Field of Study: Child Care Assisting
Child care assisting programs prepare people to provide child care services. Students learn to plan and supervise play and learning activities. They also learn about child growth and development.
Before he takes on a class of kindergarteners in "Kindergarten Cop," Detective John Kimble - better known in some circles as the Terminator and more recently, as governor - asks, "They're six-year-old kids. How much trouble can they be?" Famous last words.
Did the antics in the 1990 movie "Kindergarten Cop" have you smiling affectionately rather than staring in horror? Are some of the most interesting people you know under five years old? Does a venture into Chuck E. Cheese make you smile instead of cringe? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, child care assisting may be the program of study for you.
This program prepares you to work in day-care centers or even preschools, helping professionals provide child care. You might organize crafts activities for the kids or read stories to them. You also help kids understand what it means to get along with others by teaching them to share, to be kind, and to respect each other.
As a student in this program, you learn the basics of early childhood education so that you can provide this kind of child care assistance. You study the ways that children learn, even as early as infancy. You also start compiling a range of games that you can use as both learning tools and play-time activities.
You gain practical knowledge about interacting with children of different ages, and about helping children interact with each other. You also learn to observe and record children's behavior.
About 70 schools offer programs that prepare you to work in child care assisting. You can typically earn a certificate or, in a few cases, an associate degree. Both options typically take between one and two years of full-time study after high school.