Day Care Management: Job Description and Career Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a day care manager. Get a quick view of the requirements, as well as details about essential skills, licensure and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

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A bachelor's degree and state license are required in order to be a day care manager. Day care managers are responsible for the day to day operations of child care centers. Some of the tasks this involves include overseeing the staff, ensuring the facility complies with licensing requirements, implementing curriculum and registering children.

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Essential Information

Day care management professionals work in a variety of supervisory positions in the child care industry. They are trained in early childhood education and may manage facilities providing services ranging from infant and toddler care to after-school programs and summer camp. Day care management careers generally require a degree in education or a related field, in addition to state licensure in child care.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Additional Requirements State childcare license; Child Development Associate certification is generally required
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7% for preschool and childcare center directors
Median Salary (2015)* $45,670 annually for education administrators in preschool and childcare programs

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Day Care Management Job Description

Day care management professionals oversee the daily operations of child care facilities. They interact with parents, manage finances, coordinate marketing efforts, hire and train staff, and ensure that facilities and staff members comply with state licensing regulations. They create and implement curriculum and activities that promote early childhood development, ensuring that facilities provide a safe and nurturing environment while remaining profitable. A day care management professional may be employed by a day care center, a child care company or be the owner of a facility.

Essential Skills

Day care management professionals must have a strong understanding of early childhood development and child care. They have strong leadership skills, the ability to delegate authority and are able to hire, train and manage staff. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential for interacting with parents, children and coworkers.

Day care management professionals must be organized, practice good computer skills and be able to handle multiple tasks at once. Multiple language skills may also enhance career prospects.

Day Care Management Career Requirements

Day care managers must typically earn an undergraduate degree in early childhood education, as well as state licensure and certification in child care. Excellent communication, organization and leadership qualities are also needed. Below are more detailed career requirements for day care managers.

Required Education

Day care management professionals often need an associate or a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, although some workers may be hired with only a high school diploma and appropriate child care certification. Undergraduate early childhood education programs cover a variety of education topics and may allow students to participate in supervised classroom experiences. Courses examine:

  • Learning activities
  • Child psychology
  • Early childhood education programs
  • Special education
  • Preschool curriculum
  • Language development

Licensure and Certification

Most day care managers must earn licensure to find work at a child care facility. State licensing requirements for day care management professionals vary, but most states require workers to undergo training, receive immunizations, pass a background check and earn CPR and first aid certifications. The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education provides licensing information by state.

Day care managers also must typically earn certification as a Child Development Associate (CDA) with the Council for Professional Recognition or another approved organization. Certification requires child care training in the field.

Day Care Management Career Outlook and Salary Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted faster-than-average job growth in the child care management field as demand for qualified early childhood education professionals grows. The BLS predicted that child care management positions would increase by 7% from 2014-2024. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for education administrators in preschool and childcare programs was $45,670 in 2015.

In general, day care managers hold at least a bachelor's degree and licensure or certification. The job growth for day care managers from 2014-2024 is expected to be average when compared to all occupations. Applicants who have management experience and enjoy working with children may improve their job prospects.

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