With lifestyles of families getting more hectic than ever and the economic times we live in, the need for both parents to be working is more prevalent than ever. Also, with the increase in single-parent homes, through divorce, a death in the family, or parents choosing not to live together, the need for childcare providers is increasing every year.
As times change, employers are also seeing the value of providing some type of employer-sponsored childcare. Whether they actually have day-care centers on site, or provide monetary assistance to their employees to pay for temporary childcare for their sick children, many companies are seeing the advantages by decreased abstenteeism by their employees, along with increased productivity.
With the increased need for child care providers, the career opportunities in the early childhood education field are many. From Early Childhood Assistant, to live-in nanny to the entrepreneur providing child care from your home, a person who wants to work with children has many options.
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If someone wishes to become an early childhood teacher, you can obtain your Child Development Associate Credentials. These national credentials require courses in child care education and meeting competency goals, along with demonstrating your ability to work with children. Additionally, you must have your high school diploma and be at least 18 years old.
The responsibilities of an early childhood teacher are many and can be very challenging. The influences you have on children both directly by your interaction with them and indirectly by providing a safe environment and age appropriate activities carry a big responsibility. Additionally, the knowledge and understanding of child growth and development, the ability to plan and develop appropriate curriculum, along with good communication and organizational skills are a necessity. Time management and getting along with co-workers is also very important.
Important characateristics of a successful teacher include patience, sense of humor, compassion, confidence and commitment, but the most important is the fondness for children and the ability to make them feel loved, safe and emotionally secure.
It is a privilege to have parents entrust their children to us as child care providers and early childhood education teachers. While it may not be the easiest job some days, the rewards of making a difference in a child’s life are worth the challenge.