People have always said you won’t work a day if you do what you love. Growing up, were you always the first to offer to babysit? Was playing school your favorite pastime? If so, consider getting a daycare job and turning your childhood games into a career that feels more like a fun time.
9 Essential Qualities for a Daycare Teacher
Not everyone is cut out to be a daycare teacher – they’re cut from a special cloth. Dealing with children all day can be taxing, as any parent can tell you. That’s why, when looking into a daycare job, it is essential to review some of the necessary skills and personality qualities that make you a good fit:
- Good communication
- Child development background
- Being upbeat
- Excellent Communication Skills
Not only will you need to communicate with the children in your care, but you will need to discuss things with the parents of your little ones. This includes everything from what is happening during the day to potential issues with behavior, potty training, or other children at the daycare.
- Knowledge of Child Development
Understanding what makes children behave the way they do will give you the ability to help soothe them when issues arise. Tears at drop-off? You can help calm the parents as well as the children. Tussles at playtime? As the daycare teacher, you can help your students navigate learning to share.
- Bottomless Patience
This seems like a given, but when dealing with toddlers, patience is needed by the bucketload. As with any daycare job, you will deal with many mishaps when working with children. As the daycare teacher, you will need to be prepared for students that need constant redirection, calming down, and reminders. (But the hugs are stellar, and they’re all so cute!)
- Keeping an Upbeat Attitude
No matter what happens in the classroom, you must keep your sunny personality shining. The children don’t know that your Aunt Carol is ill, nor should they. So, keep a smile on your face, and the children will follow your lead.
- Nurturing Personality
These little ones may feel apprehensive about leaving their parent’s side, so showcasing your warmth at drop-off and during the day can go far in building their confidence. Make them feel safe in your care, and you’ll also soothe the parents’ anxiety!
- Strong Sense of Responsibility
Whenever someone takes a daycare job, they agree to protect what is most precious to other people – their children, and that is not to be taken lightly. You have agreed to provide constant supervision and must live up to that promise.
- Having a Joyful Personality
When you are a daycare teacher, you need to dial up your energy daily. Children like to be happy and entertained; you accomplish that by making activities fun. When you have a naturally joyful personality, you are halfway there to being the best in your daycare job!
- You’re Absolutely Reliable
As with any job, you must show up and be reliable. But as a daycare teacher, you are required to be reliable for an entirely different reason. The children depend on you. Children require consistency, and if you don’t show up to your daycare job, you are throwing them into a sense of insecurity.
- Trust and Respect
The parents need to know that they can trust and respect you as the daycare teacher for their children. When they chose the daycare, they put their trust in you and the facility.
When they ask for updates, they want to know you will be forthright with them. You must respect the parent’s wishes regarding potty training, food choices, and other things regarding their children. A strong relationship between home and daycare is best for the children.
What Requirements Assist in Becoming a Daycare Teacher?
You’ve read about becoming a daycare teacher and decided that this is the perfect role for you. Now how do you start on that career path?
Here’s the list of steps to get your dream job:
Get your high school diploma
Receive a degree in early childhood education or a related field
Shadow a current daycare teacher
Get your certification or license
Pass your background check
Obtain emergency medical certification
Work on soft skills development
Earning your high school diploma – Your first step is to earn a high school diploma or GED. Many employers will hire a daycare teacher in an entry-level role if you have at least this.
Get a higher education in early childhood development or a related field – While you can technically get hired with only a high school diploma, you will be much more attractive to hiring managers with more education. Additionally, you’ll be considered for more than entry-level positions if you have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Job shadow someone in the industry – There is no better way to see what a daycare job is like than shadowing someone. Find a daycare teacher and ask to shadow them. You will be assisting them, and you will be able to ask them questions while doing the work. Additionally, you will grow your work network, a valuable tool!
Volunteer at children’s facilities – Even without a daycare job, you can offer to volunteer at daycares. You can also volunteer to help at children’s hospitals, charities that focus on children, and youth sports teams; the opportunities are endless! All of these will give you experience working with children, and all of it is experience that you can put on your resume. In addition, some people you work for and with may be good referrals for future jobs!
Earn your professional certification and license – Two professional certifications are popular for daycare teachers: Child Care Professional (CCP) and the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. They are both viewed equally as essential licenses that show hiring managers that you are serious about your career choice.
- Obtain a background check – As with any daycare job, if you want to be a daycare teacher, you will need a background check.
- CPR/first aid training – When working with children, it is a significant benefit to have CPR and first aid training. Having this on your resume gives you a massive advantage over other applicants that might not have gone this extra step. You will be an asset in any classroom.
- Work on your soft skills – Aside from all the technical skills, you’ll need a wide array of soft skills to be a successful daycare teacher. From patience, empathy, and organization to creativity, listening, and good humor, a daycare teacher needs to have it all.
Being a daycare teacher means making a mark in the lives of many children and their families. It’s a calling to want to care for other people’s little ones. So, if it’s the right job for you, go for it! We at The Breakie Bunch Learning Center love caring for every child that walks through our doors!