprinting is all that's required, as of 2018, according to the State of Michigan's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website.
If you have lived outside of Michigan at any time within the last five years, you will also need to pass background checks for the other states you lived in within that time. The only exceptions are for former residents of National Fingerprint File (NFF) states, who do not need to take additional background checks.
Certain criminal convictions can prevent a person from working in child care, even if they meet all other requirements. If you have been convicted of most misdemeanor or felony charges, you must wait the designated time since the date of conviction to be able to be able to work with children. These charges typically require a waiting period of at least five to ten years without further criminal charges before working in child care. The full list of crimes and waiting periods can be found on the Michigan LARA Website.
If you have ever been convicted of any felony against a minor, falsified background check information, are a convicted sex offender, committed spousal abuse, or worked at a child care center/home at a time in which a child was seriously injured, abused, or died you can never be a child care worker of any kind in Michigan, according to 2018 guidelines.
Professional Development Requirements
Several special training courses are required as part of a daycare teacher's professional development. This required training may be done in any order. All training information should be kept on file and given to your employer.
- First Aid and CPR
- Handling blood-borne pathogens
- Spotting and reporting child abuse and neglect (child welfare training)
- Preventing shaken baby syndrome (safe sleep training)
First Aid and CPR training is available for free via the Red Cross. Classes are available in person or online. Other acceptable training sources include but are not limited to the American Heart Association, American Heart Saver, The American Safety and Health Institute, and Emergency Care and Safety Institute. A full list can be found on the state of Michigan LARA training web site.
Training on handling blood-borne pathogens is available from many college campuses. Michigan Virtual University has a free awareness level training course that is enough to get started.
Child Welfare Training can be done via the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The classes themselves take place at various college campuses around the state. The fees per class will vary depending on the campus at which you study.
Courses on preventing shaken baby syndrome/safe sleep courses are available free online from the Michigan Department of Health.
All childcare workers in Michigan are required to complete 16 clock hours of verified professional development each year. Some of this may be offered through the daycare centers, while teachers may need to seek colleges and other organizations that offer this type of training on-site or online.
In Michigan, the next step up from being a daycare teacher is becoming a lead caregiver. Lead caregivers oversee children and other daycare teachers at a childcare center. They report back to the program director.
Typically, lead caregivers are assigned to a specific group of children and will help the other daycare teachers take care of them. They might create learning plans, create evaluations for both the children and the other daycare teachers, and help implement lessons for the children.
Lead caregivers in Michigan have higher educational requirements than regular daycare teachers. As of 2019, they are required to have a high school diploma or GED along with one of the following: a bachelor's degree or associate's degree in early childhood education or child development; a Montessori credential; or a child development associate (CDA). In addition, lead daycare teachers who work with infants or toddlers must also have training specifically for that age group.
Start Your Studies
Here are some courses that could help you get started with being a daycare teacher.