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Requirements for Orphan Care Workers

OC requirements pic

The following information comes from the U.S. government’s occupational outlook handbook. It is a trusted source. Find a link to this information at the bottom of the page.

How to Become a Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher

“Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.”


“All states require public kindergarten and elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Some states also require kindergarten and elementary school teachers to major in a content area, such as math or science. Those who major in a content area typically enroll in their university’s teacher preparation program and also take classes in education and child psychology.

In teacher education programs, future teachers learn how to present information to young students and how to work with young students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching.

Some states require kindergarten and elementary school teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.”

I recently called the daycare where our sons go to ask them if they had any required training and licensure for staff to work there. They sent me to a website run by the state of Texas that had so many requirements that daycare teachers had to meet. Yet, our daycare is an average, low cost daycare.

Why do governments and parents have so many requirements that those teaching and caring for their little ones must meet? I think it is simply to protect their children. They are the defenders of their children.

Orphans don’t have parents to defend them. Most of them live in countries where the government doesn’t do much to protect or defend them. They are often exploited, enslaved and disenfranchised. No one enforces any requirements for people caring for them. Billions of dollars have been spent in recent years by people going on short-term mission trips. The overwhelming majority of the people going to care for orphans in orphanages around the world don’t have any qualifications to care for children. Some have never changed a diaper. Others wouldn’t legally be allowed to volunteer in a daycare in their own country. When it comes to orphans, since there is no one enforcing any protective measures, we don’t get any training.

But are orphans really without a defender? The Bible is clear that God is “a Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” Psalm 68:5. God doesn’t like people who use different weights or different standards to treat people.
It says in Prov. 20:23

“The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him.” Also stated in Prov. 20:10

Prov. 17:5 says,

“Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker.”

We would immediately say, how do we mock the poor when we go to help them? Well, when we only let well trained accredited teachers in well furnished school buildings teach our children while we ourselves don’t care about training for those who care for orphans, are we not mocking them? If an orphan were to stand in front of us with one of our own biological children and we went to our child and gave him a delicious piece of bread with butter, then hand over some old tasteless crumbs to the orphan –are we not mocking the orphan? Does it matter if that happens when the orphan is in Africa and our children are in the United States? Does that matter if it’s with the quality of education we give to our children while we only take hugs to orphans?

Jesus taught that the most important commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. The second command is to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Jesus defined that our neighbor is everyone in this world. When we show such partiality, do we think that we are really honoring God with our work caring for orphans? Sometimes, I think that when we serve orphans without properly treating them like we would our own children (in a practical sense), we actually condemn ourselves and cause harm to the orphans and to ourselves. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence and testimonies from others to support this view.

God is not a respecter of persons. He created every child equally and expects all of them to be treated equally. God, as a Father didn’t withhold his own child, but killed him to save us. He certainly doesn’t expect us to treat our own children better than the children of others in any way. The first step to treating orphans like our own children is to get trained before you serve them.

So what are the requirements for orphan care workers? The goal of this article is to stimulate thinking and encourage us to seek training. Depending on what area of orphan care you want to go into, Austin Bible Institute and other institutions of Christian Higher Learning offer training that may be beneficial to you. Please do some research.We need to make sure we are preparing ourselves to provide the best possible care to orphans, the kind of care we would want our children to have if they were in their shoes. Orphans have a Father who would not accept sloppy care, especially when he knows how much we care for our own biological children. His name is God, the God of the universe and nothing escapes him.


  1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Education-Training-and-Library/Kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-4
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  1. Check out As Our Own – http://www.asourown.org

  2. I had never thought about how the requirements for caring for orphans are basically non-existent, and the requirements for caring for children with parents are so extensive. Attending Austin Bible Institute has definitely opened my eyes to the reality of people’s view on what caring for orphans should look like. The Bible says in James 1:27 that, “true religion is looking after orphans and widows in their distress and keeping oneself from being polluted by the world.” If this is what God sees as pure and faultless then we should strive for that even more. In all that we do we should strive for excellence, especially when God specifically states what He expects from His people!

  3. I had an interesting conversation with one of my friends about this exact topic. I was telling her that orphans deserve the best care possible and going on short-term trips or deciding to open an orphanage, live overseas, or adopt without any training is not only risky, it’s ignorant. She replied that “something is better than nothing, right?”
    I was shocked! Would we say that to our own children? “You’re going to stop going to school after you finish 6th grade…something is better than nothing.” No way! We want the best for our kids: healthcare, education, friends, clothing, opportunities, childcare, etc. This applies to orphans as well. We are no better than they are and shouldn’t settle for giving them whatever we can muster up. The BEST is better than something…and something is rarely better than nothing.

  4. There are some wonderful organizations like Zero to Three that have great training for those working with little ones. I have been a health coordinator for head start and early head start. Training and being exposed to the research will only help us to work better with the vulnerable. I’ve seen wonderful changes in classrooms and in children as a result of supporting the staff and by giving them more tools of service. Thank you for your emails.
    Leslie LaCour

    • Thank you for your comment Leslie! I agree, training and exposure will help us work and serve better. Children from all backgrounds, families, and countries deserve the best. They are our future!

    • Thank you Leslie for your contributing to this discussion of providing great care for all children! Looks like you have some great experience that you could share with our audience. Consider writing a guest post so that others would benefit from your wisdom as well.