12 Fundamental Child Care Skills: Definition And Examples

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 4 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Child care professionals can commit their services to a range of responsibilities to add value to a child's formative years. To be successful at such a job, you might demonstrate specific hard and soft skills. If you are applying for a child care specialist role, there are some common skills that you might want to highlight to perform well in the interview. In this article, we review what child care skills are and some common examples that assist in succeeding at the job.

What Are Child Care Skills?

Child care skills are the abilities you highlight on your resume to show that you can care for a child and understand the needs of young learners and their behaviour. It is vital that you have prepared for your potential career with specific knowledge in areas of early childhood development programmes, applying creativity and imagination during playtime or preparing for emergencies.

Related: 9 Useful Child Care Skills (And Ways To Highlight Them)

Examples Of Child Care Skills

While preparing for an interview as a child care professional, you might aim to highlight these common skills to show that you can succeed at the job:


For early childhood educators to communicate effectively with children and their parents, they ought to be able to discuss concepts from the perspective of the child's developmental stage. Children of different ages have different ways of learning. So, to better your ability as a child care provider and ultimately help them learn quicker and more fully, it helps to adapt your language to suit their specific needs.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions And Examples

Active listening

Active listening is essential in any good care regimen because kids believe you care about what they say. To demonstrate active listening skills, pay attention to what the child is saying by stopping your current activity and putting your full effort into communicating with the child. Try to maintain eye contact and occasionally repeat what they say to let them know you have heard them. Careful listeners might be able to build trust with children more rapidly, which means that children tend to be more comfortable addressing them when they have issues or questions about anything.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition And Examples


Each child is at a different developmental level, so patience is an important skill when supporting and encouraging them at their pace. Their learning and socialisation environments might also differ, making things more challenging. Demonstrating patience can help child care professionals assist children through these changes and even adjust their approach to child interactions based on their personalities, parents' requirements, lifestyles and preferences and build stronger interpersonal relationships.

Time management

Time management does not come naturally to every individual. It takes practice and planning to make the most of every day. Increasing your productivity can result in shorter mundane tasks, like preparing meals and educating the child. One good tip to combat these issues is to create a priority list of tasks pertaining to work, free time, chores and daily activities to complete everything in a reasonable timeframe.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

Empathy and compassion

As a child care professional, it is essential to make sure the kids in your care have a healthy emotional life besides a physical one. It is beneficial to do so without being intrusive or making children uncomfortable. Showing empathy and compassion requires a high level of emotional intelligence as it helps you control emotions and display them appropriately.

Decision making

Being a child care specialist requires individuals to have strong decision-making skills. They make many daily choices about approaching their tasks and responsibilities. Additionally, it is helpful for child care specialists to be quick decision-makers during emergencies, such as when a child hurts themselves during playtime.

Related: What Is Decision Making? Definition, Types And Tips

Higher stamina and perseverance

These professionals are generally capable of keeping up physically with energetic kids and, as a result, possess a high level of energy. Working with young children requires performing various activities, including chasing after them, picking them up and playing with them. Physical stamina is critical in child care as you might physically engage with children throughout the day.

Understanding a child's nutritional and hygiene requirements

Maintaining children's health by giving them food with a high nutritional value and providing high-quality child care is an important aspect of success at your job. You may make mealtime enjoyable for the children by encouraging them to interact with their peers or with you.

Food hygiene is also an essential aspect of quality child care facilities, as illness can spread if the food handling is unhygienic. Try to maintain high hygiene levels while preparing and serving meals to children. You may take care of this by ensuring that the child thoroughly washes their hands before eating their meals.


In addition to a solid grasp of developmental and play-based learning strategies, good care providers understand the academic capabilities of the children they teach. Some even plan out lessons or skill-based activities for children. Preschool teachers, for example, often design fun but structured learning activities that help young kids master basic academic skills, like reading and writing. An early childhood professional working in such an environment might also demonstrate competence in these domains to serve children more effectively.

Creative thinking

Being a child care professional can be creatively enriching. Day after day, you plan fun activities with the children in your care while also ensuring you drive participation and immersion. To succeed as a child care professional, employ your creativity by creating interesting games and finding new ways to engage children.

Related: Creative Thinking: Definition, Development And Advantages

Problem solving

Coming up with novel solutions to problems is often a large part of the job in many positions, so strong problem-solving skills are vital to being effective as a child care professional. One common challenge that most child care professionals would want to overcome could include preparing for a new class, using different teaching techniques for each child or breaking bad habits. Whatever the issue may be, it takes critical problem-solving and thinking skills to resolve it thoroughly and satisfactorily.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

Analytical ability

Child care employees constantly evaluate situations and the environment, asking themselves what task to do next. Determining a child's development, assessing progress, and monitoring their learning levels takes skill and knowledge. It is vital to understand what you are to accomplish when working as a child care professional. When faced with any situation, your analytical response can be the difference between the success and failure of a child.

How To Improve Your Child Care Skills?

Here are a few ways to improve your child care skills to succeed at your job:

  1. Take child development courses. This might help you provide a holistic experience for the children you work with since the courses cover education, communication and safety, among other skills.

  2. Focus on enabling their overall growth. You may do this by exposing them to activities outside of their curriculum related to cognitive, language, motor skills and emotional development.

  3. Volunteer and spend more time with children. Practical experience provides exposure to work on multiple skills and develop them further. It may also be beneficial to mention volunteering on your resume.

  4. Identify your areas of weakness and work on strengthening them. Since not every skill may come naturally to you, identifying areas of improvement is crucial for professional growth.

  5. Set specific goals and measure your progress. This might help you realise if you developed the skill satisfactorily. It may be useful to set a timeline to help you further.

Child Care Skills In The Workplace

Here is how you may display these skills in the workplace:

  • Be compassionate. By being compassionate and empathetic towards the children in your workplace, you may be able to forge a bond and engage them in activities easily.

  • Tweak your communication style. Depending on the age of the child you are dealing with, you may be required to adjust how to communicate with them. Additionally, the way you communicate with one child may differ from the other based on their needs.

  • Showcase your creativity. For potential employers, a candidate who is creative may be preferred over others. This is because a child care professional may be required to solve problems in a novel way and even be creative while designing activities for the children.

How To Highlight Child Care Skills?

Here is how you may highlight relevant skills throughout the interview process:

1. Discuss your child care skills on your resume and cover letter

In your resume, you may highlight applicable skills to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are capable of getting the job done. You may also adjust your resume to match the keywords given in the job description to increase your chances of getting an interview.

You may use your cover letter as an opportunity to expand a little on the skills you listed in your resume. You can do so by picking up to three of your strongest skills related to the job and discussing how they helped you accomplish tasks in your previous job.

Related: 8 Examples Of Resume Skills For Working With Children

2. Explain your child care skills in a job interview

You'll have plenty of opportunities to display or discuss your child care skills during your During the interview is when you may have the opportunity to clearly display how you can add value to the role you have applied to. To showcase your skills in a positive manner, try to support every answer by highlighting the relevant skills and an example of when you used them in your previous jobs.

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