The requirements you have to meet to become a day care assistant may depend on the jurisdiction in which you want to work and where you are applying. Many day care centers and home day care providers prefer day care assistants who have high school diplomas as well as some experience working with children. There are some situations in which you may need childcare-related training to become a day care assistant, but this is more likely to be a requirement if you are hoping to work for a day care center rather than for a home day care provider. To be eligible for this job, you may have to submit to a background check; child abuse clearance; and in some cases, a medical examination.
The first step to becoming a day care assistant is usually checking the childcare provider regulations in your jurisdiction. Often, you can find information about such regulations by contacting a child welfare or childcare licensing agency in your jurisdiction. You may also check the websites these agencies maintain for information.
Once you have learned the general day care assistant requirements in your area, you may also contact potential employers for information or browse help-wanted ads to learn what kinds of qualifications or experience you may need. This is important because some employers' criteria may exceed that set by your jurisdiction. For example, your jurisdiction’s laws may require a day care assistant to have a general educational development (GED) diploma, at minimum. A day care center owner, however, may only want to employ people who have earned high school diplomas or college degrees. In some cases, family day care home owners are willing to hire aspiring day care assistants who have less education than day care center owners require.
Most employers will also expect you to have at least some experience with children if you want to become a day care assistant. For example, experience babysitting or tutoring children may prove helpful when you want to become a day care assistant. Some employers may be willing to hire you without experience, however. Additionally, you may find it easier to land this job if you have completed courses in early childhood education, child development, or a similar subject.
Most employers will want to learn as much as possible about your background before hiring you as a day care assistant. You may have to submit to criminal background and child abuse record checks before you are hired. Potential employers may also check your references to learn whether or not you are reliable and trustworthy. Additionally, you may have to undergo a medical examination and submit a health form that states you are free of communicable diseases before you can become a day care assistant.