Childcare professionals find challenges and rewards in their work
Do you have what it takes to get the next generation off to a good start? Do you want to make a difference in peopleís lives? These are some very heavy questions, yet they describe what people within the childcare profession do every day. Out of all the jobs imaginable, teaching and caring for children is one of the most important, but many times it is overlooked and under-respected as a career. Donít be fooled. The opportunities and rewards are plentiful.
Awareness, opportunities are growing
Childcare can take many forms in the world of work. People in the field are needed in nursery schools, preschools, public schools, daycare centers, and playrooms. Individual families also employ many childcare workers.
The demand for skilled childcare workers is high. Over the last 20 years, public awareness about childcare issues has increased dramatically. People now realize the crucial importance of quality caregivers. Given the increasing number of preschool-age children with working parents, employment in childcare is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade. With the right education, you can become highly sought after in the job market.
Credentials are the key
So, what is the right education for a career in childcare? Since the standards in the field have been raised, pursuing a formal education is becoming increasingly important. Most employers look for people who have received their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. The CDA is acquired by passing an assessment exam, which you can prepare for by taking classes through a college or specialized training program.
Some people choose to go on and become a professional in the field by earning an associateís degree, or a four-year degree in early childhood development and education.
In the childcare business, more education means higher pay.
Exciting times for the profession
Still, the true rewards of this profession are far more than monetary. Joni Levine M.Ed., a daycare consultant who runs the childcare page at the topic-expert site www.about.com feels proud to be a part of this intrinsically rewarding career. "I enjoy the distinct privilege of making a difference," Levine says. "At the end of the day I know Iíve helped a child, and maybe Iíve turned tears into giggles. Besides, what other profession can say they touch the future?"
Levine also feels that there have been dramatic changes in the world of childcare. "We are really beginning to see a public fight to raise the salary and respect of childcare workers, and politicians are starting to pay attention to our issues. There has never been a more exciting time for this industry."
And you can be a part of it. A degree or certification is the first step towards a rewarding career full of possibilities. From teachers to consultants to nannies, good childcare is always needed. And you will be able to say that you have indeed touched the future.