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Career and Education Opportunities for Child Care Workers in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for child care workers in the Chicago, Illinois area. Currently, 35,980 people work as child care workers in Illinois. This is expected to grow 17% to 42,130 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for child care workers are expected to grow by about 10.9%. In general, child care workers attend to children at schools, businesses, and child care institutions.

Child care workers earn approximately $9 per hour or $20,080 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $9 hourly or $18,970 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Child Care, people working as child care workers in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Child Care nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including seventeen within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a child care worker. The most common level of education for child care workers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a child care worker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Child Care Worker

Child Care Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, child care workers attend to children at schools, businesses, and child care institutions. They also perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, and overseeing play.

Child care workers observe and monitor children's play activities. They also support children's emotional and social development, encouraging understanding of others and positive self-concepts. Equally important, child care workers have to organize and participate in recreational efforts. They are often called upon to discipline children and recommend or initiate other measures to control behavior. They are expected to instruct children in health and personal habits, such as eating and toilet habits. Finally, child care workers organize and store toys and materials to insure order in activity areas.

Every day, child care workers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for child care workers to keep records on individual children, including daily observations and data related to activities and medications administered. They are often called upon to identify signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring them to parents' or guardians' attention. They also sanitize toys and play equipment. They are sometimes expected to care for children in institutional setting, such as group homes or schools for the handicapped. Somewhat less frequently, child care workers are also expected to sanitize toys and play equipment.

They also have to be able to read to children and teach them simple painting and songs and sterilize bottles and ready formulas. And finally, they sometimes have to operate in-house day-care centers within businesses.

Like many other jobs, child care workers must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Personal Home Care Aide. Assist elderly or disabled adults with daily living activities at the person's home or in a daytime non-residential facility. Duties performed at a place of residence may include keeping house (making beds, doing laundry, washing dishes) and preparing meals. May provide meals and supervised activities at non-residential care facilities. May advise families, the elderly, and disabled on such things as nutrition, cleanliness, and household utilities.
  • Residential Life Director. Coordinate activities for residents of boarding schools, college fraternities or sororities, college dormitories, or similar establishments. Order supplies and determine need for maintenance, repairs, and furnishings. May maintain household records and assign rooms. May refer residents to counseling resources if needed.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Child Care Worker Training

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated forty-one, thirteen, and six students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60652-1299. City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,711 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated twenty-three and forty-two students respectively in 2008.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated seven and seven students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College, 1900 W Van Buren, Chicago, IL 60612-3197. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,202 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated fourteen and twelve students respectively in 2008.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated two and eleven students respectively in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated five and six students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated five, nine, and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Prairie State College - Chicago Heights, IL

Prairie State College, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, IL 60411-8226. Prairie State College is a medium sized college located in Chicago Heights, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,368 students. Prairie State College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated twenty-one, five, and seven students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated sixty-nine, twelve, and four students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60628-1696. City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,063 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated twenty-nine, twenty, and thirty-four students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College, 30 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60601-2449. City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,342 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated eight and ten students respectively in 2008.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Morton College - Cicero, IL

Morton College, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804-4398. Morton College is a small college located in Cicero, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,959 students. Morton College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated thirty-seven, three, and seven students respectively in 2008.

South Suburban College - South Holland, IL

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473-1200. South Suburban College is a medium sized college located in South Holland, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,105 students. South Suburban College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated fifty-two and eight students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave., Chicago, IL 60640-6063. City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,835 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated twenty, fifteen, and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated one and ten students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60621-2709. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,873 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated sixteen and eight students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

LICENSES

CHILD CARE WORKER (INSTITUTION, GROUP HOME)

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Address: 406 East Monroe, Floor 7, Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 785-2688
Website: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

CHILD CARE/HABILITATION AIDE

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Public Health Education and Training
Address: 535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761

Phone: (217) 785-5133
Website: Illinois Department of Public Health Education and Training

CHILD WELFARE WORKER (CHILD WELFARE AGENCY)

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Address: 406 East Monroe, Floor 7, Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 785-2688
Website: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

SCHOOL-AGE WORKER (DAY CARE CENTER)

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Address: 406 East Monroe, Floor 7, Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 785-2688
Website: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.