Although specific duties vary by employer, they typically include program development, supervision of staff, administration of records and direct care of children
Program Design Duties
One of the most important duties of a day care manager is to design the program the day care uses in its day-to-day operations. The program includes a schedule of daily activities to entertain, stimulate and educate the children at a level appropriate to their age; a balanced and nutritious snack and meal plan; a consistent and reasonable plan for dealing with disciplinary issues; and plans for dealing with emergencies such as a fire in the facility. The plan must also ensure that the facility is kept clean, sanitary and well-organized.
Staff Supervision Duties
The day care manager is responsible for hiring and supervising any staff who work at the facility. This includes finding new staff when needed, selecting the best candidates for the position, training and motivating staff members, evaluating the performance of staff members through a review process, helping staff members with their professional development and taking steps to deal with any problems. Because all staff at a day care facility are responsible for the safety and well-being of children, it is especially important for the manager to select candidates with both the skills and temperament needed for the job.
Day care managers are in charge of budgeting, recordkeeping, maintaining client files, purchasing anything needed by the facility such as new equipment or art supplies, and interacting with parents. The manager must be conscientious about issues such as the proper handling of funds and the privacy rights of clients. The manager must also be able to interact with parents in a welcoming and pleasant way. Parents and staff must feel that they can approach managers freely with any issues that may come up.
Direct Care Duties
The manager often works in the office on administrative duties while staff supervise the children and implement the program. However, the manager is also expected to be actively involved in direct care of the children whenever possible. Some children attending the day care may display signs of developmental problems or family issues. In some cases, the manager may need to intervene to ensure that a developmental problem is properly dealt with or that a child is protected from harm. This may involve contacting a social worker, depending on the circumstances.