What Training Is Required to Become a Child Care Professional?
Training for a child care professional varies from state to state. In some states, a child care professional may work with only a high school diploma. Other states may require certification at different levels and/or coursework in early childhood development and childhood education. Schools offering Child Care Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Training required to become a child care professional varies widely from state to state. Some states only require a high school diploma, while other states require certification and some form of formal education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). A national child development associate (CDA) credential helps those interested in pursuing a career as a child care professional find higher paying jobs.
Some states may require college courses or a college degree in child development or early childhood education for employment as a child care professional. These requirements are most often sought by private firms in publicly funded programs. Many employers prefer workers who have secondary or postsecondary courses in childhood development and early childhood education. Experience in the child care setting is preferred.
Licensing and Certification
Many states require the child care professional to be licensed if they care for more than a few children. A background check is often required. A childcare professional should be trained in first aid and CPR, and are usually required to pass a health check and receive immunizations. Some employers prefer to hire a childcare professional who has earned a nationally-recognized credential, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) or Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) credential. This credential is awarded by either the Council for Professional Recognition or the National Child Care Association. Child care experience and coursework, such as postsecondary college courses or employer-provided seminars, would meet the requirements of these associations.
Supervisory and Administrative Positions
In order for the child care professional to advance to a supervisory or administrative position, additional training leading to a bachelor's or master's degree in child care studies would be required. A child care professional may advance to work in referral agencies and advocacy groups.
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