If you love children, watching them can feel like a dream job. Spending your time with kids can be fun and rewarding, but dealing with children always poses a challenge. There are many essential child care duties you must cover to ensure you’re providing the best care possible to the children you watch.

Here are eight of the most essential child care duties and responsibilities that you should master:

Duty #1: Help Children Discover New Interests

Helping children expand their horizons is one important responsibility you have as a childcare worker. These child care duties may involve simple things, such as introducing children to new sports, music, and art, can help develop their interests.

In addition, you can demonstrate that art can be done in multiple ways through different activities such as painting, drawing, or physically making something is a great way to get children engaged in different activities. Preparing a diverse array of activities will help children find hobbies and potential passions.

Duty #2: Providing Routine Care Adjusted To Age

There are some routine things that need to be done for children, depending on their age. Young children require regular feedings and diaper changes, which need to be monitored at all times.

Slightly older kids require help at mealtime, reminders to practice basic hygiene, and help sticking to the schedule defined by your care program. Getting into a routine will help children remember all the important tasks that need to be done throughout the day. The age of the children you take care of will dictate the essential areas that need to be covered each day.

Duty #3: Supervise Children While Eating

One of the most vital child care duties is supervising children while they eat. In addition to helping children prepare food, child care workers also have to ensure all children are eating in a safe manner.

It’s also important to create a safe and pleasant environment for the children during mealtime. Everyone should sit together so they can get used to the socializing aspect of mealtime. Providing child-sized utensils and child-sized furniture will make it easy for you to create a safe and comfortable environment for the kids you’re watching to enjoy their meals.

Duty #4: Encourage Positive Behavior

Offering reminders of appropriate behavior is another important child care duty It’s an important child care duty to reinforce good behavior when you see it naturally coming from one of the children. Encouraging a willingness to share and work together are examples of positive behaviors that should be reinforced.

At the same time, it’s also important to provide discipline and guidance during moments of bad behavior. Staying consistent in the behaviors you reward and the ones you punish will help children develop positive habits.

Duty #5: Improve Language & Socialization

Taking the time to create stimulating activities for the children you watch will have a positive impact on their ability to communicate and socialize. Activities that prioritize teamwork and problem-solving are great for developing their cognitive skills. Providing the children you watch with age-appropriate games and problems to solve will help them get excited about their days as well as develop their ability to work together.

As you supervise the activities, look for children with poor concentration, difficulty sharing, or that get upset if they lose the game. Recognizing these difficulties in developing social skills early can help you give them proper guidance.

Duty #6: Teach Children A Defined Curriculum

Another example of essential childcare duties is exposing the children you watch to the defined curriculum. If you supervise children at pre-school, there will usually be some key areas you need to cover to help prepare your children for kindergarten.

Again, children will learn through playing, experimenting, and solving problems. You can use storytelling and rhyming games to teach the children you watch new vocabulary. Make sure the activities you design cover the curriculum and use a variety of instructional techniques to engage children.

Duty #7: Get Familiar With The Children

Observing how your children play together will help you identify any unusual behavior. Odd behavior from one of the children you watch can indicate illness or other types of issues. It’s worth keeping daily records on individual children, including information such as what they ate and how they performed in the day’s activities. Getting familiar with the children you watch can help you spot issues before they get too serious.

Duty #8: Provide A Safe Environment For Children

Another example of crucial child care duties you can’t afford to ignore is providing a clean environment for the children to enjoy. It’s important to sanitize all toys and equipment daily after children head home.

Regular sanitation habits can prevent an illness from spreading throughout your care center. Housekeeping activities such as dishwashing, laundry, and disinfecting hard surfaces are an essential part of creating a sanitary and secure environment for the children that you watch.