Some people refer to us as ‘babysitters’ - but we’re not - not at all. We are child care professionals. A babysitter is someone (typically a teenager) who is not qualified at a college level to educate children. Babysitting is temporary. It is casual work, more often seen during nights and weekends, a couple times a month. It is often done to earn additional money and to provide parents with a break. A babysitter typically visits a family’s home and is only caring for a couple of children.
A comparison between a babysitter and a child care professional would prove that a day in our shoes means so much more. As a childcare professional, we possess the following qualifications:
We view our positions in the child care field as a career - not a temporary job.
As a child care professional, it our mission for the children we look after to meet their developmental milestones, and so we plan for and create an environment that stimulates the following areas of development:
We coach children to become independent by actively engaging them in developmentally appropriate activities with peers of relative age. We encourage children to have fun and to build friendships in a safe, secure and well-supervised early learning environment. We aim to develop each child’s ability to:
As a child care centre director, I recently ran a meeting where I questioned my staff on what makes them passionate when caring for children, as well as to provide something they have learned while working in this industry.
Here are some of their surprising yet inspiring answers:
When I went back to my office, I sat down and realized we are so much more than we’re labelled… The answers my staff gave me really opened my eyes and I realized that life is short and we have one of the best (if not one of the most important) jobs in society and (along with parents) we are the partners who shape and form our next generation to be ready for their turn atop of society.
Nothing makes my life feel more important than knowing that I have helped develop a child to understand and take on this tough (but not so big) world of ours. My staff are the people who make my job a success, acting as my frontline, showing our parents and potential parents that we are so much more than our perceived label. We aren’t people who just play around all day. We help shape and form our next generation, preparing them to take over as valuable and contributing members of society.
I will leave you with a poem. This poem articulates the true feelings I have in my mind, body and soul about the reasons I chose my career as a child care professional:
One Hundred Years from now
It will not matter
what kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
how much money was in my bank account
nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a better place because
I was important in the life of a child.
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