How Much Should I Pay My Daycare Business Manager

Now that you own your own daycare, it’s time to hire qualified staff, decide their pay rates, and get them trained and ready for opening day. You must be asking yourself, “How much should I pay my Daycare Manager?”.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a Daycare Manager averages $48,210 per year which equates to $23.18 per hour. The pay rate you decide for your Daycare Manager can be higher or lower based on education background and past hands-on daycare experience.

As the owner, could I be the Daycare Manager?

If you want to be your own Daycare Manager while also operating the facility as its owner, you can do that! However, you could be spreading yourself too thin by handling the duties of a Daycare Owner and Daycare Manager simultaneously. We recommend assigning managerial duties to a qualified Daycare Manager so that you can take care of ownership responsibilities.

What is the educational background of a Daycare Manager?

Daycare Managers can hold a high school diploma and work their way up in ranking at their local daycare from Childcare Worker to Daycare Teacher to Daycare Manager.

Many daycares prefer that Daycare Managers hold an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. The more education that a Daycare Manager holds, the more certified they will be in their role in the eyes of your state’s local Department of Children and Families.

In this case, an aspiring Daycare Manager who is currently a Childcare Worker or Daycare Teacher should inquire the current Director about the daycare’s education requirements for becoming a Daycare Manager in the future. As the aspiring Daycare Manager gains professional childcare experience at their local facility in a lower rank, he or she can attend college to get their Associate’s and/or Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education simultaneously.

What if my pool of applicants does not have as much experience?

If neither of your applicants hold an Associates or Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, keep an open mind in possibly hiring a candidate with a high school diploma and some years of daycare experience. Help someone just starting out in the workplace be able to advance their career even if they do not have professional degrees.

How Much Should I Pay My Daycare Business Manager

What are the required certifications for a Daycare Manager?

Aspiring Daycare Managers must acquire their Child Development Associate (CDA) certification that reassures families that their children are getting the utmost professional child development experience during their child’s enrollment period.

Acquiring the CDA certification is an exhaustive yet rewarding because of the number of hours involved in the process. The candidate must complete 120 formal childhood education training experience hours. A minimum of 10 hours each in the 8 CDA core subjects must be done to satisfy the overall 120 training hours.

The candidate will have 3 years to work 480 hours of professional childcare experience inside their local daycare. This will be the most valuable part of the certification process. The aspiring Daycare Manager will learn:

  • How to professionally and patiently help children to learn and grow.
  • Techniques to develop childcare education programs to put it in place at the daycare.
  • Ways to handle a variety of problems in the classroom if Childcare Workers or Daycare Teachers are unable to handle it.
  • The licensing and training requirements for the daycare for when state regulation checkers come in for an inspection.
  • How to create professional development workshops to benefit Childcare Workers and Daycare Teachers to do their jobs better.

To find out more information about how to get a CDA certification for a childcare facility servicing children ages birth to 5 years, visit here.

How many years of experience is viable to hire a qualified Daycare Manager?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics page about Daycare Directors, they usually need less than 5 years of experience. A CDA certification can take a maximum of 3 years, but it can take less time depending on how many hours is worked each work.

If the candidate is working as a full time Daycare Teacher and is putting in over time every week, the certification process can take maybe 2 years. Once the candidate has acquired this certification, they can begin work as a Daycare Manager right away.

What are a Daycare Manager’s duties?

A Daycare Manager’s duties are supervisory in nature. By overseeing staff and making managerial decisions about daily daycare operations, the Daycare Manager will have a busy schedule.

A Daycare Manager’s duties include:

  • Reporting to the owner about daily happenings in the daycare.
  • Supervisory responsibilities over the Childcare Workers and Daycare Teachers.
  • Creating the educational program and standards for the daycare.
  • Being sure that classroom instruction is only the highest quality.
  • Helping staff to communicate with children patiently to solve problems.
  • Helping staff to communicate appropriately with parents during pickups.
  • Heading meetings with parents to discuss children’s progress in learning and development.

Find out more information on a Daycare Manager’s duties by visiting this Bureau of Labor Statistics page.

How Much Should I Pay My Daycare Business Manager

What are the key skills of a Daycare Manager?

The skills a Daycare Manager needs to successfully operate the facility include:

  • Organization skills
    • Having daycare workers and teachers follow a set routine for the children daily.
    • Keeping paperwork organized and tidy in the office.
    • Taking notes during phone calls to relay to the correct people.
    • Make checklists of what has to be done throughout the day to be sure everything is finished by the end of the workday.
  • Leadership skills
    • Make the final decisions for the daycare while the owner is absent.
    • Be the face of the daycare when parents come to drop off and pick up their children.
    • Be an example for workers, teachers, and children by acting professionally and courteously.
    • Leading staff in professional development not just on training days but every day on the job.
  • Multi-tasking skills
    • Handling a variety of tasks simultaneously.
    • Keeping the company phone by you to take calls as you do you conduct your rounds to classrooms every couple hours.
    • Completing paperwork while on hold with someone on the phone.
    • Interviewing new workers while having to oversee nap time.
  • Problem-solving skills
    • Mediating problems in the classroom that Daycare Teachers cannot solve.
    • Working with parents if a problem occurred with their child if something unfavorable happened while the child was at your daycare.
    • Quick thinking to solve dire problems immediately.
    • Making a decision about a problem child whether they should be suspended or expelled for his or her continually poor or disruptive behavior.

What should be the pay rate for my Daycare Manager?  4 Questions to Ask Yourself

The pay rate you decide for your Daycare Manager is based on your discretion. You do not have to pay the BLS average of $23.18 per hour just because that is average. Whatever pay rate you decide, ask yourself the following questions.

1.   How many years of daycare experience has he or she had?

Daycare Managers should have at most 2-3 years of experience after finishing their CDA certification. If they have 4 or more years of daycare experience, consider a higher competitive rate that matches their years of experience.

2.     What is his or her education background?

If the candidate only has a high school diploma with 3-5 years of daycare experience, consider offering a lower base $3-$5 below the national hourly average. This can be their pay until he or she secures their Associates and/or Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

If he or she is currently pursuing one of these degrees, agree to raise the pay by $1-$2 per hour once the Associates degree is finished. The pay can be raised by another $2-$4 upon completion of their Bachelor’s degree. Again, base pay, competitive pay, and pay raises are all up to you.

If the candidate has a degree in a related or even completely different field, that is ok, too. Give other candidates a chance to make a career change.

3.     What leadership experience has he or she had in the past?

A teacher of any kind can be considered a leadership experience. Whether the candidate was a Daycare Teacher or a teacher in elementary, middle, or high school, take special consideration of said leadership experience when deciding the final pay for your Daycare Manager. Remember that leadership experience in a related field can also be considered.

If the candidate had leadership experience outside of the Early Childhood Education field but has children of their own or worked volunteering to help children, consider giving him or her a chance at a satisfying career change.

4.     What special skills does he or she have that will set them apart from other Daycare Managers?

Does one or more of your Daycare Managers have a special talent that they can bring to the daycare? Maybe they can update class bulletin boards if teachers are too busy to do so. Maybe they have years of experience as an Administrative Assistant and can answer the phone at the daycare more professionally than other candidates. Whatever the special skill, consider this when creating a competitive pay rate for the Daycare Manager you choose.


Whatever the pay rate you decide for your Daycare Manager, let it be fair and desirable for the candidate without breaking your bank. Take education, daycare experience, special skills, and leadership skills into account when deciding the final pay rate for the Daycare Manager you decide to hire.

How Much Should I Pay My Daycare Business Manager

Related Questions

How do I figure out the licensing requirements for a daycare in my state?

Visit your state’s government web page to discover the daycare licensing requirements under the Department of Children and Families section of the website. Every state has a different set of requirements, so be sure you are looking at your state’s specific licensing requirements and not that of another state’s mandates.

Who is the Department of Children and Families?

The Department of Children and Families is a government agency with a branch in each state of the country in the United States. It oversees proper daycare licensing and regulations are upheld and that children are only getting the highest quality education during their young lives. They also make sure that children are not abused or neglected at home.

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.

Once you hire your Daycare manager, you will need our startup course and documents to move to the next step.

How Much Should I Pay My Daycare Business Manager