Qualifications for a child care worker vary depending on the type of institution in which the child care provider is working. Different states and communities have varying requirements, and employers may impose their own requirements.
Some states require a high school diploma for anyone working in a child care facility. Child care providers usually have to be at least 18 years old. While in-home child care providers do not need a college education, many child care facilities require employees to have at least an associate's degree with a major in early childhood education or the equivalent. Child care providers who work in the U.S. Head Start program must at least be enrolled in an associate's degree program. Most preschools require teachers to have a bachelor's degree, and some may ask for early childhood teaching credentials as well. The National Child Care Association offers credentials in child care that require additional training for renewal every few years.
Babysitters and nannies are not officially required to have formal education in child development. However, child care providers should all undergo basic safety and health training, including in first aid and CPR, and some states require certification in these areas. Even when no formal education is required, parents hiring child care providers often desire workers with prior experience working with children.