Daycare Director Job Description

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.

Supervise Staff

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
  • Bilingual
  • Teaching certificate


Daycare Director Resources

There are additional helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming a Daycare Director. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

On the Web 

Earlychildhood News – This online resource is aimed for teachers or parents of children from infancy through 8 years of age. It provides a wealth of articles on varying topics such as child development, safety issues and behavioral issues. It also has resources and links to help build age-appropriate curriculum.

ChildCareExchange – offers a magazine, training resources and books to childcare professionals worldwide. With training and education opportunities and a mass of resources, this site is a great for any Daycare Director.

ChildCare Education Institute – CCEI offers online training and certification programs for early care and education professionals. They also offer career development and administrative solutions.

Daycare Director Books

Planning and Administering Early Childhood Programs – This text is designed for the Daycare Director, with chapters covering areas such as identifying a programs’ mission and vision, making it affordable, reaching children from diverse backgrounds, hiring and retaining personnel and developing strong leadership skills.

Developing and Administering a Child Care Center – The authors of this text have years of experience in administering daycare facilities and they share their knowledge and know-how in this insightful and comprehensive book.

Child Development – This book is considered the standard on child development and is read by professionals and college students nationwide. With a wealth of resources and detailed information regarding children and their developmental states, this is a handy resource for anyone working with small children.

Industry Groups 

National Child Care Association – The NCCA is a professional trade association that specializes in setting guidelines and standards for childcare facilities to better the environments for children and childcare professionals. Their site includes useful articles and industry news.

Association for Early Learning Leaders – Since 1984, this association has provided directors, owners, and administrators of early childcare and education programs with education and training opportunities, access to resources, chances to network with other professionals and program quality review.

National Association for Family Child Care – NAFCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education, training and promotion to caregivers who provide childcare services from their home.


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