Some people say it’s a calling; others say it’s a dream. And some, mostly the parents of the children left in their care, think they must be bonkers. So, what does it take to look for a daycare job or preschool job and become a childcare teacher?
What are the Differences Between a Daycare Provider and a Preschool Teacher?
You’ve decided that you want to work with children, but in what capacity? Do you apply to work at a daycare job, or do you want to get a preschool job as a childcare teacher? First, look at the differences between daycares and preschools to read up on what you would be doing.
The details include:
- Age requirements
- Potty prerequisites
- Caregivers vs. teachers
Varied hours – Daycare vs. preschool hours are a serious consideration when choosing whether to take a daycare job vs. a preschool job. Daycares are there to help cover the hours for working parents, so they tend to open early and close late and be open year-round. Preschools will operate more closely to a traditional school schedule, close on major holidays, and may also be closed during the summer. They may also have full or half-day schedules.
Daycare vs. preschool age requirements – Daycare centers accept children from infants to school-age. In contrast, preschools usually begin accepting children around the age of three to five. Daycares may also mix age groups, and preschools tend to separate ages by classroom.
Potty training – If you’re not willing to change diapers, a daycare job may not suit you. Children are allowed to attend daycare in diapers, while preschools may insist their attendees be potty trained before they register.
Choosing your role – Are you more drawn to being a caregiver or a teacher? While all states do require certification for those in daycare jobs, you might be more of a caregiver while at daycare. On the other hand, many states have minimum educational requirements needed to be a teacher working in a preschool job.
What are the Educational and Related Requirements for a Daycare Job?
Most states require an individual to have either a high school diploma or a GED equivalent if they are looking for a daycare job. However, if you are interested in moving up, career-wise, in the daycare or teaching a class, you might need a college degree. Getting relevant experience by babysitting or as a nanny can also assist you in gaining a position.
What are the Educational and Related Requirements to be a Preschool Teacher?
Becoming a preschool teacher requires a high school diploma or GED exam and a certificate in early childhood education. Depending on where you plan on teaching, you will need either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In addition, you will need to get your Child Development Associate certificate, showing that you have completed 480 hours of experience working with children and 120 hours of formal education.
Whichever you choose, daycare job or preschool job, you’ll be following your dream of working with children. At The Breakie Bunch Learning Center, we are lucky enough to have a combination daycare and preschool! All our employees followed their path to work with children and ensure all the children here love what they do, too – learning and experiencing all that life has to offer!