Preschool Administrator: Job Description, Duties and Salary

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a preschool administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and licensure requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

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The requirements for preschool administrators vary by state. In some cases it may be sufficient to have a high school diploma and state-approved license. However, many employers prefer applicants who have completed an associate's or bachelor's degree.

Essential Information

Education requirements for preschool administrator positions vary by state and employer. A high school diploma may be sufficient; however, an associate's or bachelor's degree is sometimes required. Requirements for licensing also vary by state, and a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is often necessary. Experience in early childhood education is frequently needed.

Required Education High school diploma; some positions require an associate's or bachelor's
Other Requirements Early childhood education experience, license and CDA may be required
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7%
Median Salary (2015)* $45,670 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description

Preschool administrators work in childcare facilities, such as preschools and daycare centers. These professionals manage preschool teachers, and the job requires strong leadership and interpersonal skills. Administrators also develop relationships and interact with both students and parents. Preschool programs are often privately owned; unlike kindergartens and K-12 institutions, many are not government funded. Nonetheless, licensure is necessary in some states. In these cases, administrators must meet the requirements and ensure that staff members also meet stated requirements.

Job Duties

Preschool administrators are responsible for all aspects of preschools. They develop institutional policies and make certain that the policies are in accordance with legal requirements. They hire, train, supervise and provide professional development for teachers and other staff. Within the school, they also offer conflict resolution and take responsibility for business aspects, such as program costs and budgeting.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of preschool and childcare center administrators was $45,670, as of May 2015. Employment for preschool and childcare center directors is predicted to grow 7% between 2014 and 2024, which is average.

Education Requirements

The basic educational requirement of a preschool administrator is a high school diploma, although some states mandate that administrators possess associate or bachelor's degrees in early childhood education. According to the BLS, possessing a degree may lead to additional job opportunities for preschool administrators; the field is not only growing, but also changing to focus more on educational and developmental theory.

Certification and License Requirements

License requirements for preschool employees vary between states. Some states may require a specific certification, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. To obtain this designation, aspiring preschool administrators must demonstrate early childhood education competencies in a variety of areas. Some states also recognize the Child Care Professional (CCP) designation granted by the National Child Care Association, which is a national organization for both teachers and education directors. In addition to offering the CCP designation, the organization provides opportunities for continuing education.

Although preschool administrators are not always required to have an associate's or bachelor's degree, there are more job opportunities for those who have a degree in this field. Preschool administrators may also be required to have a state-approved license. It is important to review state guidelines to be certain to take the necessary training to qualify for a position as a preschool administrator.

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