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Can Teenagers Work at Daycare?

Love kids?

Looking for a job? Then daycare could be the place for you!

Looking after children is hard work!

There are so many different tasks that build up throughout the day. So, daycare centers are always on the lookout for hardworking, reliable employees to take up the slack.

But can teenagers work at daycare?

Of course! A job at a daycare center is a great choice for a teenager. However, there are a few rules and regulations to follow.

So, let’s discover exactly what they are!

can teenagers work at daycare

What Kind of Jobs Are Available at Daycare?

Every day is different when you’re taking care of kids. You never know what they’re going to do next! So, daycare staff needs to be flexible and understand that they may have to do other duties outside their job description.

Tasks include…

You might start the day cooking a simple, healthy breakfast, followed by a clean-up in the kitchen. Then there will probably be a smelly diaper to change. After that, you could be supervising nap time while cleaning down toys and equipment.

Be prepared to get your hands dirty! A position at a daycare center is messy and requires a lot of wiping and cleaning. If you’re squeamish, then sorry, but this isn’t the job for you!

Are you an older teen?

If you’re 17 or 18 years old, you could take on other responsibilities as well. You might find an opportunity to work as a teaching assistant. This can be an awesome way to get some hands-on experience if you’re planning to be a teacher after college.

For this role, you’ll probably need a high school diploma. And it’s a good idea to have previous experience of childcare. And remember, even as a teaching assistant, you’ll still be expected to deal with serving food and cleaning as well.

can teenager work at daycare

What Should You Do Before Starting Work at a Daycare?

Well, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. The requirements differ based on your age and location.

State the facts…

Firstly, you’ll need to find out if your state allows teenagers to work in a daycare. Some have restrictions. They may only allow people over the age of 18 to take care of children.

If you’re not sure about your state, then check out the Department of Labor Website. It has all the information for every state. Simply search by location and find out what the rules are in your area.

Are you permitted?

Many states require you to get a work permit if you’re under a certain age. Delaware, for example, requires one for under 18s, whereas, in Georgia, it’s under 16. Make sure you find out if a work permit is needed to keep everything legal and above board.

For more information on this, the U.S. Department of Labor can tell you everything you need to know. This website contains lots of informative data on working in the U.S. It also has links to other helpful pages that can assist you in your search.

can the teenagers work at daycare

Do You Need Any Qualifications to Work at a Daycare?

Once again, there’s no clear-cut answer to this question! Any certifications required will depend on where you live, the role you’re filling, and the daycare center in question.

Hey, teacher! Leave those kids alone!

As a teenager, it’s highly unlikely that you will find a job as a daycare teacher. All teachers, regardless of where they teach, are expected to have a college education. However, you might find a job as a teaching assistant.

For this position, staff will likely need a high school diploma. But if you have experience, then there’s a chance you could avoid this requirement. Your best bet is to contact a local daycare and ask what they demand of their employees.


If you’re not planning to teach and just want to look after children, then a high school diploma might not be required. Again, it’ll be up to the daycare in question. Many will be willing to employ teenagers aged 16 or over who have not graduated high school if you can prove that you’re responsible enough.

And with a bit of luck, you could gain some qualifications through work! A lot of daycare centers need their staff to be certified in a variety of different skills. You might get sent on a food hygiene or first aid course by your boss.

How Much Do You Get Paid to Work in Daycare?

In the education industry, staff are often underpaid. This is not a job to take on if you’re hoping to make your fortune. Even a fully qualified teacher only makes on average $10.50 per hour.

But your rate of pay is also affected by where you live. Some states have a better minimum wage than others. And some don’t have one at all, instead choosing to use the federal minimum of $7.25.


Don’t be! This handy government website can tell you what the minimum wage is in your area. It also has a historical table, so you can check out much it has (or more likely has not) gone up over time.

Looking for More Great info on Jobs for Teens?

Then it’s time to find out Can Teens Work at Two Jobs, Good Jobs for Teens, How to Become a Teenage Sports Referee, the Best Fast Food Jobs for Teens, How to Become a Teenage Survey Taker, and How to Become a Teenage Dog Walker.

You might also want to know Can Teens Work at Best Buy, Can Teens Work at Barnes and Noble, Can Teens Work at a Car Dealership, Can Teens Work at a Hospital, and Can Teens Work at a Hotel.

Regardless of what job you’re going for, you can never be too prepared, so I recommend that you check out Amazing Interview Answers: Tough Job Interview Questions with Winning Answers, Hiring Squirrels: Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent, and Get That Job!: The Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, or what about How to Answer Interview Questions all available online in 2022.

The STAR Method has been proven to be successful in any interview! So, why not try reading The STAR Method Explained, or The STAR Interview: How to Land Your Dream Job, used in conjunction with the STAR METHOD INTERVIEW: A Notebook designed for interview prep & as a tool for interview questions and answers to help practice beforehand.

Final Thoughts

Working in a daycare center is such a rewarding experience. You get to be there as the children grow, discover their personalities, and help them learn. Sure, it can be tough, but for someone who loves kids, then any positives certainly outweigh the negatives.

Just remember to make sure everything is above board before you start. The law takes childcare seriously. Make sure you’ve covered your bases to get all the certifications you need, to protect not only the child but yourself as well.

So, happy Daycare job hunting, folks!

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About Wendy Young

Wendy runs an employment agency with her husband, Ian, in Rochester, New York.

She loves nothing more than hosting a good dinner party and spends weeks intricately planning her next 'event.' She often uses these to introduce clients to potential employers in a relaxed, informal fashion. The food must be delicious, the cocktails and wine must be a perfect match, and the decor needs to impress without being over the top. With all that going on, it's amazing that she gets any time to write about her thoughts on securing the dream job.

They live on the outskirts of New York with their poodle, Princess.

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