In general, child care jobs involve caring for children outside of home parent care situations. Care may be needed for children of various ages, from infancy through mid- to late teens. Care may be set in an individual's home, in a private group facility, in school, or in a public facility as part of a government program. Child care professionals may have additional responsibilities in the areas of education, health care, or care for children with special needs.
Child Care Job Education Requirements
The education and credentials required for a child care position vary by state and the specifics of the job. Employers often require that child care aide candidates have a minimum of a high school diploma. Some states require that employees working in a licensed child care facility have some formal education in child development, and positions involving an education component may require a degree in early childhood education. Some employers may require certification by a professional organization, such as the National Child Care Association.
Individuals seeking more senior positions, such as child care director, should consider pursuing a master's degree in a related field, and those who wish to provide child care services in their homes must obtain a license from the state.
Child Care Job Market
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for child care workers is projected to grow at 14 percent through 2022, which is consistent with projected growth of the general job market. Employment opportunities in child care vary geographically, and are driven by the number of parents in the workforce and the number of preschool and day care programs in the area.
Child Care Job Salary Information
The median salary for all child care workers is $19,510 annually, or $9.38 per hour, according to the BLS. Entry-level positions can start as low as minimum wage, while employees with advanced education or in managerial positions typically earn more than the average starting wage.