Qualifications of an Assistant Director in Daycare

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Assistant directors play important roles in the everyday activities of daycares.
Assistant directors play important roles in the everyday activities of daycares. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Daycare centers provide safe, stimulating environments for preschool-aged children to learn and grow. Assistant daycare directors have big responsibilities, and although they may not hold as much weight as directors, they fulfill similar job requirements. They might have less experience than the director and still need to obtain certifications. Some assistant directors are qualified to be directors, but prefer a less demanding schedule and level of responsibility.

Formal Education

As with most administrative positions in childcare, assistant directors generally need a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, psychology or a related field. They should complete coursework in areas like education, psychology, nutrition and speech development. Some daycares hire assistant directors without college degrees if they have many years of experience. Having a degree gives you a leg up, however, and can shorten your road to becoming an assistant director. Some assistant director positions even require a master’s degree in a childcare-related field, which usually takes two years to complete.

Experience and Training

Assistant directors generally need at least a few years of experience working in a daycare before employers consider them for the position. Ideally, they should have a few years of both administrative and teaching experience. Training for the position generally happens on the job once a candidate is hired. During training, which can last from a few weeks to several months, new assistant directors learn their job responsibilities and how to execute them properly.

Skills and Personal Qualities

Being an assistant daycare director can be a difficult job that requires a specific set of skills and personal qualities. Candidates should love children and be fully committed to helping young people learn and grow. They should be diplomatic, cooperative individuals with excellent interpersonal skills. Strong communicative abilities, both written and oral, are also desirable. Patient, caring, understanding individuals are best suited to this position.

Certification

Some assistant daycare director positions require certification from professional associations. Common required certifications include the Child Development Associate credential from the Council for Professional Recognition and the Child Care Professional designation from the National Child Care Association. To obtain these certifications, individuals need to complete the experience and educational background requirements designated by these organizations.

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