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Child care can be a challenging field to work in. It is a mixture of babysitting and teaching all rolled into one job title. A child care worker needs a special combination of skills and strengths, along with a positive attitude and a firm resolve to provide the best care and training possible for all children, to succeed in this field.
Patience is a key strength all child care workers must possess and which many develop on the job. Working with young children all day can be challenging and stressful. It is difficult trying to balance the needs of so many different children, and it becomes even more taxing trying to balance the needs of parents who entrust their children to a caregiver on a daily basis. A child care worker must be able to stay calm when dealing with both screaming children and protective parents. Someone who does not have the ability to remain calm and patient under pressure will find it difficult to work in child care.
A child care worker with good organizational skills is generally far more effective in a child care setting. Most children need structure and balance in their day, and a child care provider must be able to successfully lead children through play time, periods of interactive learning, meal time and rest throughout the day. A child care worker who has a system of organization to maintain toys, lesson plans and progress reports for the day will likely have success in leading a class of content children with happy parents.
Working with children all day requires a high level of energy. Child care workers with a naturally high level of energy will find a comfortable spot in running after children, cleaning up spills and averting disasters throughout the day. Child care workers are expected to be mobile and able to get down on the floor with children and move up and down throughout the day as the children's activities change. Working with children can also be fun and invigorating, and many child care workers find renewed vigor and vitality in being surrounded by children all day.
Working with children is unpredictable and often unreliable. Although many child care workers develop an ability to adapt to changing environments within the child care field, it can be an asset for a child care worker to have a flexible personality not easily fazed by the unforeseeable events and circumstances present in the child care environment.
Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.