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Career and Education Opportunities for Child Care Workers in Grand Rapids, Michigan

If you want to be a child care worker, the Grand Rapids, Michigan area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 38,330 people are currently employed as child care workers in Michigan. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 13% to 43,320 people employed. 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 hourly or $20,320 per year on average in Michigan. Nationally, their income is about $9 hourly or $18,970 annually. Incomes for child care workers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Child Care in Michigan, and not quite as good as the overall Child Care category nationally.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Grand Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids 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 training to become 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 Grand Rapids 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

Muskegon Community College - Muskegon, MI

Muskegon Community College, 221 S Quarterline Rd, Muskegon, MI 49442-1432. Muskegon Community College is a small college located in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,747 students. Muskegon Community College has a less than one year program in Child Care Provider/Assistant.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.