|Degree Level||None; some positions require associate or bachelor's|
|Degree Field(s)||Early childhood education, child development, or related field|
|Licensure and Certification||Childcare facilities require state licensing; some states and/or employers require national certification|
|Key Skills||Strong verbal and written communication, leadership and management, and relational skills; familiarity with enterprise resource planning (ERP), accounting, Microsoft Office Suite and spreadsheet software; tolerance and patience in stressful situations; high-level of responsibility and integrity; flexibility|
|Salary (2014)||$38,652 (2016 median salary for child care directors)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine, Careerbuilder.com job postings in October 2012, PayScale.com
Day care supervisors are in charge of overseeing all operations in a child care facility. Their typical duties include employee management and training, parent meetings, regulation compliance, and educational program development. Supervisors must deal with challenging youngsters and difficult parents. This work is rewarding, however, as daycare workers observe the progress of the children in their care.
Day care supervisors should have:
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Leadership and management skills
- Tolerance and patience in stressful situations
- Familiarity with enterprise resource planning software and Office Suite and spreadsheet software
In 2016, PayScale.com reported that child care directors earned a median annual pay of $38,652.
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Earn a Degree
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, having a degree in early childhood education is not always required to work as a day care supervisor in all states; however, having an associate's or bachelor's degree is required in some states and by certain employers. Having a degree in early childhood education gives applicants an advantage in the job market, depending on the state of employment. Some topics include child growth, discipline, curriculum design, behavior observation, and psychology.
Accredited programs prepare students to meet the educational requirements for formal licensing or national certification if they are mandated by the state. Additionally, students should consider completing a certificate program specifically designed to train child care directors. Many programs include opportunities to complete internships or practicum sessions in actual child care facilities. Before working directly with children, programs require students to pass background screenings.
Getting work experience through an internship opportunity built into the program is a valuable way to build professional relationships. Since a child care director is in charge of communicating with staff, parents, and children, having strong verbal and written skills are very important. Opting for human relations or public speaking courses is beneficial in boosting communication skills.
Work in a Day Care
After completing a formal educational program, students can go on to gain work experience in a child care facility. Most director positions require around three years of experience, but states differ in typical or formal requirements, so research is recommended. As a general rule, having more work experience is beneficial when applying for day care director positions.
Opting for certification shows potential employers a candidate's level of dedication and commitment to the field. Also, becoming certified demonstrates a high-level of proficiency and knowledge of the skills required to be a proficient day care director. Earning certification entails completing education and work experience requirements, along with successfully passing an exam. Once an individual passes the certification exam, they utilize a professional designation, such as the Child Care Professional designation offered by the National Child Care Association.
Once again, the requirement for day care supervisors vary by state, but many require or request that applicants have some type of formal postsecondary education as well as 3 years of experience working in a day care.