A bachelor's degree is typically required to become a manager of a childcare facility. These professionals ideally should study early childhood education or a related field. While it may be possible to enter the field with only a high school diploma, some states require an associate's or bachelor's degree and professional certification.
A childcare manager supervises the operation of a center that cares for and teaches young children. Job duties often depend on the employer. A high school diploma is usually the minimum requirement, but some states ask for an associate's or bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Childcare managers also might need professional certification, which calls for training and experience.
|Required Education||High school diploma at minimum, but some employers or states require an associate's or bachelor's degree in early childhood education|
|Certification||Some states and employers require professional credentials|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||7%|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$45,670|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Childcare managers oversee other childcare workers during their interactions with children at a childcare center, preschool or Head Start organization. The childcare workers entertain and educate young children and introduce them to scientific and mathematical concepts, as well as problem-solving skills. Some managers work with their own class of children, while others strictly operate in an administrative role.
The work environment for a childcare manager is often within the boundaries of a childcare center that is operated as a business rather than a private service provided within a child's home. There are usually large numbers of children who are in attendance and a number of childcare workers who are responsible for the health and nutrition of the children while at the center. The manager can expect to work a 40-hour workweek, although overtime might be a normal occurrence.
States have varying licensing requirements to regulate caregivers. In most cases, a high school is diploma is required to begin working as a childcare worker, while a college degree is preferable for a childcare manager. Bachelor's degree programs in child development or early childhood education are common choices.
Potential childcare managers also might wish to earn voluntary Child Development Associate (CDA) certification, which might be required by certain states and/or employers. This certification ensures that the individual meets specific needs of the children they oversee, whether physically, emotionally or intellectually.
In addition, there is the Child Care Professional (CCP) designation, offered through the National Child Care Association. This particular certification is recommended for those who may not have completed a college degree program or who have a degree in a non-related field. To obtain this certification, a candidate needs documented work experience in the field of childcare, as well as specific coursework.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2015, preschool and childcare center education administrators earned an annual median salary of $45,670 (www.bls.gov). In 2014, the BLS predicted 7% employment growth for childcare center and preschool directors in general through 2024.
Childcare managers may work for childcare centers or preschools. They may exclusively focus on administrative tasks, or may perform administrative tasks and work with a class. Licensing requirements vary by state.