Preschool Floater Job Description, Skills, Interview Questions

Last updated: May 22, 2023

What Does a Preschool Floater Do?

A Preschool Floater is an early childhood education professional who is responsible for filling in as a substitute teacher, assistant teacher or teacher aide in a preschool classroom or multiple classrooms as needed. The following are the typical job duties and responsibilities of a Preschool Floater:

  • Assist with the daily operation of multiple preschool classrooms, as needed.
  • Serve as a substitute teacher, assistant teacher or teacher aide for various age groups.
  • Follow daily schedules and routines in each classroom to ensure consistency for the children.
  • Implement lesson plans and activities as directed by the classroom teacher or center director.
  • Provide support to teachers in managing and supervising children in various situations.
  • Promote a positive and nurturing learning environment that encourages student growth and development.
  • Conduct observations and assessments of student progress and communicate findings to the classroom teacher or center director.
  • Assist with classroom management and discipline, maintaining a safe and positive classroom environment.
  • Communicate with parents and guardians regarding child progress as needed.
  • Adhere to all state, local and federal regulations regarding childcare and safety.
  • Attend staff meetings, in-service trainings and participate in ongoing professional development opportunities as required.
  • Maintain accurate records and documentation related to children's attendance, parent communication and other program requirements.

A Preschool Floater plays a crucial role in ensuring continuity and quality of care in a preschool or early childhood education setting. They must be flexible, reliable, and able to adapt to changing classroom environments and situations. They must also possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills, patience, and a passion for working with young children. 

Why Do You Need a Preschool Floater?

  • A preschool floater is a valuable team member that can help to fill staffing gaps
  • Floaters provide much needed lunch and recess coverage, allowing staff to take breaks 
  • The tasks Floaters are responsible for include supervising the classroom and addressing individual student needs 
  • Floaters also help organize recreational activities for learning processes and devise developmentally appropriate practices and activities for children
  • The consistent presence of floaters enables staff to maintain a smooth flow of educational routines in the classroom
  • Preschool Floaters provide an invaluable service, helping staff prioritize their duties and create an enabling environment for student growth and learning


In the YouTube video, the speaker describes the struggles of being a "floater" in school, someone who is friendly with everyone but doesn't have a set group of friends. One of the main struggles they describe is eating meals alone, feeling anxious about who to sit with and feeling subconscious pressure. They also describe feeling like they don't fit into any particular group or clique and feeling like others know of them but not really about them. Additionally, they mention struggling with finding ways to occupy free time and feeling absent-minded or stared at often.

The video sheds light on the experience of being a floater in school and the various challenges that come with not having a specific friend group. The struggles with socializing and feeling included can be difficult for many students, and this video helps to convey how important it is to be kind and inclusive to those who may not have a set group of friends.

Preschool Floater Job Description and Responsibilities

1. Provide a safe, welcoming, and nurturing environment for children in the classroom.

2. Assist in supervising children both in the classroom and during lunchtime.

3. Prepare and execute age-appropriate activities based on students’ developmental stage.

4. Monitor students’ progress and update records as needed.

5. Administer basic first aid to students in case of injury or illness.

6. Assist in implementing appropriate behavior management techniques.

7. Participate in team meetings and help to develop and implement individualized education plans.

8. Collaborate with other staff members to ensure the smooth operation of the preschool.

9. Encourage children to express themselves through play and other activities.

10. Facilitate the socialization of children in the classroom.

11. Respond to inquiries and/or complaints from parents and/or guardians.

12. Assist in maintaining tidiness in the classroom and on the playground.

13. Provide support to teachers in the classroom when needed.

14. Ensure that all safety protocols are followed.

15. Monitor the use of equipment and materials to ensure safe and proper use.

16. Encourage children to engage in creative activities.

17. Attend training sessions and workshops to stay up-to-date with best practices.

18. Document student’s progress and provide feedback to parents and teachers.

19. Supervise activities during recess and lunchtime.

20. Help children with basic tasks such as toileting, diapering, dressing, and eating.

21. Participate in parent-teacher conferences and meetings.

22. Prepare materials and equipment needed for activities.

23. Support the development and implementation of curriculum.

24. Assist in assessing children’s development and readiness for kindergarten.

25. Foster social-emotional development of children through interactions and activities. 

Preschool Floater Skills and Ideal Candidate Profile

1. A successful preschool floater should have a positive attitude and a genuine love for working with children. 

2. Excellent organizational and multitasking skills are essential for any preschool floater. 

3. Being able to think quickly on one’s feet is key for a successful preschool floater. 

4. Patience and an understanding of the needs of young children is a must. 

5. Creativity is a must for preschool floaters so they can think of creative ways to engage, motivate and educate young children. 

6. Good communication skills are critical for successful preschool floaters. 

7. The ability to remain calm under pressure is essential when working with young children. 

8. A preschool floater should be willing to work in a team environment. 

9. A preschool floater should have a good understanding of early childhood education and development. 

10. Being able to make quick and informed decisions is important when dealing with any issues that may arise. 

11. Reliability and punctuality are essential for any successful preschool floater. 

12. A preschool floater should have a sense of humor and be able to entertain children. 

13. A successful preschool floater should have a passion for learning and teaching. 

14. A pleasant and friendly demeanor is important for successful preschool floaters. 

15. Possessing good problem-solving skills is a must for preschool floaters. 

16. Adaptability is a key trait for any successful preschool floater. 

17. A successful preschool floater should be able to maintain a safe and healthy classroom environment. 

18. A preschool floater should be able to effectively manage their time and keep track of their tasks. 

19. A successful preschool floater should possess strong interpersonal skills. 

20. A successful preschool floater should have excellent record-keeping skills. 

21. A successful preschool floater should be able to build rapport with children and parents. 

22. A successful preschool floater should be able to identify potential behavioral issues and be able to address them in a positive manner. 

23. A preschool floater should have a good understanding of the school’s policies and procedures. 

24. A successful preschool floater should be able to think critically and be able to make sound decisions. 

25. A successful preschool floater should be able to work independently and as part of a team. 

Preschool Floater Interview Questions

1. What experience do you have with working with young children?

2. What do you find most rewarding about working with young children?

3. How would you handle a situation where the children are misbehaving in the classroom?

4. How would you handle a situation where the children are not paying attention to the lesson?

5. What strategies do you use to help children learn and develop?

6. Describe a time when you had to think outside the box to solve a problem with a child in the classroom.

7. How do you stay organized while floating between different classes?

8. How do you foster positive relationships with children and their families?

9. How do you demonstrate your professionalism when working in the classroom?

10. Describe the most difficult behavioral issue you have had to address in a classroom.

11. How do you ensure that all students are getting the attention they need?

12. How do you interact with the other staff members in the school?

13. What experience do you have with classroom management?

14. How do you create a safe and inviting environment for children to learn and play?

15. What do you do to ensure that each child is getting the individualized attention they need?

16. What do you do to keep yourself motivated during the day?

17. How do you handle situations where different teachers have different expectations?

18. How have you been able to adapt your teaching style to different age groups?

19. How do you work with a team of teachers to create a cohesive lesson plan?

20. What strategies do you use to help children stay motivated and engaged during lessons?

21. How do you approach teaching difficult concepts to young children?

22. Describe a time when you had to think on your feet to address a challenging situation with a child.

23. What methods do you use to ensure that the classroom environment remains clean and organized?

24. How do you communicate with parents about their child's progress?

25. What do you think sets you apart from other preschool floaters? 

Preschool Floater Salary

As of March 2nd, 2023, Floater Preschool Teachers in the United States can expect to make an average of $15.23 per hour. According to SimplyHired, the annual salary for this job is estimated to be $58,287 on average. ZipRecruiter's statistics on wages range from a low of $7.21 to a high of $17.79 per hour, with the majority making between $10.82 (25th percentile) and $15.38 (75th percentile).  


Day in the life : as a preschool/daycare Teacher | 9 to 5 work day | 2022

The video follows a preschool/daycare teacher through her workday, which typically runs from 9am to 5pm. She begins her day by showing her outfit, which she wears as part of a themed dress-up day, and grabbing a coffee before starting the morning chores of organizing toys and cleaning the classroom. After setting up the calendar and weather for the day, she leads a circle time with the children to review these concepts. The children then have playtime and lunch before taking a nap, during which time the teacher catches up on homework.

Throughout the day, the teacher shows how she engages with the children in a playful and educational way. She is doing activities with them like singing songs or asking questions during circle time. She also shares tips with other teachers on how to get children to sleep, such as using an eight-hour lullaby video with a black screen on YouTube. Overall, the video provides insight into the daily tasks and routines of a preschool/daycare teacher and shows how important interaction and engagement with children is in this profession.

Similar Jobs and Keywords You May Be Interested In

Childcare services

Early childhood education

Preschool assistant

Classroom management

Child safety and welfare

Early childhood development

Teacher's assistant

Child behavior management

Child supervision

Educational activities for preschoolers

Substitute teacher

Preschool curriculum planning

Child psychology

Play-based learning

Creative arts for preschoolers

Developmental milestones for preschoolers

Learning centers

Circle time activities

Storytelling for preschoolers

Gross motor skill development

Fine motor skill development

Language and literacy development

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Inclusive preschool environments

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Positive reinforcement techniques

Developmentally appropriate practices

Collaborative team player 


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