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III. EXPLORING POSITIONS

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Position 3: Assistant to Head of Group (Preparation Level 1)

Description: This person assists the Head of Group in child care and education programs including Head Start. This person is often called the Assistant Teacher.

Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions: The Assistant to Head of Group needs knowledge of child development, especially of the young child, and general education knowledge including speaking, reading and writing. Skills such as reading and oral communication are needed along with child behavior management. The Assistant to Head of Group needs to be a cooperative co-worker, able to follow directions and work independently, interact positively with children, and maintain self-control.

Employment Settings: Child care and education programs including group family child care (See SECTION II, SETTINGS A.1 AND A.2.C) and Head Start (See SECTION II, SETTINGS C)

Required Qualifications: For an individual working in child care programs licensed or registered by NYS Office of Children and Family Services High School Diploma OR its equivalent OR substantial experience working with children under 13 years of age. NYS OCFS 418 – 1.13 (g) All persons holding this position must be cleared through the NYS Central Registry of Child Abuse and fingerprints submitted to required authorities. (These are guidelines according to state child care regulations and do not apply to all the settings listed.)

Preparation: Work experience as an aide in an early childhood program; education and child development, general education or receipt of a CDA. (These are guidelines according to state child care regulations and do not apply to all the settings listed.) (See SECTION V, PREPARING TO LEARN B.I for a description of Child Development Credential.)

Continuing Education: For those individuals working in child care programs licensed by NYS or registered Office of Children and Family Services fifteen hours of training must be received during the first six months of employment with 30 hours completed within the program’s two year registration/licensure period of employment and 30 hours every two year registration/licensure period thereafter. Training must address the following topics:

  1. Principles of child development, including the appropriate supervision of children, meeting the needs of children enrolled in the program with physical or emotional challenges, behavior management, and discipline
  2. Nutrition and health needs of children
  3. Child day care program development
  4. Safety and security procedures, including communication between parents and staff
  5. Business record maintenance and management
  6. Child abuse and maltreatment identification and prevention
  7. Statutes and regulations pertaining to child day care
  8. Statutes and regulations pertaining to child abuse and maltreatment.

(These are guidelines according to state child care regulations and do not apply to all the settings listed.)

Alternate Pathways: Volunteer experience or working as a Program Aide could serve as pathways into this position.

Job Outlook: Positions as Assistant to Head of Group are often available due to the high turnover of employees in this area.

Earnings: This is dependent on setting, geographic location, and your prior experience. It can range from minimum wage and up.

Opportunity For Advancement: With more experience and continued college coursework toward a high school diploma, an associates or bachelor’s degree, the Assistant to Head of Group may advance into the Head of Group position, Teaching Assistant in the public school, or Teacher with New York State Certification.

Related Careers:

Serving Children Directly – Nanny/governess, one-on-one special services aide, camp counselor

Serving Families Directly – Family worker, home visitor, home health aide

Providing Information Goods and Services – Children's library assistant, sales of educational merchandise