Child care assistants work in a variety of settings and their pay varies considerably based on a number of factors, including the type of facility in which they work. Child care assistants also have varying amounts of education. While many have only high school diplomas and no higher education, some have completed some vocational or college classes or even hold college degrees. Those who have more education tend to earn higher salaries, of course.
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Day Care Centers and Preschools
Many child care assistants work in day care centres or preschools. There they assist head teachers in supervising activities with children, serve meals and snacks to children, change diapers and feed infants and toddlers and assist older children in the bathroom and with tasks like putting on their jackets and tying their shoes. Head teachers typically plan classroom activities, though child care assistants assist with planning activities as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for child care assistants in May 2008 was £5.40.
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Child care assistants also work in elementary and secondary schools. In elementary schools, they may serve as assistants in kindergarten classes. They may supervise students in the lunch room or on the playground. They may also serve as assistants in special education classrooms with disabled children in elementary or secondary schools or may be assigned as an aide to one disabled child who requires one-on-one assistance. They work under the supervision of licensed teachers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in May 2008, child care assistants working in elementary and secondary schools earned a median hourly wage of £6.80.
Some child care assistants work in recreational programs like summer camps, after school programs and Boys' and Girls' clubs. They assist head counsellors or recreational professionals in supervising children's activities. In May 2008, they earned a median hourly wage of £5.40.
Some child care assistants work in residential facilities such as orphanages, treatment facilities for children with emotional problems or disabilities, group homes and juvenile detention centres. Their duties vary depending on the type of facility in which they work, but they typically assist professional staff in supervising activities with children, helping children manage their behaviour, and providing personal care if needed for children with disabilities. In May 2008, they earned a median hourly wage of £6.80.
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