Love for education and educating bring many to play the role of a preschool director. But as one says, with great power comes great responsibility. Preschool directors are responsible for positively impacting the entire school body, faculty, and their families.
Who is a Preschool Director?
A Preschool Director is responsible for performing administrative duties of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) institution. They also appoint and supervise the teachers and staff. A preschool director must also engage in coordinating the staff, teachers, and parents.
- Should have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Teaching experience of at least 5 years.
- Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate or National Administration Credential (NAC) from National Child Care Association.
- State-level license.
- Budget and Finance management
- Marketing devising
- Organizational development
- Administrative planning
- Personnel Management
- Community relation
- Basic computer knowledge like MS Word, MS Excel
- Leadership skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Quick problem-solving skills
- Child care skills
- Ability to connect and communicate with children
- Creative mindset
- Passion for educating and shaping children
- Cheerful, patient, energetic, and friendly attitude
- Ability to function role model for children
Roles of Preschool Director
- Developing school policies.
- Ensuring that school adheres to government guidelines.
- Planning and organizing inclusive programs that satisfy early childhood growth needs.
- Hiring teachers and staff and training them.
- Budgeting and managing finance.
- Making reports for parents on their child’s development progress.
- Educating children with elementary fundamental concepts such as letters, numbers, shapes, and color.
- Teaching discipline, manners, and morals values
- Inciting social interactions between children to improve their self-esteem and social relations.
- Superintending children during their free play time and mealtime.
- Communicating with parents and guardians to understand the living environment of the child and understand their psyches.
- Ensuring a clean, safe, and kid-friendly learning environment.
- Coming up with creative methods of learning.
- In times of shortage of staff, the preschool director should teach a class while performing administrative duties.
- Their days might start with greeting students and parents as they arrive in the morning.
- During the mid-morning, they might engage in administrative work like managing finances, planning events, executing school policies, or other paperwork.
- During lunch, the director may go for an inspection to ensure the safety of the students.
- In the afternoon, preschool directors may attend meetings with other administrators, staff, teachers, or parents.
- And, lastly, after school, they might have to answer emails, handle issues regarding the school or teachers. They might also take this time to supervise the faculty members.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average salary of a preschool director was $49,160 per year or $23.63 per hour in 2020. The base salary (gross income before taxation and deduction)is $29k – $62k, and the average bonus is $5k – $200. Total pay (includes base annual salary with bonuses, overtime pay, tips commission, or other forms of earnings) is $28k – $60k.
Jobs for this position are expected by 1% from 2019-2029, relatively slower than the national average. In 2019, 69,200 jobs were held for preschool directors.
Steps to Become a Preschool Director
- Step 1: Get at least a bachelor’s or associate degree. Programs that cover teaching methods, child care, psychology, safety, health care, and practicum give credibility to an individual applying for this post.
- Step 2: Work at a licensed education facility (preferably at daycare or preschool) to gain experience. A Child care worker gets experience in supervising and creating a children-friendly environment, which is very suitable for the job. A lot of states prefer to hire an experienced childcare worker as the preschool director.
- Step 3: Obtain a child care license. Most states in the United States require an individual seeking the job of a preschool director to have the Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credentials.
- Step 4: Continue with career advancement. Many schools offer finance, child care facility, child care manager responsibilities, and regulation for experienced daycare directors.
- Where to get certification from? The Council for Professional Recognition provides CDA credentials. Also, the National Child Care Association (NCA) offers a certificate to all levels of experienced child care directors
- How do we obtain these child care certificates? For CDA, a candidate must complete 480 hours of child care work and 120 hours of professional development and education in child care within the past 5 years, along with a portfolio to earn certification. NAC certification requirements include 5-day, 40-hours course completion.
- Do credentials expire? Yes, both the credentials mentioned expire and must be renewed. CDA certificate is valid for three years. Whereas NAC must be renewed every two years, 20 hours of continuing education are required to maintain the position. This course includes topics like staff management, educational curriculum, facility management, and community relations.
- How to get the license? Licensing process in the United States for child care licenses can vary within states. But the basic process all over the states is rather similar.
- Contact the department of child services for the preschool state to understand the laws and qualifications within your preschool area.
- Then the Department of Child Services send some paperwork through the mail
- Go through the paperwork sent.
- Confirm with your caseworker the classes or training you are required to take for your certification.
- Complete any other requirements that your state might have while waiting for the license’s approval.
- TIP: Attend online classes while waiting on your license.
- Can a high school graduate apply for this job? It can depend on location and the school. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, most states give the job to high school graduates. But typically, a person with a bachelor’s degree and experience in early childhood education is preferred.
- How many hours of work does a preschool director put in? Most preschool directors work full time. As they play an administrative role, they tend to do most of their work in the office, putting in approximately 40 hours of work per week.