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  • Can a 16 year old Work at a Daycare?

You would like to find a job that you would enjoy and you know that you like working with younger kids. You have done some babysitting and think working at a daycare would be fun. However, you wonder if at the age of 16, jobs at a daycare are open to you.

You can get a job in a daycare center at the age of 16. How many opportunities are available to you will depend on the state where you live and the state’s licensing requirements, as well as whether the daycare you are seeking employment at is a licensed facility.

This blog post will cover:

  • What do licensing requirements have to do with me?
  • How to get hired at a daycare at the age of 16
  • Options for 16 year-olds looking to work at a daycare

What do Licensing Requirements Have to Do with Me?

It may seem confusing to have to worry about licensing requirements, which may be new to you. Should a daycare want to be licensed by the state, which may be helpful in recruiting kids as well as in receiving funding, the daycare will have to follow the licensing requirements set by the state where it is located.

For example, the licensing requirements of a state may require that no one under the age of 18 work in a daycare center. Another state may require that a staff person under age 18 not be left alone with the children at any given time in order for the center to be licensed.

You will want to find out more about the licensing requirements of your state, as knowing those will help guide you in your search. In order to find out more, you can go online and search for daycare center licensing requirements in your state. You can also call the daycare centers near you to ask if they hire 16 year-olds.

Should your state require that staff be 18 years-old at a minimum, in order for you to work at a daycare center you will have to target those that are not licensed by the state.

Remember, you’re taking care of children and that typically involves active mothers and fathers who want the best for their kids.  So having the proper license is key to being able to work in this field.

How to Get Hired at a Daycare at the Age of 16

Working at a daycare can be a great option for teenagers. The children that attend the daycare will enjoy having a young adult to spend time with and many teenagers can still relate to the younger children in a daycare center.

If you are interested in working at a daycare center, there are several ways to start finding a job. As mentioned above, it is a good idea to find out the licensing requirements of your state, so that you can best direct your job search.

Once you have an idea of the requirements and whether you can work at daycare centers licensed by your state, there are several things you can do to seek employment.

One thing you can do is contact each daycare center in your area and ask if they are hiring. This may sound scary, but it can be a simple phone call. When your call is answered, you can ask if they are hiring. If the answer is yes, you can follow up with the following:

“What positions are you hiring for?” If the answer reveals that they are hiring for positions that interest you, you can respond with:

“Great, who should I submit my resume to?”

Make sure to write down the name of the person that your resume should be sent to. You can ask for the individual’s email address so that you can send your resume directly. Once you send your resume, wait a few days and then follow up with the person you sent your resume to. You can start with something like this:

“My name is Jennifer Job and I wanted to follow up to make sure you received the resume that I sent you on Tuesday.”

The contact may or may not remember receiving your resume. Often, your call will prompt them to look for it, which will then lead to their looking AT it.

Regardless of whether the contact states they have indeed seen your resume, this is an opportunity to ask when you should next follow up. For example:

“Great, I am glad you have received it. When would be the best time for me to follow up with you to answer any questions you may have?”


“I am sorry that it has not gone through. I will send it again (and then confirm the email address). I will do that right now. I will follow up to make sure you got it and answer any questions. When is the best time to contact you tomorrow?”

Should you be told that there are no open positions when you call, a good follow up question to ask is “When do you anticipate next having an opening?”

Sometimes, a business will have an idea that someone will be leaving or that business will pick up and they will need to hire another person. Depending on their answer, you can plan to call back at the designated time. If they have no thoughts on when they will have an opening, make a note to check back in a month or so to see if things have changed.

Another way to go about seeking work at a daycare center is to go to each center where you are interested in working and introduce yourself. Dress professionally and bring a copy of your resume with you. Visiting the daycare center in person will show your interest and will give you the chance to make a good impression and get noticed.

Upon entering the daycare center, introduce yourself and ask to speak with someone involved in hiring. If there is no one available to speak with, you can ask if there are any open positions. If you are told that there are none at this time, you can ask if there are any openings anticipated and when.

Regardless of whether there are openings, leave a copy of your resume with the person you are speaking with and ask who the hiring manager is. Write down the name of this person, and ask for their contact information. You will want to follow up with this person to make sure they got your resume and see if they have any questions. For more information on following up on a resume or application, click here.

If you are able to speak with someone who is involved in hiring, make sure to introduce yourself and express your interest in working there. Get their name and contact information, and ask when the best time is for you to follow up with them.

If there are immediate openings, it is helpful for the manager to have met you and know that you present and communicate well. They may have a bunch of applications, but they don’t know the people behind those applications.

If there is no immediate opening, you will have made a good impression and obtained the information of who to contact and when to contact them to follow up. This is great information that may lead to your getting an interview down the road.

For more information on applying for a job in person, click here.

You can also look online at the websites for each daycare center you are interested in working at. Often, businesses will post their open positions on their website. Should there be an open position, you can submit your application. Don’t forget the importance of following up on your application. Particularly for jobs where there are many applicants, regular follow up will help you to stand out.

Options for 16 Year Olds Looking to Work at a Daycare

Should you be seeking employment at a daycare at the age of 16, one opportunity that would be available would be as an assistant to a head teacher. Another would be to work in a clerical position. While a clerical job would not be working directly with the kids, it would be a good way to get your foot in the door of the childcare center and could lead to future opportunity.

When looking at daycares to apply at, keep in mind that there may be options that are not immediately obvious. Many gyms where people work out offer childcare while the parent is taking a class or working out. There are also after-school programs and summer camps for elementary school students that might be an option for you.

If you are struggling to find work at a daycare in the area where you live due to your age, keep in mind that there are other opportunities that may be a fit for you. You can work as a babysitter; create and post a flier offering your services or join Care.com and post a profile. Working with children through babysitting will help you to obtain experience that will be seen as valuable when you apply to work at a daycare in the future.

While you may find it challenging to be hired at a daycare at 16 depending on where you live, do your best to not get discouraged. Your efforts at applying for a job and regularly following up will pay off over time.

So, what do you think about whether 16 year olds can work at a daycare?  Do you agree with what was said above?  Comment below to let us know!

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