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Child Care Specialist Cover Letter

15 child care specialist cover letter templates.

Child Care Specialist Cover Letter Sample

How to Write the Child Care Specialist Cover Letter

I submit this application to express my sincere interest in the child care specialist position.

In the previous role, I was responsible for technical assistance to facility operators by conducting workshops, answering inquiries, and providing child care related information; refer child care provider to agencies providing technical support and/or training if registration as a child care provider is at risk of denial or revocation.

Please consider my qualifications and experience:

  • Six months’ experience of direct responsibility for professional development of adults and demonstrated knowledge of adult learning and training
  • Familiarity with MPlus and R is preferred
  • Demonstrated quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills, experience using SPSS and STATA
  • Demonstrated experience successfully leading projects and research proposal development and effectively managing projects, including both internal team projects external vendors/contractors
  • A track record of compelling communications including, but not limited to published research
  • Bachelor's in early childhood education, child development or related field
  • Documented successful teaching/in-service training and technical assistance experience with adult learners
  • Documented working experience with electronic and online databases

Thank you in advance for reviewing my candidacy for this position.

Tyler Ritchie

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Responsibilities for Child Care Specialist Cover Letter

Child care specialist responsible for leadership on national level committees and councils representing Nemours on topics related to child health, ECE and obesity prevention for children birth – five.

Child Care Specialist Examples

Example of child care specialist cover letter.

I am excited to be applying for the position of child care specialist. Please accept this letter and the attached resume as my interest in this position.

In the previous role, I was responsible for physical and behavioral support that ensures the health, safety and well-being of the child in their current placement and community.

I reviewed the requirements of the job opening and I believe my candidacy is an excellent fit for this position. Some of the key requirements that I have extensive experience with include:

  • Documented experience in data analysis (quantitative and/or qualitative)
  • Documented experience with public speaking and/or online instruction (conference presentations, training workshops, teaching at an inservice or preservice level)
  • Documented experience working with specialized populations and their families or other specialized populations
  • Experience working with multiple stakeholder groups as a participant, content advisor, and technical assistance provider, including strong facilitation and collaboration skills
  • Experience with content knowledge related child care licensing, subsidy administration, Quality Rating and Improvement systems, professional development systems, consumer education, early learning guidelines, child assessment, Head Start, State prekindergarten, and other early childhood programs and initiatives
  • Valid driver’s license with clean DMV record and regular daily access to personal vehicle
  • Flexibility in schedule to accommodate occasional evening or weekend hours
  • Knowledge of and experience with an Enterprise Resource Planning system

Thank you for taking your time to review my application.

Stevie Emmerich

In the previous role, I was responsible for technical assistance to facility operators by conducting workshops, answering inquiries, and providing child care related information.

My experience is an excellent fit for the list of requirements in this job:

  • Skill in planning and implementing early childhood curriculum
  • Demonstrated skill in communications and human relations regarding populations with diverse economic and racial backgrounds
  • Knowledge of and current certification in first aid and CPR
  • Experience working with diverse populations of children and families
  • Knowledge and experience with child abuse or related investigations
  • Experience interpreting and applying laws, rules, and policies
  • Completion of a 480-hour internship program
  • Experience working with behavioral health is preferred

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Campbell Murphy

Previously, I was responsible for program related orientation, observation and awareness opportunities for Child Nutrition Program employees and other interested individuals.

  • A demonstrated personal credibility through strong communication skills, achieving results, and trusted relationships with others
  • Personal and organizational sensitivity
  • Knowledge of and experience with SAP, Business Warehouse, and Analysis for Office
  • Knowledge of adult learners and training techniques, child care best practices, developmentally appropriate principles, and coaching and consultation techniques
  • Skills in effective and clear communication
  • Keen observation and documentation skills
  • Good paperwork, tracking, and record keeping skills
  • Experience working in an office with high volume calls

I really appreciate you taking the time to review my application for the position of child care specialist.

Previously, I was responsible for proactive and reactive TA to state teams on childhood obesity prevention approaches (provider and system levels) and on QRIS, professional development, CACFP, licensing and CCDF.

Please consider my experience and qualifications for this position:

  • Excellent communication, written and listening skills
  • Experience using multiple databases for researching or troubleshooting information
  • Knowledge and experience in early childhood development and/or childcare regulations
  • Experience working independently in a fieldwork setting
  • Self-driven individual who accomplishes work with minimal oversight
  • Strong written skills (spelling, grammar, and editing/proofreading)
  • Unit is customer-service focused, requiring excellent telephone skills/Call center experience
  • High production with emphasis on accuracy, fast-paced environment with daily deadlines

Tatum Pouros

In my previous role, I was responsible for technical assistance and consultation to the Local and Regional Review Team child staffings.

  • Possess proper etiquette including customer relation techniques and superior verbal and written communication skills
  • Detail and process improvement-oriented and results-driven
  • Previous experience working with social work principles and practices
  • Experience with agency associated database programs and software
  • EXPERIENCE - See Min Requirements Addendum
  • Balancing and coordinating a workload for multiple projects
  • Portraying a professional demeanor
  • Answering a business telephone using business procedures/etiquette

Avery Walter

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Child Development Specialist Cover Letter Examples & Writing Tips

Use these Child Development Specialist cover letter examples and writing tips to help you write a powerful cover letter that will separate you from the competition.

cover letter for child care specialist

Table Of Contents

  • Child Development Specialist Example 1
  • Child Development Specialist Example 2
  • Child Development Specialist Example 3
  • Cover Letter Writing Tips

Child development specialists work with children from birth to age 5 to help them develop physically, emotionally, and socially. They may work in a variety of settings, such as schools, daycare centers, or private homes.

To be successful in this field, you need to be patient, compassionate, and have a love of children. In addition, you must be able to work with a variety of people, including parents, teachers, and other professionals.

Use these examples and tips to write a cover letter that will help you stand out from the competition.

Child Development Specialist Cover Letter Example 1

I am excited to be applying for the Child Development Specialist position at ABC Daycare. I have more than 10 years of experience working with children in a variety of settings, including daycare, after-school programs, and summer camps. I am passionate about working with children and helping them to grow and learn.

I am particularly interested in the ABC Daycare’s focus on early childhood education. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and I am certified in First Aid and CPR. I am also experienced in working with children who have special needs.

In my previous role at the YMCA, I was responsible for creating and leading educational activities for children aged 2-5 years old. I also managed a team of staff members and volunteers. I am confident that I have the skills and experience to be an asset to ABC Daycare.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon about the Child Development Specialist position. I am eager to begin working at ABC Daycare and contribute to their commitment to early childhood education.

Child Development Specialist Cover Letter Example 2

I am writing to apply for the Child Development Specialist position that was recently advertised on your company website. I am confident that I have the skills and qualifications that you are looking for, and I am eager to put my experience to work in order to help your company achieve its goals.

As a Child Development Specialist with three years of experience, I have a wealth of knowledge and skills that I can bring to your company. I have a deep understanding of child development theory and how to apply it in a practical setting. I am also familiar with a variety of developmentally appropriate practices and how to use them in a classroom setting. I am patient and nurturing, and I have a strong desire to help children reach their full potential.

In addition to my skills and experience, I am also a highly motivated and driven individual. I am always looking for new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. I am confident that I can be a valuable asset to your company, and I am eager to start contributing to your team immediately.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Child Development Specialist Cover Letter Example 3

I am writing to express my interest in the Child Development Specialist position at your organization. I have been working with children for the past 10 years and have extensive experience in early childhood education, child care, and developmentally appropriate practices.

I have worked as a teacher’s aide in both public and private schools, as well as an assistant teacher at a daycare center. I have also worked as a nanny for the past five years. My most recent position was working with two children ages 2 and 4. I assisted with their daily activities such as bathing, dressing, feeding, reading, playing, and taking them to and from school. I also helped with homework and provided positive reinforcement when they completed their assignments.

My experience has taught me how to work with children of all ages and abilities. I am able to recognize developmental milestones and understand how to help children reach those milestones. I am also able to provide positive reinforcement when children complete tasks or demonstrate good behavior. I believe that it is important to teach children how to be independent while still providing guidance and support.

I am confident that I would be a valuable addition to your team. I am hardworking, reliable, and enjoy working with children. I am available for an interview at your convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Child Development Specialist Cover Letter Writing Tips

1. showcase your experience.

When writing a cover letter for a child development specialist position, it’s important to showcase your experience working with children. You can do this by providing specific examples of how you’ve helped children in the past. For instance, you can talk about how you’ve created a safe and stimulating environment for children, encouraged their creativity and helped them learn new things.

2. Demonstrate your passion for working with children

In your cover letter, it’s important to demonstrate your passion for working with children. This can be done by highlighting your experience working with children in the past, as well as any personal experiences you have that have shaped your view on working with kids. For example, you can discuss how you were a teacher’s assistant in a classroom, volunteered in a daycare or worked as a babysitter.

3. Highlight your skills and qualifications

When writing a cover letter for a child development specialist position, it’s important to highlight your skills and qualifications. This can be done by discussing your education and work experience, as well as any special skills or qualifications you have that make you a good fit for the job. For instance, you can mention how you have experience working with children who have special needs or how you’re certified in first-aid and CPR.

4. Proofread your cover letter

Proofreading your cover letter is essential, as it is one of the first impressions you will make on potential employers. Make sure to spell-check and double-check the accuracy of your information before submitting your application.

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15 Child Care Worker Cover Letters That Will Get Hired (NOW)

Are you are looking to write a cover letter for Child Care Worker jobs that will impress recruiters and get you noticed by hiring managers? You need one to apply for a job, but you don’t know what to say.

Cover letters (also called a “personal letter”) are an important and impactful way for applicants to stand out from the rest. The cover letter is generally the first contact with potential employers and, if done well, can make your resume look like a promising candidate.

Here are 15 amazing Child Care Worker cover letters that are professionally written and will help you stand out and get that job!

cover letter for child care specialist

Child Care Worker Cover Letters

Each cover letter is written with a different focus. Review all of them and pick the ones that apply to your situation. Take inspiration from multiple samples and combine them to craft your unique cover letter.

Child Care Worker Sample 1

I am requesting an opportunity to interview for the Child Care Worker position with Acme Services. I have a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and have 5 years of experience working with children aged 0-12, including infants. I have an understanding of child development theories and how they can be applied to my work. I am committed to providing a safe, comfortable, nurturing environment for children while exercising good judgment when caring for them. I also understand the importance of promptness in meeting deadlines and following instructions from supervisors closely. Additional qualities which make me a good fit for this position include: bilingual (Spanish), strong interpersonal skills, willingness to learn new things, reliable personality traits such as attention to detail and customer service.

Child Care Worker Sample 2

I am a hard-working, focused individual looking for an opportunity to grow my career. I have experience working with children in various capacities, and would love the chance to learn more about your organization.

Child Care Worker Sample 3

I am writing to express my interest in employment with ABC Daycare. I have worked as a daycare worker for 5 years and have experience working with children ranging from infants to 12-year-olds. I enjoy watching their development and playing an active role in their lives. My education background includes an associates degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Care, as well as certificates for CPR, First Aid, and Asthma Training. I would be happy to provide you with more information about myself if interested or schedule a time to meet with you at your convenience.

Child Care Worker Sample 4

Dear _______,

I am writing to express my interest in the Child Care Worker position at your company. I have significant experience working with children of all ages. For 7 years, I have been a registered nurse at a pediatric hospital where I work primarily with children less than 5 years old. I coordinate with doctors and other health care professionals to create individualized treatment plans for each child, and ensure that they are cared for by qualified staff members during their stay. This includes making sure that each patient has access to play therapy and is part of the hospital’s holistic program which provides daily activities such as arts and crafts, music therapy, physical therapy and more depending on what type of treatment they need.

Child Care Worker Sample 5

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am a qualified and experienced child care worker who is eager to become part of your team. I am committed to fostering positive development in children as they grow up and I possess the compassion and patience needed for such a demanding career. Over the past six years, I have provided care for more than 20 children of different ages during my time as a nanny. My references include:    Family A (name) – (contact info) Family B (name) – (contact info). Please feel free to contact them for a reference.

Thank you for your consideration!

Child Care Worker Sample 6

Dear Ms. McBride, I am responding to the position of Child Care Worker you posted on Jobscan.com for your day care facility. I have experience working in a full service day care center with ages 2-5 years old and have been an Assistant Teacher for over six years. My goal is to provide support, companionship, and instruction to children as they grow up. I would be thrilled to work with your team!

Child Care Worker Sample 7

I am a recent graduate of __________, and I am eager to put my degree into practice. I have a great deal of experience with children and an interest in early childhood development. My resume is attached for your convenience.

Child Care Worker Sample 8

My name is Ashley Smith, I am a Child Care Worker with over 4 years of experience. I am qualified to provide all aspects of care for infants and toddlers. I have extensive experience with children and education and work to create a nurturing, educational environment for the children in my care. Communicating effectively with parents is an essential part of my job. My love for children combined with compassion and patience makes me the ideal candidate for this position.

Child Care Worker Sample 9

Dear Sir or Madam, I am interested in the Child Care Worker position at your school. I am an experienced person with years of experience in this field. I have served as a caretaker for more than 10 children ranging from 6 months to 2 years of age. As your Child Care Worker, I would provide fun and engaging activities that stimulate their minds and help them grow socially. Playing outside is my favorite thing! I hope you will consider me for this position because my qualifications are exactly what you are looking for!

Child Care Worker Sample 10

I am seeking a full-time Child Care Worker position within the _______________. I have extensive experience in the field of child care, with ___________ hours of experience. I am currently pursuing my degree in Early Childhood Education through Western Governors University, and will be graduating on May 3rd, 2020 with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Mathematics. I enjoy working with children and thrive when they are learning new things.

I feel confident that my education and experience would be an asset to your organization. Thank you for your consideration!

Child Care Worker Sample 11

Dear  _____,

I hope you are well. I am interested in your Child Care Worker position and I think that my qualifications would be an excellent fit for the position. I am punctual, nurturing, and reliable with many years of experience working with children. If you would like to learn more about me please don’t hesitate to contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or email me at (xxx) [email protected] . Thank you for considering my application!

Child Care Worker Sample 12

Dear _____, I am interested in the Child Care Worker position. I have worked with children of all ages for 10 years and am very eager to work with children who need help in school. I would like to discuss this opportunity with you in more detail over the phone or in person. Please contact me anytime at (123) 555-1234 or via email at [email protected] to set up an interview time. Thank you for your consideration!

Child Care Worker Sample 13

Dear Human Resources Manager,

I am writing in response to your posting for a Child Care Worker position. I am excited about the opportunity to work with children and take care of them. I have over 10 years of experience working with kids and also possess excellent customer service skills. I would be an excellent addition to your team. Please contact me if you would like to discuss any further details pertaining the position at (555) 555-5555 or email me at [email protected] if you are interested in learning more about my qualifications for this position.

Child Care Worker Sample 14

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in response to the posting for a Child Care Worker position. I have experience with working with children of various ages and I enjoy spending my time helping them learn. If you choose to hire me, I will provide you with excellent service and be an asset to your team.

Child Care Worker Sample 15

I am a recent graduate with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Care. My experience as an individual, as well as group teacher, has led me to become passionate about this field. I have the skills to provide great care for children and help facilitate their development. I would be honored to be considered for this position.

Recruiters and hiring managers receive hundreds of applications for each job opening.

Use the above professionally written Child Care Worker cover letter samples to learn how to write a cover letter that will catch their attention and customize it for your specific situation.

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Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Example

Writing a cover letter can be a challenging process, especially when applying for a role such as a Child Life Specialist. It’s important to make sure your letter reflects your skills and qualifications, as well as conveys why you are the ideal candidate for the position. This guide provides helpful advice on how to craft a strong Child Life Specialist cover letter, including tips and an example for you to draw on. With this in hand, you can create a powerful cover letter that will help you make a great first impression on potential employers.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for, be sure to check out our complete library of cover letter examples .

cover letter for child care specialist

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Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Sample

Dear [Hiring Manager],

I am writing to apply for the position of Child Life Specialist at [Company Name]. With my advanced certification in child life, I am confident that I possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for this role.

As a certified child life specialist, I have extensive experience in providing support to children and families in a clinical setting. I have spent the last four years working with hospitalized children in a variety of capacities, including developing and implementing therapeutic activities, facilitating play groups and providing emotional support for patients and their families. I am adept at helping children and families cope with the hospital experience, providing resources to them and helping them cope with the stress of illness.

I am committed to providing the highest quality of care to children and their families, and I am passionate about helping them through the challenges they face. My excellent communication and interpersonal skills enable me to foster strong, trusting relationships with patients and their families. In addition, I am detail- oriented, organized and have the ability to multitask, which are all essential skills in a child life specialist.

I would be honored to be considered for this position, and I am confident that my experience and qualifications make me an excellent candidate. I look forward to discussing the position with you further.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

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What should a Child Life Specialist cover letter include?

A Child Life Specialist cover letter should include a few key elements to make sure the applicant stands out among the competition.

First and foremost, the cover letter should reflect the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the Child Life Specialist position. The cover letter should detail the applicant’s knowledge of child life interventions, age- appropriate activities, and experience working with children and families. It should also include any applicable certifications related to working with children.

The cover letter should also demonstrate the applicant’s enthusiasm for the role and the positive impact it can have on the lives of children. The applicant should detail why he or she is excited about the prospect of working as a Child Life Specialist and what unique skills and experiences he or she brings to the role.

Another important aspect of the cover letter is to highlight the applicant’s organizational and communication skills. As a Child Life Specialist, it’s important to be able to efficiently manage multiple tasks and communicate effectively with children, families, and other medical professionals. The cover letter should demonstrate these skills and provide examples of how the applicant has used them in past positions.

Finally, the cover letter should include the applicant’s contact information and be free of any grammar and spelling errors. It should also follow any formatting guidelines the company or organization has requested. Following these guidelines will show the applicant’s attention to detail and commitment to the role.

Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Writing Tips

Writing a cover letter for a child life specialist position can be intimidating. You want to make sure that your cover letter stands out from the competition and captures the attention of the hiring manager. Here are some tips to help you write a great cover letter for a child life specialist job:

  • Tailor your cover letter to the job: Every job is different and your cover letter should reflect that. Make sure to read the job description carefully and tailor your cover letter to the specific job you are applying for.
  • Highlight your qualifications: When writing a cover letter for a child life specialist job, make sure to highlight your qualifications and experience that are relevant to the position. Demonstrate your qualifications with specific examples to show that you are the right fit for the job.
  • Show enthusiasm: Use your cover letter to demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the job. Show the hiring manager that you are excited and motivated to work in this role.
  • Keep it professional: Your cover letter should be professional and free of typos, grammar errors, and slang. Use a formal font and proper grammar to make sure you make a good impression.
  • Follow the instructions: Make sure to follow the instructions provided in the job posting. If the instructions state to send a cover letter, then make sure to include one. If they ask for a certain length, then make sure you meet that requirement.
  • Finish strong: End your cover letter with a polite closing statement and a call to action. Make sure to thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration for your application.

Common mistakes to avoid when writing Child Life Specialist Cover letter

Writing a cover letter for a Child Life Specialist position can be daunting. However, it is a necessary component of the job search process and should not be overlooked. To ensure you’re crafting a cover letter that stands out from the competition and is tailored to the job description, here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not Customizing Your Cover Letter: While it may be tempting to create a one- size- fits- all cover letter that you use for every job application, it’s important to tailor your letter to each job that you apply for. Be sure to read the job description thoroughly and make sure your letter reflects your qualifications, experience, and skills that are specific to the job you’re applying for.
  • Not Explaining Your Qualifications: A cover letter should not be a repeat of the resume. Rather, it should be an opportunity to explain how your qualifications and experience make you the ideal candidate for the specific job. This is a great place to explain how your experience has prepared you for the role, as well as any special qualifications you have that make you stand out from the competition.
  • Not Including Contact Information: Always include your contact information in the cover letter, such as your name, address, phone number, and email address. This makes it easy for the hiring manager to contact you if they have any questions or would like to invite you for an interview.
  • Not Proofreading: It’s important to proofread your cover letter multiple times to ensure that it is error- free. Typos and spelling mistakes are huge red flags for employers, so take the time to make sure your cover letter is perfect.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your cover letter for a Child Life Specialist position is as effective as possible.

Key takeaways

Writing a cover letter for a Child Life Specialist position can be a daunting task. Luckily, there are a few key takeaways that can help you write an impressive cover letter.

  • Start your cover letter by introducing yourself and expressing your enthusiasm for the position. You want to catch the reader’s attention from the start, so make sure your opening is strong and engaging.
  • Showcase your qualifications and demonstrate how your background makes you the perfect fit for the role. Highlight any relevant experience in the field and any special skills you have that could make you an asset to the team.
  • Demonstrate that you understand the core duties and responsibilities required of a Child Life Specialist and why you’re the best candidate for the job.
  • Make sure your cover letter is well- organized and easy to read. This includes using appropriate language, formatting, and ensuring that all the necessary information is clearly stated.
  • Close your cover letter with a strong and confident call to action. Express your desire to learn more about the position and reiterate your interest in the role.

Following these key takeaways can make all the difference in writing an impressive cover letter for a Child Life Specialist position. Make sure to pay attention to detail and give your cover letter the time and effort it deserves. Doing so will ensure that you stand out from the competition and get one step closer to landing the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.how do i write a cover letter for an child life specialist job with no experience.

Writing a cover letter for a Child Life Specialist job with no experience can be a challenge. To stand out from other candidates, it’s important to focus on the unique skills you bring to the table. Start by highlighting your personal qualities and characteristics that make you an ideal candidate for the job. Demonstrate your commitment to the field through any volunteer or extracurricular activities you have done in the past. Additionally, emphasize the transferable skills you’ve developed in other roles that could be beneficial in the Child Life Specialist role. Finally, be sure to express your enthusiasm for the job and willingness to learn and grow in the role.

2.How do I write a cover letter for an Child Life Specialist job experience?

Writing a cover letter for a Child Life Specialist job with experience, should focus on your achievements and successes in the role. Highlight any awards or recognition you’ve received and the impact you had in past positions. Additionally, emphasize the transferable skills you’ve developed in other roles that could be beneficial in the Child Life Specialist role. For example, if you’ve developed strong organizational skills in a previous role, be sure to highlight that. Finally, be sure to express your enthusiasm for the job and willingness to continue to grow in the role.

3.How can I highlight my accomplishments in Child Life Specialist cover letter?

When crafting your Child Life Specialist cover letter, it’s important to highlight your accomplishments and successes. Be sure to focus on specific tasks or projects you have completed that demonstrate your abilities in the role. Additionally, emphasize any awards or recognition you’ve received and the impact you had in past positions. Finally, be sure to include any certifications or qualifications related to the Child Life Specialist role that you may possess.

In addition to this, be sure to check out our cover letter templates , cover letter formats ,  cover letter examples ,  job description , and  career advice  pages for more helpful tips and advice.

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Child Care Worker

Child Care Worker Cover Letter

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How to create a good cover letter for a child care worker: free tips and tricks

Babysitting and daycare services are popular; many parents want to see such a specialist at home. But in order to get a job, you should write a persuasive cover letter for the resume, in which you emphasize your qualifications and strong personal qualities. The short tips below will help you focus on the essential qualities that the employer will like. Using our online editor, you can unquestionably create a fantastic child care worker cover letter example and pass an interview.

Anyone working with children should be patient. Sometimes kids can be inconvenient and annoying. But an expert in this field should be calm, attentive, and keep emotions under control.

This work can be quite burdensome. An employee will often have to be on the move. Therefore, this position is not for a person with weak physical indicators. A suitable candidate must be active and energetic.

Holding this position, an employee must demonstrate strong teaching abilities. They will need to explain any questions to the children in such a way to make even complicated information understandable.

An equally important quality of a child care worker is developed interpersonal skills. They should be able to connect with children and their parents. This work is not suitable for the introvert.

Various situations can occur during the working day. Sometimes a specialist will be required to respond immediately. Therefore, the child care worker must have strong problem-solving skills.

Being in this role, the worker must demonstrate love for kids. This position is not suitable for those who do not like to take care and worry, or who are annoyed by little children.

Sample cover letter for a child care worker position

The most effective way to digest the tips is to see their practical application. We have used all the important tips of the above units into a single a child care worker cover letter sample to demonstrate a winning document that can be created in GetCoverLetter editor.

Dear Linda, I was thrilled to see you are looking for a child care worker at Alabama Baby Care. I believe that my extensive experience in babysitting and daycare with a strong love for children are exactly what are you looking for in candidates.

My background includes over 10 years in the role of the child care worker at Kids Care. I performed various tasks from hygiene procedures for a newborn to teaching a school-age child and ensuring safety. My responsibilities are to draw up a curriculum, prepare a daily schedule for the child so that he has enough time for learning, relaxing and eating. I provide comprehensive care for kids while their parents are absent. Furthermore, I’m taking my duties extremely responsibly, and the safety of the child is my top priority. I demonstrate strong teaching abilities, which allows me to explain complex things to a child in a simple way.

I am a patient person with developed communication skills, so I easily interact with kids and their parents. Besides, I can efficiently solve difficult situations and find the right solution. I have no problems with my health and keep good shape.

I believe I can make a significant contribution to your business, and I would be delighted to take care of your clients, providing quality education. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards, Emily.

This example is not commercial and has a demonstrative function only. If you need unique Cover Letter please proceed to our editor.

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The more unique the knowledge you get, the more space for new questions. Do not be affraid to miss some aspects of creating your excellent cover letter. Here we took into account the most popular doubts to save your time and arm you with basic information.

  • What should my a child care worker cover letter contain? The main purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself, mention the job you’re applying for, show that your skills and experience match the needed skills and experience for the job.
  • How to properly introduce yourself in a cover letter? Greet the correct person to which your cover is intended for. Introduce yourself with enthusiasm.
  • How many pages should my cover letter be? Your cover letter should only be a half a page to one full page. Your cover letter should be divided into three or four short paragraphs.
  • Don't focus on yourself too much
  • Don't share all the details of every job you've had
  • Don't write a novel

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Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Example

Get the job you've always wanted & learn to perfect your next cover letter with this expertly drafted Child Life Specialist cover letter example. Copy-paste this cover letter example for free or edit it directly using our powerful cover letter builder.

Milan Šaržík — Certified Professional Résumé Writer

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Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Example (Full Text Version)

Dear Hiring Manager,

As a Child Life Specialist with 6 years of experience working in NICUs, I apply with great enthusiasm for this opportunity.

I am currently attached to the Sunnybank Hospital, where I support the developmental needs of hospitalized children. My work focuses on decreasing anxiety and trauma associated with illness and hospitalization for patients aged 0-21 through interventions focused on play, learning, mastery, self-expression, and peer interaction. 

Another vital aspect of my work is educating staff and the community regarding the developmental needs of hospitalized children, reactions of children to hospitalization and illness, and family-centered care. I passionately advocate for individual psychosocial, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs in collaboration with families, caregivers, other departments, and community resources.

For me, being a Child Life Specialist is not a job – it’s a calling. I believe that by applying my knowledge and skills, I am meaningfully promoting healing, preventing significant developmental disruption, and reducing overall psychological stress.

In addition to my professional experience, I hold a Bachelor of Child Development and am a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) through The Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP).

I have loved my time at Sunnybank. My decision to leave is solely based on my family’s decision to relocate. I am now seeking a stimulating opportunity with a hospital such as yours that genuinely values patients over profit. I would love to be a part of your team!

Please find attached my résumé. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Milan Šaržík — Certified Professional Résumé Writer

Milan Šaržík, CPRW

Milan’s work-life has been centered around job search for the past three years. He is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW™) as well as an active member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Careers Coaches (PARWCC™). Milan holds a record for creating the most career document samples for our help center – until today, he has written more than 500 resumes and cover letters for positions across various industries. On top of that, Milan has completed studies at multiple well-known institutions, including Harvard University, University of Glasgow, and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

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Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Examples

A great child life specialist cover letter can help you stand out from the competition when applying for a job. Be sure to tailor your letter to the specific requirements listed in the job description, and highlight your most relevant or exceptional qualifications. The following child life specialist cover letter example can give you some ideas on how to write your own letter.

Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example (Text)

Alisyn Pertierra

(385) 088-0925

[email protected]

Dear Ms. Beckman,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Child Life Specialist position at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. With a deep-seated passion for supporting the emotional and psychological well-being of children and families in medical environments, I am eager to bring my five years of professional experience, most recently at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, to your esteemed institution.

During my tenure at St. Jude, I had the privilege of working with a diverse pediatric population, providing them with developmentally appropriate interventions such as therapeutic play, preparation for medical procedures, and education to reduce fear and anxiety. My role also involved collaborating closely with a multidisciplinary team to ensure holistic care, and I have been actively involved in creating individualized care plans tailored to the unique needs of each child and family. I am particularly proud of the positive impact I have had on patient coping and adjustment, which has been recognized by both my colleagues and the families I have served.

My commitment to continued professional development has allowed me to stay abreast of the latest research and techniques in child life services, ensuring that my practice is grounded in evidence-based strategies. I have honed my skills in building rapport with children of various ages and developmental stages, as well as in providing support and guidance to parents and siblings during challenging times.

I am drawn to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta because of its reputation for excellence in pediatric care and its commitment to family-centered care. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your team and to further develop my skills in a dynamic and supportive environment. I am confident that my experience, coupled with my compassionate approach and strong communication skills, will make a significant contribution to the lives of the children and families in your care.

Thank you for considering my application. I am looking forward to the opportunity to discuss how my background, skills, and enthusiasms can align with the goals of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. I am eager to contribute to your team and to learn from the esteemed professionals at your facility.

Warm regards,

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Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Example (Free Guide)

Create an child life specialist cover letter that lands you the interview with our free examples and writing tips. use and customize our template and land an interview today..

Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Example

Are you looking for a job as a Child Life Specialist? A great cover letter is the key to making a great first impression and getting your foot in the door. Our Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Guide provides tips and tricks to help you create a letter that stands out from the rest. Learn how to highlight your skills and demonstrate your passion for this rewarding field.

We will cover:

  • How to write a cover letter, no matter your industry or job title.
  • What to put on a cover letter to stand out.
  • The top skills employers from every industry want to see.
  • How to build a cover letter fast with our professional Cover Letter Builder .
  • What a cover letter template is, and why you should use it.

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Child Life Specialist Cover Letter Sample

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Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to express my interest in the position of Child Life Specialist at ABC Hospital. My experience working with children and families in a medical setting, my knowledge of child development, and my passion for helping children and families in crisis make me an ideal candidate for this role.

I have seven years of experience working with children in the areas of medical play, therapeutic play, and crisis intervention. I am a certified Child Life Specialist and I have expertise in providing emotional support, facilitating coping strategies, and helping families understand medical procedures. I also have a strong understanding of pediatric care, including the developmental, psychological, and emotional needs of children and families.

I am committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for children and families who are facing medical challenges. I am also experienced in developing age-appropriate activities and materials to help distract children from medical procedures. I am passionate about helping children and families cope with the physical and emotional effects of illness and medical procedures.

I am confident I have the qualifications and experience to be a successful Child Life Specialist at ABC Hospital. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications and experience with you further.

Sincerely, Your Name

Why Do you Need a Child Life Specialist Cover Letter?

A Child Life Specialist cover letter is an essential part of the job application process. It provides an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their unique qualifications and showcase their skills and experience in a professional manner. Here are some reasons why you need a Child Life Specialist cover letter:

  • To highlight your qualifications and experience that make you an ideal candidate for the job
  • To demonstrate your knowledge of the field and how your skills are applicable to the role
  • To showcase your commitment to the profession and your passion for helping children
  • To highlight any awards, certifications, or other accomplishments that set you apart from other candidates
  • To make a good first impression and give the employer a clear sense of who you are
  • To provide the opportunity to elaborate on your experiences and explain how you would be an asset to the organization

A Few Important Rules To Keep In Mind

  • Keep your cover letter to one page.
  • Start the letter with a strong opening statement that introduces you and your qualifications.
  • Highlight relevant experience, certifications, and skills that make you a qualified candidate.
  • Be sure to mention any awards, special projects, or successes that you have achieved.
  • Include specific examples that demonstrate your capabilities.
  • Mention the Child Life Specialist position title and organization name in the letter.
  • Express your enthusiasm for the position and your interest in the organization.
  • Provide contact information for references, if requested.
  • Close the letter with a call to action, such as asking for an interview.
  • Proofread and edit the letter to ensure accuracy and readability.

What's The Best Structure For Child Life Specialist Cover Letters?

After creating an impressive Child Life Specialist resume , the next step is crafting a compelling cover letter to accompany your job applications. It's essential to remember that your cover letter should maintain a formal tone and follow a recommended structure. But what exactly does this structure entail, and what key elements should be included in a Child Life Specialist cover letter? Let's explore the guidelines and components that will make your cover letter stand out.

Key Components For Child Life Specialist Cover Letters:

  • Your contact information, including the date of writing
  • The recipient's details, such as the company's name and the name of the addressee
  • A professional greeting or salutation, like "Dear Mr. Levi,"
  • An attention-grabbing opening statement to captivate the reader's interest
  • A concise paragraph explaining why you are an excellent fit for the role
  • Another paragraph highlighting why the position aligns with your career goals and aspirations
  • A closing statement that reinforces your enthusiasm and suitability for the role
  • A complimentary closing, such as "Regards" or "Sincerely," followed by your name
  • An optional postscript (P.S.) to add a brief, impactful note or mention any additional relevant information.

Cover Letter Header

A header in a cover letter should typically include the following information:

  • Your Full Name: Begin with your first and last name, written in a clear and legible format.
  • Contact Information: Include your phone number, email address, and optionally, your mailing address. Providing multiple methods of contact ensures that the hiring manager can reach you easily.
  • Date: Add the date on which you are writing the cover letter. This helps establish the timeline of your application.

It's important to place the header at the top of the cover letter, aligning it to the left or center of the page. This ensures that the reader can quickly identify your contact details and know when the cover letter was written.

Cover Letter Greeting / Salutation

A greeting in a cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • Personalized Salutation: Address the hiring manager or the specific recipient of the cover letter by their name. If the name is not mentioned in the job posting or you are unsure about the recipient's name, it's acceptable to use a general salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team."
  • Professional Tone: Maintain a formal and respectful tone throughout the greeting. Avoid using overly casual language or informal expressions.
  • Correct Spelling and Title: Double-check the spelling of the recipient's name and ensure that you use the appropriate title (e.g., Mr., Ms., Dr., or Professor) if applicable. This shows attention to detail and professionalism.

For example, a suitable greeting could be "Dear Ms. Johnson," or "Dear Hiring Manager," depending on the information available. It's important to tailor the greeting to the specific recipient to create a personalized and professional tone for your cover letter.

Cover Letter Introduction

An introduction for a cover letter should capture the reader's attention and provide a brief overview of your background and interest in the position. Here's how an effective introduction should look:

  • Opening Statement: Start with a strong opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. Consider mentioning your enthusiasm for the job opportunity or any specific aspect of the company or organization that sparked your interest.
  • Brief Introduction: Provide a concise introduction of yourself and mention the specific position you are applying for. Include any relevant background information, such as your current role, educational background, or notable achievements that are directly related to the position.
  • Connection to the Company: Demonstrate your knowledge of the company or organization and establish a connection between your skills and experiences with their mission, values, or industry. Showcasing your understanding and alignment with their goals helps to emphasize your fit for the role.
  • Engaging Hook: Consider including a compelling sentence or two that highlights your unique selling points or key qualifications that make you stand out from other candidates. This can be a specific accomplishment, a relevant skill, or an experience that demonstrates your value as a potential employee.
  • Transition to the Body: Conclude the introduction by smoothly transitioning to the main body of the cover letter, where you will provide more detailed information about your qualifications, experiences, and how they align with the requirements of the position.

By following these guidelines, your cover letter introduction will make a strong first impression and set the stage for the rest of your application.

Cover Letter Body

As an experienced and certified Child Life Specialist, I am excited to be applying for the position with your organization. I am confident that my training, experience, and enthusiasm can bring a great deal of value to your team.

I have a strong passion for helping children and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of hospitalization and medical treatments. My work in this field has included providing emotional support to both children and families, implementing age-appropriate interventions, and facilitating therapeutic play activities. I am also knowledgeable in child development and have experience in medical play and medical education.

My experience also includes designing and implementing age-appropriate activities, providing medical play and distraction interventions, and creating individualized coping plans. I am comfortable working with children of all ages, and I am knowledgeable in the use of play and other activities to promote healthy coping, resilience, and empowerment. I have also created and implemented developmentally appropriate programs, including music and art therapy.

In addition to my experience, I am also a certified Child Life Specialist. I am well-versed in the principles of child life, including the importance of therapeutic play, the promotion of healthy coping strategies, and the role of the family in the healing process. I am also knowledgeable in the research and evidence-based practice of child life.

I am a strong communicator and I am comfortable engaging with children, families, and other members of the healthcare team. I am highly organized and I am able to manage multiple projects at once. I am also a team player and I am able to collaborate with a diverse range of people.

I am confident that I can bring a great deal of value to your organization as a Child Life Specialist. I am eager to discuss the position in more detail and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Complimentary Close

The conclusion and signature of a cover letter provide a final opportunity to leave a positive impression and invite further action. Here's how the conclusion and signature of a cover letter should look:

  • Summary of Interest: In the conclusion paragraph, summarize your interest in the position and reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the organization or school. Emphasize the value you can bring to the role and briefly mention your key qualifications or unique selling points.
  • Appreciation and Gratitude: Express appreciation for the reader's time and consideration in reviewing your application. Thank them for the opportunity to be considered for the position and acknowledge any additional materials or documents you have included, such as references or a portfolio.
  • Call to Action: Conclude the cover letter with a clear call to action. Indicate your availability for an interview or express your interest in discussing the opportunity further. Encourage the reader to contact you to schedule a meeting or provide any additional information they may require.
  • Complimentary Closing: Choose a professional and appropriate complimentary closing to end your cover letter, such as "Sincerely," "Best Regards," or "Thank you." Ensure the closing reflects the overall tone and formality of the letter.
  • Signature: Below the complimentary closing, leave space for your handwritten signature. Sign your name in ink using a legible and professional style. If you are submitting a digital or typed cover letter, you can simply type your full name.
  • Typed Name: Beneath your signature, type your full name in a clear and readable font. This allows for easy identification and ensures clarity in case the handwritten signature is not clear.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Child Life Specialist Cover Letter

When crafting a cover letter, it's essential to present yourself in the best possible light to potential employers. However, there are common mistakes that can hinder your chances of making a strong impression. By being aware of these pitfalls and avoiding them, you can ensure that your cover letter effectively highlights your qualifications and stands out from the competition. In this article, we will explore some of the most common mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter, providing you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you create a compelling and impactful introduction that captures the attention of hiring managers. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, understanding these mistakes will greatly enhance your chances of success in the job application process. So, let's dive in and discover how to steer clear of these common missteps and create a standout cover letter that gets you noticed by potential employers.

  • Not tailoring the cover letter to the role or organization.
  • Using a generic, outdated template.
  • Using generic language and phrases.
  • Not emphasizing your unique qualifications.
  • Overlooking spelling and grammar errors.
  • Not including contact information.
  • Not expressing enthusiasm and motivation.
  • Not using correct formatting and structure.
  • Not proofreading the cover letter.
  • Not providing enough detail.

Key Takeaways For a Child Life Specialist Cover Letter

  • Highlight the specific skills and experiences that qualify you to work as a Child Life Specialist
  • Demonstrate a passion for working with children and families
  • Showcase your ability to support the emotional and developmental needs of children
  • Showcase your knowledge of best practices in child development and the medical environment
  • Provide examples of successful projects and initiatives that you have helped lead
  • Describe your ability to collaborate with other professionals and departments
  • Explain your commitment to providing the best possible care for children and families
  • Highlight any special certifications or credentials you possess that are relevant to the role

Create Cover Letter

DRESDEN, Germany � In the gray villa at No. 4 Angelikastrasse here, perched on a hill overlooking the Elbe River, a young major in the Soviet secret police spent the last half of the 1980s recruiting people to spy on the West.

Vladimir Putin looked for East Germans who had a plausible reason to travel abroad, such as professors, journalists, scientists and technicians, for whom there were acceptable "legends," or cover stories.

The legend was often a business trip, during which the agents could covertly link up with other spies permanently stationed in the West. According to German intelligence specialists who described Putin's task, the goal was stealing Western technology or NATO secrets. A newly revealed document shows Putin was trying to recruit agents to be trained in "wireless communications." But for what purpose is not clear.

Putin defends the Soviet-era intelligence service to this day. In recent comments to a writers' group in Moscow, he even seemed to excuse its role in dictator Joseph Stalin's brutal purges, saying it would be "insincere" for him to assail the agency where he worked for so many years. Fiercely patriotic, Putin once said he could not read a book by a Soviet defector because "I don't read books by people who have betrayed the Motherland."

Such is the professional background of the man who emerged unexpectedly last month as Russia's new leader. Today, Putin is acting president and the clear favorite to win the March 26 election and a four-year presidential term. Yet a review of his career shows that Putin previously has thrived in closed worlds, first as an intelligence agent and later in city government.

Until he was handpicked in August by then-President Boris Yeltsin to become prime minister, Putin had never been a public figure. He spent 17 years as a mid-level agent in the Soviet KGB's foreign intelligence wing, rising only to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Later, as an aide to a prickly, controversial mayor of St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city and Putin's home town, he made a point of staying in the background.

Yet Putin's career also suggests that he witnessed firsthand the momentous finale of the Cold War. From the front line in East Germany, Putin saw how the centrally planned economies of the East staggered to disintegration. In St. Petersburg, he had a taste of the ragged path of Russia's early transition to a free-market, democratic system.

What Putin has taken from these experiences is not entirely clear. He has embraced the conviction that "there is no alternative" to market democracy, and soberly acknowledged Russia's economic weaknesses. But he also has expressed enthusiasm for reasserting the role of a strong state. He has said the Russian economy has become "criminalized," but so far only hinted that he would tackle the powerful tycoons who lord over it. Putin has vowed Russia will not revert to totalitarianism, but he has not demonstrated much skill working with Russia's fledgling, competitive political system.

Putin has never campaigned for office, and he told an interviewer two years ago he found campaigns distasteful. "One has to be insincere and promise something which you cannot fulfill," he said. "So you either have to be a fool who does not understand what you are promising, or deliberately be lying."

Putin, an only son, was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, to a factory foreman and his wife in 1952, shortly before Stalin's death. He entered Leningrad State University's law department in 1970, but the Soviet Union was not a state governed by the rule of law. Valery Musin, then a university lecturer, said the law department was a training ground for the KGB, the police and the bureaucracy.

Putin later recalled that the KGB targeted him for recruitment even before he graduated in 1975. "You know, I even wanted it," he said of joining the KGB. "I was driven by high motives. I thought I would be able to use my skills to the best for society."

After a few years spying on foreigners in Leningrad, Putin was summoned to Moscow in the early 1980s to attend the elite foreign intelligence training institute, and then was assigned to East Germany. He arrived in Dresden at age 32 when East Germany was a major focus of Moscow's attention. The German Democratic Republic was home to 380,000 Soviet troops and Soviet intermediate-range missiles. Berlin was a constant source of Cold War tensions and intrigue.

At the time, several thousand KGB officers reported to a headquarters at Karlshorst, outside Berlin; Soviet military intelligence also was stationed in East Germany. But the biggest intelligence operation was the East German secret police, the Stasi, who monitored hundreds of thousands of citizens and kept millions of documents on file.

The broad Stasi network was used often by the KGB, and the raw intelligence sent directly to Moscow. The East German dictatorship, headed in those years by Erich Honecker, remained steadfastly rigid even as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was beginning to experiment with political and economic reforms at home.

In Dresden, the KGB outpost at No. 4 Angelikastrasse was located directly across the street from the city's main Stasi headquarters. The Stasi poked into every aspect of life; in Dresden alone, the documents they preserved on citizens now stretch nearly seven miles in the archives here, according to Konrad Felber, a spokesman for the commission that maintains the documents.

There is little information about Putin's specific tasks in Dresden, but specialists and documents point to several assignments, including recruiting and preparing agents. The work likely involved Robotron, a Dresden-based electronics conglomerate, which was the Eastern Bloc's largest mainframe computer maker and a microchip research center.

At the time, a major KGB effort was underway to steal Western technology. The Soviet Bloc was so far behind, according to a German specialist, that agents at Stasi headquarters often preferred to work on a Western-made Commodore personal computer rather than on their office mainframe.

The presence of Robotron may have provided Putin with legends for sending technicians to the West, or for recruiting Westerners who came to East Germany from such large electronics companies as Siemans or IBM. Putin may also have been interested in military electronics and intelligence about NATO from informers in the West.

The KGB was known to the Stasi as "the friends," and it relied on the Stasi for support. For years, the Stasi prepared fake passports and driver's licenses for "the friends" to create cover stories for agents. Tens of thousands of people in East Germany were "registered," or marked in the secret files of the Stasi, as being "of interest" to the KGB. According to the German specialist, some were marked because the KGB was searching for people with plausible cover stories for trips abroad.

"You needed a guy with a background that looked good, a professor who had to go to an international conference or had to do business in the West," he said. "You needed such a legend."

Later, Erich Mielke, the East German state security minister, tried to rein in the Stasi's assistance to the KGB, which led to one case in which Putin is known to have been involved. On March 29, 1989, Maj. Gen. Horst Bohm, then the head of the Dresden branch of the Stasi, wrote a memo to Putin's boss, Gen. Vladimir Shirokov. While some names in the letter are blacked out, sources said the case involved Putin.

Bohm complained the KGB was recruiting reservists from the East German military who had gone into civilian life. They were being recruited "frequently" for temporary, special missions, Bohm said.

One reservist was called in, he said, to the Dresden "recruitment center" and was sent to talk with two Soviet civilians. "These talks included the issue of special training for wireless communications and also a short mission once each quarter of the year," the letter says. But Bohm complained that the agent was already working for the Stasi and urged the KGB to keep its hands off. "It is not possible" to recruit the East German army reservists for wireless communications training, he insisted.

Bohm later committed suicide, but one of his aides, Horst Jemlich, said in a brief telephone interview that the KGB was interested in procuring Western technology.

A puzzling and unexplained aspect of the Bohm letter is a reference to Soviet "military intelligence," which was a different agency from the KGB, to which Putin belonged. It is possible Putin was targeting Western military operations.

Putin also turned to the Stasi for help with routine logistics, such as obtaining a telephone � they were strictly controlled � and apartments. Putin was formally assigned to run a Soviet-German "friendship house" in Leipzig and carried out the duties, but this apparently was his own cover story. Intelligence specialists and political scientists said Putin may have had a political assignment to make contact with East Germans who were sympathetic to Gorbachev, such as the Dresden party leader Hans Modrow, in case the Honecker regime collapsed.

Putin's work with the Stasi won him a bronze medal in November 1987 from the East German security service, but the reasons for the award are unknown. It was described by one source as the next level up from the lowest, basic award for service.

Clearly, Putin was on the seam of East-West confrontation at the end of the Cold War, and the lessons were self-evident. In East Germany, Putin "must have noticed the system did not work anymore," said the German specialist. "If he was not stupid he would have noticed the East Germans were the losers of economic history."

The Soviet economy was also in trouble. Yuri Andropov, the KGB boss and later Soviet leader, had responded in the early 1980s by trying to impose more discipline on the ailing system, and many in the KGB shared his hope it could be saved from within. Others thought this to be unrealistic and believed the system itself would have to be junked. Putin, in a newspaper interview last year, hinted that he believed the system could have been salvaged. He said that "few people understand the magnitude of the catastrophe that happened late in the 1980s when the Communist Party had failed to modernize the Soviet Union."

When Putin returned to St. Petersburg, he took a job for a year and a half as assistant to the rector of the university, dealing with "international relations." However, that was partly a cover story. He was still working for the KGB, recruiting or spying on students. Putin acknowledged recently that he was "a KGB officer under the roof, as we say," noting that the rector knew about it.

Putin told a journalist, Natalya Nikiforova, that he did not move up higher in the KGB ranks because he did not want to move his family to Moscow. "I have two small children and old parents," he said. "They are over 80, and we all live together. They survived the blockade during the war. How could I take them from the place they were born in? I could not abandon them."

Putin also said then that he wanted to write a dissertation "on a subject I always knew and understood, I mean international private law." Musin said Putin came to him to make preparations for the dissertation but then dropped it when he got reacquainted with one of his old law professors, Anatoly Sobchak.

Sobchak, a leader in the first wave of democratic reformers in the Gorbachev years, was elected chairman of the Soviet-era Leningrad council. Putin quit the KGB, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, to work as Sobchak's aide. In 1991, the city governance system was changed, and Sobchak became St. Petersburg's first post-Soviet elected mayor.

Sobchak, like many of the early democrats, "was not prepared to govern," recalled journalist Sergei Shelin of New Times magazine. Sobchak constantly collided with members of the newly renamed legislature, the city Duma. Putin often was dispatched to repair relations. "Sobchak often asked Putin to go to the deputies," recalled Mikhail Amosov, a member of the Yabloko party. "Sobchak had bad relations with the lawmakers. There were always frictions. Sobchak always wanted to put them in their place; he treated them like an enemy force."

Putin quietly played a key role for Sobchak at the moment of the 1991 Soviet coup attempt. Sobchak, in Moscow at that moment, vowed to defend Yeltsin and fight the coup, and took the risky step of flying back to his city to oppose the putsch. Putin, with good ties in the local security services, showed up at the airport with armed guards to protect Sobchak, who was potentially vulnerable as a leading democrat.

In the early days of the new Russia, Putin headed a committee to woo overseas companies to St. Petersburg. But the city primarily needed humanitarian aid. "There was no food in the city at all," recalled Marina Salye, who was then a member of the legislature's food committee. "There was no money. Barter was the only way � say, metals for potatoes and meat."

St. Petersburg was a port and military city, and the state-owned shipbuilding and defense factories were stocked with precious metals. Salye said contracts were signed to trade metals for food, but she discovered the metals had been sold at discount prices, the food prices were inflated, and the food never arrived. Then it turned out that front companies had taken the profits and disappeared. Salye said she thinks Putin "was manipulating these contracts and was directly involved. But it hasn't been proved."

Salye confronted Putin, she recalled, but he brushed off her inquiries. "Everything is correct," she said he told her. "You are just making up things." Salye demanded an investigation, which was referred to a Moscow auditing commission and then dropped without explanation.

Putin, who speaks German, brought some companies to St. Petersburg, including German banks. A currency exchange was opened, and hotels were privatized. "All the work we did on privatization was supported by Putin, and not everyone was for it," recalled Sergei Belyaev, a former deputy mayor and later a member of the Russian parliament. But St. Petersburg never lived up to Sobchak's dream of becoming an international financial center. Moscow attracted far more foreign investment, while St. Petersburg lagged.

Putin's influence grew under Sobchak, but he remained in the shadows. "In the Petersburg days, it was always other people in front of the television cameras," said Igor Artemyev, leader of the Yabloko party. "Almost all the other vice mayors lined up next to the boss. Putin was always in the farthest corner."

After Sobchak was defeated in 1996, Putin left for Moscow. There, for reasons which remain largely unexplained, he suddenly moved onto a remarkably fast career track. After first serving on the Kremlin staff, he became director of the Federal Security Service, the domestic successor to the KGB, in 1998, and later added duties as head of the Kremlin Security Council. He was picked for prime minister last August because he appears to have impressed Yeltsin's inner circle and friendly tycoons, who were scrambling to find a premier and a potential Yeltsin successor.

During the same period, Putin apparently somehow found time to complete a postgraduate dissertation, which usually takes three years of study. He got a prestigious "candidate of science" degree, the equivalent of a PhD, from the Mining Institute in St. Petersburg in June 1997, a time when he was also working in the Kremlin.

Earlier, Putin had said he wanted to research international private law, but his 218-page dissertation was completely different. The title is "Strategic Planning of the Renewal of the Minerals-Raw Materials Base of the Region in Conditions of the Formation of Market Relations." Much of the document is a discussion about the cost-effectiveness of building a port and roads in St. Petersburg, and offers little insight into Putin's views of the market economy. The Mining Institute recently refused to show Putin's thesis to a reporter. When a copy of a summary was found by the reporter in the institute's library, officials snatched it away, saying it was private.

Mikhail Mednikov, a professor at the St. Petersburg Technical University, who was one of the "opponents" or reviewers at Putin's oral defense of his dissertation, said, "The defense was brilliant. It's a paper written by a market-oriented person."

But while Putin has promised to keep Russia on a market path, his critics worry about his commitment to Russia's young democracy. The institutions of a broad civil society � the press, political parties, free associations and others � are not yet well developed. The rule of law has not been well entrenched. And these weaknesses are, in part, a legacy of the Soviet police state of Putin's early career, when the Communist Party had a monopoly on power.

In a long, private talk recently with the Moscow PEN writers group, Putin tried to evade the question of the KGB's role in the Soviet system's legacy of terror. Referring to the Stalin-era purges, in which millions were sent to prison camps and death, Putin said, according to a transcript, "Of course, one must not forget about the year 1937, but one must not keep alluding to only this experience, pretending that we do not need state security bodies [such as the KGB]. All the 17 years of my work are connected with this organization. It would be insincere for me to say that I don't want to defend it."

Putin then went on to offer a strangely oblique explanation for the Great Terror, which seemed to avoid blaming the KGB.

"The state security bodies should not be seen as an institution that works against society and the state; one needs to understand what makes them work against their own people. If one recollects those hard years connected with the activities of the security bodies, and the damage they brought to society, one must keep in mind what sort of society it was. But that was an entirely different country. That country produced such security bodies."

He added, however, that if Russia will "treasure elements of civil society that we have got, our only gain over these years, then gradually we will be creating conditions under which those horrifying bodies of security will never be able to revive."

Putin's role in the blatantly misleading information issued by the government about the Chechnya offensive also has been criticized. His talent for creating legends has been evident in his explanations about the war. For example, Putin told the writers group that the military had been open with the news media, when the military has in fact hidden information about casualties, combat events, attacks on civilians and its goals and methods.

Felix Svetov, a writer who spent time in Stalin's prison camps as a child and who lost his father in the purges, was present at the writers meeting. He said Putin's comment "does not correspond with reality." Putin is a typical KGB type, he added. "If the snow is falling, they will calmly tell you, the sun is shining."

© 2000 The Washington Post Company

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