A daycare director provides a safe, nurturing and educational environment in which young children, normally preschoolers, can thrive. He is generally expected to provide a physically safe environment that includes child development toys, games, books and activities to educate children and inspire their creative thinking skills. He also may manage a well-trained staff with the experience to fulfill these care and educational requirements.
To guarantee the safety of the facility, the daycare director should ensure that all furnishings and fixtures are childproof. This includes installing protective devices and locks throughout the premises. Guidelines for many security measures are often mandated by local and regional regulatory agencies and may be inspected for compliance. Required fire and carbon monoxide detectors are normally checked on a regular basis by the daycare director to verify their reliability.
Toys and games are normally chosen based on child development guidelines to make sure they have no small parts that are removable or put small children at risk. The daycare director is generally expected to regularly review the available playthings for safety issues. If industry recalls or warnings are issued, he should be immediately informed and take necessary precautions.
The staff of a daycare center often must meet a set of standards before being hired. It is the daycare director’s job to make sure the employees pass thorough background checks for criminal activity and complete certification classes in first aid before they are hired. He generally interviews the job applicants personally to make sure they meet high standards for communication, teaching and leading activities. If the center provides meals for the children, at least one staff member should be qualified to prepare snacks and meals that meet dietary guidelines and requirements for healthy childhood development.
Aside from regular interaction with his staff and the children, a daycare director generally communicates frequently with the children’s parents. Informal interchanges occur during the dropping off and picking up of the children. More formal discussions regarding learning or behavior issues may be addressed in privately held meetings. General conversations regarding policies, procedures and activities are normally engaged in with the employees and parents. New enrollment periods require interviews with parents and children interested in learning about the facility.
A daycare director’s job also entails a significant amount of managerial and administrative work. He is in charge of developing and presenting a budget to a board of trustees or owners for their approval. Licenses are expected to be kept current and regular reports are normally required by local and regional agencies. The director is usually responsible for generating invoices for services as well as paying bills related to the facility’s operation. He is also in charge of personnel administration, public relations, advertising and promotion.
The training and education required for a daycare director position vary considerably. Some facilities require only a high school diploma coupled with experience. Others require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in childhood development. In some areas, childcare certifications are available through junior colleges and adult learning facilities.