Childcare workers provide care for children when parents and other family members are unavailable. They attend to children’s basic needs, such as bathing and feeding. In addition, some help children prepare for kindergarten or help older children with homework.
Childcare workers care for children in childcare centers, their own home, or the homes of the children in their care. Many work full time, but part-time work and irregular hours are common.
How to Become a Childcare Worker
Education and training requirements vary by setting, state, and employer. They range from no formal education to certification in early childhood education.
Employment of childcare workers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities for childcare workers are expected to be favorable.
This occupation supported 1,312,700 jobs in 2012 and 1,260,600 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 4.0%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 14.0% in 2022 to 1,496,800 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 1,349,500, compared with an observed value of 1,260,600, 6.6% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.3% in 2024 to 1,329,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 1,533,600 jobs for 2024, 15.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.