Hi all. Here is my situation. I am tentatively planning on attending a Child Care 90-hour class at PG Community College beginning on June 21st, 2010, and I am unsure where to go from there. My tentative plan is to do my 90 hours, and then get a job in the Child Care Field. Then once I am employed, begin working on an Associates Degree, and then a Bachelors eventually. I am also searching for information as to what exactly I am getting into here, in regards to certain aspects. I love Children. I enjoy dealing with them. Children tend to like me as well. With Children, I am playful, friendly, light-hearted and a bit goofy/funny. Like a big kid. I'm the Daddy that when I take my daughter to the bus stop, all the kids at the bus stop like to jump on and try to roughhouse with(unsure if that's a good thing or not though. you tell me), until it is time to stop doing so. I think that am naturally good with them, but I lack the formal training to teach them on an everyday basis. I am almost 30, and I've wasted a lot of my adult life pursuing meaningless and selfish ideals when it comes to work (or lack of it in my case). I am trying now to set my life right, and I would like to enter a career field where I can do something meaningful that has a real, tangible, positive impact on the world rather than JUST to make money. But at the same, I have a Wife and I have a Daughter. Therefore, my primary concern in regards to a Child Care/Pre-School Teaching career, is being able to support and provide for them financially, and in regards to health benefits. I understand that the wages are low, especially starting out, but my hope is that initially, the pay is at least livable, and as I complete my education in the field, the Pay improves towards real comfortability(meaning I can support my family without my wife HAVING to work as a necessity, but only if she WANTS to work). As a frame of reference/comparison, I have been working in Food Service in various jobs for a few years now, and the highest hourly wage I've had so far in that field is $9/hour, and I have never had benefits. Right now, I work as a busboy in a restaurant for $7.50/Hr + weekly minor cash tips(like 50 bucks a week or so). I am really tired of food service, and I wish to transfer to a new career field. My secondary concern is the perception and role of Men in this field. I understand that Men in this field, especially Black Men like myself, are extremely rare(and from what I read, this is mostly due to the Pay. is that correct?). I am curious as to what exactly I should expect walking into this woman-dominated field as a relatively young black man. Or what the expectations would be of me from parents, Directors, and other teachers, and what type of reception a Man typically gets in this field. Any insight and advice that you may have in regards to pay, benefits, and any other aspect of the field that you could share would be extremely helpful. thank you very much in advance.