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Career and Education Opportunities for Child Care Workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee

For those living in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, there are many career and education opportunities for child care workers. There are currently 26,610 working child care workers in Tennessee; this should grow by 13% to 30,100 working child care workers in the state by 2016. 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.

The income of a child care worker is about $7 per hour or $16,070 annually on average in Tennessee. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $9 hourly or $18,970 yearly on average. Child care workers earn less than people working in the category of Child Care generally in Tennessee and less than people in the Child Care category nationally.

The Chattanooga area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree as a child care worker. The most common level of education for child care workers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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

Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA

Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has a less than one year program in Child Care Provider/Assistant which graduated seventy-seven 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.