Tag Archives: Child Care

Child Care Workers

Significant Points

* About 33 percent of child care workers are self-employed, most of whom provided child care in their homes.
* Training requirements range from a high school diploma to a college degree, although some jobs require less than a high school diploma.
* Many workers leave these jobs every year, creating good job opportunities.

Nature of the Work

Child care workers nurture, teach, and care for children who have not yet entered kindergarten. They also supervise older children before and after school. These workers play an important role in children’s development by caring for them when their parents are at work or are away for other reasons or when the parents place their children in care to help them socialize with children their age. In addition to attending to children’s health, safety, and nutrition, child care workers organize activities and implement curricula that stimulate children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and social growth. They help children explore individual interests, develop talents and independence, build self-esteem, learn how to get along with others, and prepare for more formal schooling.

Child care workers generally are classified into three different groups based on where they work: private household workers, who care for children at the children’s homes; family child care providers, who care for children in the providers’ homes; and child care workers who work at child care centers, which include Head Start, Early Head Start, full-day and part-day preschool, and other early childhood programs.

Private household workers who are employed on an hourly basis usually are called babysitters. These child care workers bathe, dress, and feed children; supervise their play; wash their clothes; and clean their rooms. Babysitters also may put children to bed and wake them, read to them, involve them in educational games, take them for doctors’ visits, and discipline them. Those who are in charge of infants prepare bottles and change diapers. Babysitters may work for many different families. Workers who are employed by one family are often called nannies. They generally take care of children from birth to age 12, tending to the child’s early education, nutrition, health, and other needs. They also may perform the duties of a housekeeper, including cleaning and doing the laundry.

Family child care providers often work alone with a small group of children, although some work in larger settings they work in groups or teams. Child care centers generally have more than one adult per group of children; in groups of children aged 3 to 5 years, a child care worker may assist a more experienced preschool teacher.

Most child care workers perform a combination of basic care and teaching duties, but the majority of their time is spent on caregiving activities. However, there is an increasing focus on preparing children aged 3 to 5 years for school. Workers whose primary responsibility is teaching are classified as preschool teachers. However, many basic care activities also are opportunities for children to learn. For example, a worker who shows a child how to tie a shoelace teaches the child while providing for that child’s basic needs.

Child care workers spend most of their day working with children. However, they do maintain contact with parents or guardians through informal meetings or scheduled conferences to discuss each child’s progress and needs. Many child care workers keep records of each child’s progress and suggest ways in which parents can stimulate their child’s learning and development at home. Some child care centers and before- and afterschool programs actively recruit parent volunteers to work with the children and participate in administrative decisions and program planning.

Young children learn mainly through playing, solving problems, questioning, and experimenting. Child care workers recognize that fact and capitalize on children’s play and other experiences to further their language development (through storytelling and acting games), improve their social skills (by having them work together to build a neighborhood in a sandbox), and introduce scientific and mathematical concepts (by balancing and counting blocks when building a bridge or mixing colors when painting). Often, a less structured approach, including small-group lessons; one-on-one instruction; and creative activities such as art, dance, and music, is used to teach young children. Child care workers play a vital role in preparing children to build the skills they will need in school.

Child care workers in child care centers, schools, or family child care homes greet young children as they arrive, help them with their jackets, and select an activity of interest. When caring for infants, they feed and change them. To ensure a well-balanced program, child care workers prepare daily and long-term schedules of activities. Each day’s activities balance individual and group play, as well as quiet time and time for physical activity. Children are given some freedom to participate in activities they are interested in. As children age, child care workers may provide more guided learning opportunities, particularly in the areas of math and reading.

Concern over school-aged children being home alone before and after school has spurred many parents to seek alternative ways for their children to spend their time constructively. The purpose of before- and after-school programs is to watch over school-aged children during the gap between school hours and the end of their parents’ daily work hours. These programs also may operate during the summer and on weekends. Workers in before- and after-school programs may help students with their homework or engage them in extracurricular activities, including field trips, sports, learning about computers, painting, photography, and other subjects. Some child care workers are responsible for taking children to school in the morning and picking them up from school in the afternoon. Before- and after-school programs may be operated by public school systems, local community centers, or other private organizations.

Helping to keep children healthy is another important part of the job. Child care workers serve nutritious meals and snacks and teach good eating habits and personal hygiene. They ensure that children have proper rest periods. They identify children who may not feel well, and they may help parents locate programs that will provide basic health services. Child care workers also watch for children who show signs of emotional or developmental problems. Upon identifying such a child, they discuss the child’s situation with their supervisor and the child’s parents. Early identification of children with special needs—such as those with behavioral, emotional, physical, or learning disabilities—is important in improving their future learning ability. Special education teachers often work with preschool children to provide the individual attention they need.

View Related Courses

Source: bls.gov, smh.com.au, nj.com, nydailynews.com, projectchild.org, thestar.com, abcnews.go.com


Sugar and Spice Nanny Training

Sugar & Spice offers a range of child care courses and workshops for child minders. Their primary focus is on empowering Domestic Workers working in family homes with all the essential knowledge, practical skills and confidence they need to take care of babies and young children.

Their nanny training course has been running since January 2003 and in this time we have given more than 500 nannies the confidence and essential tools to take care of and stimulate the babies and young children they love and are responsible for – both at work and in their communities. Our nanny training course is the only domestic worker nanny training course fully and exclusively endorsed by Baby Sense in South Africa.

Their kids play workshops give nannies new and creative ideas for play and fun time with the children they care for.

Their keep it clean and green short course has been developed to address the need for reducing the use of resources from human time, precious water and power to! Teaching tried and tested “old fashioned” ways to clean, our one day workshop can be presented in your home as a customized course or to a group where we teach with a more general perspective.

The cooking family favorites classes teach nannies how to prepare food that is easy, nutritious and delicious ensuring that your little ones will get their “5 a day!”
The Sugar & Spice Nanny Training course gives your domestic worker all the essential knowledge, practical skills and confidence she needs to take care of your young child, from birth to 3+.

Established in 2003, their course is the only nanny training course fully and exclusively endorsed by Baby Sense, guaranteeing that they are teaching up to date thinking and well tried and proven principles. Mums can relax in the knowledge that their children are in confident, capable and loving hands while they are away from home.
Based on the principal of “Whole Child Development” we teach with these key elements in mind: – Intellectual, Emotional, Social and Physical wellbeing.

Running over 4 weeks (3 hours, once a week) the content includes the following:

Routines and time management
Essential First Aid, including CPR and Mouth to Mouth
Childproofing your home and safety indoors and outdoors
Avoiding the transmission of HIV and TB
Nutrition and Menu Planning
Understanding the importance of play
Developmental Milestones
Age appropriate games and activities
Learning through Reading and Music

The First Aid Module is presented by a third party First Aid professional, ensuring that the latest practices are taught.

The content was developed by a pre school teacher, with particular attention to the developmental milestones and supporting games and activities that one can use to encourage learning, while making sure the child has fun and stays safe!  We have enhanced this with the guidance of a pediatric neuro-developmental physiotherapist, the ongoing input of mothers and many years of nanny training experience to make sure that everything we teach is practical and current.

We appreciate that most nannies in South Africa are not first language English speakers so we deliver our course in a very practical manner, keeping it fresh and simple so your domestic worker understands the content and can apply her learning in her place of work and her community despite any potential language barrier.


“I was really impressed with how you ran the course and Bongi’s feedback was wonderful. I’ve looked through Bongi’s manual and the information in it is great and so much of what I hoped you would cover. It has also helped Bongi and I to chat more about the kids, I can really see that she enjoyed the course.” – Abby Malan

“I would just like to take this opportunity to also thank you for the EXCELLENT work you have done on the nanny course that my nanny attended. I am continously amazed at the wealth of information that she gained at the course – all very thorough and practical advice that both of us are benefiting by tremendously. Your syllabus and training methods are very professional and I use every opportunity to promote your course to other mothers.

I’m therefore very excited to see all the other courses that you are offering and to know there are more learning opportunities lying ahead for my nanny.

Keep up the good work!”

Karen Shewan
Each of the trainers brings practical motherhood or teaching experience to the course and all share a passion for children and empowering the people who care for them.

Little about people behind Sugar and Spice

Kirsten- Owner of Sugar & Spice, mother of three and guardian to a fourth, has 19 years of communication and business experience, had 2 premature babies born at 28 and 27 weeks – less than 12 months apart and has employed a nanny to help care for her children for 8 years.

Carolyn – First Aid Trainer and mother of two has 17 years practical paramedical experience, trained First Aid for 11 years and has 6 years experience as a mom.

Sonya – Gauteng business manager and mother of two has 17 years of communication and business experience and is studying Intergrated Learning Therapy (ILT) – remedial programme to assist children with learning disabilities.

Caren – Trainer and mother of two is a pre school and remedial teacher.

Caithe – Trainer and business manager has worked as an au pair internationally and has 8 years business and training experience.