Industries & Professions /
Child Care Workers
Anyone who has ever babysat or worked with a group of kids in a summer camp knows something about the demands of child care. Professional child care workers take on the responsibility of providing quality care to young children. But the parents don't just expect these workers to simply keep an eye on the kids while they're at work—they also expect child care workers to help the children learn basic skills and to prepare them for their first years of school. Child care workers assist teachers and center directors in coming up with activities that build on children's abilities and curiosity. Child care workers must also pay attention to the individual needs of each child so that they can adapt activities to these specific needs. For example, a worker should plan activities based on the understanding that a three-year-old child has different motor skills and reasoning abilities than a five-year-old child. Because child care workers care for babies, toddlers, and kids of pre-kindergarten age, these workers need to provide many different kinds of instruction. Some kids will just be learning how to tie their shoes and button their coats, while others will have begun to develop reading and computer skills. And, of course, infants require less teaching and more individual attention from the child care workers—they ensure that the babies are fed, diapered, and held when awake.