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Childcare Worker Job Description (Updated for 2024)

A childcare worker job description typically includes duties like maintaining a safe learning environment for children and supervising classroom activities. Here is all you need to know about this profession.

Childcare Worker Job Description (Updated for 2024)

Childcare Worker Job Description

Childcare workers play a vital role in shaping the lives of young children, providing them with a safe and nurturing environment to learn and grow. From creating engaging lesson plans to monitoring children's developmental progress, childcare workers wear many hats throughout their day.

In this article, we explore the diverse responsibilities, challenges, and rewards that come with being a childcare worker, shedding light on the incredible impact they have on the development and well-being of the children in their care and the qualifications needed to excel in the role.

What is the role of a childcare worker?

Childcare workers' roles vary depending on a child’s needs and age. Typically, childcare workers are responsible for maintaining a fun and safe environment for children, monitoring children while in school, and enforcing good behavior. Experienced childcare workers teach children new skills while supporting their educational needs. They interact with children daily, supporting their physical and emotional development and adapting to their changing needs.

Childcare workers that support infants and toddlers are responsible for tending to their basic needs like preparing meals and changing diapers or helping with potty training, and also maintaining clear communication with families. With preschool-aged children, childcare workers focus on serving healthy snacks and food and supporting their development and growth by creating activities that boost their physical, cognitive, language, and social-emotional skills.

Some childcare providers are responsible for managing children’s behavior, preparing teaching materials, maintaining a clean and safe facility, and supervising children in their daily activities.


What are the typical responsibilities of a childcare professional?

The responsibilities of childcare professionals depend on the exact role you’re pursuing. You can work as a childcare center director or administrator, teacher, assistant teacher, or support staff. Here is a typical breakdown of their roles and responsibilities.

Childcare center directors or administrators

Some of the typical responsibilities of childcare center directors include:

  • Supervising lead staff

  • Designing curriculum

  • Overseeing daily operations and preparing program budgets

  • Developing and communicating new policies to staff members

  • Discussing children's progress and collaborating with families

  • Establishing fee structures

  • Ensuring daycare centers are well maintained

  • Hiring and training new staff

  • Ensuring daycare center programs are in line with the educational standards set by their state


Preschool teachers, also referred to as early childhood educators, typically:

  • Educate and take care of children 
  • Help in building children’s developmental skills and track their progress 
  • Develop and deliver interactive lesson plans
  • Establish and enforce behavior rules in the classroom
  • Offer classroom resources and tools
  • Adapt teaching materials and approaches to meet children's learning styles and interests
  • Manage all classroom activities, including lessons, play, transitions, and meals
  • Maintain positive relationships among the children
  • Track progress and offer documented reports to families
  • Implement lesson plans through collaboration with other staff members
  • Adhere to all sanitation guidelines and health procedures
  • Facilitate children's activities, including storytelling, games, and songs
  • Maintain classroom inventories for supplies and materials

Assistant teachers 

Assistant teachers are supervised by teachers and provide additional educational support to children. Their roles and responsibilities include:

  • Assisting lead teachers through lessons
  • Interacting with children and preparing relevant learning materials
  • Instructing children on classroom behavior and procedures
  • Tracking children's developmental progress 
  • Communicating with families

Support staff 

Roles and responsibilities of support staff include:

  • Assisting teachers with lesson preparation and execution
  • Implementing classroom routines and rules 
  • Helping children meet their social, intellectual, emotional, and physical needs based on their development
  • Ensuring children's safety by constantly supervising them through sound and sight
  • Maintaining classroom materials, equipment, and arranged spaces
  • Creating an inviting, pleasant, and tidy atmosphere for children

childcare worker seated at a table with childrenSource


Is working as a childcare professional right for me?

If you have a passion for educating and interacting with children, this field will be full of rewarding experiences. This profession allows you to teach and help children in their early developmental stages. It also gives you the joy of seeing children improve and grow. 

A role in the early education industry also offers opportunities to be creative. Part of the responsibilities includes developing classroom activities, crafts, and lesson plans, allowing you to put your creativity to work. 

Most childcare centers have standard work schedules with flexible working hours. They follow regular daytime hours, which is important as it will offer you work schedules that are consistent. While some facilities open after and before standard operating hours to support working families, they may have two or three shifts to cover for such times.

With a tool like brightwheel, you can build deeper connections with families and staff. Two out of three teachers prefer to work at a program that uses brightwheel because they can save hours on lesson planning and administrative tasks every month.

What are the education and qualifications to become a childcare worker?

Qualifications vary depending on the exact role you want to pursue. Here are some education requirements necessary to become a childcare worker: 

Childcare center directors or administrators

To become a childcare center director or administrator, you’ll need a bachelor’s or associate degree and at least five years of experience. Some employers ask for a recognized credential, for instance, the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential provided by the Council for Professional Recognition. Other centers require directors to be designated as Certified Childcare Professionals (CCP) offered by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA). 

To get a CCP certification, you must be 18 years of age, possess a high school diploma, take early childhood education courses, have experience in the field, and pass other relevant exams. The CCP accreditation is renewed after every two years by the CCP process of maintenance.

For licensing purposes, childcare center directors must pass a background check and meet training requirements with a complete immunization record. 

You must also have relevant skills such as leadership, interpersonal, organizational, and written and verbal communication skills.


Teachers’ education requirements vary from one state to another. Typically, you’ll need a degree in education, early childhood education, or a related field and up to three years of experience. You’ll also be required to have completed or passed the state examination and obtained the appropriate certifications. 

Girl learning to paint with a childcare workerSource

Assistant teachers 

Assistant teachers assist lead teachers in running the classroom smoothly by doing common classroom tasks such as feeding children, monitoring their behavior, cleaning the classroom, and assisting with lessons. Requirements vary from state to state, but typically you need a degree in education or a related field and experience working with children or at a childcare center. However, most childcare centers offer on-the-job training for assistant teachers. 

Support staff 

Support staff childcare workers typically need a high school diploma and certifications in CPR and first aid. They need experience in working with children and need to be physically fit. Candidates must also have a supportive and warm attitude towards children and readily accept supervision to improve their work performances.

What’s the average childcare worker's salary?

The average childcare worker’s salary varies depending on geographical location and experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cited the average childcare worker salary to fall around $28,520 per year with a range of $21,000 to $39,000 (as of May 2022 data). 

Data also shows that average compensation for childcare workers tends to increase with their years of experience and education. Professionals with postsecondary education or an early childhood education credential may qualify for higher level positions.

FAQs about becoming a childcare worker

What is expected of a childcare worker?

Childcare workers are expected to attend to children’s basic needs like feeding them, preparing meals, changing diapers, and supervising playtime and activities. They are also expected to assist with lesson planning, maintain a clean and safe environment, and communicate with families.

Why should you work as a childcare worker?

Working as a childcare worker is an incredibly rewarding profession and allows you to see children’s development firsthand as they grow while making a difference in their lives.

How can you become a childcare worker in the US?

While education and training requirements vary state by state, childcare workers typically need to have a high school diploma, early childhood education certification, and at least six months of experience in a childcare center for children under five years of age. You'll also need to pass a background check in order to work with children.

What are the vital qualities of a childcare worker?

As a childcare worker, it is important to have a passion for children and education. You must also possess solid skills in communication, creativity, planning and instruction, decision-making, organization, analysis, and problem-solving while operating with compassion and empathy.


Childcare workers play an essential role in a child’s development. In addition to caring for their basic needs and ensuring their safety, childcare workers teach crucial developmental skills and prepare children to be engaged, independent learners in the future. Working in this profession allows you to be creative and nurturing as you make a difference in the important, early years of a child’s life. 

Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at

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