Daycare employees go through a thorough screening process before they are hired. Care centers have their own requirements regarding employees’ education, but states also have their own standards. Contact your state’s daycare licensing department and any potential daycare centers for more applicant information.
Child Care Experience
In general, daycare centers prefer to hire employees who have worked with children in the past. This does not mean that they do not hire people who have never babysat or changed a diaper in their lives. However, like any other industry, daycare centers prefer to hire people experienced in the profession.
Some states have laws about who can qualify as a daycare center teacher -- sometimes referred to as “group leader qualified.” These laws usually outline the amount of early childhood education the employee needs. Some daycare centers require their teachers to have early childhood education classes at the college level before they can take over a classroom. In addition, they may require teachers to have a Childhood Development Associate certificate (CDA) from the Council for Professional Recognition or a Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) credential from the National Child Care Association (see Resources). These programs take about two years to complete.
Daycare workers have to submit to a background check, which includes fingerprinting, when they apply for a position at a daycare center.
Daycare workers must enjoy being with children and providing care for them. Patience and creativity in coming up with age-appropriate activities are also important. Flexibility to deal with changing routines and the ability to multitask are vital. Daycare providers have to be observant and aware of what is going on in their classrooms at all times as well to prevent safety hazards and potential discipline problems. Good customer service and communication skills can help a daycare provider work with parents on a daily basis.