Preschool Director: Job Description and Requirements

Preschool directors must have some formal education. Learn about the degree, job duties and licensure required to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

A preschool director is an administrator who is in charge of hiring staff, managing enrollment and overseeing day-to-day activities at a preschool. A preschool director typically needs formal education and state licensure.

Required Education Varies from a high school diploma, bachelor's or master's
Other Requirements State license often required
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 17% (preschool and childcare center directors)
Median Salary (2013)* $44,890 annually (preschool and childcare center directors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Preschool Director Job Description

A preschool director creates policies, manages staff and oversees daily operations. The director is the lead administrator of the school and handles problems with staff and students. They develop the curriculum and ensure the school meets any standards set by law. Other duties include teaching classes as needed, determining spending responsibilities and making admission decisions. Preschool directors work in public and private preschools.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012 preschool or child care directors held about 63,800 jobs (www.bls.gov). The BLS predicted the number of jobs for these education administrators wold grow 17% from 2012-2022, which is faster than average. The median salary for preschool and child care administrators, as reported by the BLS in May 2013, was $44,890.

Preschool Director Requirements

Education requirements for preschool directors vary among public and private preschools. It is standard for private schools to require a director to have at least a bachelor's degree, while public schools may not require a college degree. However, some public and private schools may require a master's degree.

A bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a related field offers students courses in child behavior, early childhood curriculum and teaching methods. A master's degree in early childhood education with a focus on leadership prepares students to become an administrator through courses in education administration, teacher preparation and policy.

Certification

Preschool directors also have the opportunity to earn the National Administration Credential (NAC) from the National Child Care Association. This credential is recognition that a person has the knowledge and skills needed to run a preschool. To earn the NAC a person must take the NAC course that covers topics including:

  • Organization development
  • Administrative planning
  • Marketing
  • Personnel management
  • Laws and regulations
  • Community relations
  • Finance

Licensing

Licensing requirements for preschool directors are set at the state level. Most states have a licensing requirement for preschool directors. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, for example, anyone serving as an administrator of a child care institution in Texas must hold a Child-Care Administrator License (www.dfps.state.tx.us). In Colorado, according to the Colorado Department of Human Services, any person serving as a director of a child care center not exempt under the regulations must hold an Official Large Center Director Qualification Verification Letter (www.cdhs.state.co.us).

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