How to Become a Child Care/Daycare Centre Supervisor


Child care centre supervisors (also known as daycare centre supervisors) are basically responsible for ensuring that child care staff are doing their jobs. They’re charged with making sure the staff are feeding the children, educating and entertaining them, and most importantly, keeping them safe.


Becoming a child care centre supervisor might be a great career choice for you if you’re passionate about the care and development of children, you can work with both children and adults, and you’re someone who can keep others on task, and enforce rules and regulations.


Below, we’ve outlined how to become a child care centre supervisor. We've also included helpful supplementary information, such as a general job description, an overview of your future job duties, what your salary expectations would be, a list of possible employer types and much more!



Basic Criteria You’ll Need to Meet

To be considered for a job as a child care centre supervisor, most employers will require that you meet some, or all of the following criteria:


• You have a valid First Aid certificate

• You're trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and have a valid certificate

• You can pass a child intervention record check

• You can pass a criminal record check

• You have a valid driver’s license (in some cases)

• You have knowledge of a specific culture and language (in some cases)



Education & Certification You’ll Need

Most Canadian provinces and American state child care regulatory bodies will require that you have some level of government-issued certification before, or shortly after you begin employment as a child care centre supervisor. Most employers however, will require that you have it at the time you apply.


A major pre-requisite of certification is having completed (or working towards the completion of) a diploma, certificate or degree related to early childhood education, child care management, or a closely related field.


Please Note: Check with your provincial or state child care regulation authority regarding the exact level and type of education and certification you’ll need, as they will be able to provide you with the most accurate and current information.





Skills and Traits You’ll Need

To be successful and fulfilled as a child care centre supervisor, the work needs align with your skills, traits and ambitions. If you have the following attributes, this vocation might be a good fit:


• You’re interested in work that involves planning, implementing and evaluating activities and experiences to meet individual and group needs of children

• You’re passionate about the care, safety and development of children

• You have a natural aptitude in working with both children and adults 

• You can lead, direct and motivate others

• You can enforce rules and regulations 

• You can make informed decisions and have the initiative to follow up on them

• You’re respectful and tactful when dealing with people



More About this Career: General Job Description

As a child care center supervisor (or daycare supervisor), you would be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the child care center, ensuring that the care and attention the children are receive is consistent with the philosophy of the center. 


You’d also be also responsible for program planning, working effectively with staff, working with families and children, connecting with the community, mentoring students and various administrative responsibilities.



Typical Duties of the Job

Although the duties you would be performing would vary form job to job, you’d likely be responsible for the following duties and tasks:


• Maintaining a healthy, safe, welcoming, comfortable and fun environment for the children

• Liaising with local and regional Child and Family Services authorities

• Ensuring that all records are kept for children in the program

• Providing support and direction to caregivers regarding child development

• Conducting periodic staff meetings for the purpose of professional development

• Providing coverage for absent childcare givers when required

• Providing feedback and input for annual appraisals on each caregiver and all other staff

• Liaising with families, caregivers, sponsoring agencies and appropriate faculty

• Presenting a positive image of the childcare center to the public

• Providing input concerning budget preparation

• Preparing purchase orders and receiving deliveries

• Assisting with the recruiting and hiring process



Median Salary & Wage Levels

Unfortunately, salary figures from reliable sources weren’t available at the time of writing  (July 5, 2019) for the exact profession of ‘child care centre supervisor’. However, we can get a good idea of what they earn by looking at the salary of workers in closely related professions, including ‘preschool and childcare center directors’ and ‘childcare workers’.


Salary/Wage in the United States: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the ‘Preschool and Childcare Center Directors’ occupational group is $47,940 per year (May, 2018 figures), or $23.05 per hour. The BLS also states that ‘Childcare Workers’ earn a median salary of $23,240 per year, or $11.17 per hour.


Please Note: The amount you could earn as a child care centre supervisor varies (as it would in most professions), based on the following factors:


• Your level of education, experience and certification

• The size, type and budget of your employer

• Your level of responsibility within the job

• Your negotiating abilities 

• The region in which you will be working





Where You Could Work

As a child care centre supervisor, you could potentially be employed by the following types of organizations:


• Child care and daycare centres

• Family day homes 

• Out-of-school and after-school care programs

• Preschools and playschools

• Recreation centres

• Large retailers and other business

• Family support programs and resource centres

• Emergency shelters

• Hospitals

• Religious organizations

• Self-employment (as owner of a child care or daycare centre)



How to Get a Job as a Child Care Centre Supervisor

The most common way to actually get a job as a child care centre supervisor is to first work in positions of lower responsibility, and then move your way into the role when there’s an opening, whether it’s internally, or with a different employer.


Please Note: If you already have experience in child care/daycare work, take at a look at our job board below for supervisor jobs (or entry-level jobs, if you don’t have experience, or want more).



Job Board - Current Opportunities

If you're ready to get started in this field and are just looking for jobs, or you want to peruse some postings to see what kind of wages employers are offering, or qualifications they're looking for, then give our job board a try!



Typical Work Environment

Hours: The working hours of child care centre supervisors are usually commensurate with the operational hours of the facility in which they work. In some cases, they might work in shifts, such as if a facility is open beyond 8 or 10 hours per day. Both part-time and full-time jobs are common in this profession.


Setting: Child care centre supervisors work in a variety of settings, the most common of which include daycare facilities, recreation facilities, preschools, hospitals, recreation centres, and religious institutions. They often spend most of their day in an office, although they do spend time interacting with children, and meeting with parents and staff.


Conditions: The work of child care centre supervisors can be rewarding, but also involves some stressful responsibilities. Coordinating and interacting with staff, parents, and children can be fast paced.



Career Advancement Possibilities

With enough experience and a strong enough skill set, you could move into a position of greater responsibility and pay, such as a child care centre/daycare director, director, or even owner. 


Alternatively, with additional education and training you could move into other roles with related responsibilities and duties, such as ‘elementary school teacher’, or ‘social worker’. 



Guides for Similar Professions

Listed below are occupational guides in our database for careers that are similar in nature to ‘child care centre supervisor’, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities:


Child Life Specialist

• Daycare Worker

• Early Childhood Educator

• Elementary School Teacher

• Recreation & Leisure Supervisor

• Youth Counselor


How to Become a Child Care Centre Supervisor


References for This Guide

Please consult the following resources to learn more about what it takes to become a child care centre supervisor, and other details of the vocation:


Become a certified child care professional:Child care staff certification.” (n.d.). Government of Alberta. Retrieved July 5, 2019.

Occupational Employment Statistics:Preschool and Childcare Center Directors.” (May 21, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved July 5, 2019.

Occupational Employment Statistics:Childcare Workers.” (June 12, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved July 5, 2019.

Licensing Standards - Staff Qualifications:Child Care Licensing - Supervisor.” (September 1, 2017). Government of Ontario - Ministry of Education. Retrieved July 5, 2019.


Please Note: Some of the information for this career guide was sourced from online job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, have not been noted here as references.



Scholarships for Becoming a Child Care Centre Supervisor

The ‘Relevant Fields of Study’ section at the bottom of this page shows academic fields in our system that are relevant for becoming a child care centre supervisor. Scholarships matched to those fields of study are relevant to this career, and can be found on our Psychology Scholarships and Education Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Majors for This Career

The majors listed below can serve as an excellent foundation for a career as a child care centre supervisor:


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