Picture yourself five years from now.
You are standing in front of a group of small children, leading them in songs and activities. The laughter and energy in the room is palpable.
You feel as though you’re in your environment like you’ve found your calling.
This is your dream daycare position; working with kids every day and helping them to learn and grow into strong, capable, young adults.
But how did you get here?
It all started with finding the right job in daycare for you – one that utilized your skills, passions, and talents. You put in the energy and time to research, train, and hone your craft to get to this point in your career.
In this article, we will be discussing tips on what to look for when searching for jobs in daycare.
From deciding what type of daycare positions, you’re interested in, to researching potential employers and obtaining any necessary certifications, we will lay it all out for you. Understanding the full process of obtaining gainful employment in the early childhood education sector can be a challenging task, so read on for more information!
Define Your Goals and Expectations for A Daycare Position
When searching for daycare positions, it’s important to have clear goals and expectations in mind.
The last thing you want is to end up in a job that’s not for you because it looked good on paper, but you didn’t do enough research beforehand to understand what you want and need from a daycare position.
You should always consider the key factors of what qualities and environment you desire from jobs in daycare as well as the facilities values, turnover rate, ratio of students to teachers, etc. By taking this into consideration beforehand, it will save you trouble down the road after you are employed.
These key factors will vary by person, but some could also potentially affect which positions you’re qualified for, such as what age group you want to work with, if you will require health benefits or not, and what types of certifications you hold.
A few areas that you may want to explore and research more before settling on a job include:
- Do you need flexible hours or a full-time position?
- Are there different areas of daycare that may be more attractive to you such as assisting with infants or preschool-aged children?
- What type of pay do you expect?
- How far are you willing to travel for work?
- What values are important in a school, for you, as the teacher?
Once you have established your must-haves and preferences, the job-hunting process will become much easier for you. You will quickly be able to weed out employers that do not align with the pre-requisites you have set out for your job hunt.
Since you’ve taken this step, your expectations will be top of mind when you begin researching daycare jobs or reach the interview stage and will help ensure you find the jobs in daycare that are a great fit for you. This means less of a chance of getting stuck in a less than desirable daycare position.
Do Your Research on Different Daycare Facilities in Your Area
If you’re considering a daycare position, the most important part of the process is doing your research. In this article, we will discuss three methods for researching potential jobs in daycare you may be interested in.
Read Reviews Online
Do your homework by reading reviews online from both parents and staff. Try to review these with a discerning eye, as some reviews will be more biased based on individual hopes, desires, and experiences. Be sure that you can discern between the truth and what may be someone’s personal opinion and weigh both sides equally.
Talk to the Parents
Ask the parents of children who attend the daycare questions about their experiences if it is possible, as they’ll be able to provide key insight into what it’s like day-to-day. If you are local to the area, checking in with some of your local mom groups can help you get a better idea of how the facility is run.
Visit the Facility
When available, consider taking a tour of the daycare facility so you can get an idea of the layout and how staff interact with children; this provides valuable insight that you wouldn’t get just from talking to parents or reading reviews online, and will help you to decide if the daycare positions being offered align with your values. Be sure to be on your toes and keep your eyes and ears open during your visit!
Finally, be sure to keep an open mind when researching; don’t make assumptions based solely off online opinions, but rather rely on investigation and deeper understanding before coming to conclusions of your own.
If you find a worrisome review from an ex-employee, ask about the situation so you can understand things from a more neutral perspective.
Ultimately, by completing your research beforehand, you’ll be able to make a solid and informed decision regarding which jobs in daycare that are being offered are right for you.
When Applying for Jobs, Highlight Your Relevant Qualifications and Experience
When applying for jobs in daycare, it is essential that you emphasize your qualifications and experience with children, so you can stand out from the crowd and get your resume noticed.
Candidates should outline any certification they have obtained or experience they have gained while working with children, including volunteer work and any other daycare positions or jobs in daycare you have previously held.
Your resume should list all the relevant qualifications and experiences that demonstrate your aptitude when caring for small children, since jobs you may have held that required a unique set of skills and attributes that will make you stand out to a potential employer.
If you are applying for jobs in daycare, you should demonstrate that, not only do you possess characteristics such as a good attitude towards children and a passion for the job, but that you also are willing to go above and beyond to create an enriching environment for children to learn, play, and develop.
Certifications for Daycare Positions
Finding daycare positions can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the required certifications and credentials.
Fortunately, there are many certifications that can help you get your foot in the door for your ideal job in daycare.
From child development to nutrition and safety training requirements, these certifications are a great way to show potential employers your dedication and qualifications for daycare work.
If you are interested in furthering your education, or obtaining a certification you do not currently have, you can find more information on certifications on the Child Care Aware® of Missouri website. Our team is here to help better the education of children throughout the state of Missouri, and helping our teachers become highly trained is no exception!
These certifications will also demonstrate your commitment to developing a career in daycare as well as helping you expand your skill set, and those are both things that are incredibly important to potential daycare employers.
You’ll have a clear competitive edge with daycares when you hold relevant certifications, giving you the best chance to land one of these highly desired daycare positions.
Be Prepared for Interviews by Having Your Own Questions Ready
Considering how competitive the early childhood education sector is when it comes to landing jobs in daycare, it is important to be fully prepared for any interview you may have for potential positions in daycare.
Doing research and formulating potential questions beforehand will give you the confidence to ask informed and meaningful questions during the interview.
This thorough preparation can help you stand out from other candidates and demonstrate your dedication to finding the best daycare position for your needs. Also, you should research the organization’s mission and values, so you understand what they are likely looking for in their employees.
Review the organization’s policies and procedures pertaining to safety protocols and operating hours so you know exactly what will be expected of you if hired – and if you need something clarified, don’t be afraid to ask. Be sure you feel clear on everything you had set out to learn before leaving your interview.
Having smart questions ready to ask shows employers that you are thoughtfully considering the daycare job opportunity as well as eager to hit the ground running once it is offered. Some examples of interview questions you may want to pose while at the daycare facility include:
- What are the primary responsibilities associated with this daycare job?
- What qualifications and experience do successful candidates typically have for daycare positions?
- What kind of training will I receive if hired?
Asking these types of questions can help make sure that daycare jobs are a good fit for both employers and employees.
Follow Up After Interviews with a Thank-You Note or Email
Similarly, to any other field, when considering daycare jobs, the importance of follow up must not be overlooked.
After attending an interview for a daycare position, it is always wise to take the initiative to thank the interviewer for their time and to express your interest in the position again.
Send them a thank-you note, or email tells the daycare that you are dedicated and serious about obtaining a daycare job. By taking the extra effort to re-communicate your interest, you’re demonstrating your enthusiasm and appreciation of their tijme and consideration.
Those who make this extra effort are likely to stand out from other candidates and may have a better chance of getting hired for the daycare position.
Tying it All Together
The right job in daycare can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it requires the right fit.
Finding the perfect position is a process of exploration and understanding one’s own strengths, needs, and preferences. It requires research into the various kinds of jobs available in daycares, as well as an understanding of one’s unique qualities that would make them a great fit for each role.
For those interested in a career in child care, Missouri offers many options.
Each position will have its own requirements and qualifications, so it is important to read through each description carefully to determine whether it is an appropriate match for you.
To prepare for any interviews or applications to daycares around Missouri, research is essential; understand the types of programs offered by different agencies, the skills needed to effectively run those programs, and what kind of experience employers look for when hiring new staff members.
Be prepared with questions about job expectations and how they might grow or evolve over time—these kinds of details may not come up during preliminary conversations but could provide valuable insight into how compatible a certain position might be with your professional goals.
Finally, don’t forget that finding the right job also includes assessing your ability to manage daily tasks such as meeting deadlines and managing stress without compromising quality care or safety standards.
While interviewing with potential employers be sure to emphasize these abilities by citing examples from past experiences—this will help demonstrate how you can handle responsibilities associated with childcare work while still providing exceptional service to both parents and children alike.
It is easy to become overwhelmed during this process but remember that taking your time and doing thorough research will yield better results than rushing into something that might turn out to be less than ideal later down the road.
Consider your personal strengths, find opportunities that best align with them and don’t forget about all the excellent resources available throughout Missouri—from online listings to child care aware organizations—to help you find just the right fit for you!
If you need further assistance locating the right daycare position for you, or if you have questions regarding obtaining certification for early childhood education, contact Child Care Aware® of Missouri, and one of our team members will be happy to assist you!