The Top 10 Qualities of a Great Child Care Provider & Preschool Teacher

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Taylor Abrams

Thanks for bringing up the fact that a real early childhood educator is someone with a heart since young children…

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Being a great child care provider or preschool teacher is a tough job that doesn’t usually get the type of social respect it should. Let alone the let alone the financial reward it should!

Throw in a demanding and sometimes fussy bunch of parents (and oh yeah, their kids), and you will find classrooms led by the few, the proud, the brave, the amazing caregivers and preschool teachers!

But wait:

Finland seems to have bucked the global teacher-undervaluation trend through clever use of what they call “academic sauna.” If you can take the heat and survive the rigorous qualification process, it feels great when you make it through.


Well, Finnish teachers’ salaries are not that high but at least, they are as well respected as their peers in medicine and law, for example.

Now, back to the important question all the parents ask themselves (for those of us who don’t happen to have a Nordic social policy handy):

How can you identify a great child care provider and amazing preschool teacher ?

Whether you’re it’s in a home daycare or a child care center, here are 10 qualities to look for in a great early childhood educator:

1. A great child care provider is a true believer. That means she has to be passionate about helping kids and making a difference in their lives. American caregivers and preschool teachers (or any American teachers, really) are simply not doing what they do for the money. They do it because they believe in it.

2. A true early childhood educator is someone with a heart. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers need a lot of warmth and understanding. If you have to choose between qualifications and heart, go with heart, every time.

3. A great child care provider is patient. Preschoolers are not cherubs. They don’t jive that well with short fuse personalities!

4. A wonderful caregiver is tolerant. Each kid is a little different. Cookie cutters are tools for kitchen activities, not early childhood education.

5. A good preschool teacher is perseverant and inventive. They’ll get the job done even if it means coming up with a new way to do it.

6. A great preschool director is realistic. Not every problem has an immediate solution especially when it comes to children.

7. A good early childhood educator is honest. If there is a problem, being ignorant and avoiding it is the worst course of action. Therefore, opening lines of communication with parents is critical.

8. A great child care center director is organized. Kids like predictable routines and for the most part, their parents do too. Especially when it comes to teacher reports and conferences. Child care owners and preschool directors know how to take care of their students’ needs, as well as their parents’!

9. A great child care provider is tidy. The smaller the children, the more important it is to keep their play area clean.

10. A great preschool teacher is not afraid to laugh! A sense of humor is a huge asset (sometimes the only asset) that can help get through a day with a fussy preschooler 🙂

What do you think? Did we miss something?

If your child’s preschool teacher or child care provider has a certain trait that deserves mention here, let us know below! Or, if you’re a child care owner or preschool director and can add to the list, please do!

CareLuLu is the easiest way for parents to find great child care and preschool programs. On CareLuLu, parents can find detailed information on 200,000 licensed daycares (hours, cost, photos, verified reviews) and contact providers instantly. Best of all, it’s free! CareLuLu also helps child care providers grow their business through marketing and more! Founded in 2013, CareLuLu’s mission is to improve access to safe, affordable, high-quality child care and early education!

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  • Thanks for bringing up the fact that a real early childhood educator is someone with a heart since young children require a lot of warmth and comprehension.

  • I agree with what you said that a great child care provider is organized since children like predictable routines and would flourish more in an organized environment. Moreover, an organized educator is also beneficial for parents because they would be able to provide consistent reports about the kids’ improvement in the school. My husband and I are planning to enroll our daughter in a child care center this year so I can go back to work fulltime. Hopefully, we’ll find a child care facility that has teachers with all the wonderful traits you mentioned. Thanks a lot!

  • Good to know! My husband and I are wanting to find a daycare center for our 2-year-old daughter to go to while I go to work on my new job in a couple of weeks, and we wanted to make sure that we find the right one. We’ll make sure to keep this information in mind as we search for a child care center for our daughter.

  • Yes I agree, it’s important to have a clean play area, especially if the center cares for small children. Thanks for helping me feel prepared to evaluate and compare potential child care services more effectively!

  • Thanks for the qualities I need to look for when finding a childcare provider. Apart from wanting someone who is patient, I like what you said about looking if she is passionate about helping kids and making a difference in their lives.

  • It stood out to me when you said that preschool teachers can use their sense of humor to get through the day. My husband and I want to start looking for a preschool because our daughter will be turning four next month, and we want to give her education the best possible start. I wasn’t sure how to identify a good preschool teacher before reading your article, so the tips you shared here are really helpful!

  • I am happy to have found this article about the qualities a good preschool teacher should possess. I like what was mentioned about the importance of patience. This quality would be beneficial in lots of situations. Something else to consider is if the teacher has children and can relate to personal experiences.

  • I just moved to a new city and so I am trying to find the right preschool teacher for my son. I definitely think that it is important for a teacher to be tidy and organized, because it can be pretty hard taking care of multiple young children. Also, I think that being tidy gives children a great example and might help my son to start picking up after himself as well. I will definitely make sure that whichever teacher we end up with has that quality.

  • I agree with what this says about teachers really being passionate about helping the kids, and having heart. I can kind of see why most preschool teachers are women, because women generally have these traits to begin with. I’m sure there are some men teachers out there that are really good too. These are some great qualities to look for. Thanks!

  • Most kids do need “a lot of warmth and understanding” to learn. When we are looking for a preschool to put our kids in one day, we will have to look for one that has patience and a lot of heart. I don’t need to have my children upset because their teacher gets mad easily or doesn’t care.

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