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Group Leader Duties and Responsibilities
Plan and Implement Program Activities Group Leaders are responsible for planning every aspect of a youth program. This involves things like booking a venue, acquiring materials for activities, brainstorming potential roadblocks and several other planning activities. Group Leaders must have a "student first "mindset in order to plan a program in a way that provides the maximum benefit for the attendees.
Enforce Safety and Security Policies In any job that involves working with children, safety and security are the two most important concerns. This responsibility requires Group Leaders to inspect facilities and project materials daily to ensure safety standards are met, as well as having the awareness to recognize potential instances of abuse.
Foster Positive Relationships Between Students One of the core goals of any youth program is to teach students how to build and maintain positive relationships. Group Leaders must be good communicators in order to teach good communicative habits. This often involves diffusing minor conflicts, and then using said conflict as a teachable moment to show students how to positively address conflict.
Manage and Oversee the Student Enrollment Process In addition to designing the program, Group Leaders are responsible for overseeing the student enrollment process. This involves identifying students who would benefit most from the program, as well as building relationships with parents and guardians as they guide them through the enrollment process.
Select and Train Program Aides Program Aides work under Group Leaders to assist in all aspects of implementing a youth program. Group Leaders are responsible for selecting and training their team. This means not only being involved in the hiring process, but acting as a mentor who consistently develops their team.
Group Leader SkillsGroup Leaders use several skills to complete the duties and responsibilities listed above. Group leaders have to have the ability to maintain a positive and professional demeanor at all times. They must have a love for children that keeps them passionate and upbeat throughout the day. Children often feed off of the energy of adults, so it is imperative that Group Leaders cultivate a positive environment at all times. Group Leaders must also be able to see both the big picture and focus on the smallest details when planning their programs. The following is a list of core skills Group Leaders call upon most when performing their duties and responsibilities.
- Planning Skills - Group Leaders have to have excellent planning skills in order to create a successful youth program. They call upon their planning skills to envision big picture goals, and then create plans of action to work towards those objectives.
- Interpersonal Skills - Group Leaders need to maintain a consistently positive attitude throughout their day. Many think of this as a personality trait, but this attitude is a learned skill. It takes emotional discipline to stay positive when your natural reaction is the opposite.
- Communication Skills - Group Leaders spend most of their day communicating with their students or fostering communication between students. Not only do they have to be good communicators, they must also be excellent active listeners.
- Leadership Skills - Given that the word leader is in this job title, it only makes sense that leadership skills are a requirement for success in this position. Group Leaders call upon their leadership skills in virtually every interaction with both students and staff.
- Conflict Resolution Skills - In a group of children, periodic conflict is inevitable. Group Leaders call upon their conflict resolution skills to diffuse these situations. They also use these moments to teach tools and strategies for positively managing interpersonal conflict.
Group Leader SalaryAccording to the BLS, the national median salary for Group Leaders is $20,300. Those in the bottom 10 percent make below $16,900, while those in the top 10 percent make above $30,700. The three states with the highest median salaries for Group Leaders are New York at $25,500; Massachusetts at $25,000; and Alaska at $24,500.
Group Leader Resources
If you're interested in exploring the role of Group Leader, as well as the childcare industry as a whole, then check out our list of Group Leader resources.
The National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement - This government-affiliated organization has tons of information on how Group Leaders can foster parent and student engagement with their youth programs.
Parent, Family and Community Engagement Interactive Framework - This interactive tool is one of the many resources offered by the abovementioned government organization.
Partnering with Families: Building Positive Goal-Orientated Relationships - This is an excellent free e-learning course developed by the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement.
National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning - This government-affiliated website offers a great program planning tool to assist Group Leaders in creating programs that maximize the benefits to participants.
ChildcareAware.org - This is a national organization dedicated to being the best resource for both Group Leaders and parents in assisting them to provide the best childcare.
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