In an associate's degree program in child care management students can learn essential business skills needed to operate a successful child care business. Some postsecondary schools, including colleges, universities and community colleges, offer this degree, which might be presented as an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. Students can go on to earn a bachelor's degree and/or required state licensing. Applicants to these programs will need a high school diploma or the equivalent. Enrolled students may be required to participate in an internship to graduate.
Associate Degree of Child Care Management
Child care management associate's programs strike a balance between specialized courses and those that provide a more generalized education. Depending on the program, students may receive practical training or observe in child care settings. Some schools have on-campus child care centers that provide hands-on learning for students in early childhood-related programs. Curricula may include the following courses:
- Child development
- Child psychology
- Family relations
- Classroom management
- Childhood health and safety
Popular Career Options
Graduates may qualify to work as managers or teachers in child care facilities and can be eligible to direct their own child care center. Here are some popular career options:
- Day care teacher
- Child care facility manager
- Head Start program teacher
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of preschool and childcare center directors is predicted to increase by 7% from 2014-2024, which is as fast as the national average; jobs for preschool teachers are also predicted to grow by 7%. The BLS also reported that the median salary of preschool teachers was $28,570 in May 2015, while preschool and childcare center directors earned a median salary of $45,670.
Licensure and Continuing Education Information
States require licensing of child care providers who care for a specific number of children, although these licensing requirements vary for each state. Child care facilities must abide by staffing regulations and child care directors usually need to meet minimum education requirements. Depending on specific career goals, child care providers may seek to earn a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential from the Council for Professional Recognition, or a Child Care Professional (CCP) designation from the National Child Care Association.
Students may wish to continue their education by earning a bachelor's degree in a related field, allowing them to teach children within the public school system. Some programs allow credits earned through an associate's degree program to transfer directly toward a bachelor's degree.
An associate's degree program in child care management gives students the opportunity to study early childhood-related topics and issues to prepare for work as teachers or managers. Graduates will need to meet their state's licensing requirements, and can pursue a bachelor's degree program if they like.