How To Become an Early Childhood Manager or Director

As an Early Childhood Manager or Director, you’ll ensure that all of the children at your early learning service are thriving and that the educators under your direction make a great team.

What is an early childhood manager or director?

An early childhood centre manager or director is a leader. They direct staff, oversee daily activities of their centre; develop curriculum; prepare plans to keep their programs running smoothly while staying up-to-date on new developments that affect them, such as changes within government regulations. Ultimately, they are responsible for ensuring their service meets the National Quality Standard for early learning and care services.

An early childhood centre manager/director is responsible for monitoring students’ progress and providing assistance in resolving any problems that arise among them or their teachers.

They also confer with parents and staff members about educational activities and policies to discuss issues such as behaviour patterns – both academically related (e.g., learning outcomes) but also non-academic and social matters like respect towards others at home/school etc. They will collaborate with other organisations to find specialised support for those children and families who need it.

Fulfilling this role means being able to set standards that will guide future teaching methods, ensuring compliance through direct supervision while also managing attendance and financial matters.

How to become an early childhood manager or director in Australia

If you want to become an early childhood manager or director, there are a few things you need to know.

Most states require early childhood centre managers to have at least a senior secondary school certificate or equivalent, but some require VET qualifications (e.g. Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care) or a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

To get a job as an Early Childhood Manager or Director, you’ll also need to have several years of experience working in an early childhood setting. Finally, you’ll need to be able to pass a background check and have a clean criminal record.


The minimum requirement to be an early educator is a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. It takes around 12-24 months to complete depending on whether you study full time or part time. 

You can complete a diploma as part of a traineeship to work while studying part-time. 

You will be required to complete a certain amount of mandatory work placement while completing your studies. What better way to learn than to balance theory with the practical skills you’ll pick up on the job?

Degree programs cover subjects such as child development strategies for teaching young children; how they should be observed and guided; monitoring a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development; and more. These typically require 4 years of full-time study to complete.

Work Experience and Jobs

Many early learning and care providers offer traineeships, so you can work as an educator while you gain your qualification.

ELACCA members operate more than 2,300 early learning and care services across Australia, educating and nurturing more than 243,000 children. Together, our members provide almost 30 per cent of the nation’s early learning and care places. Reach out to our member network to learn how to become an early childhood educator (childcare worker) in Australia..

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