A daycare specialist is a type of child care worker that works at a specialized daycare facility. This specialized working environment is what distinguishes a daycare specialist from other child care workers, who often work in private residences. While some daycares require a college degree, most hire those with only a high school diploma. Opportunities for daycare jobs are available in many locations year-round.
A daycare specialist is in charge of caring for children of kindergarten age and younger. Most children are in daycare centers because their parents are working during the day. Some daycare centers also accept older children for a few hours before or after school. Employment as a daycare specialist is very demanding. The job requires an individual to be responsible for several aspects of childcare.
Some people mistakenly believe daycare workers simply provide some games or children’s TV programs to watch, much like a babysitter would. Daycare centers do much more. Daycare specialists are responsible for teaching children, leading educational activities, providing nutritious meals and snacks, and helping in all aspects of a child’s growth: physical, emotional, and social. In additional to these tasks, daycare workers are responsible for keeping the children and the facilities clean during the day.
In some daycare centers, certified pre-school teachers head the educational classes. At these times daycare specialists act as assistants to the pre-school teachers. In this supporting role, daycare workers often help with the educational material and projects. They are also responsible for taking care of children’s personal needs so that major disruptions of classes can be avoided.
While most of the day is spent with the children, daycare workers may also have other duties when the children are not present or in the care of others. Daycare specialists are required to hold meetings with parents. Some of these meetings are informal, but some daycare centers require formal conferences. In addition, daycare specialists must keep records on each child detailing the child’s progress and any significant events for the day. Parents can then use this information to continue with some of the same topics at home that the children learned at daycare.
Daycare specialists are usually given duties for one particular age group of children. Some specialize in the care of infants, changing them, feeding them, and providing them with fun yet educational distractions. Others may specialize in the needs of toddlers, while yet other daycare specialists are trained to work with older children.
Eric operates DaycareJobs.org, a top job search engine for daycare jobs that finds job listings from company career pages, job boards, newspapers and associations.
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