Preschool and childcare center directors typically do the following:
Some preschools and childcare centers are independently owned and operated. In these facilities, directors must follow the instructions and guidelines of the owner. Sometimes, the directors are the owners, so they decide how to operate them.
Other preschools and childcare centers are part of a national chain or franchise. The director of a chain or franchise must ensure that the facility meets the parent organization’s standards and regulations.
In addition, some preschools and childcare centers, such as Head Start programs, receive state and federal funding. Directors need to follow the requirements set by Department of Health and Human Services for program, staff, and facilities.
Most states require preschool and childcare center directors to have at least a bachelor’s degree, but educational requirements vary by state. Employers may prefer candidates who have a degree, or at least some postsecondary coursework, in early childhood education. These programs teach child development, provide strategies for instructing young children, and show how to observe and document children’s progress.
States may require childcare centers, including those in private homes, to be licensed. To qualify for licensure, staff must pass a background check and meet a minimum training requirement. Some states have more requirements, such as requiring staff to have certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.
Some employers have additional requirements, such as the CDA credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Candidates need to pay a fee, take coursework, obtain experience in the field, and be observed while working with children. This credential needs to be renewed every 3 years.