If you feel your inner Mary Poppins calling out to you, or you can hear Maria singing that the hills are alive with the sound of hiring, you may be a perfect candidate for a career in child care. You’ll need an umbrella full of patience, wisdom, love and perhaps conflict resolution, but you won’t need a college degree. What you will need is an outstanding child care resume that makes you soar above the competition.
This writing guide, along with the attached child care resume examples, will tell you what you need to know about getting your foot in the door in this field, including:
- What does a child care provider do?
- How to write a child care resume
- The five components of any successful resume
- How to pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) test
- How to choose the best resume format
Resume.io is an expert resource for job seekers in all fields and at all levels of their careers. This guide is just one of our 300+ resume examples full of useful writing and design tips.
What does a child care provider do?
If you’re a mom or a dad, you probably know a lot about what a child care provider does. In the baby stages, there’s rocking, feeding, burping, diaper changing and putting down for naps. In the toddler stages, there’s toilet training, learning time, play time, lunchtime and maybe the time when you explain that THAT word cannot be used under this roof. For school-age kids, there may be drop-offs and pickups, soccer lessons and homework and bruised knees — and of course the kids need more food than ever.
The occupation described as “child care” can include:
- A nanny/au pair who cares for one or more small children in a private home, typically living in the same house.
- A child care/daycare center that supervises young children all day long, usually because their parents are working.
- An after-school center where school-age children are supervised for just a few hours a day, between the end of the school day and the end of the parents’ workday.
How to write a child care resume
A child care resume should exude competence, professionalism and love for children. Compassion, empathy and patience are all requirements in a childcare provider, and your resume should leave no doubt that you have these qualities.
Also, your resume should be an adaptable document that you update frequently, tailoring it to target potential employers with different needs.
A child care resume should be one page only, divided into the following parts:
- Employment history
The header is the space at the top of the resume that contains your name, occupation, mailing address, phone number and email. There are countless ways to design a header, but a great one will instantly convey your professionalism and trustworthiness to parents.
Choosing the best resume format for child care
As a childcare provider, you have a few options when it comes time to picking the best resume format. If you’ve had a lot of experience in the field, then the reverse chronological format is likely right for you. This structure centers on an employment history section where you can outline the details of your previous jobs.
If you’re just starting out in child care, you may consider a functional resume format which focuses more on the skills and personality traits that makes you adept at working with children. The hybrid format combines the best of these two structures and allows you to highlight your strengths while still showing off some previous experience.
Passing the ATS test
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are computer programs that larger employers use to filter resumes by searching for keywords that describe necessary job qualifications. Employers input these desired keywords, and then the ATS ranks incoming resumes by how many of these they contain. If your resume contains few or none of the qualifications the employer is seeking, your resume may be rejected without any human review.
It’s important to study help-wanted ads closely to see what qualities and skills the employer is looking for, because it’s likely they input these same terms into the ATS. If you have the qualifications the employer is seeking, describe them in your resume using the same words used in the job listing.
Resume summary example: Introduce yourself
The resume summary, also known as a profile, is a few lines of text under the header that serves as your professional self-portrait. It should identify the job you’re seeking and present your strongest evidence that you’re an excellent candidate.
Work experience is key, so if you have lots of experience in child care, that should be your emphasis. This is also the place to describe your patience, empathy and dedication to children. You can also mention your education or any special certifications you may hold, such as knowledge of CPR and first aid. If you’re a parent caring for your own children, that might be worth mentioning here as well. Check out the summary from our child care resume sample below.
Dedicated and enthusiastic child care professional with over 9 years of experience providing excellent care for children ages 0-16. Committed to fostering a warm, nurturing and encouraging environment for children, while working closely with their families and programs to ensure that all needs are met.
Employment history example: Experience matters
List up to 10 years of relevant experience in the employment history section, stating the names of past employers, where they’re located, and the years you worked there. Under each of these, include a bullet list specifying your responsibilities and accomplishments at each of these jobs. But avoid saying “Was responsible for” and instead state what you actually did: “Prepared hot lunch for 10 children daily,” for example.
If you have no experience in this field, you’re not alone, and it’s uncommon for child care to be a first job. But any babysitting experience, even for your siblings, can add value to your application. If you’ve worked at jobs unrelated to child care, those can also bear mentioning to demonstrate that you have some experience in the workforce and a record of reliability and responsibility. See the employment history from our resume sample below.
Child Care Provider at Private Home, Fort Lee
August 2013 - Present
- Provided optimal care to four children from toddler-hood through preteen years.
- Changed diapers, managed bath time, cooked meals and performed light household cleaning.
- Maintained school and extracurricular schedules and transported children to and from activities in a safe and timely manner.
- Worked to foster a warm and caring environment centered around trust and compassion.
- Communicated any significant events or concerns with the parents immediately.
Camp Counselor at Forest Day Camp, Paramus
June 2011 - June 2013
- Worked as a camp counselor for two summers, leading groups of 15+ children for a 6 hour camp day.
- Worked closely with camp administrators and team members to ensure camp schedules ran smoothly.
- Communicated with parents regarding needs and concerns and reported events to my direct supervisor.
- Led arts and crafts projects and childhood appropriate games, while ensuring the safety and well-being of each camper. • Followed all camp rules and protocols.
CV skills example: Your best qualities
Every CV (which is what a resume is called outside the U.S. or Canada) should contain a list of the candidate’s special skills. Typically these are divided into “hard skills” — technical capabilities needed to do the job — and “soft skills,” which are people-oriented talents like communication skills, patience and a loving touch.
Hard skills for child care might include cooking, toilet training or safe driving. But be sure to convey more personal qualities to convince employers that you love children and work well with them. Below you’ll find the skills section from our adaptable resume example.
- Leadership Skills
- Ability to Multitask
- Communication Skills
- Knowledge of Child Development
- Strong Mathematical Skills
- Compassion and Care
- Clean Driving Record
Child care education section example: Your schooling
You don’t need a college degree to get a job in child care, and in fact you may be eligible for some jobs while still in high school. Whatever your educational attainment, list the schools you’ve gone to and degrees you’ve obtained in reverse chronological order.
If you had an exceptional GPA or other impressive academic achievements, you can mention them in a bullet list under each school. And if your work history is really thin but you did well in school, consider putting your education before your employment history. Check out the education section from our resume sample below.
Associate of Science in Education, Montclair State University, Montclair
September 2014 - August 2016
Resume design and layout
You want your resume to look as good as it reads, making a positive visual impression before anyone reads the first word. This means you need to pay attention to issues of design and layout, striving for an eye-pleasing page.
Use a professional, easy-to-read font in a size between 10 and 12 points. And while you do need to contain your resume to one page, do not be tempted to cram a resume that’s too long onto one page by using a tiny font size.
Include a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, left and right. Text should be aligned left, not justified from margin to margin. And you want to strive for balance, distributing elements evenly on the page – for example, you don’t want a bunch of text at the top and nothing at the bottom, nor do you want most of the text to be on the left with gaping holes on the right.
Include a judicious amount of white space that contains nothing at all. This gives the eye and the brain a break, and makes for a lighter, more approachable look.
If you don’t have time to fuss with word processors and graphic design software, a professionally-designed resume template can make it easy to achieve that perfect balance of attractiveness and functionality in your layout.
- A child care resume should convey a strong sense that you are responsible, patient and empathetic in dealing with children.
- Make your resume one page only, with a header, summary, work history, education and skills.
- Since child care jobs differ, be prepared to tailor your resume for different employers, listing the qualifications each one is seeking.
- Looks matter, so be sure you’ve used a layout and design that creates an eye-pleasing presentation – our child care resume sample can get you started.
Good luck in finding the child care job that’s right for you!