Detailed Guide forChildcare Workers in California
May also be called: Baby Sitters; Before and After School Day Care Workers; Child Care Providers; Child Care Teachers; Child Caregivers; Day Care Providers; Infant and Toddler Teachers; Teacher Assistants; and Toddler Teachers
Specialties within this occupation include: Childcare Center Workers; Family Childcare Providers; and Nannies
What Would I Do?
Childcare Workers look after children while their parents are away. Childcare Workers nurture and teach children. Childcare Workers responsible for infants and toddlers may need to change diapers and bottle- or spoon-feed them. Although Childcare Workers are not teachers, they work with children individually or in groups to create a safe, comfortable, and creative environment, allowing children to mature and learn. By assisting children to become more independent and learn social interaction skills, Childcare Workers prepare kids for formal schooling.
Childcare Workers teach young children through play, problem solving, answering questions, and experimenting. Childcare Workers use less structured approaches to teach children, such as art, dance, and music. Structured activities, such as storytelling and group play, are used to develop language and social skills. Childcare Workers may also need to administer first aid. They may also need to read and understand medication instructions and administer medications to the child.
Childcare Center Workers work in daycare centers. They also work in before- and after-school programs, such as Head Start, Early Head Start, pre-school and other early childhood programs. Childcare Center Workers employed at pre-schools assist teachers with lesson plans but are primarily responsible for child care duties.
Family Childcare Providers work out of their homes and are generally responsible for a small group of children. In cases where they look after a large group of children, they are assisted by other Childcare Workers.
Nannies work in the homes of the children. They supervise children’s activities, bathe and feed them, and put them to bed. Nannies may care for a child from infancy until about age 12. In addition to tending to the child’s needs, Nannies may also do general housework such as cleaning and laundry. Childcare Workers who work for many different families are called Baby Sitters.
Tools and Technology
Childcare Workers use a variety of tools in the course of their work including cars, car safety seats, computers, and word processing software. They may also use appliances, such as microwaves, dishwashers, kitchen stoves, and clothes washers and dryers.
Important Tasks and Related Skills
Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.
|View the skill definitions|
|Task||Skill Used in this Task|
|Maintain a safe play environment.
|Dress children and change diapers.||Information Ordering|
|Observe and monitor children's play activities.||Social Perceptiveness|
|Communicate with children's parents or guardians about daily activities, behaviors, and related issues.
|Keep records of play, meal schedules, and bill payment.||Written Expression|
|Support children's emotional and social development, encouraging understanding of others and positive self-concepts.||Education and Training|
|Identify signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring them to parents' or guardians' attention.||Psychology|
|Create developmentally appropriate lesson plans.||Customer and Personal Service|
Below is a definition for each skill.
|View the tasks to skills list|
|Monitoring||Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.|
|Information Ordering||The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).|
|Social Perceptiveness||Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.|
|Oral Expression||The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.|
|Written Expression||The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.|
|Education and Training||Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.|
|Psychology||Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.|
|Customer and Personal Service||Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.|
Child care centers range from large, well-equipped buildings with large inside and outside play areas to small private homes. Working with children involves a lot of physical activity, mental alertness, and enthusiasm. Good general health, physical stamina, and emotional stability are essential. The work is never routine, with each day marked by new activities and challenges. This job requires bending, stooping, and lifting as workers attend to each child’s needs. The environment is often noisy, and Workers occasionally have to contend with foul odors. Childcare Workers typically work a 40-hour workweek.
Childcare Workers typically do not belong to unions.
Will This Job Fit Me?
The job of Childcare Worker will appeal to those who enjoy children, as well as activities that involve assisting others and promoting learning and personal development. Those who enjoy teaching, offering advice, helping, and being of service to people may enjoy this occupation.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
Wages for Childcare Workers in California differ widely depending on job duties, work experience, and location of the work. Workers in large cities generally earn higher wages than those who work in smaller towns and rural areas.
The median wage in 2016 for Childcare Workers in California is $24,627 annually, or $11.84 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Benefit packages vary from company to company. Childcare Workers generally receive health insurance, vacation, sick leave, and holidays. Self-employed Childcare Workers need to purchase their own benefits.
What is the Job Outlook?
Job prospects are expected to be favorable for Childcare Workers. Job openings will result from the need to replace the large number of Childcare Workers who are expected to retire or leave the occupation for other reasons.
Projections of Employment
In California, the number of Childcare Workers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Childcare Workers are expected to increase by 9.7 percent, or 9,900 jobs between 2014 and 2024.
|Estimated Employment and Projected Growth|
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Due to Net
|View Projected Growth for All Areas|
Annual Job Openings
In California, an average of 990 new job openings per year is expected for Childcare Workers, plus an additional 3,000 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 3,990 job openings.
|Estimated Average Annual Job Openings|
|Jobs From Growth||Jobs Due to|
|View Data for All Areas|
How Do I Qualify?
Education, Training, and Other Requirements
Childcare Center Workers who work with children two years old or younger must have a high school diploma or GED, have completed 12 units of early childhood education, and have at least six months of experience in a licensed infant care center for children under five years of age. The experience must be completed within 50 days during the six-month period, and no less than three hours per day.
Childcare Aides must be 18 years of age or older or a high school graduate. All Childcare Workers must have a criminal record clearance, including fingerprinting. They must also be in good physical health and submit tuberculosis test results to the employer or licensing agency.
Early Career Planning
High school students interested in becoming Childcare Workers should take courses in English, physical sciences, and mathematics. California offers Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) in child development-related occupations. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.
Licensing and Certification
Individuals interested in owning and operating their own childcare center must be licensed through the California Department of Social Services. Those who run childcare centers out of their homes must have a Family Child Care Home License. Applicants must attend an orientation seminar, be familiar with all Family Child Care Home licensing laws and regulations, and pass a home inspection. All individuals who live in the home and employees who work for the childcare center will need to have a Live Scan criminal background check.
Those who will run centers out of a commercial building need a Child Care Center License. Similar to the Family Child Care Home License process, applicants must attend an orientation seminar, be familiar with all Family Child Care Home licensing laws and regulations, and pass a building inspection. All individuals who work for the childcare center will need to have a Live Scan criminal background check. Contact the licensing agency for additional information.
Child Care Workers applying for a Family Child Care Home License or a Child Care Center License will need CPR training and certification. Training is available through the American Red Cross. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.
Where Can I Find Training?
There are two ways to search for training information:
- Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Child Care and Support Services Management and Child Care Provider/Assistant.
- Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.
Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.
Where Would I Work?
The largest industries employing Childcare Workers are as follows:
|Industry Title||Percent of Total Employment for Occupation in California|
|Elementary and Secondary Schools ||27.2%|
|Child Day Care Services ||11.6%|
|Private Households ||11.1%|
|Other Residential Care Facilities ||4.5%|
|Religious Organizations ||3.8%|
Finding a Job
Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Jobs may also be found through registration with temporary employment agencies and through classified advertisements in newspapers, trade publications, and Internet job listings. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.
To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).
Yellow Page Headings
You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Childcare Workers.
- Baby Sitters
- Child Care
- Day Care Centers & Nurseries
- Nanny Service
- Nursery Schools
- Preschools & Kindergarten
Find Possible Employers
To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:
- Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
- Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
- Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
- Contact the employer for possible employment.
Where Could This Job Lead?
With experience, Childcare Workers may promote into lead or supervisory positions. Some Childcare Workers may open their own business and run child care centers out of their homes or other locations.
Below is a list of occupations related to Childcare Workers with links to more information.
|Home Health Aides||Guide|
|Personal Care Aides||Guide|
These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.
For the Career Professional
The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.