Several schools offer online master's degree programs in child care management, including a Master of Education (M.Ed.) or a Master of Science (M.S.). Programs may be titled early childhood administration or early childhood leadership and advocacy. These programs may be fully online or hybrid in format, the latter requiring short campus residencies. Students learn leadership, education, child development and business skills. Courses cover child development, curriculum development and the foundations of early childhood education. These master's programs, designed for working professionals with bachelor's degrees, allow students to attend full- or part-time, viewing lectures and completing assignments as their schedules permit.
Master's Degree in Child Care Management
Child care managers are typically in charge of daycare facilities and preschools. Educational requirements for these roles vary considerably by state. Potential master's degrees for those interested in child care management include a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood Administration or a Master of Science (MS) in Education with a focus on early childhood. Other relevant subjects include child development, business administration, educational administration and human services.
Information and Requirements
While some schools offer all course material online, other schools feature hybrid programs that mix online classes with a certain amount of on-campus instruction. Participants may need to attend residencies during their study which may last less than a week at a time. Some schools offer the programs in a cohort model which allows groups of students to progress through the curriculum together. A full-time student can complete the master's degree program in two years. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree.
Some classes may require students to download software that will allow them to share files and access course material. Microsoft Office is recommended. Faculty and students interact via e-mail, Internet chat and online discussion forums.
List of Common Early Childhood Administration Courses
Subjects of study in a master's degree program in early childhood administration can include financial and legal issues, group communication, staff supervision and development, curriculum creation, discipline, family structures and cultural diversity. Students may also be required to attend workshops.
Child Care Personnel Management
This class covers the human relations component of child care. Topics include recruiting, selecting staff, training and evaluating performance. Future managers learn how to optimize worker satisfaction by minimizing stress and promoting good work habits.
Group Dynamics and Leadership
Students use Systems Theory to study how an individual affects a group and the group affects the individual in various situations. This class invites introspection while students explore their roles as both group members and group leaders. Participants apply their skills and knowledge of group organization to childhood advocacy and education.
Collaborating with Families and Community
This course examines the relationships formed between child care agencies, parents, schools, social services agencies and other community organizations. Students learn how to address economic and social difficulties in families they serve. Other topics include health and safety, guidance and cultural views of early childhood education.
In addition to traditional daycare agencies, graduates may be employed by preschools, residential care facilities and family service organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education administrators in preschool and child care programs had an average annual wage of $52,760 in May 2015. Job growth in this field is predicted to be about as fast average, at 7% from 2014-2024, per the BLS. Growth may be due to the increase in enrollment in private child care programs and the growing numbers of public preschool programs in the U.S.
Fully online and hybrid master's degree programs in child care management are available from several institutions. Students enrolled in these programs may take courses in personnel management, group dynamics and family/community collaboration in preparation for future careers as education administrators.