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

Child care workers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Rockford, Illinois area. There are currently 35,980 working child care workers in Illinois; this should grow by 17% to 42,130 working child care workers in the state 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%. Child care workers generally attend to children at schools, businesses, and child care institutions.

Income for child care workers is about $9 per hour or $20,080 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $9 hourly or $18,970 yearly. Incomes for child care workers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Child Care in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Child Care category nationally.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can study to be a child care worker, among twelve schools of higher education total in the Rockford area. Child care workers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Child Care Worker Training

Highland Community College - Freeport, IL

Highland Community College, 2998 W Pearl City Rd, Freeport, IL 61032-9341. Highland Community College is a small college located in Freeport, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,876 students. Highland Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated two, one, and nine students respectively in 2008.

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated five students in 2008.

Rock Valley College - Rockford, IL

Rock Valley College, 3301 N Mulford Rd, Rockford, IL 61114-5699. Rock Valley College is a medium sized college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,030 students. Rock Valley College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated one, one, and five 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: Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.