How Do I Become a Director of a Daycare Center?

Research what it takes to become a director of a daycare center. Learn about education requirements, career outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

As a director of a daycare, you'll oversee teachers, workers and volunteers while also improving educational services and health programs. The requirements and regulations for becoming a director of a daycare center vary widely from state to state, although earning a degree is a good first step. More details can be found in the table below.

Education Required High school diploma, but most states require an associate's or bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Early childhood education, child development, business management
Key Skills Leadership, organization, problem-solving, interpersonal, business
Licensure/Certification Licensure is required for the care of more than a few children; certification requirements vary by state
Job Growth (2012-2022) 17%*
Median Salary (2013) $44,890 (for all education administrators of preschool and childcare center programs)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Do as the Director of a Daycare?

A director of a daycare center must be able to organize and supervise the day-to-day activities of a daycare facility. Once in the position, you will train and evaluate part-time personnel in the daycare program and be responsible for recruiting, hiring and training new employees. You'll provide direct supervision to daycare teachers' assistants who work within the program. Program planning, financial planning and facility maintenance are just a few of your management responsibilities.

What Education Should I Seek?

Degree programs that might prepare you for a position as a daycare director include those related to childhood development, business management or elementary education. Generally, a bachelor's degree program in child care management can prepare you for a career managing the care of small children. Your courses will likely teach you about communication, counseling, nutrition, program planning, organizational theory, childhood education, early human development, welfare services, human resources and basic health. Because state regulations vary, you should learn state rules and requirements regarding child care facilities before seeking any particular degree.

How Should I Obtain Licensure?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), educational directors at the daycare level must be at least 21 years old; if they're working at a public daycare, they typically must hold a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). If you plan to care for more than a few children, you must earn state licensure and have a criminal background check completed.

You can seek certification through a credentialing center. The Council for Professional Recognition provides a credential for a child development associate (www.cdacouncil.org). To be eligible for this exam, you must have 120 credit hours of schooling and 480 hours of experience. You must also turn in an observation report, parent surveys and a portfolio.

The National Child Care Association offers an administrator credential (www.nccanet.org). This credential is national and provides employers with proof that you know how to manage and maintain a child care facility.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Baker College Online

    Baker College Online responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Baker College Online:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Phoenix

    University of Phoenix responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Phoenix:

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Arizona: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson
    • California: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose
    • Colorado: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree
    • Columbia (D.C.): Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington
    • Florida: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace
    • Georgia: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs
    • Hawaii: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu
    • Illinois: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg
    • Indiana: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis
    • Louisiana: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie
    • Massachusetts: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree
    • Maryland: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia
    • Michigan: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit
    • Minnesota: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park
    • Missouri: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights
    • North Carolina: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte
    • New Jersey: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City
    • New Mexico: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque
    • Nevada: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas
    • Ohio: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood
    • Oregon: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard
    • Pennsylvania: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard, Philadelphia
    • Puerto Rico: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard, Philadelphia, Guaynabo
    • Tennessee: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard, Philadelphia, Guaynabo, Chattanooga, Cordova, Nashville
    • Texas: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard, Philadelphia, Guaynabo, Chattanooga, Cordova, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio
    • Utah: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard, Philadelphia, Guaynabo, Chattanooga, Cordova, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City
    • Virginia: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard, Philadelphia, Guaynabo, Chattanooga, Cordova, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Arlington, Glen Allen
    • Washington: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard, Philadelphia, Guaynabo, Chattanooga, Cordova, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Arlington, Glen Allen, Tukwila
    • Wisconsin: Online Campus, Tempe, Tucson, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Washington, Ft Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Temple Terrace, Augusta, Columbus, Sandy Springs, Honolulu, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Braintree, Columbia, Detroit, St Louis Park, Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Charlotte, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Beachwood, Tigard, Philadelphia, Guaynabo, Chattanooga, Cordova, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Arlington, Glen Allen, Tukwila, Milwaukee
  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • ITT Technical Institute

    ITT Technical Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at ITT Technical Institute:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Arkansas: Online Campus, Little Rock
  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Post University

    Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Post University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Joseph's University

    Saint Joseph's University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Joseph's University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Brandman University

    Brandman University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brandman University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • California: Culver City, Fairfield, Hanford, Irvine, Menifee, Monterey, Ontario, Palm Desert, Palmdale, Riverside, Roseville, Salida, San Diego, Santa Clarita, Santa Maria, Victorville, Visalia, Walnut Creek, Yuba City, Yucaipa
    • Washington: Culver City, Fairfield, Hanford, Irvine, Menifee, Monterey, Ontario, Palm Desert, Palmdale, Riverside, Roseville, Salida, San Diego, Santa Clarita, Santa Maria, Victorville, Visalia, Walnut Creek, Yuba City, Yucaipa, Lacey
  • Grantham University

    Grantham University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grantham University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Azusa Pacific University College

    Azusa Pacific University College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Azusa Pacific University College:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Florida: Online Campus, Winter Park