A daycare teacher works with children under the age of five. They may find employment in specialized centers, preschools, or work from their own homes and help children learn new skills and information.
Daycare teachers should have a strong desire to work with young children and have the physical capacity to squat, bend, and lift. They must have experience handling behavioral problems and instituting fair but firm disciplinary measures.
The work of a daycare teacher can be demanding and stressful — especially when dealing with behavioral challenges — and the hours can go as long as 12 hours a day.
Becoming a daycare teacher usually requires at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. An associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related discipline could prove beneficial, making job candidates more attractive to employers.
Most states don’t have specific requirements for daycare teachers who work with only a few children, but a license may be required depending on the number of children. Beyond that, daycare teachers may also need to complete continuing education classes.
A clean criminal record is required to be a daycare teacher in most states.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nonsupervisory workers in child daycare services industry averaged $11.32 per hour; preschool teachers made median annual wages of $22,120, while child care workers earned $17,440.
The Department of Labor estimates that employment in child daycare services will increase moderately. Most demand will probably arise in center-based daycares, and if states proceed with plans for preschool programs, the need could be even greater.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics