A Daycare Director oversees the operation of a daycare facility, ensuring children have a safe, happy and educational environment. They may work in a nursery school, daycare facility, preschool or pre-kindergarten setting, but their job remains essentially the same. They coordinate staff schedules, manage and create curriculum, and keep a close eye on the facility being mindful of any repairs or hazards that may develop.
Daycare Directors are generally the highest authority at a childcare center, although they may report to an owner or district director. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a job growth of 7 percent through 2024 for Preschool and Childcare Center Directors, which adding about 4,200 jobs to this steady job sector.
Daycare Director Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization Daycare Directors work for, greatly determines the duties and responsibilities they can expect to undertake. There are, however, several core tasks common to all Daycare Directors. A review of current job listings identified the following core responsibilities.
Perhaps the most important task of the Daycare Director is to supervise staff. This may include interviewing and hiring staff members, providing training, ensuring all background checks and fingerprint records have been processed, scheduling, filing timesheets and observing staff with children. A daycare facility relies on excellent employees for its success so the Daycare Director must recruit the top candidates and ensure they adhere to all protocols and requirements.
Develop Program and Curriculum
Daycare Directors will often play a large role in the programming and educational curriculum offered by the facility. They work closely with the center’s teachers and staff to create programs and learning plans that meet any state and federal requirements as well as meet the expectations of the parents. A background in education or instructional design can be useful to the Daycare Director.
Manage Daycare Facilities
In addition to overseeing the staff and the curriculum, Daycare Directors must also manage the center’s buildings. This means ensuring that required safety equipment is available and in working order, no hazards are present, the facility is kept clean and orderly and any supplies and equipment needed are ordered regularly. They must also adhere to any local and federal regulations and allow regular state inspections of the facility.
Daycare Director Skills
Daycare Directors should have a passion for working with and assisting children as well as strong leadership skills. A positive attitude and an enthusiasm for the job are important when working with the young children. They must have excellent communication skills and the ability to exercise judgement. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Daycare Directors with these core skills. If you want to work as a Daycare Director, focus on the following.
- Proficiency in using computers
- Budgeting experience
- Knowing state and federal daycare laws and requirements
- Training and certification in CPR
- Working with young children
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Daycare Director toolbox and broaden your career options.
- College degree in an area such as, Childcare Development or Elementary Education
- Teaching certificate