How to Become a Family Child Care Provider

Childcare enables parents to leave their children with trained workers while they attend work or other necessary activities. Family child care providers care for children in the providers’ home.

What does a family childcare provider do?

Family childcare providers provide care and education for many different types of children in home environments. They provide care to young children and before and after school care to school age children. They perform basic care procedures and provide basic education and activities. They typically provide meals, snacks, diapering and toilet training, naptime, and a variety of age-related activities. They also help children socialize with other children. Family childcare providers maintain contact with parents or care givers and discuss the needs and progress of children. They often work independently with a small group of children. Some have helpers or other childcare providers to provide assistance.

What kind of training does a family childcare provider need?

Family childcare providers typically need at least a high school diploma. Many family childcare providers have certificates or degrees in child development, early childhood education, or other related field. Most family childcare providers have sufficient work experience working with children. The licensing requirements vary by state, but most require family childcare centers to be licensed if they provide care for more than a few children. Licensing requirements often include minimum training, background checks, immunization requirements, and adhering to certain state regulations. Many family childcare providers complete additional training and continuing education throughout their careers to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a family child care provider?

Employment of family childcare providers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 11% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need for childcare services will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for family childcare providers with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace family childcare providers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do family childcare providers make?

As of February 2010, the average annual salary for family childcare providers is $34,000; average annual family childcare provider salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a family childcare provider is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in providing care to a variety of children. Family childcare providers must have a solid understanding of child development and how to provide care to children of different age groups. Patience, self-confidence, determination, creativity, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Family childcare providers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with many different types of children. They must be quick on their feet and be able to make effective decisions in stressful situations.

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