The training required to work in infant day care varies according to the licensing requirements for baby day care where you live and in what capacity you intend to work. In order to work in infant day care as a staff employee at a day care center, for example, you likely need to first complete a few college-level courses that relate to child development. Some day care providers may also require workers to have a college degree or specialized credentials before being hired.
Increasingly in the United States, some jurisdictions require infant day care workers to complete specialized courses in child development and early childhood education before being able to obtain the credentials needed to work in the field. The specific credentials required, however, still vary from state to state. Hands-on training that comes with experience gained while working with infants and young children is also generally required before working in infant day care.
Individuals working in home-based day care may or may not need the same training as those working at a commercial day care center. The training required for working at a home day care usually depends, however, on how many infants are being cared for and whether or not the day care is required to be licensed before providing services. In cases where infant day care licensing is a requirement, the same training that is generally needed for a commercial infant day care center is still required. In the event that home day care is only caring for one or two infants, however, and licensing is not required by the government, the training needed for this type of work is not as strict, nor is it generally regulated by the government. For these environments, the training needed is generally established between the one providing the service and the child’s parents.
When the child being cared for is related to or is a friend of the family, the training for infant day care at home for one or perhaps two infants may also be left to the discretion of the infant’s parents. For instance, a parent hiring a neighborhood teenager to care for an infant during a summer break may simply require that young person to be experienced, responsible, trustworthy, attentive and mature. Parents may also require caretakers to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before leaving an infant in a home-based day care setting.