Day Care Director Certification, Training and Career Information

Day care directors are the head administrators of preschools or centers that offer child care before and after school. These professionals ensure their facility meets regulations, oversee activities and manage childcare workers. Day care directors must have state licensure and complete some postsecondary education.

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Day Care Director Certification

Most states require day care directors to be licensed by the state and certified by a professional association. The Council for Professional Recognition offers the Child Development Associate (CDA) designation, which is a component of the licensing regulations in most states (

The Council reports that as recently as 2013 there were over 300,000 childcare providers in the United States with the CDA designation. Eligibility for the CDA program involves a minimal number of hours of childcare education and experience working in a licensed childcare facility.

Day Care Director Training

Education and training requirements for day care directors vary by state, but generally include a combination of coursework and experience prior to obtaining a license. Some day care directors transition out of teaching, which can fulfill many of the training requirements for administrators.

Most states require directors be at least 21 years-old with a minimum of a high school or equivalent diploma, successful completion of a training program or relevant college coursework, plus experience in a licensed child care facility. The level of experience required can be decreased for students who complete an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program in child development, early childhood education, education administration or other relevant areas.

Day Care Director Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for preschool and childcare center directors from 2012 to 2022 is expected to grow 17% ( The BLS also notes that growth in this field is due to the increase in the number of preschool-age children who need care. The median annual salary for preschool and childcare center administrators was $44,890 in 2013, reported that BLS.

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