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What does a Child Day Care Provider do?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Feb 20, 2024
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A child day care provider cares for children in the daytime while their parents are at work. He or she may own or just work in a licensed daycare center. Family day care providers are often unlicensed and look after one or two children in their home along with their own kids. A child day care provider must supervise children as well as provide snacks and activities.

In the mornings after the child arrives in the day care, the provider may allow the children to play freely. Before lunch, most child day care providers will include structured activities, such as an art project or reading a book together. Sometimes, a child care provider will take the children to a museum or to a sports activity, such as swimming or ice skating. Good providers are focused on healthy learning activities that are fun for children. Letting kids watch a lot of television is often not appreciated by parents who are paying professional day care providers to look after their children.

A child day care provider must be sure that the children have a healthy lunch as well as snacks. Day care providers caring for an older child are usually responsible for bringing him or her to school in the morning and back to the daycare in the afternoon. Large child day care centers that look after children of many different ages must have workers that stay with the younger children while another provider takes the older kids to and from school.

Day care providers must provide supervision for children at all times. Most child day cares have fenced outdoor play areas. A child day care provider in a licensed daycare is expected to go outside with the children when they are playing outdoors. Day care providers may take the children for walks to neighborhood parks and supervise their play there. Most child day care situations involve children of different ages, so providers must ensure that all of the kids are playing together safely.

Playing sports or games, creating craft projects, and singing songs are some activities that child day care providers do with children. These organized activities should be age appropriate, as well as fun and safe for the children. A family child care provider may not do as many organized activities with the children, although some of these home-based providers do read storybooks, bake, and do craft projects with the kids.

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Discussion Comments

By Crispety — On May 01, 2011

@Subway11 - I agree with you and I also wanted to say that the daycare policies have to be followed by all. For example, the policy for sick children is a big deal.

The daycare either has to have a separate room for these kids to play in or has to institute a policy that the sick children remain home because otherwise the staff as well as the other children will continue to get sick.

They also have to establish a policy regarding picking up the child and what constitutes a late pick up. Daycares have to be firm on the pickup timeframe because if not they will have trouble closing for the day.

There is usually a predetermine fine imposed to the parent for late pick up because if not then the parent could show up whenever they felt like it.

I had a friend that owned a daycare and she told me that this was her biggest pet peeve. She said that the same parents were late all of the time and this also made their children a little anxious because they were the last ones to be picked up.

By subway11 — On Apr 30, 2011

@Moldova - You know you are right. I always find a daycare based on what my friend’s experiences were with it. I always want to locate childcare that has a nurturing environment with my children and allow the kids to play outside as well as have a literacy component.

I want my children to be exposed to books and different activities that will develop their fine motor skills in their hands. Coloring, writing, or molding clay does this very well so the daycare should have some stations for these activities as well.

If the daycare provides movies or television shows I would not be really interested in those daycares. I want my children to participate in active learning not passive learning with the television set.

By Moldova — On Apr 28, 2011

@Latte31 -Wow those kids were lucky to have a daycare teacher like that. I think that someone like this could really bring a lot of parents into this daycare because word of mouth is how a lot of people find childcare.

I think that daycares that take the time to hire the right people will have a lot less turnover. Working in a daycare is hard work but it could be very rewarding. It really requires people that love children because if they don’t they will find their days to be very long and they won’t last in the position.

Excessive turnover also turns off the parents so hiring the right people really makes a difference. It you really do a good job you won’t need to do any daycare advertising because people will flock to you. This is one industry that is recession proof because many working parents will need help caring for their children while they work. I great reputation goes a long way in this business.

By latte31 — On Apr 25, 2011

I had a friend who was interested in becoming a teacher and decided to work in a licensed daycare in order to see if she was cut out to work with children all day long.

She really enjoyed working with kids and later got her degree in early childhood education and became a second grade teacher.

She said that she only needed a CDA license which was license to work for a daycare. It only took her a few weeks to obtain. She said that she loved doing different arts and crafts projects with the children, but her favorite time of day was when they did circle time and she got the children in a circle and read them a story.

She was very nurturing toward the children and the kids loved her. I think that it is really important to have a genuine love of children when you enter this field because if you are not genuine it shows right away.

She did such a good job that they asked her to go into daycare management, but she said that she wanted to become a teacher so that she could work with the kids. She didn’t want to manage adults.

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