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How a Child Care Job Can Make You a Better Teacher

Are you a budding educator working towards or considering a career in teaching? A job in child care could be a great step in your career journey. High-quality child care settings, especially those geared specifically toward school-aged kids offer lots of opportunities to develop skills that will help you in your future teaching job. Here are some ways a child care job can prepare you for a career in teaching:

Discover what age groups you enjoy working with.

You probably decided to be a teacher because you love kids, but what does ‘kid’ mean to you? Children grow so fast, and each age and developmental stage has its own highlights and challenges. Most high-quality child cares will mix age groups, so you’ll get a chance to determine the age groups you enjoy the most.

Learn how to manage a class.

Classroom management is one of the most important skills in teaching and it can’t be learned in a lecture hall. The less structured environment of an early learning center, day care, or after-school care program is perfect for honing this skill. You can try different techniques without the added pressures of grades and test scores.

Learn how to support social and emotional learning (SEL).

SEL is about teaching kids how to understand and manage their emotions, how to interact with their peers and others appropriately and with empathy, how to take responsibility for themselves and their actions, and how to overcome challenges.  High-quality child care programs spend a lot of time on social and emotional learning, because it is foundational to all learning. Unfortunately, this type of learning often takes a back seat in traditional classroom. You job in child care will give you lots of opportunities to put this idea into practice and to figure out ways to incorporate SEL into the classroom.

Practice planning activities with educational goals.

Planning good lessons takes practice. There are curriculums to follow, concepts to cover, and educational goals to reach. In a high-quality child care setting, activities are not only about having fun, but also offer opportunities to help kids expand their skills and knowledge. Through practice and professional support, you’ll learn how to plan learning opportunities that are fun and engaging that can be applied to the classroom too.

Learn how to build positive relationships with families.

As a teacher you may see families a few times a year, but in a child care setting, you often will interact with family members every day. This is a great opportunity to work on your communication skills and practice the best ways to communicate with families about the kids in your care.

Ready to start learning?

Look for a high-quality child care center or after-school enrichment program that will give you a chance to grow and develop as a teacher. During the interview, tell your perspective employer about your career goals and what you hope to gain from this experience. Ask about professional development opportunities and support. Soon you’ll be teaching like a pro!


If you want…

  • Work-life Balance, Evenings & Weekends Off
  • A Fun Working Environment
  • Professional Growth Opportunities
  • Meaningful Work

…then come join the Kids Co. Child Care Team!