Look the Part
Makeup and Perfume or Cologne
Wearing makeup is a personal preference. Apply a minimal amount for
on the job. If you are a big kid-kisser, consider whether to wear lipstick.
Lipstick kiss marks, if not removed, can look like bruises or injuries on chil-
dren. Children can also be allergic to makeup.
Lots of smells are associated with early childhood education, some good,
others not. It’s certainly important and professional to smell good, but adults
and children are often allergic to strong perfume or cologne. With infants
and toddlers, you may not even know of potential allergies. Use perfume or
Hair Hair should be clean, well groomed, and off your face. If you are constantly
pushing your hair away from your face while you are working, then pull it
back. Programs have different policies about hair when you are serving food.
Some centers, health departments, and state licensing regulations require you
to wear a hairnet or hat. This may include when you are feeding infants or
serving children in the classroom. Ask your supervisor about requirements.
Working with young children requires physical exertion and much activity.
Remember that good hygiene, keeping yourself and your clothes clean and
washed, requires daily effort. You can look professional and not smell profes-
sional. Cultural norms about hygiene differ. However, since you are caring for
young children, your hygiene standards have the potential to affect the health
and safety of those around you. Do not be offended if your supervisor or
another employee offers to educate you about the hygiene standards in your
program. Body Art, Tattoos, and Piercings
Although tattoos and piercings are more common today, they are not always
considered professional. Let your program’s culture guide this aspect of your
personal appearance. If you have questions, ask your supervisor.
being a professional