How to Become a Daycare Provider
Daycare Provider Careers & Degrees

Daycare Providers are professionals who are experienced caring for young children in a variety of settings.

Daycare Providers can work for themselves, work for a formal daycare center or work for a school educating young students.

In the school system, an individual may work as a preschool teacher or administrator.

Individuals who want to become a Daycare Provider may already know they have a knack and passion for working with young children.

However, individuals who want to enter this profession will need to fulfill some basic requirements in order to enter this profession.

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Education Requirements to Become a Daycare Provider

Individuals who want to become a Daycare Provider will need to fulfill important requirements in order to enter this profession.

Exact requirements will depend on the specific role an individual is seeking.

For example, individuals who want to work as preschool teachers will need to fulfill different requirements than an individual seeking work as a childcare worker.

In addition, many states require facilities providing childcare to be licensed in order to provide this service.

Childcare facilities will need to complete the following requirements in order to seek licensure: staff must meet specific training requirements, provide record of immunizations for all staff and staff must also pass a background test.

Some states also require that staff be CPR and first aid certified.

Childcare workers require the lowest amount of education but will still need to seek certification in order to become a Daycare Provider.

These individuals will need a minimum of a high school degree in order to become a Daycare Provider.

Individuals may visit the Council for Professional Recognition in order to learn more information on certification requirements and making the first steps to seek this requirement.

Daycare Providers in Head Start positions will need to secure a formal education in order to provide instructional duties.

Individuals will need to focus their college career in early childhood education or child development in order to seek an instructional position in Head Start.

In addition, these individuals will also need to secure certification, pass a background test and if working for a daycare center, provide record of immunizations.

Daycare Providers can also work as nannies.

For the most part, nannies do not need to meet educational requirements but because they are typically hired by individual families, these requirements may differ.

Nannies will still need to pass a background test and to seek higher wages, will need an advanced degree.

Advanced degrees are needed for employers looking for candidates who can provide educational instruction.

Daycare Provider Job Description

Exact duties will depend on the role an individual has applied for.

Generally, Daycare Providers are responsible for supervising and monitoring young children and students in a variety of settings.

Some childcare may be provided in a home, childcare facility or in a school setting.

Childcare workers are also responsible for organizing activities or planning curriculum to enhance a child’s experience.

These individuals will also be responsible for time management, scheduling and leading from one activity to another.

Depending on the provider they work for or the age of a child, a Daycare Provider may also be responsible for hygienic responsibilities or feedings.

Daycare Provider Salary and Career Path

Exact wages for Daycare Providers will heavily depend on level of experience, education and additional duties an individual has.

In 2012, Childcare workers earned a median hourly wage of $9.38 per hour or $21,490 per year.

Preschool Teachers earned a median annual wage of $31,420 while Administrators for preschools or daycare centers earned a median annual salary of $52,010.

Exact wages for Childcare workers will depend on how many hours they work.

The majority of these workers work part time during the week.

The job outlook for Daycare Providers is expected to grow as fast as average when compared to other professions.

Job opportunities for Daycare Providers are expected to grow by 14 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is attributed to the increasing need for working parents to provide daycare services to young children.

Individuals who want to become a Daycare Provider have a variety of opportunities in this field from positions that don’t require a formal education to one that requires extensive training and education.

In addition, Daycare Providers will also work in an environment that they enjoy on a daily basis providing care to children whose parents trust them.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$34,140
New Hampshire$25,200
New Jersey$27,740
New Mexico$23,470
New York$29,880
North Carolina$23,550
North Dakota$25,380
Rhode Island$27,880
South Carolina$21,000
South Dakota$21,940
West Virginia$22,380
Puerto Rico$18,870
Virgin Islands$26,850

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $34,140.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $34,140
Washington - $31,380
Massachusetts - $31,280
Vermont - $30,880
Colorado - $30,280
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Childcare Workers, OCC Code 39-9011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat is a daycare provider?

Daycare providers offer daily care for children.

They monitor children’s safety, keep children engaged in daily activities and assist them with personal tasks.

Daycare providers usually work in daycare centers, schools or personal homes.

Their job responsibilities also involve updating parents on their child’s development and to notice them if they observe any problems.

Child care providers need a variety of skills, including patience, communication, and listening skills.

Daycare centers are usually open all year-round with long hours, to accommodate parents’ work schedules.

Daycare workers usually also have additional responsibilities, such as shopping for supplies or cleaning.

QuestionHow much does a daycare provider make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly rate for child workers employed by child daycare services was $10.57 in May 2018.

Pay varies based on the daycare provider’s level of experience, the employer and the region.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a daycare provider?

Education requirements vary by state and employer.

Some states require that daycare providers have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Although there are no specific educational requirements for entry-level employment, daycare workers with postsecondary education or an early childhood education diploma can have better job prospects and may qualify for advancement later in their careers.

Associates degree programs in early childhood education can cost you anywhere between $5000 and more than $25,000, depending on the school you choose and the program itself.

Some states also require daycare providers to possess a CPR certificate, which costs around $30.

The Council of Professional Recognition is offering a Child Development Associate credential which is required by many employers.

The application fee is $425 if you apply online or $500 for paper applications.

QuestionWhat is the demand for daycare providers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for childcare workers is expected to grow 2 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Daycare centers will still be needed to assist parents who work but because more parents choose to stay at home and care for their children, the demand for this profession will grow slower than the average for all occupations.

Competition is expected to be strong and holding and associate’s degree in early childhood development should give you better job prospects.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a daycare provider?

Although there are no formal educational requirements for entry-level employment, an associate’s degree in early childhood education can give you better job prospects.

These types of programs can usually be completed in around 1 year and will prepare you for employment in centers designed for children from birth through eight years of age.

Many centers require childcare providers to be licensed; which means that they have to pass a background check, have a complete immunization record, and meet the minimum training requirement.

Some states also require CPR certification.

The Council of Professional Recognition is offering a Child Development Associate credential which is required by many employers.

This type of credential requires experience in the field, completing some coursework and a period where the applicant will be supervised while working with children.

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