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Portable Careers in Child Care

Working in the child care field can be a great portable career option for you. Positions within this field can be rewarding and may offer the flexibility you need as you relocate.

If you are searching for a career that’s portable, consider a job in the child care industry. No matter where you live, child care is likely to be in demand in your community. 

The field offers a variety of positions, some of which do not require a college degree. You can even be your own boss by offering home-based child care services. In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,216,600 jobs in the child care field. The expected growth rate in the field between 2016 and 2026 is 7%. The salary for this field varies based on location. If you are living in an urban area with a higher demand for child care providers, your income will likely be higher than in a more rural location.

Position types

Part-time work. The field offers a variety of positions. You may be able to find part-time work as a child care provider. Child care providers are not always expected to have a college-level education. However, having cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, and first aid certifications can make finding a position a bit easier. These certifications may also help you negotiate a higher hourly rate. You can have more flexibility with part-time work. When searching for a position, you can look for an opening with hours that work with your schedule.

Full-time work. If you are looking for a full-time position and prefer to work with just one or a few children, consider finding employment as a nanny. Like babysitters, nannies typically work from their employers' homes. The duties of a nanny may extend beyond those of a babysitter to include household chores and errands, such as laundry and picking up groceries. When interviewing for a nanny position, be sure to ask what your responsibilities will be. With more responsibilities included in your job description, you can ask for a higher salary. 

Self-employment. Running your own home-based day care is another option if you are interested in owning your own business and working from home. Operating a day care can also effectively eliminate costs if you have your own children. Keep in mind the state, local and installation requirements you need to have in place before operating a home-based day care service, and that you may need insurance, a certification and a license to operate a home-based day care. 

Child development centers. If you would prefer to work in a facility, look for employment at local child development centers. Entry-level positions may only require a high school diploma or employers may expect you to have at least an associate degree, depending on the center. Earning a degree in early childhood development or a related field may increase your prospects. You may want to consider a child care career with the Department of Defense child development and youth programs. You can apply for both entry- and management-level positions in many child development programs and youth programs world-wide, with competitive pay and benefits. 

Finding a job on an installation

Most military installations offer children and youth positions. Check with your installation's non-appropriated funds human resources office for available positions. Use the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS tool to search by installation, state or program to locate your local office. Select 'Non-appropriated Funds (NAF) Human Resources' from the list of programs and services, enter your installation or ZIP code, choose the radius you would like to search within and click ‘Search’ to find a point of contact near you. 

For more information on finding a job in your field of interest, contact a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or use the Live Chat feature on MySECO for additional guidance.

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