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Preparing for your child care career

From nannies to babysitters to day cares, there are a number of different child care job options to choose from. Here is a overview of each type of job, as well as expected pay and certification requirements.

What are your child care job options?

The most common child care job options are babysitters, nannies, day care workers, mother's helpers, and nursery or preschool teachers. Here is a breakdown of each job option:

  • Babysitters generally watch kids for an hourly rate, either full-time or part-time. If babysitters do any additional duties, they usually are compensated extra for those.

  • Nannies provide more consistent care, and are more deeply involved in the development and education of the children they watch. Depending on the agreement made with the family, a nanny might also take on household management duties as well as child care duties.

  • Day care workers often work in child care centers or family home day cares where they watch multiple kids at once with more traditional “office hours.”

  • Mother’s helpers assist with watching children while the mother is still home. Typically, a mother’s helper is hired right after the mother has given birth.

  • Nursery or preschool teachers help to prepare children of ages 3 to 5 for kindergarten, specifically focusing on developing social and cognitive skills through playtime activities and crafts.

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