Child care workers tend to schoolchildren before and after school in addition to providing daytime care for children too young for school. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), there were 1,301,900 child care workers in 2008. The BLS estimates the jobs in this field to increase 11 per cent by 2018. The BLS classifies child care workers by the places they watch children: private household workers, family child care providers, and child care centre workers.
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Good communication skills are a must for a child care worker. The Occupational Information Network (O*Net) says child care workers must use active listening skills to fully understand the child's needs and ask appropriate follow-up questions. In addition, workers frequently teach children and need to speak articulately with parents. The International Child and Youth Network cites that emotional stability is an important function, so workers need to be able to communicate to the child that they are nurturing, empathetic, and take the child seriously.
The U.S. Department of Labor documents the need for child care workers to possess adequate organizational skills as they choose and plan daily activities and nutritious meals and snacks for the children prior to their attendance. O*Net states that child care workers choose instructional methods and procedures, monitor performance, and practice appropriate time management. Paperwork and filing management are required for child care workers who run their own businesses.
O*Net states that child care workers use analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of daily situations and problems. The International Child and Youth Network says all child care workers need to analyse the child's reactions to basic needs of a warm and nurturing environment, as these needs have emotional meaning to children and their development.
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