So, you are interested in exploring a career working in childcare.
You are likely here because you love children, have spent time around them, are interested in making a difference, and/or want a career that is beneficial, purposeful, and as challenging as it is rewarding. The good news is, childcare is all of those things, but it can also be a lot of work, without much compensation.
That doesn’t mean you should abandon your interest. At Wündercare, we think childcare is one of the most valuable occupations on Earth! Then again, we may be biased.
Here are a few of the pros and cons of working in childcare:
Childcare is a meaningful occupation.
Children are the future. They are the most treasured people on the planet, and the quality of their upbringing can make a huge difference in the world.
The biggest benefit of working in childcare is knowing, at the end of each day, that you have made a difference in the life of a child, and that that child may go on to make a difference in the lives of others.
Working in childcare contributes to children’s growth.
Children themselves can be loving and appreciative.
Any crying, screaming, or fit-throwing is worth it when a child lights up with joy at your presence or learns a new skill because of you. This is a reward that lasts generations.
Working in childcare is active, and rarely boring.
Working in childcare is not like working in an office.
You won’t be sitting at the same desk every day checking emails and filing expense reports. (Although, some of that is part of the job). You will be playing games, going outside, making arts and crafts, and having fun. You won’t laugh this much at other jobs, trust us.
Childcare workers have a regular schedule.
Schedules can vary, of course, but most daycare or preschool administrators work regular office or school hours and have off on the weekends and holidays. Health work/life balance!
Child care fosters self growth.
It’s a fact: People who work with children are some of the most patient, most kind, and most adaptable people on Earth.
Working in childcare will teach you skills — both practical and social — that you won’t get anywhere else. You’ll learn how to stay calm in an emergency, juggle multiple tasks with ease, and remain patient under pressure.
The world needs childcare workers.
Not to brag, but without those of us working in childcare, industries would grind to a halt. You can find satisfaction knowing that your occupation provides a backbone for many others.
You will always find work.
Working in childcare means you’re always employable.
Technology is unlikely to render this job obsolete — it will be a long time before parents are OK with robots watching their children. Now that’s what we call job security.
You do not necessarily need a degree.
Some preschool positions may require an education degree, but for many jobs working in childcare, you will not need qualifications or a higher-education degree. That means the barrier to entry is very low — you can get started with a career working in childcare right away.
Joy is your job.
In childcare, you are much more likely to be surrounded by enthusiastic people who love what they do, and, of course, children, who want to laugh and play as much as possible. A lot of your job centers around building and maintaining that joy. That is a wonderful way to spend a life.
You are probably not going to get rich.
According to Salary.com, the average hourly wage for a daycare administrator is between $19 and $24 per hour.
Sure, you could open up a high-earning daycare center, but that would make you an anomaly. Though we agree that childcare providers should be compensated more than they are, if you’re in this for the money, this isn’t the career field for you.
Children can be frustrating.
Anyone who has ever spent time with a preschooler or toddler knows that they can be mentally draining and physically exhausting.
Children can be whiny, high-energy, noncompliant, and sometimes snippy, if they feel they’re not being heard. It takes a certain kind of patience to spend day in and day out with tiny people who are still learning manners and the difference between right and wrong. Sometimes you’ll want to scream, but you’ll have to smile instead.
Parents can be demanding.
Parents understandably want the best for their children. Working in childcare means you will have to deal with the emotions, needs, desires, and sometimes unnecessary demands of some parents with grace and professionalism.
The stakes are high.
It is your #1 job not to let a child get physically hurt.
Unlike an office or remote job, where you might be able to scroll through social media on a Friday, working in childcare requires your full attention at all times, along with first aid skills. This kind of pressure can be overwhelming for some.
Childcare workers are always needed, and rarely appreciated.
As we mentioned in the pros list, childcare workers form part of the backbone of the country.
There aren’t any awards or formal recognition for those working in childcare. The benefits of the job itself — happy, healthy children, and maybe a card or chocolate on the holidays — are the only tangible signals of success.
You are exposed to illness.
The COVID-19 pandemic put childcare workers in danger, and made their jobs more difficult.
In the age of the Coronavirus, health protocols include making sure little ones wash up correctly, wear masks, receive vaccinations, and touch each other as little as possible.
You will also be at risk of contracting everything that isn’t COVID-19, from the common cold to the flu to pink eye.
You will spend most of your time around children.
Obviously. But let us explain: You will spend day in and day out mostly in the company of kids, discussing the topics they find interesting, answering repetitive questions, and debating the undebatable.
Many of us prefer kids’ company to that of stiff grown-ups, but you will find yourself occasionally missing stimulating adult conversation.
Working in childcare can be hard on the body.
Working in a nursery may mean toting toddlers and carrying babies, bending down to pick up toys and pushing little people on swings. All of these activities can strain your back and knees. After a career of following kids around, you will probably begin to feel it.
There will be paperwork.
The amount of documentation needed to run a daycare or preschool center seems to keep increasing.
No matter your job title, you will have to keep track of information including children’s behavior, learning progress, health, and more. For most people, this is the least enjoyable part of working in childcare.
Luckily, Wündercare makes it much easier to go paperless and keep track of all the important files needed to run a daycare or preschool center.