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Daycare/childcare jobs? What certificates/diplomas do I need to become a childcare worker taking care of babies, not a teacher?

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You could try out Care.com for free

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Am I the only daycare worker who takes care of a child that I can't find one good thing to say about him?


You shouldn't be in an early childhood environment from the sounds of things. I've taught preschool, pre-kindergarten, nursery school, and Sunday School, all early childhood 18 months-5 year old kids. I've had classes as small as 12 and classes as large as 48.

The first thing that you need to understand is that young children have an extremely short attention span. The general rule is you get one minute of their attention for each year old they are up to age 5. What this means is a 1 year old has a 1 minute attention span; a 2 year old has a 2 minute attention span; a 3 year old has a 3 minute attention span; and so on and so forth. That means that the average four year old has a four minute attention span. That doesn't mean that every four year old has that short or that long of an attention span, it's a general guideline.

What you need to realize is that middle school and early childhood education are two very, very different worlds. Middle school aged children are in the pre-teen age and are very difficult to work with. You have things like peer pressure, bullying, makeup, drugs, alcohol, etc to worry about. I would lose my mind in a classroom of middle school aged children because I do not have patience for the smart mouthing, the back talking, and the drama, all of which middle school aged children have. At the same time, there are people I know, including my significant other, who would lose it in a classroom of 48 four and five year old's. I've seen many parent helpers fold under the pressure.

The way a child behaves in school, daycare, and other settings depends on the way that they are allowed to behave at home. If they get away with hitting, pushing, and biting siblings at home, chances are they will try it on their peers in the classroom. Sometimes, a child who is a little angel at home is poorly behaved in a classroom setting, and when that happens, you have to find the cause. It could be anything from them not getting to use their favorite colored crayon to someone grabbing the book they wanted before they did. On the opposite end of things, if you have a child that behaves badly at home, but is an angel in school, it's usually a reflection of the parenting and/or the child not getting enough attention at home and loving the attention they receive in class.

Some of what you described is not misbehaving at all. Asking the same question 100 times is very normal for kids this age. So is the "why" questions. Example: "why is the sky blue", "because God made it that way", "why", "because he made everything perfect", "why". You can get stuck in that loop if you are not careful. The best way around it is to try to avoid answering questions with a simple yes or no, so they don't ask for clarification. You get used to kids asking the same question 100 times, even 1,000 times. I remember I had a child who used to ask "why do we wear shoes" every five minutes.

As you've found out, ignoring a child is not going to help the situation, nor is it going to make the child stop asking questions. Ignoring the child is also considered disrespectful when they are not doing anything wrong, especially in a classroom setting. What you need to do is divert the child's thought pattern into the activity that you are currently doing. For instance, the child who asked "why do we wear shoes" asked when it was snack time, so I said "Amy we wear shoes to protect our feet, do you want to help me get snack ready". If you give children the chance to show that they can be helpers and do good things, they act out less frequently.

The getting up and down from nap is also quite normal. Some kids don't take naps at home. If they don't have naps at home on the weekends, transitioning them into nap time for the school week is hard to do. You can try handing the child a book to "read quietly" and say something like "Brittany, it's okay if you don't want to take a nap but I need you to stay on your cot and read quietly so that the other kids can sleep". Believe it or not, if you offer an alternative to napping, the child will often take it. Sometimes if you give them a book to read quietly, they will settle down on their cot and fall asleep on their own, literally because they had permission not to take a nap.

The other behaviors that you describe are not considered normal for a four year old. Throwing toys over the fence is never acceptable. When this happens usually a time out is the best way to solve it, put the kid away from the playing children and let him simmer down and realize he can't have fun while he's on time out. Tell him when he's ready to apologize and change his behavior he can get out of time out. The lying is also unacceptable, I would bet he has listening and behavior problems at home.

Calling a kid a brat is never acceptable. Disliking a child and wanting them gone is never acceptable. Whether you like a kid or not, you should never feel like you want them gone. Some kids go through phases and behave completely different in six months or a year then they do right now. Some kids stay that way their entire life. When you say you are glad you want the kid gone, what you are essentially saying is if the kid got hit by a car and died, you wouldn't miss them. If that was not your intention in your words, you should be careful how you word things, because parents can see that as threatening. I would never allow a child to be in a classroom where a teacher or worker did not want the child to be there or the child was thought to be a brat.

Your statement that you love that the mom believes a different environment would be a different situation which you believe is false is ludicrous. You have NO IDEA how this child acts at home, in restaurants, outside of the classroom, unless you've spent time with this child outside of the classroom. Having also been a nanny, daycare worker, and babysitter for many years, I can tell you that the way an adult approaches a child, the mixture of the kids, everything down to the temperature of the room can affect a child and sometimes yes, all it takes is a different environment.

I think you really need to examine your heart and see if you have a heart for this age group. It sounds like being among the middle school aged children gave you thick skin, which I commend you for, because I definitely don't have it. Preschoolers on the other hand need love, discipline, acceptance, and plenty of patience. It sounds like you do not have the heart for this type of work.

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

1 Answer

Early childhood education?


There are plenty of places that you can work in the early childhood education field that have health benefits and pay. If you truly have the heart for early childhood education, you should go for it, as there are not many people that truly have the heart for it.

Some places that you can work with benefits:
Public school system-pre-kindergarten teacher
County government-social worker for preschoolers
Self employed-home daycare provider, buy your own health insurance
Pediatrician-work with young children and make a lot of money
Daycare center-many provide health benefits
Good luck to you!

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

1 Answer

Toddler hates preschool?


I'm sorry to read that your toddler unhappy with preschool. Finding a preschool that makes the parents and child satisfied isn't easy. Here's a couple of suggestions and questions that could help.
what you Do and Don't want to see in an Perschool classroom?
What's the ratio of teachers to student? Remember your day to day schedule so both hours and days blend together. When you first go for a meet and greet Don't take your toddler with you so you can focus. Do see if the school offers get to know you time. It's a way to induce your toddler to a new surroundings.Ask lots of questions. Ask friends and relatives if they have any recommendations. Try to keep the list small (5-6). Remember that kids should feel comfortable,safe and secure. Pay attention to their body language and your parental feeling when picking a preschool. I hope this helps you next time. If you're still having trouble maybe this website can help.

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

3 Answers

Im a preschool teacher and i feel that I am not creative. I cant even draw. Is there a course for this that I can study?


You don't have to be ultra creative to teach preschool, you do however need to know how to make use of resources. The Internet is filled with resources that will help make your job as a teacher easier.

Some of my favorite websites for preschool crafts, activities, and song lyrics are: Kid Zone, DLTK Kids, and Kididdles for music.

As for classes that you could take, there are a number of them. There are basic early childhood education classes taught by colleges, but they do not really teach creativity.

One of my favorite places to learn creativity is Lakeshore Learning Centers. It's a store that sells teaching materials, classroom materials, etc. They offer free teaching workshops which are fantastic. The workshops generally have a theme, and they teach you everything from songs to crafts, games, and more. You usually get a certificate at the end, and some colleges will count their free workshops as part of your instructional hours. The classes are an hour long, and they even have giveaways where you can win supplies for your classroom. You can learn more about their workshops at:
http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/general_content/store_locations/teacherWorkshops.jsp

One of the best ways to learn hands down is to sit in on other teacher's classrooms. Talk to other teachers, let a parent helper take a day off, and enjoy seeing how another teacher runs their classroom.

Honestly, a lot of the ideas that I used in my classroom came from children's television programs like Barney the Dinosaur. I actually can't draw worth a lick but I learned the basics from a children's television program called Pappyland.

The key to creativity is to find what you are good at and go with it. Some people love to sing, play a musical instrument, and write song lyrics...I can't carry a tune in a bucket. But the thing about preschoolers is they don't care if you sing out of tune. If music isn't your thing maybe art is and you can show kids how to draw, paint, sketch, and so forth. There is also writing, playing with toys like LEGO, making up stories, playing with puppets, make believe, and so many other things. Find what you love to do and incorporate it into your classroom...that will go farther than all the training in the world.

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

1 Answer

Do you trust men to be preschool or kindergarten teachers or would you be suspicious of them?


I do trust men who are preschool and kindergarten teachers. I think a common misconception is that only women can be teachers of young children. If the guy has a heart for that type of work, all the power to him.

One of the greatest preschool teachers I ever met in all of my years of teaching was this older gentleman who loved working with the 2 year old class. He was this silly old guy that the kids adored, they would cry when their parents came to pick them up because they had so much fun in his class. I had a chance to observe his class a number of times and learned a lot about teaching from him.

Believe it or not, there are people who work in a field they love regardless of the money. No one ever got rich by being a teacher only, as teacher's salaries are terrible, whether you are male or female.

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

1 Answer

Is it normal for a child to cry a lot when they go to daycare?


There is no reason that any parent should have a "suck it up studies are important" attitude when it comes to preschool. While preschool is about learning, it is also about making friends, dealing with separation, and learning how to attend school...something that kids don't learn how to do without practice.

When a child cries at preschool it can mean any number of things:
The child is spoiled and is constantly held by mom, dad, or another family member at home and cannot stand not being held at school

The child does not feel comfortable in the classroom whether because they are uncertain about the teacher, their peers, or the separation from their parents

The child thinks that their parents are abandoning them and will not come back for them, because this is very common thinking for this age group

The child thinks that something is going to happen to them that is bad if mom and/or dad leave because they cannot fathom in their brain dealing with anything without their parents around

When a child cries at preschool, the worst thing that a parent can do is to hang around and cuddle and hold the child. This teaches the child that they can get mom or dad to stay just by crying and every time this scenario is played out, it makes the next separation that much harder. Allowing the child to bring a familiar item from home such as a favorite book, favorite stuffed animal to hold during nap time, or putting a photo of their family in their backpack or lunchbox can help a child get through the day.

In other cases, sometimes when a child cries at preschool it can be a sign of something more serious, like abuse from one of the adults in the preschool. It's important as a parent to volunteer in your child's class from time to time, observe your child's teacher, and report anything strange, unusual, or that makes you uncomfortable immediately. Additionally, you can ask your child about their day at school. Ask them questions that require more than a yes or no answer such as "What did you do at school today" vs "Did you have fun at school today". Ask your child questions like "What didn't you like about school today". Children are brutally honest and if something is going on at your child's school, they are bound to open up about it to you if you know the right questions to ask.

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

1 Answer

Is it weird if daycare, infant and Preschool teachers hug or kiss their students?


It is not weird for a teacher to hug their student. I do think it is somewhat weird for a teacher to kiss a student. Especially since young children carry so many germs, all you would be doing is spreading the germs around. Hugs are always welcome, not only by scared little students, but also by discouraged teachers having a rough day.

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

2 Answers

It is morally wrong to hit a child?


Yes it's wrong to hit a child, especially in the setting that you described. You cannot hit a child in a daycare, preschool, or school setting. In fact doing so can get you put in jail, make you lose your teaching license, and/or have to take child abuse classes. You do not have the authority nor the right to lay a disciplined hand on anyone's child but your own. Some would argue you shouldn't hit your own child, but that's something your family can decide and no one else.

Children learn by example. If you lose your temper when the situation gets rocky, they will be quicker to lose their temper. They can also "smell fear" as they say, if you start to panic in a situation, they are going to take full advantage of that situation and your state of panic to continue acting out/trying to get their own way.

Ways to handle young children without hitting:
Time out - don't just stick a child in a corner, but stick them somewhere away from the other kids. The idea is to isolate them so that they will want to behave to rejoin the fun. Ask for a genuine apology when you put the child down for time out, and make it clear that the child cannot participate until they are ready to apologize. The recommended time out length is one minute per age, so a five year old gets a five minute time out. Make sure that distractions like toys, doors, etc are away from the child so that all they can do is sit there

Make them a helper-you would be amazed how many wild children can be tamed by turning them into a helper. If you start to see a child acting out, say something like "Kristin I could really use your help passing out the crayons" or "Josh do you want to pass out the napkins for snack". Many times a child acts out because they don't feel important and assigning them a task makes them feel important

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

1 Answer

Can Muslim pre school children listen to music?


There are so many cultures in today's society that it's hard to keep up with what is and what is not allowed. It's not so much Muslims, but the religion of Islam that has a problem with music. SOME people who practice Islam believe that music is forbidden. This includes listening to music, playing musical instruments, and singing songs. There are some Muslim parents who have decided that their children should not listen to music, because of their religion.

While I think it's wrong for a parent to make that kind of religious choice for their child, there's not really much that you can do about it as a teacher. A couple of solutions to diffuse the situation and keep the parents happy:
Talk to the parents - have a conversation with the parents about music and the role that it plays in your classroom. Explain which days you listen to music or have music themed classes and advise the parents that they may wish to not bring their child on that day

Talk to the child - explain to the child that their mom and/or dad does not want them participating in music activities. Offer the child a quiet alternative that will not distract the other children for him/her to participate in while the rest of the class has music time

Take the child to another classroom - if you have another classroom with similar aged children nearby, arrange for the child to go visit the other classroom for the period of time while your class will be participating in music activities

Finally, if all else fails, tell the parents it's your classroom and if they cannot agree with your policies that your class may not be the best place for their child.

Jan 04, 2017 | Preschool

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