Preschools and childcare centers often hire directors to plan, coordinate, and conduct all the aspects of a specific program. The preschool and childcare center directors are typically in charge of leading a number of staff members, provide oversight of daily activities, and prepare budgets and plans. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes in the figures above, the number of preschool and childcare center director jobs is expected to increase significantly by 2020. In addition to the job aspects already mentioned, the following tasks are often associated with careers for preschool and childcare center directors:
- Develop new educational programs, establish budgets, and set fees
- Establish and communicate policies to staff and parents
- Assist in the hiring and training of new staff
- Maintain communication with parents to discuss students' progress
In addition to the tasks listed above, preschool and childcare center directors perform other duties, including monitoring the facilities for cleanliness, providing assistance to staff in resolving conflict between children, and maintaining open lines of communication between staff, parents, and children as necessary. All of the duties normally assigned to a director are subject to the interests of the owner however, and depending on whether or not the preschool or childcare center is part of a national chain or is a franchise, those interests may differ slightly. For example: institutions that are federally funded must adhere to the standards established by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Job Growth for
Preschool and Childcare Center Director
Becoming a Preschool and Childcare Center Director
The requirements for becoming a preschool or childcare center director vary by state, but most positions are seeking the same basic elements for potential candidates. There are four different aspects that affect a candidate's ability to be hired for preschool and childcare center director jobs: education, licensure, certification, and experience. Although each of these elements are important, education and licensure are the two most fundamental areas crucial to starting a preschool and childcare center director career.
Depending on the state and type of position, having a high school diploma may be enough education to meet requirements, although most positions require at least some college if not a complete degree. Typically having a degree related to education or the liberal arts (such as history, science, or mathematics) is sufficient but some positions require potential directors to major in early childhood education. Degrees that include courses in childhood education, childhood development, teaching strategies, and observation of childhood education progress usually satisfy requirements for positions in this field:
- Foundations of Child Development
- Early Childhood Education
- Health, Safety, and Nutrition
- Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education
In addition to having the right education background, candidates seeking preschool or child care center director jobs must meet the licensure and certification requirements of their state. In most states candidates will be required to have the Child Development Associate (CDA) certification, offered by the Council for Professional Recognition, but some states also recognize the Child Care Professional (CCP) designation offered by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not specify the exact licensure necessary for becoming a director at a childcare facility or preschool, it does note that licensure is necessary in most states. Having prior experience in early childhood education, either through internships or entry-level work in the field, can greatly increase a candidate's chances at being hired as a director or for promotion.