VTS - Child Care Associate

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN4.0

TemporaryEstimated: $22,000 - $29,000 a year
As a temporary Early Childhood Associate in one of our Child & Family Centers, you will assist in planning and implementing curriculum and activities for the children that is developmentally appropriate. Maintaining a safe, clean, and orderly environment is also key and will contribute to the children’s growth (emotional, social and cognitive), where play and learning happens every day. You’ll monitor the children’s behavior and development, utilizing developmental profiles, and in turn evaluate activities based on the needs of the children. Also, if you are interested in helping others start their career in child care you can by assisting with orientation and supervision of our practicum students and volunteers in the center. And of course cultivate positive relationships with parents and answer questions when needed.

The Child & Family Center offers quality early childhood education and care for the children of Vanderbilt Faculty, staff, and students. The program serves children age infants (6 weeks) to five years old. The Centers are licensed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. For more information about VU’s Child & Family Centers click here: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/child-family-center/child-care-center/ . To view the Child & Family Center “Online Flyer” click here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/H2aSXINwoxJsO/

Duties and Responsibilities

Assist in planning and implementing developmentally appropriate curriculum and activities according to NAEYC guidelines, DHS licensing standards, and center policy.

  • Participates in planning meeting with co-teachers.
  • Collects needed materials and supplies in advance.
  • Evaluates activities based on the needs of the children.
  • Contributes to the preparation of the classroom newsletter.
  • Assists in maintaining records and submitting reports.
  • Assist with the planning and preparation of materials.
Maintains a clean, safe, orderly classroom environment which contributes to the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth of children (per NAEYC, DHS, OSHA, Risk Management, and Center policies).

  • Monitors classroom and playground for cleanliness and safety.
  • Cleans classroom according to established policies.
  • Complies with center cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
  • Limits time out of the classroom and off of the playground when supervising children.
  • Arrives punctually for work in order to maintain appropriate adult-child ratios.
  • Facilitates discussions with children throughout the day in order to enhance language development.
  • Monitors tone and volume of own voice to ensure respectful interactions with children, parents, and coworkers.
  • Assures that children are supervised at all times. Monitors clean-up and transitions in order to assure the safety and security of all children.
  • Positions self in classroom and on playground in order to interact with and guide children.
Assist with orientation and supervision of practicum students and volunteers.

  • Discusses weekly and daily plans with co-workers.
  • Communicates necessary information concerning schedules and activities.
  • Offers clear directions to students, observers, and volunteers.
Assist with maintaining children’s records, such as daily report forms, and developmental profiles.

  • Monitors children’s behavior and development.
  • Reports concerns or unusual behaviors to lead teacher and supervisor.
Works with supervisors to maintain inventory or supplies and materials; reports needed repairs immediately.

  • Removes broken toys and materials.
  • Monitors classroom inventory of supplies and materials.
  • Conducts necessary repairs when possible.
Participates in staff meetings, parent meetings/conferences, and opportunities for professional development.

  • Reports issues, concerns, or topics that need to be included in staff meetings.
  • Attend workshops and conferences as directed by supervisor.
  • Demonstrates a knowledge and understanding of NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Department of Human Services Licensing Standards, Parent Handbook, and Staff Handbook.
Promotes and maintains confidentiality with respect to information related to children, parents, and co-workers.

  • Avoids conversations with parents concerning children (other than their own), parents, and co-workers.
  • Limits conversations with others when supervising and interacting with children.
  • Answers parental questions appropriately and professionally.
  • Models appropriate interactions and behaviors for children.
Profile of an Ideal Candidate

  • This position requires a High School Diploma or GED and 1 year of experience or the equivalent.
  • Must be able to lift up to 40 lbs.
Ideal candidate will possess the following soft skills:
  • Acceptance of Feedback – Ability to take constructive criticism with grace, and make improvements without taking it personally or holding grudges. When wrong, owns it – freely admits mistakes.
  • Adaptability – Ability to read cues and adapt accordingly. Ability to adjust style and approach to accommodate the styles and needs of others. Can anticipate and effectively de-escalate potential conflicts.
  • Creative Thinking – Ability to go beyond the boundaries of the job description, willingly takes on new challenges, finds creative solutions rather than always awaiting a manager’s direct instructions.
  • Helpful Nature – Offers to help lighten the load for others in times of need. Volunteers rather than waiting to be asked.
  • Understands that almost no one works in a silo, and will need the help of others to do their job well, and that by helping others first, they will likely reciprocate.
  • Integrity – Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.
  • Maturity – Exhibits professional maturity; doesn’t pass the buck to dodge accountability; doesn’t engage in petty office politics or inappropriate social conduct.
  • Respect – Is friendly, tirelessly cordial, polite, and genial. Comes in to work with a good attitude and doesn’t bring their own personal “little black clouds” into the work environment.
  • Responds Promptly – When emails and phone messages aren’t returned in a timely way, it sends the message that the other party is not important. Responds even if just to acknowledge receipt and provide a timeframe by which the requester can expect a full response.
  • Is Nice – Asks questions and is a good listener. Smiles and is grateful. Sends appropriate notes of thanks to others who have helped. Avoid gossip or saying negative things about co-workers. Patient and generous. Make suggestions rather than stating hard and fast opinions. Avoids being negative, sarcastic, and cynical.
  • Shares – Shares information. Communicates. Transmits knowledge… knowledge isn’t power – sharing knowledge is. Asks for advice.
  • Resilience – Is resilient in the face of daunting challenges and setbacks; bounces back readily.
  • Work Through Issues – It isn’t about the people, it’s about the outcome. If things aren’t going well, outcomes suffer.
  • Be willing to have crucial conversations if things aren’t going well. Doesn’t just complain to management… does everything possible to remedy the situation directly first.
  • Teamwork – Values teamwork and co-workers; make them feel valuable and important by acknowledging what they do.
  • Doesn’t expect from others effort that one is unwilling to do themselves. Find ways to complement other’s strong suits.
  • Praises Publicly; Criticizes Privately. When dealing with a difficult co-worker or customers, “pretend your children are watching” how the situation is handled. Good manners help keep a cool head. Gives credit where credit is due.
  • Assumes the Best – Assume that others are working just as hard as you are on things that are as important as what you are working on. Just because you don’t know what someone does, it doesn’t mean they’re not doing anything.
  • Raises the Bar – Expects and delivers excellence. Is a creative problem solver. Is proactive. Welcomes input on making things better. Places a high value on learning and getting better.
  • Believes – Believes in the work being done and the organization.
  • Perspective – Maintains a sense of humor and perspective. Can laugh first and foremost at oneself.
  • Reliable – Does what they say they will do, when they say they will do it. Shows up for work when expected. Doesn’t push the burden of work volume or deadlines to others.
  • Honest and Transparent – Doesn’t have hidden agendas. Doesn’t play people against each other. Is authentic and forthright.
  • Autonomous – Self-managing; self-motivated. Manages time, activities and outcomes well so that progress stays on track.
  • Detail-Oriented – Even small mistakes can create big issues; attention to detail work indicates care about the outcomes.
  • Hard-Working – Is industrious as well as efficient (busy isn’t the same as productive). Be persistent. Can juggle multiple competing priorities simultaneously.
  • Eager – Enthusiastic, wanting to learn, wanting to continue one’s personal and professional development and expertise.
About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university’s students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2018 (Forbes).

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.


Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Job: Temporary Positions
Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville
Organization: 36612 - Child Care: 18th Avenue