Child Care Management Associate's Degree
You can earn a child care management associate's degree to attain a leadership role at a day care. Keep reading to learn more about this degree program, including classes, and the career it can prepare you for. Schools offering Child & Family Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is a Child Care Management Associate's Degree?
You can earn a child care management associate's degree in about two years. Community colleges and technical schools around the U.S. offer child care degree and certificate programs. In most cases, you spend time observing and working in child care facilities, either on-campus or at a local day care center. Online variations aren't widely available.
Some programs hold titles such as early childhood education, early childhood administration, early childhood care or preschool management. Regardless of the official name, they provide the skills and knowledge you need to expand your opportunities from child care worker to manager, supervisor or owner of a child care facility. Additionally, a child care management associate's degree program provides a solid foundation for you to pursue a 4-year degree in teaching, psychology, social work or other areas. In some cases, you may need to earn an associate's degree in early childhood education followed by a certificate in management.
What Courses Will I Take?
Child care management associate's degree courses cover both the child care and business aspects of teaching and running a facility. You learn about childhood development, working with disabled children and relating to families. You also learn about teaching young children about art, music and science.
Other courses cover health and nutrition, financial organization, legal issues in child care and business fundamentals. They also address accounting, budgeting and licensing requirements. After completing your studies, you're able to spot signs of child abuse, balance budgets, train staff members, select teaching materials, mediate conflict, manage time and observe behavioral patterns.
How Do I Start My Career?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), child care managers typically have some teaching experience prior to taking on leadership positions (www.bls.gov). Each state has its own regulations pertaining to child care centers and preschools, the BLS said, but preschool administrators at public schools (rather than private day care centers) typically need to have at least a bachelor's degree.
Salaries in the child care field vary, but experience and education can help you advance. The middle 50% of all child care workers earned $7.75-$11.30 per hour as of 2008, the BLS said. In 2011, Payscale.com reported that 90% of child care center managers nationwide earned $22,387-$52,523 annually.
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