How Can I Become the Director of a Preschool?

Learn about what the director of a preschool does. Find out what kind of education and training you need to become one, where you might work and what the career outlook is for preschool directors. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Education Do Preschool Directors Need?

Preschool directors have usually worked as teachers before advancing to the administrative role of running a preschool. A bachelor's degree in early childhood education - or education with an early childhood education emphasis - along with courses in leadership or management provide you with sufficient academic credentials to lead most preschools. Prior work experience in administration is also helpful.

Early childhood education programs focus on the learning potential of children from infancy through preschool, and in some instances, they cover the early elementary grades. Program content examines language acquisition, the physical and psychological stages of development and the cultural factors affecting a child's receptivity to instruction. Teaching methods, child evaluation, special needs children and early literacy are other likely course topics. Most programs include student teaching internships. Virtually all accredited programs also meet their respective state's licensing requirements for early childhood teachers.\

Where Do Professionals Work?

A majority of preschools are affiliated with day care services. A smaller but significant number are part of public school districts and private schools. The remainder are run by individuals, civic organizations and religious groups. Although figures on the total number of preschool facilities weren't available, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that about 58,900 people worked as preschool directors as of 2008 (www.bls.gov). Between 2008-2018, employment is projected to increase 12% to about 65,800 workers.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

Your overall objective as a preschool director will be to make sure that your facility and its programs are well managed and that they provide young children with a safe, nurturing environment. Your specific duties will fall into the areas of outreach, instruction and administration.

Outreach duties might include obtaining feedback from parents via phone, e-mail or face-to-face meetings, developing promotional materials, purchasing advertising and setting up for public events. Hiring, training, supervising and evaluating teaching staff, consulting with teachers about the curriculum and assisting in the classroom as needed are among your possible instructional duties. Administrative duties include establishing policies and procedures that comply with state child care regulations, preparing budgets, maintaining registration records and incident reports, purchasing equipment and supplies and conducting safety inspections.

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