Home child care providers (NOC 4411)

About this job

Home child care providers look after the well-being, and physical and social development of children. In B.C., these workers are known as licence-not-required (LNR) child care providers. They may work with children on an ongoing or a short-term basis. Nannies are included in this group.

Foster caregivers, often called foster parents, are also included, although their role differs in some ways.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a home child care provider is like.

Common job titles
  • au pair / au pair girl
  • babysitter - home / shopping centre
  • caregiver / parents' helper
  • foster father / mother / parent
  • governess - child care
  • kinship care provider / caregiver

Duties

In general, home child care providers:

  • Supervise children
  • Make infant formula and change diapers
  • Bathe and dress children
  • Plan, prepare and serve children’s meals
  • Maintain a safe and healthy home environment
  • Teach children good personal hygiene
  • Tend to children’s emotional needs and social development
  • Discipline children according to parents’ wishes
  • Organize and take part in activities such as games, crafts, reading and outings
  • Take children to and from school and appointments

Some home child care providers also do housekeeping tasks. Some keep records of the children’s daily activities and health information.

In general, foster caregivers:

  • Act as a foster child’s primary caregiver for an agreed-upon period
  • Work under the direction of the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development (the Ministry)
  • Work with the Ministry and the child’s care team to set up a care plan
  • Ensure their home meets government standards
  • Arrange and attend family visits with the child
  • Take part in events and activities that keep the child connected to their family and culture
  • Keep daily journals tracking the child’s experiences, development, challenges and successes
  • Submit monthly logs for review
  • File details of reportable events
  • Keep in contact with resource workers and the child’s guardianship or social worker

Work environment

Home child care providers may work for child-care agencies or be self-employed. They may care for a maximum of two children at a time (in addition to their own), or more if the children are siblings.

Some home child care providers work in their own homes. Others work in the children’s homes, where they may also live. They usually work indoors but may also spend time outdoors.

Work hours vary and may include evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.

Foster caregivers are contracted and regulated by the B.C. government. They work in their own homes. They may care for up to six children, or for two if the children have special needs.

Foster caregivers must always be available, including evenings and weekends. Those who care for children with physical, psychological or behavioural problems must go to appointments with the children. These can include hospital stays or regular therapy sessions.

Foster caregivers often find the work to be both stressful and rewarding.

Insights from industry

As higher numbers of parents work from home offices, more providers are doing child care in their own homes, rather than in their employer’s.

Foster caregivers get a monthly payment to cover the direct costs of caring for a child. Those caring for children with health or learning disabilities receive additional payment. Although many foster parents don’t work outside of the home, foster caregiving is not employment and does not take the place of a regular job. Families choose to foster because of a concern for children and a desire to contribute to the community.

There is high demand for foster caregivers, especially those with special skills or experience, such as psychiatric or medical training.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Workers in this group often move from one area of home child care to another. They may advance by becoming licensed and opening their own licensed home child care facility.

Foster caregivers can specialize in particular levels of care or on specific health or learning disabilities.

Additional resources