A child care worker is employed either by a day care center, or privately by a family, with the job of taking care of their children. The job involves looking after a group of children (or in cases of private employment, a single child), catering to their needs and entertaining them throughout the day while their parents are busy. A child care worker is responsible for satisfying the entire range of needs of the child, which includes preparing and serving food, as well as giving a basic form of education on some common subjects like mathematics and reading/spelling.

To become a child care worker, one doesn’t need anything more than a high school degree in terms of qualifications. Most employers perform strict background checks on potential candidates, however, which includes examining their criminal record. In cases where the child care worker operates from their own residence, they must regularly allow safety inspectors to perform check-ups on the residence to determine if it’s safe and suitable for the job. Additionally, a friendly appearance and natural inclination towards working with children are beneficial as well.

Child care workers tend to be low-compensated, and this, combined with the high stress the work imposes, usually leads to a high turnover rate. Many see the job as a temporary source of extra income. The annual salary goes between $16,000 and $22,000, and some child care workers can earn up to $30,000 a year in cases of private employment. Benefits are scarce as well, making the job even less appealing.