Job Title: Licensed Child Care Provider
Type of Company: i work out of my home in northern Massachusetts. I provide care for state funded children and other services. I am subcontracted with a local agency who is also state funded.
Education: High school degree and a Child Growth and Development course from Aquinas College (Grand Rapids, MI)
Previous Experience: I took a child development course in high school and the subject really interested me. I had thought of becoming a school teacher but couldn't afford to go to college at the time.
Job Tasks: Here in Massachusetts, being a child care provider requires you to be licensed by the state. In order to get a license, you have to have the state come in and inspect your home to make sure you have enough space and that you've addressed all their safety concerns. When they come to your home they walk around and check to see that you have followed published guidelines, and they go over the proper ways to deal with children and ask you questions and give you literature to use and forms that you'll need. You also have to be certified in CPR and First Aid and you're required to attend meetings to keep your license active. If you join an agency that places children in day care, you will also have meet its requirements.
To be a child care provider you really need to like children and be loving and caring to their needs. There all types of children and you really need to be able to deal with all of them and provide a loving, safe and caring environment. There are websites that help you with activities and other kinds of information that will help you to succeed. You can make your own hours (most of the time) and, depending on what area you live in, rates can be very good.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the business is watching the children grow and helping them excel at life's challenges. Having them hug you and accept you as a person is great too: helping them learn to walk, talk, run, write, and many more things.
My least favorite part is seeing a child with special needs and not being able to get him evaluated, because his parents are afraid of what they'll find out. That, or having DCF come in an take a child from your home because the parents have lost custody. You need to understand that what is being done sometimes is for the best. But it still hurts to see them putting the child in their car and having them screaming for you. And trying to reassure them that everything will be okay.
Job Tips: Child care is a challenging profession and you really need to keep up on the rules and regulations and attend classes and training. A child psychology course might be quite helpful as well. I understand that in a few years you will need to have a college degree to go into child care -- or at least your CDA or a child care certificate. You have to remember that you are helping to mold our future. So when you decide to choose a field and you want to be able to be at home with your children and be your own boss, then Child Care could be the right choice for you.
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