Day care assistants are professionals who are responsible for taking care of children in a day care setup. They undertake numerous tasks every day, including assisting children with homework, storytelling, playing games, preparing and serving meals and snacks, changing diapers and helping young children learn and practice good hygiene, among many other duties.
If you enjoy caring for and working with children and can handle the work with patience and kindness, then becoming a day care assistant will make you feel right at home. This guide will further help you create the perfect resume for this job and provide all the relevant information you need. First, let’s look at the examples of the three standard resume formats.
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Job duties of a day care assistant
Day care assistants work in day care facilities and generally take care of kids from ages 3 to 7. A day care or child care assistant must create a safe and nurturing environment for the children and provide a pleasant experience. Here are some of the most fundamental duties of day care assistants:
Communicating with the parents and children efficiently.
Monitoring each child’s personal growth and abilities.
Handling and providing meals and snacks.
Creating and maintaining a clean and organized environment.
Enforcing classroom rules and regulations to teach discipline.
Teaching social skills and values.
Developing healthy habits in kids, such as not skipping breakfast.
Providing medical help when needed.
Promoting basic hygiene and cleanliness.
Encouraging learning and stimulating creativity.
Day care assistant median salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, the hourly median wage for child care workers is $12.88 and the annual salary is $26,790.
Top skills for a day care assistant
A day care assistant’s job can be challenging yet enriching. To prosper in this field, you must be ready to tend to the needs of small children as effectively as you can. These are some other skills you will require as a day care assistant.
- Effective communication with children and parents: Day care assistants must nurture excellent social relations with parents and their children. As an educator and caregiver, you must be confident yet caring to impart knowledge to children and stimulate creativity. You must also portray a trustworthy image to the parents entrusting you with their offspring and ease their worries upon separation.
- Organization and administration: As a caretaker of children, it will be your responsibility to write daily reports, document the children’s daily activities, and keep record of personal details, such as allergies or other health problems, among many other tasks. Software like HiMama, Illumine and LifeCubby will help you execute these tasks in the most efficient way.
- Conflict resolution and decision making: In the absence of their parents, children can get impatient and unruly. A day care assistant must remain calm and mediate these situations to resolve all possible problems.
- Medical assistance: In this field, it is crucial to have a license in pediatric medical aid to be adequately equipped in case of any emergency and ensure the children’s safety. You can take a look at the health and safety requirements for both center-based and home-based child care settings as put forward by the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance. This will provide you with a broad understanding of the children’s basic health needs and help take care of their health in an unprecedented way.
- Multitasking proficiency: As a day care assistant, you must be ready to deal with multiple situations at once. You must also be skilled in many educational subjects such as art, music and dance. You must stimulate learning and engage in play with the children. However, you must also be ready to tend to the administrative responsibilities of the day care facility and also deal with parents in a professional manner.
- Ethical values: Classroom management goes beyond the essential organization. It includes creating and maintaining an environment of mutual respect and understanding, while instilling responsibility and discipline in the children. You must be ready to teach children right from wrong through values such as patience, compassion and empathy.
Day care assistants education and certifications
DegreeAs an entry-level position, a day care assistant does not require much experience or a bachelor’s degree. Most employers only require a high school diploma or an equivalent degree such as a GED diploma.
That said, a degree in Early Childhood Education or Psychology, as offered by the University of Arizona and Liberty University, respectively, can make you a more suitable candidate over your competitors.
LicenseThe required licensing to work in the child care field depends on the state and its laws. Still, most facilities need the candidates to undergo criminal background checks to detect any signs of abuse, violence, neglect or alcoholism in the past. Some states even require a fingerprint scan from the FBI database.
While not required, candidates can also obtain a Primary Food Handler certificate to reassure employers that they know proper food safety etiquette to serve children meals.
CertificatesThe most common certification required by employers in this field is the National Child Development Associate (CDA) credential issued by the Childcare Education Institute. This certificate proves you are a professional who is ready and able to work with early developing children to meet their educational needs.
Most states, including California, Michigan and New York state, also require workers in the field of child care to possess renewed certificates of completed training on pediatric First Aid and CPR. You need to renew certificates every two or three years, depending on the state of employment.
Day care assistant resume-writing tips
Your resume holds immense power as it decides whether you will get that interview call or not. Here are a few tips to write that perfect resume.
- Structure your layout. A well-structured resume includes a summary, work experience, qualifications, certificates and licenses. The hiring team goes through hundreds of resumes a day and an ill-structured outline will immediately give a poor impression. Catching the reader’s attention is the first step and a structured layout will help you achieve that, along with improved readability.
- Tailor your resume according to the job description. Scroll up and go through the skills required to be a day care assistant. Do you have what it takes? Great! Make sure your resume reflects that. While preparing your resume, make sure that you customize it according to the job and list all the relevant and required details. Add, edit and omit according to the required skills to create a detailed and relevant resume.
- Highlight soft skills. Parents look for day care facilities that provide a safe and homely environment and day care employers look for candidates who can deliver that. To make your employer believe that you are suitable for the task, emphasize your problem-solving skills, your ability to be calm and level headed while dealing with problems or emergencies and your compassion and patience. Since there aren’t any prerequisite experiences required for the job, you can surely increase your chances by highlighting the positive personal traits that characterize you as a perfect candidate to work with children.
How can I become a good candidate for a day care assistant job?
Day care is a field of compassion and care and if you like the company of children, you will fit right in. Go through the lists of required skills and duties and envision yourself at the job. A typical day at a day care facility is wholesome yet hectic and you need to be physically and mentally adept at facing and dealing with challenges. If you can fit the job description, prepare a strong resume and apply for that job! You can also increase your employability by undergoing child care training and obtaining the required certification stated above.
What are the job prospects for day care assistants?
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that employment in the child care industry will grow around 8% between 2020-2030, with about 1,076,600 jobs. As parents work long hours in the office and the need for child care facilities grows, the job market will improve for day care assistants.