Careers in Child CareThinking of Becoming a Child Care Director?

As a Child Care Director, you are expected to ensure a happy, safe, and stimulating environment for children. You will be required to make sure that the Child Care center always complies with all licensing while managing the day-to-day operations. You will support and oversee the overall performance of your Child Care staff in addition to developing relevant curriculum, promoting leadership within the classrooms, communicate with parents, and managing all the center’s finances.

Here’s a look into the day in the life of a Child Care Director

Your primary task will be to effectively supervise the staff at your center and direct and coordinate activities of Child Care teachers or administrators. Other tasks that Child Care Center Directors perform daily is:

  • Monitor their student’s progress and provide both the student and administrators with assistance in resolving any problems that come up
  • Prepare and maintain attendance, accounting, planning, and activity reports and records for agencies and officials
  • Consult with parents and staff about educational activities and policies
  • Meet with prospective students and their parents
  • Meet with parents and teachers if student learning or behavioral problems arise

Education And Training To Become A Child Care Director

Your post-secondary requirements for a Child Care Director will depend on the state that you’re in and the employer that you want to work for. A privately funded facility often only requires a High School Diploma, and a publicly funded preschool usually requires their directors to have a bachelor’s degree (this may vary state to state). On the other hand, in certain states, employers will require that you have some post-secondary education in preschool education. Most states will require Child Care center directors to have experience in early childhood education, and nearly all Child Care directors have previous experience as preschool teachers. The majority of states will require that Child Care center directors have several years of hands-on experience working with children in an early childhood education setting. The exact amount of needed expertise will vary by state.

Credentials and Licenses

Most states and employers will require Child Care directors to obtain a nationally recognized credential. Some states will require the Child Development Associate credential (CDA) that is administered by the Council for Professional Recognition. To receive the CDA credential, you will need to have at least 480 hours of Child Care work experience in addition to 120 hours of education in Child Care. Both must be completed within the past five years. Your credentials can be earned in either infant/toddler preschool-aged care, and the CDA title is valid for three years and can be renewed every five years with the completion of continuing education. The National Administration Credential (NAC) offered by the National Child Care Association, provides the NAC to all Child Care Directors, no matter what level of experience they have. Directors can earn the credential by enrolling and completing a 5-day, 40-hour course. Educational curriculum, staff management, and community relations are a few topics explored in the program. The credentials are valid for two years, and once the two years have passed, 20 hours of continuing education is required to maintain this credential.

Obtaining Your License

In most states, Child Care Directors must be licensed. The requirements will differ from state to state; however, there will be a specified amount of years working in the Child Care space and a specified number of hours related to Child Care coursework. The number of hours continuing education you will need to obtain your license will be determined by the state you work in.

A Career Beyond

Once you have become a Child Care Director, there are various avenues you can seek out for growth. Some directors open their own programs after working in private and/or public-funded schools, and many even expand on to administrative positions on a district level overseeing early Child Care programs.