Education & Training

Early Childhood Centre Manager

Early childhood centre managers direct and lead staff, oversee daily activities in the centre, and prepare plans and budgets.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Early Childhood Centre Manager do?

Early childhood centre managers direct and lead staff, oversee daily activities, and prepare plans and budgets. They are responsible for all aspects of their centre’s program and operation.


Work activities

As an early childhood centre manager, you would:

  • monitor students' progress, and provide students and teachers with assistance in resolving any problems
  • confer with parents and staff to discuss educational activities and policies, and students' behavioural or learning problems
  • set educational standards and goals, and help establish policies, procedures, and programs to carry them out
  • plan, direct, and monitor instructional methods and the content of educational programs
  • direct and coordinate activities of teachers or administrators
  • manage attendance, accounting and personnel reports and records according to regulations.

Key skills and interests

To become an early childhood centre manager, you would need:

  • a commitment to children’s development and education
  • understanding of the laws around safeguarding children in your centre's care
  • the ability to work well with children, parents, carers, and other professionals
  • excellent organisational and time management skills
  • excellent communication skills
  • business management skills.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Early childhood centre managers generally work full time.


Early childhood centre managers work primarily in preschool and child day care services.


How to become an Early Childhood Centre Manager?

Entry Level Education

Most states require early childhood centre managers to have at least a senior secondary school certificate or equivalent, but some require a VET qualification or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Degree programs cover subjects such as child development, strategies to teach young children, and how to observe and document children’s progress. Employers may prefer candidates who have a degree in early childhood education, or at least some postsecondary education in early childhood education.

A number of early childhood centre managers are self-employed. The national regulator - the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority - has a checklist and a range of supporting resources on the steps you would need to take to open your own centre. This checklist covers legislation; service types; approvals processes; regulatory requirements; the National Quality Standard; and who to contact.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of early childhood centre managers is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Working parents will continue to need help caring for their children. The number of children who are of preschool age is increasing, leading to a greater need for childcare and increasing the demand for early childhood centre managers.

In addition, there is a continued focus on the importance of early childhood education, specifically preschool. Early childhood education is widely recognised as important for a child’s intellectual and emotional development. However, the amount of preschool funding available from State governments differs from state to state.


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