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Career Profile: Childcare Workers

Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 992,400 people employed as childcare workers in the United States. The median annual salary is $25,500. Entry level employees earn approximately $18,380 per year and senior employees earn approximately $37,720 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Regulate children's rest periods.
  • Care for children in institutional setting, such as group homes, nursery schools, private businesses, or schools for the handicapped.
  • Sanitize toys and play equipment.
  • Dress children and change diapers.
  • Keep records on individual children, including daily observations and information about activities, meals served, and medications administered.
  • Identify signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring them to parents' or guardians' attention.
  • Instruct children in health and personal habits, such as eating, resting, and toilet habits.
  • Organize and store toys and materials to ensure order in activity areas.
  • Perform general administrative tasks, such as taking attendance, editing internal paperwork, and making phone calls.
  • Create developmentally appropriate lesson plans.
  • Perform housekeeping duties, such as laundry, cleaning, dish washing, and changing of linens.
  • Read to children and teach them simple painting, drawing, handicrafts, and songs.
  • Assist in preparing food and serving meals and refreshments to children.
  • Discipline children and recommend or initiate other measures to control behavior, such as caring for own clothing and picking up toys and books.
  • Provide care for mentally disturbed, delinquent, or handicapped children.
  • Operate in-house day-care centers within businesses.
  • Perform general personnel functions, such as supervision, training, and scheduling.
  • Accompany children to and from school, on outings, and to medical appointments.
  • Organize and participate in recreational activities and outings, such as games and field trips.
  • Sterilize bottles and prepare formulas.
  • Help children with homework and school work.
  • Maintain a safe play environment.
  • Observe and monitor children's play activities.
  • Communicate with children's parents or guardians about daily activities, behaviors, and related issues.
  • Support children's emotional and social development, encouraging understanding of others and positive self-concepts.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
992,400
Annual Openings:
150,300
Increase in Openings by 2030:
9%
Annual Salary Range:
$18,380 - $37,720
Education Requirements:
High school diploma