Daycare Supervisor Careers: Salary Information & Job Description

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Get the truth about a daycare supervisor salary, training requirements and career prospects. Read the job description and see the pros and cons of becoming a daycare supervisor.
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Pros and Cons of a Daycare Supervisor Career

Daycare supervisors are responsible for day-to-day and planning operations at their center or for a program within a school. Review the following pros and cons to decide if this is the career for you.

Pros of a Daycare Supervisor Career
Opportunity to create positive experiences for children**
Plenty of jobs (17% growth in employment opportunities between 2012 and 2022)*
Leadership position***
Advocate of children's rights and needs**
Engage in play and creative activities*

Cons of Daycare Supervisor Career
Can be physically exhausting to care for young children*
Work environment and level of responsibilities can be stressful*
May have to work long or irregular hours (over 40 hours per week)*
Some jobs may require heavy-lifting (up to 50 lbs.)***

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **The National Association for the Education of Young Children, ***Santa Rose Community College.

Essential Career Info

Job Description and Duties

As a daycare supervisor, you'll typically oversee the proper care of children in daycare facilities. Although daycare supervisors may engage with children themselves, you are usually responsible for ensuring the employees are providing quality care. You may work in large daycare facilities or in a school setting. Responsibilities will likely include hiring, training and overseeing staff, planning programs and curriculum and taking care of budgetary concerns. Some positions may require you to plan events, like recreational activities and field trips. You can also expect to greet visitors and make sure that only authorized persons leave with or visit the children. Daycare supervisors also respond to any issues or questions from parents or staff.

Salary Information and Career Prospects

Daycare, or childcare, administrators made an annual median salary of $45,000 as of May 2014, according to the BLS. Employment opportunities are expected to increase by 17% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The increase is due to population growth among the number of children who require care. Additionally, the need for more preschool educational programs has increased due to greater awareness of the importance of early childhood education in a child's development.

What Are the Requirements?

Education, Training and Certification

Although it is possible for you to enter into this career as a daycare worker with very little education, most supervisory positions require postsecondary studies and experience in early childhood education. The coursework in early childhood education programs typically covers topics such as child development, creative childcare program planning, communicating with children and administration duties in childcare facilities. Programs are generally available at the certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels.

The BLS reports that most states require any person working in the industry to obtain the Council for Professional Recognition's Child Development Associate (CDA) certification; other states may recognize the Child Care Professional (CCP) designation offered by the National Childcare Association. In both cases, a high school diploma, work experience and related studies are necessary. Some employers may ask for other certification or licensing in addition to the CDA or CCP as well. For example, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing offers the Child Development Site Supervisor Permit, and having it is required by some employers. CPR and first aid certification may also be needed.

Needed Skills

Excellent communication skills with children, parents and co-workers are important qualities in this line of work. As a daycare supervisor, you must interact with all three on a regular basis. Since you will be writing reports, and other types of documentation as a supervisor, good writing skills are also necessary. Physical stamina and patience when dealing with children are also essential.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Job postings are plentiful for daycare supervisors, though the listings may include various administrative titles, like director, manager or assistant director, in addition to supervisors. Generally speaking, the job duties are similar, with minor differences in responsibilities at the assistant level. Read the below job postings from real employers in April 2012 to learn about other job requirements and duties.

  • A junior college in California is looking for a site supervisor in their Child Development Center. The site supervisor will be responsible for duties such as informing parents of program services and overseeing parent-teacher conferences. Hiring, training and supervising student assistants as well as planning and coordinating staff meetings are also among the job duties.
  • A pre-school in Pennsylvania needs a full-time daycare director with 3 to 5 years of related supervisory experience and an associate's degree (or higher) in early childhood education. Creating the staff schedule, maintaining enrollment and organizing outings are just some of the job responsibilities.
  • A daycare center in Virginia is seeking a supervisor to oversee the operations and administration of a daycare development center for physically and mentally handicapped children. The supervisor is required to design a system for safeguarding the children's health and safety. Planning nutritious snacks and meals, payroll and record keeping duties are also listed in the job description.
  • A daycare center in California is searching for a full-time site supervisor. Some of the job duties include designing, implementing and evaluating program goals, preparing budget requests for the program and managing instructors. The applicant should have at least some postsecondary education and experience in early childhood education to be considered.

How to Get Ahead in the Field

If you are considering going into this line of work, you can gain the practical experience most employers ask for by securing a part-time, entry-level childcare job during your educational training. Doing so may allow you to obtain a supervisory position after graduating. Those who have a bachelor's degree may also seem more attractive to potential employers than those with less education. Since some jobs require applicants to have a bachelor's degree anyway, you can increase your job prospects and potential earnings by going for what is typically a 4-year degree.

Develop Related Skills

You may also elect to take extra coursework to help you develop skills that are valued in this industry. With communication classes, you can build strong listening and speaking skills, which can be particularly beneficial in dealing with co-workers, parents as well as children. Additionally, accounting and general business classes may assist you in your administrative duties.

Other Careers to Consider

Elementary and Kindergarten Teacher

If you're more interested in education than administration, you might consider becoming an elementary or kindergarten teacher instead. These teachers educate young people during their foundational years of schooling. Like those employed in childcare centers, teachers must have patience as well as excellent oral communication and instructional skills.

To become an elementary or kindergarten teacher, you must have at least a bachelor's degree and be licensed in your state. Job growth is about as fast as the average for all occupations (17% between 2010 and 2020). Teachers do earn a considerable amount more than daycare supervisors; the BLS reported their annual median income was $53,000 in May 2011.

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers work in settings similar to childcares, but they generally focus more attention on educating children. Greater value has been placed on the importance of a preschool education, and this has contributed to excellent job prospects for these kinds of teachers. According to the BLS, job growth is expected to increase by 25% between 2010 and 2020, and it is possible to enter this career field without earning a bachelor's degree. However, the pay for preschool teachers is cut almost in half compared to kindergarten and elementary school teachers. The BLS reported annual median income of $27,000 in May 2011.

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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • MS in Human Services
  • Bachelor: Human Services/Child and Family Welfare
  • Certificate in Human Services

Which subject are you interested in?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Museum Studies
  • Master of Liberal Arts

What is your highest level of education?

Post University

  • B.S. in Human Services
  • B.S. in Child Studies
  • B.S. in Human Services / Human Services Management

Education Level:

Regent University

  • M.A. in Human Services - Human Services Counseling
  • M.A. in Human Services - Addictions Counseling
  • Bachelor of Science in Business - HR Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies

What is your highest level of education completed?

Northcentral University

  • PhD in Psychology - Gerontology
  • MS - Child & Adolescent Developmental Psychology (MSPSYCAD)

What is your highest level of education?

Penn Foster

  • Career Diploma - Child Care Professional

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Human Services

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Leo University

  • BA: Liberal Studies
  • AA: Liberal Arts

What is your highest level of education completed?