How to Become a

Daycare Director

The complete career guide to be a Daycare Director: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $52,760
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 6.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

A daycare director responsible for the successful operations of any day care center and monitoring administrative management.  This career path includes managing a wide range of staff and ensuring that the institutional goals and curriculum are balanced.

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What is a Daycare Director?


As a daycare director, you are expected to perform the following tasks effectively:

  • Provide motivation to staff through personal merit, whether it is maintaining site cleanliness, developing relevant programs, promoting classroom leadership, partnerships with corporate players and upholding top health and safety standards.
  • Keep track of enrollment statistics ensuring that there is active communication with all families concerned, helpful events like open houses and accurate agency promotion.
  • Address any complaints by parents and ensure excellence in customer relations through an approachable attitude and efficient follow-up; this also includes coordinating communication with prospective clients and monitoring wait lists where required.
  • Monitor the overall performance of staff such that they are knowledgeable about best practices, while giving advice on professional opportunities to managers.

Day In The Life

The primary day to day task of every Daycare Director is to effectively supervise all staff at the center. This can consist of various activities, ranging from interviewing and recruiting dependable staff members to keeping fingerprint records up-to-date. You may also review staff performance by observing them interacting with children and tracking how regularly they are filing their timesheets. Employees are what make a successful day care center so priority must be given to best possible candidates by the Daycare director, in accordance with applicable protocols. must recruit the top candidates and ensure they adhere to all protocols and requirements.

In addition, this role is essential when it comes to creating decisions for the educational curriculum offered by the facility. It is up to you to coordinate with all teachers and make sure that the programmes and learning plans offered comply with state and federal requirements while also aligning with the expectations of parents.  Furthermore, in this position, you would be expected to lead on managing the center’s building structures – e.g. confirming that the safety equipment are in place and in working order, the facility maintains good hygiene, and that all supplies or equipment are taken care of.

Work Schedule

Daycare directors generally work full time. When the childcare center is open, the director is expected to be present at the facility, occasionally coordinating schedules with directors and assistant directors to make sure that someone in management is always available. In case the childcare facility or preschool is a public enterprise or independent venture, directors must fall in line with the instructions of the owner. In case the director is also the owner, that individual is responsible for setting the operation protocols.

Growth Of The Job

Employment opportunities as a daycare director are expected to grow by 17 percent up to 2022, which is faster than average compared to other national occupations. With the increasing number of working parents, additional support will be required to care for their children, expanding the demand for relevant positions such as preschool and daycare directors. Further, childhood education is now widely being recognized as a crucial part of the child’s development, making the need for daycare directors and related roles more important than ever.

Typical Employers

As a daycare director, you can expect to work at a nursery school, a daycare facility, a preschool or pre-kindergarten center, but the job responsibilities are usually similar throughout.

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How To Become a Daycare Director

The educational qualifications required for a daycare director varies depending on whether a daycare center is privately owned or publicly funded. If it is a public childcare facility, you must at least hold a bachelor’s degree. In case of a private institution, you may only be required to have a high school diploma in order to oversee day to day functioning of private day care job duties.

One way to maximize your chances of working as a daycare director is by capitalizing on opportunities where you can work as a student teacher. Most preschool or childhood education degree coursework involves you working with an experienced teacher at an elementary classroom. This is valuable knowledge that prepares you for real-life classroom situations. Whether it is being able to determine curriculum standards or understanding the physical or emotional needs of young children, work experience as a preschool teacher can be an important leverage when seeking job opportunities in this market.

Daycare Director Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Daycare Director salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Daycare Director's can make an average annual salary of $52,760, or $25 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $35,150 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #358 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Daycare Directors

  • 13.2%   Doctorate
  • 44.8%   Masters
  • 23.5%   Bachelors
  • 5%   Associates
  • 8%   College
  • 4.6%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Daycare Director job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 4,200 jobs for a total of 68,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 6.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #342 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Daycare Directors

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Child day care services 32,700 2,600 3%
Self-employed workers 6,200 300 0%
Elementary and secondary schools; local 4,300 300 0%

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