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Child Care Director Certification and Certificate Program Summaries

Individuals interested into moving into a leadership role within a childcare center may consider earning a certificate in childcare administration. Learn what types of topics are addressed in these programs, what certifications are available and what's needed to apply for admission.

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Essential Information

A certificate program in childcare administration provides students with the training and knowledge necessary to supervise early childhood programs. Students learn about the various job duties and responsibilities of childcare directors, managers and supervisors, including staffing, facilities management, scheduling and recordkeeping. They also learn to manage the finances and determine budgets for various programs.

Students enrolled in a childcare administrator's certificate program also learn how to design and maintain programs that are suitable for school-aged children. They determine the needs of children living in particular communities, as well as how to communicate with parents and caregivers. An undergraduate degree in education and possibly a teaching license may be required for entry into these programs. National certification is also available from several organizations.

Education Prerequisites

The education prerequisites necessary to enroll in a childcare administrator's certificate program vary greatly from school to school, as each school has different requirements to meet a particular state's regulations or certification guidelines. Some colleges accept students who have completed any baccalaureate degree or are in the process of completing a baccalaureate degree. Other schools only accept those students who have earned a degree in early childhood education and are licensed teachers.

Program Coursework

Certificate programs for aspiring childcare directors are vocational programs and include courses that relate to the specific duties and responsibilities of the position. Some specific examples include:

  • Childcare program administration
  • Childcare operations management
  • Financial management
  • Budget planning
  • Childcare program design and implementation
  • Scheduling staff
  • Child development and behavior

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Childcare directors oversee the day-to-day administration of daycare centers and childcare facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, education administrators of preschools and other childcare centers held roughly 48,410 jobs in 2012 ( They also earned a median annual salary of $43,950 in 2012. The BLS predicted that the jobs for preschool and childcare center directors will rise by about 25% between 2010 and 2020.

Certification Options

Certification is also available for child care directors, such as the Child Development Associate designation available from the Council for Professional Recognition. Other prospective child care directors choose to earn certification the Child Care Professional credential from the National Child Care Association.

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