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People who dedicate time and energy at a daycare center have an opportunity to make an important difference in the lives of children. This voluntary role requires hard work, but it is rewarding for people who enjoy interacting with children and guiding them as they grow and learn. Volunteers usually perform a variety of duties as they assist a daycare supervisor, teacher or primary caretaker.
Basic childcare is a primary function of a daycare volunteer, and much of a volunteer's time is spent monitoring children to ensure they remain safe as they go about their activities. Most volunteers are required to know basic first aid and CPR and to be able to assist supervisors in the event of an emergency. The job of a volunteer usually requires listening to children, offering comfort when needed, and resolving minor spats and squabbles. Often, volunteers help with preparation, serving and cleanup of snacks or meals.
Play is important work for children. Play helps children share with others and cope with their feelings while developing verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Play also helps develop children's fine motor development and helps them develop confidence. Volunteers usually assist with age-appropriate activities such as rocking or holding infants and helping toddlers and preschoolers with arts and crafts, reading, writing, dancing, singing and playing games.
Administrative and Clerical
Volunteers are often asked to help with office duties such as computer work, filing or answering the phone. In some cases, they may be required to maintain records, take daily notes, or help with development of daily activity plans and schedules. Volunteers must maintain strict confidentiality of families and other workers or volunteers. However, all paid or volunteer child care workers are legally mandated to report incidents and suspicions of child abuse and neglect to a supervisor.
Cleanup and Maintenance
Daycare volunteers are required to maintain focus on children at all times and to help maintain a safe, friendly, supportive environment. Volunteers must be vigilant to ensure all toys and equipment are safe, clean and in good working order, and to report problems to supervisors or maintenance personnel. Volunteers usually stock supplies and help with cleanup of school rooms or play areas. Helping children pick up toys is a daily task.
- Center for Families: Childcare Assistant Volunteer Job Description
- County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board: Volunteer Position Description
- Child Care Lounge: Sample Job Descriptions for Day Care or Child Care Staff
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families: The Role of Professional Child Care Providers in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.
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