What experiences do you need to become a child care worker?

Even if you have no experience working with children, you can still find a job as a child care worker with some employers. Child care facilities may be willing to train new staff on the job if they have no child care experience. Others may require a new employee to have some form of child care experience under her belt. It is important that you have a strong desire to work directly with children on a daily basis and that you are willing to learn what it takes to be a good child care provider.

Formal Child Care

Experience as a child care worker in another child care facility is helpful to have before you apply for a child care worker position. This type of experience is not absolutely required by all employers, however. It can be helpful to have references from families for whom you have served as a babysitter, for example.

Other Child Care

Experience as a babysitter, nanny, teacher's assistant or other type of child care worker in other settings can also be beneficial when applying for a child care worker job. Working in summer camps and church nurseries, or as a teacher's aide in a school, are examples of other ways to get child care experience. These types of experience allow you to work directly with children on a regular basis. You will face many similar experiences working as a child care provider in another setting as you will in a child care centre.

Child Development

Child care workers work with a variety of age groups, each of which has its own needs. Experience and knowledge of child development on a formal or experiential level is important in a child care setting to providing the best care possible. If you have taken early childhood education courses or have your Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential, you will have an edge over less-educated applicants.

Learning On the Ground

Knowing how you will deal with two one-year-olds who are fighting over the same toy; how you would redirect a three-year-old upset that his mother has dropped him off for the day; or how you would present a lesson in early literacy and numeracy to a preschool class are important for child care workers. These types of knowledge are often only gained through experience and some formal training, whether on the job or in a college classroom. Volunteer in your church's nursery or in a preschool as a classroom helper to gain some of the knowledge helpful to successfully apply for a child care worker position.

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About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.