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

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for child care workers in the Springfield, Illinois area. About 35,980 people are currently employed as child care workers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to about 42,130 people employed. This is better than the national trend for child care workers, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.9% over the next eight years. Child care workers generally attend to children at schools, businesses, and child care institutions.

Income for child care workers is about $9 hourly or $20,080 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $9 per hour or $18,970 per year. Child care workers earn less than people working in the category of Child Care generally in Illinois and less than people in the Child Care category nationally.

The Springfield area is home to nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Springfield where you can get a degree as a child care worker. 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Springfield include:

  • 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

Lincoln Land Community College - Springfield, IL

Lincoln Land Community College, 5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, IL 62794-9256. Lincoln Land Community College is a medium sized college located in Springfield, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,659 students. Lincoln Land Community College has an associate's degree program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated four students 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: Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois photo by %C3%89ovart_Ca%C3%A7eir

Springfield is situated in Sangamon County, Illinois. It has a population of over 117,352, which has grown by 5.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Springfield, 75, is far less than the national average. New single-family homes in Springfield cost $245,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, ninety-seven new homes were built in Springfield, down from one hundred seventy-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Springfield are public administration, health care, and educational services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 30.6% of Springfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Springfield is 8.5%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Springfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.9%, is more than both the national and state average. First Presbyterian Church and Christ Episcopal Church are all churches located in Springfield. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the United Methodist Church.

Springfield is home to the Oliver P Parks Telephone Museum and the Building I as well as Jaycee Park and Fairview Park. Shopping malls in the area include Capital City Shopping Center, Fairhills Shopping Center and Chatham Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Springfield can choose from Cottage Inn, Courtyard Springfield and Drury Inn and Suites Springfield IL for temporary stays in the area.