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My Life as a Child Care Professional

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:

  • A college education
  • First-Aid training
  • Continual development and training in a variety of related fields

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:

  • Language skills
  • Intellectual capacity
  • Self-discovery and realization
  • Social/emotional development
  • Fine motor and gross motor skills
  • Cognitive 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:

  • Feel confident, adequate and attain positive self-esteem
  • Grow their independence
  • Learn to operate both individually and on a team - learn to share and take turns
  • Express themselves through speech, movements, music and art
  • Observe, explore, question, reason and solve problems
  • Share ideas and opinions

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:

  • The good days outweigh the bad days by millions. We have learned to let go of the frustrations because we know every day will be different and provide us with a new experience.
  • I have learned over the years that children grow and learn in their own way. Seeing things through the eyes of a child is enlightening as they see things differently than we do.
  • Although working in child care can be both mentally and physically challenging (each day can be unpredictable and taxing due to children’s learning of boundaries), the relationships we develop with children due to the amount of love and trust children give back to us is so fulfilling and emotionally rewarding.
  • We feel passionate about developing relationships with the children where they feel well cared for, feel safe and fulfilled. We hope to teach the children to be kind, giving and honest.
  • It’s inspiring to watch children grow and change - to witness the moment when your teachings and lessons click within them. It makes all of your time and dedication worth it. It makes you feel as though you’ve succeeded with the child.

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.

Jennifer has been a Director at the Edleun Riverside Meadows Learning Centre for the past two years, and an Assistant Director three years prior. She’s an incredibly passionate Early Childhood Educator, and has dedicated her life thus far to the development and well-being of children in her care.

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