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Become A Childcare Centre Director


Salary: $67,000 – $85,000+
Minimum Qualifications: Diploma of Early Childhood Education
Skills: Leadership, Communication, Administration, Planning
Experience: Management experience generally obtained from being (2IC).
Weekly hours: Average 41 hours



A Childcare Centre Director is the most senior position employed at a childcare centre and is responsible for managing the day to day operations. Their key duties include the overall planning, administration, marketing and resourcing of the centre. They also are heavily active in parent discussions and are the primary point of contact for families. Depending on the size of the centre they may also be involved in the development of programs and activities for the children.

General responsibilities:

  • Recruitment, coordination and supervision of childcare staff
  • Developing programs to grow the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of the children
  • Ensure the centre and staff comply to safety standards and government regulations.
  • Managing the centre’s finances and procurement of supplies
  • Interacting with parents and meeting their need and expectations
  • Maintaining order within the establishment
  • Accountable for the overall success of the childcare


What does a Childcare Centre Director do?

Being the Centre Director isn’t just about being the person in charge. More to the point, being a good educator may not mean you’ll make a good Centre Director. In this role much of your time will be spent outside of the classroom, so if working directly with kids is what you enjoy, this may not be the job for you. There is no particular way to ‘become a Director’ however you can maximise your chances by doing some things.


Skills and Experience

What makes this position different to other childcare positions is management and administration experience. As you will be in charge of a large number of staff, you will have a lot of responsibility and centre owners will need a high level of confidence that you can do the role.

The easiest way to get this experience, is from time as the Assistant Director (or 2IC). As the Assistant Director is required to stand in for the Director from time to time, they will have been exposed to similar experience. Of course you will need to start somewhere, and if you’re an Early Childhood Educator looking to move up in the world, the best place to start is as a Team or Room Leader. Over time you will gain experience coordinating the other Educators in the room and get a feel for being a manager.

A good Centre Director will also have a lot of hands-on experience. Those who began as Educators will know how centres operate from the ground up. There’s nothing worse than being told what to do, from someone who’s never done it before.



To be Centre Director you will need at the very least a Diploma of Early Childhood Education (or Children’s Services).  This is also the minimum qualifications for an Early Childhood Educator. The Diploma is offered at many TAFE or Registered Training Organisations throughout Australia and is generally completed in 12 months.

To take the next step, you could also undergo an Advance Diploma of Children’s Service which will provide you with additional skills and knowledge to become a Director. The qualification primarily focuses on leadership skills in the childcare environment.

Although not necessary, many high end childcare centre’s will seek out candidates that also possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. As the bachelor can take up to 4 years to complete, you may be study you’ll need to undertake whilst working. It is not uncommon for childcare centre’s to require their newly appointed Director to undertake the Advanced Diploma or Bachelor whilst on the job.


Salary Expectations

On average, Centre Directors can expect to earn between $67,000 and $75,000 per year. However, with large Childcare Centres, more qualified candidates could be offered salaries up to $85,000+. As your experience and skills grow, so will your earning potential. And unlike many other childcare roles, Centre Director salaries are not influenced by government standards.


Who’s the role for?

Similar to other childcare roles, the majority of Centre Directors are female (97%). The role calls for a confident and resilient personality. As you will be dealing with a variety of staff and parents, you will need to be able to handle yourself and manage awkward situations. Some traits of a good Centre Director include:

  • Good judgement and initiative
  • Business and commercial knowledge
  • Decisive and mature
  • Strong leadership skills.
  • Good communication and mediation skills
  • Basic accounting and mathematics


Employment prospects

There is a high demand for quality childcare centres in Australia. Many parents are often forced to put their child on a waitlist for their desired centre. A result of this, it has created a skills shortage across the childcare industry. With employment for Childcare Centre Directors having risen by 29% over the past 5 years and is expected to grow in 2024.

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