Do you need college courses to work at a Day Care center?
Question:If so, which ones? How long do you need to go to school for?
Depends on the requirements of the state you live in and the center you want to work at. Best thing to do is go to a day care center and talk to the director. If they do not require college, they will require at least some training, which they may provide.
However, if this is not a requirement, it should certainly be encouraged as part of your professional development plan.
The question really is, what would qualify you to work in a daycare other than college coursework? I've been a daycare director, and I looked for a variety of qualities in potential employees. Education is important, but if the applicant had no education, I would train them or send them out for training. If the applicant had no experience, I would have them spend some time in a daycare center to see what it was really like (of course not in direct care of children, just observing for a while). This usually scares off a lot of people.
Other things that are really important - have you done babysitting? Did you tutor classmates? Do you have younger siblings? Do you love learning? Are you creative? Do you have a good attitude? Are you organized? Do you have an aversion to poopy diapers? Sit down and think about what other qualities you have that might be helpful to a daycare center. Can you cook? Do you like to clean? Some day care centers offer other jobs to people who are not yet qualified to work with children but who will be. You could cook by day and take college coursework at night.
If you are looking at college courses, look for child development courses. i work at a daycare and im considered a teacher for 2 and 3 year olds. so my daycare doesnt require it. it probably depends on where your at.
You do not need anything to just work at a center as an assistant - legally. In most areas, if it only a day care center an not considered a licensed preschool, you may not need anything at all to be a lead teacher.
However, the more discriminating the center, the more qualifications they can demand and - usually can get - from their applicants. These centers often pay more as well.
There will always be less than quality centers that are willing to hire anyone and for less money. But most likely you will be happier at a center that takes their job working with children more seriously and therefore will likely require education and/or experience.
College course work in Early Childhood Education would be your best bet - you could even check out your local coummunity college and see what they offer. Ours has a 2 year program specifically for people who want to become daycare/nursery school teachers.
If you go to a 4 year school, major in Early Childhood Education afterwhich you can be a certified teacher at a public or private school for infancy to grade K or 1 (depending on your state).
Depends on your state's requirements... could be as little as just needing to be 18 and graduated from high school, or they could require you to have at least 12 units from college classes. Call around to preschools in your area to find out the minimum requirements in your area, or go online to the state you live in and look under licensing requirements for childcare providers. The best schools will require at least 12units of ECE/ECS/CDE classes in order to work there (some states let you get by with 6 units, as long as you are in the process/enrolled in classes to meet the 12 units). Even better schools will require the lead teacher to have 24 units of college classes. Experience also counts for a lot when it comes to variations in pay... the more experienced teachers can expect to get paid more. Many of the preschools now are moving towards the lead teacher having an Associate's Degree in Child Development to ensure higher quality. The pace is up to you... take as few or as many classes as you can handle. The more classes you take, the further up the pay rung you go, and taking supplementary classes (like CPR, or attending seminars/trainings outside work) can really help too. Gaining a special certificate (in Calif. we have the Child Development Permit) can significantly boost your pay as well, since it is based on the number of units you have in CDE and the years of experience you have.
At the daycare I work at, you don't need a level in which to work there. However, most staff are encouraged to at least take their level one course where I work. At our center if you are not a level one, you are not allowed to be left alone with the children. They expect a level 1,2 or 3 in the room at all times. Depending on where you live and work will depend on the policies of this. I'm sure this varies place to place. Early childhood studies usually take 2 years if you are going to school full time. I'm taking my courses through distance and working full time , so it's taking me a little longer. You can get a year one certificate and for 2 years it takes you to a level 3 staff, which is the highest level there is in early childhood care.
To work in Day Care you need a background check usually by the police department to make sure you don't have a criminal history or problems with abusing children. You don't need a college education.
But taking a community college or university course in child development would help you to be a better educated employee to assist the children in learning.
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