How to Become a Child Care Worker

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Child care workers work in daycare or home child care centers or are self-employed (babysitting from their homes). Primary qualifications include a desire to work with children, clear background checks and, possibly, further training at the college level. Knowing CPR and best child care practices can help further your career in child care. Child care is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States, as more states implement universal prekindergarten programs and more mothers return to the workforce.

Decide which type of child care environment you would like to work in (home child care, daycare center, babysitting). Statistics say that 35 percent of all child care workers are self-employed--many from home.

Obtain a child abuse clearance and criminal/background checks. This will cost a small fee. As of 2009, the average fee for obtaining a child abuse clearance is $10. Some centers/states are also requiring a FBI background check.

Be aware of best practices for child care. Young children learn most effectively through play. Also, recommendations are that a child care worker for infant care be responsible for no more than three or four infants or toddlers (through 2 years of age) or six or seven children of preschool age (up to 5 years of age).

Apply for jobs or start your own babysitting service. Be aware of going pay rates in your area. In 2009, the national yearly average for a child care worker averages $16,000 to $20,00 full-time.

Consider additional training. Helpful training could include anything from CPR training to an Early Childhood Education associate degree or specialized child care worker training through your employer.


Be aware that working with young children requires physical stamina, cleaning up messes, working with children with behavioral difficulties and other challenges. However, the result of your efforts is making a difference in young lives.


Not all child care centers/employers provide insurance or benefits. Be sure to check on this before you apply for a job.