When you reminisce about your early learning experiences, what do you remember?
While a welcoming space or a particularly memorable snack may come to mind, the first response will likely be the teachers and staff who cared for you every day.
Finding excellent child care workers for your preschool or child care center is critical. And it all starts with the job description.
A top-notch job description can be the first tool in your recruitment kit for finding, hiring, and retaining the best teachers in ECE. It captures your candidate’s attention, introduces them to your center, and makes a powerful first impression for why your center is the best place to work.
Today, we’re getting into the nuts and bolts of a great child care worker job description, including the must-have elements every job posting should include.
The term “child care worker” is pretty broad. If you want your job description to attract the right people, you’ll need to narrow it down to something more specific.
Here’s a general definition from Indeed:
“A Child Care Worker, or Daycare Worker, is responsible for maintaining a safe and fun environment for young children to preteens. Their duties include coming up with creative and educational activities, preparing and serving snacks to children and maintaining a clean environment for the children.”
Clearly there’s plenty of range with this term. Some common roles associated with child care workers include:
Job titles can often signal additional information about the specific type of job available, so it’s important to understand the nuances behind different terms.
While not all of these identifiers are always used or needed, knowing your full range of child care worker job title options can help you refine the type of position and candidate you’re looking for.
|Type of care or facility||
|Tile of the position||
Your job description is often the first contact potential candidates have with your child care brand. And as job seekers become increasingly discerning about which roles to take, it’s important to nail it.
So while you may not need to completely reinvent the job description wheel, it’s always a good idea to check in and add some shiny new rims from time to time.
Now that you have the right title pinned down, let’s take a closer look at ways to improve the core elements of the job description: the general overview, list of responsibilities, and key requirements.
The general overview gives potential candidates the gist of the position by providing a brief description of the type of person you’re looking for and what they’ll do at work every day.
To kick off the overview, sum up what you’re looking for in one sentence.
Of course, each job is much more complex than one sentence can allow, but think of it like this:
If you happened to meet a candidate in an elevator, how would you describe the job before they got off on their floor?
Once you have your recruitment elevator pitch nailed down, you’re ready to expand a bit more.
Usually the general overview is written in paragraph form touching on the hard and soft skills you’re looking for, a few main duties, and schedule information.
Our best advice for writing the list of responsibilities: keep it realistic, but not overwhelming.
Take care in formatting how you write your responsibilities. This is not the place for the world’s longest to-do list. Make it digestible, relevant, and detailed.
Use plenty of bullet points and consider adding subheadings to split responsibilities into different categories.
Child care workers may have responsibilities that fall into subcategories such as:
Under each subcategory, outline the relevant expectations.
By making your child care worker job description as scannable as possible, your applicant will be able to process all the information with less intimidation.
The list of key requirements is exactly what it sounds like — an opportunity to accurately outline the skills and requirements candidates need in order to be successful in the role.
A child care worker job description may have a variety of requirements, so be sure to consider which ones are and aren’t relevant to the position you’re hiring for.
For example: “Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or similar area welcome, minimum two years work with children ages 0-2 required.”
Stay mindful of accessibility. If modifications or adaptations can be made to fit a wider variety of applicants, be sure to say that!
Gone are the days of a copy-paste outline of the position, laundry list of responsibilities, and zero information about the company.
LinkedIn did a fascinating study in 2018 using heat maps to figure out which parts of a job posting candidates really care about. While candidates aren’t reading every single word of your job description, they’re definitely paying attention to certain areas.
Imagine posting your amazing job description, receiving an excellent candidate, and inviting them for an interview. This person is a very strong candidate and you’re thrilled to offer them the position.
But they decline due to a misalignment on compensation. 😬
You could have saved hours of time and energy simply by listing the salary in your job description.
Maybe you’re concerned that candidates will be dissuaded by a figure that’s not high enough. We still think it’s worthwhile to be upfront about pay.
Of course, sometimes in ECE, it can be difficult to offer competitive wages. If that’s the case, make sure applicants know what other benefits you can offer: paid sick leave, health insurance, free child care, etc.
⭐ Pro tip: The right assortment of perks and benefits can make a huge difference in drawing in more applicants, particularly with female-identifying candidates.
Including an introduction to your center will give a snapshot of who you are and what makes your school or center different. Let you candidates know:
Out of all the child care centers out there, why should this candidate want to work for you?
Consider including the following information about your center:
Often this introduction is the first thing included in a job description. However, as the LinkedIn study shows, it typically falls lower on the priority list for candidates. Consider whether your job description is best served by opening or closing with information about your center.
⭐ Pro tip: Don’t put all the emphasis on introducing your center. A motivated candidate will get the info they need, then do their research to get a fuller picture of the organization.
The tone used throughout the job description can capture the je ne sais quois of your organization, so inject your authentic voice throughout the entire job description. This can help you stand out among the many cookie cutter postings and attract candidates who genuinely resonate with your values.
For example, consider what each of the following sentences say about an organization:
“10 paid-time-off days may be approved throughout the school year.”
“Teachers receive 10 paid-time-off days during the school year: personal matters, family needs, and self-care are critical to your well being both in and out of school.”
The information is the same, but the sentiment surrounding the organization? Drastically different!
⭐ Pro tip: Stay true to who you are! You won’t attract the right team by putting out a high-energy job ad that doesn’t align with the actual working environment at your center. Keep it authentic and trust that the right candidates will find you!
Still not sure where to start with your shiny new child care worker job description?
We’ve got you covered with a free template you can customize to fit your open role and center. We’ve even added reminders for what you may want to include to attract the best candidates out there. 😉
JOB TITLE: Get more specific than “child care worker”
JOB TYPE: Full-time, part-time, temporary
What’s your one-sentence elevator pitch for this position?
What soft and hard skills are you looking for?
What are the general areas of responsibilities?
What is the general schedule of the position?
JOB RESPONSIBILITIES: Break this section into subcategories of duties to make the responsibilities more digestible.
KEY REQUIREMENTS: Any applicable requirements including…
SALARY, BENEFITS, AND PERKS: Outline the ways in which work will be compensated (whether that is money, days off, free child care, a well-organized substitute system, etc.).
ABOUT US: Include a concise introduction to your organization that encapsulates your voice and values.
Once you draft your job description, ask for feedback from people in and out of your ECE circle. A variety of eyes on your job posting will help you make sure it’s genuinely attractive to the right people. And who knows, you may even get some unexpected candidates after passing it around!
No matter what approach you take in your child care recruitment strategy, remember that the best job description doesn’t just tell a candidate a position is available — it makes applicants want to be part of the organization.
Align your voice, values and expectations, and you’re on your way to having your best team ever.
Need more hiring tips for your preschool or child care center? We’ve got the complete A to Z in The Ultimate Guide to Preschool Hiring.