Preschool Director Certification and Training Program Information

Learn about preschool director certification. Find out about training programs, potential coursework, employment prospects upon completion of a program and continuing education information.

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Essential Information

A preschool director manages day-to-day activities and makes decisions about a preschool center's operations, curriculum, staffing and finances. Most directors hold teaching positions before moving into administration. Bachelor's degree and certificate programs can provide the education generally needed to enter this career.

A preschool director certificate program generally consists of three to six classes in childhood development and administration topics. Most include an on-site mentorship or hands-on learning experience at a contracted early education site. Graduates are normally eligible to sit for any examinations that may be required by their state of residence to work as preschool directors.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants for preschool director certificate programs typically must possess at least a bachelor's degree and have verified experience working with young children in a development program. A grade of 'C' or better in each class is also a typical requirement.

Program Coursework

Classes in preschool director certificate programs concentrate on child development, safety, nutrition and curriculum for educational programs. Some of the typical courses are listed below:

  • Principles of early childhood education
  • Child health, development and growth
  • Creative experiences for young children
  • Child health, safety and nutrition
  • Early childhood professions
  • Administration of child care and education
  • Methods in curriculum development
  • Strategies in early childhood guidance
  • Children in multi-cultural societies

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education administrators of preschool and child care centers earned a median annual wage of $43,950 in May 2012. The BLS estimated that these workers will have a 25% job growth rate for the years 2010 through 2020.

Continuing Education Information

Some states require continuing education to maintain certification or licensure in early childhood administration. This requirement varies, and preschool directors should verify what education is necessary to obtain up-to-date education and units for licensure. Administrators of private schools are not subject to this requirement, although most do require postsecondary preschool education and credentials.

Preschool directors can also obtain voluntary certification by meeting specific experience and training guidelines. For example, The National Child Care Association (NCCA) offers a National Administration Credential (NAC), and the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is offered by the Council for Professional Recognition.

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