6 Things Childcare Workers Wish People Would Understand
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Politics and Activism

6 Things Childcare Workers Wish People Would Understand

We are over-working, underpaid, unappreciated child care workers with hearts of gold!

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6 Things Childcare Workers Wish People Would Understand
The Business Woman Media

I have worked in childcare for approximately three years, now. My students range in age from infancy to sixth grade. Throughout my job experience, I have noticed that there are many misconceptions about childcare workers. When people ask me about my job, they often laugh or snicker and make inappropriate comments, such as, “It must be nice," or “That’s an easy job.” I have also become aware that many people don't understand what the job description of a childcare worker is, other than the fact that it requires watching children. Thus, I have drafted a list of six things childcare workers wish people would understand...

1. It’s a lot more than just playing with kids all day.

A childcare provider does not just sit and play games with kids all day. We are counselors, mentors, engineers, detectives, party planners, custodians, dietitians, preachers, decorators, and-- most importantly-- we are teachers!

2. We have to pay�, just to earn a paycheck.

Yes, that is right! We put money into our jobs, just to get a paycheck. Childcare providers have to pay for state police clearances, FBI fingerprint clearances, and child abuse clearances every two years or so. That's around $40! Most childcare centers require professional development hours, as well. Not only do we use our free time to complete at least 40 hours of professional development classes, we are paying hundreds of dollars out of our pockets to do so.

3. Although our shift may end, it does not mean we are done working.

Our work is never done! Our shift is dedicated to the children. Playing with them, taking care of them, feeding them, and teaching them. This does not leave much time for cleaning, creating curriculum, hanging up artwork, or decorating the room. It is a rare occurrence for a childcare worker to leave on time. Most childcare workers even work at home-- preparing activity materials, putting together the curriculum, cutting things out, or even creating newsletters. While you are at home enjoying your weekend-- watching TV on the couch, just know that their are childcare workers out there still working.

4. Stop saying "childcare is easy." You try it for a day and tell me what you think.

This has to be my number one pet �peeve. People need to stop saying childcare is easy. Here, take four infants to care for all on your own. You are in charge of changing all of their diapers, feeding them, napping them, and playing with them. Good luck, because while you are feeding one, another just woke up from a nap crying, you smell poop coming from the third one on the floor, and the fourth one is hanging on your leg. Now her�e,�� take six more toddlers and try watching all of the three year old children, while you are changing one’s diaper. Childcare providers are a special kind. They not only watch these children and provide for them, they manage to complete other tasks around the classroom as well.

5. We would like to be appreciated.

This is the most disappointing part about being in childcare. We are rarely thanked, we are never mentioned, and we are always under-appreciated. We aid in children’s growth and development. We provide a safe environment. We care for and educate children. We work hard to barely earn anything. We get tired, run down, and exhausted. We often question why we chose a job that does not pay nearly enough as its worth. I have personally told myself I would earn a better living at Sheetz or McDonald's. So, a little thank you comes a long way for us. When days get tough, it is nice to know that we are making a difference.

6. It takes a big heart to help shape little minds.

The heart of a child care provider is what makes the difference. We are not in it for the pay-- we are in it for the kids. We aspire to make a difference. We are patience, kindness, control, comfort, and love. Our hearts are made of gold.

-- An over-working, underpaid, unappreciated childcare worker with a heart of gold

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