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What’s the role of a Centre Director at child care?

Published on Thursday, 17 February 2022
Last updated on Thursday, 17 February 2022

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A Centre Director is more than just a boss, because although they hold the most senior position at a child care service, this person is a leader, administrator, planner and relationship-builder.

They manage the day-to-day operations of the service, but wear many hats as they look after people, budgets, compliance and quality.

Centre Directors are mentors, problem-solvers and forward-thinkers who are focused on delivering quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) in partnership with staff and families.

A great Centre Director will make a real difference to your experience of child care, so let’s look at the role in more detail.

What responsibilities does a Centre Director have?

A Centre Director is sometimes called a Centre Manager, and it’s their job to ensure that the service runs smoothly and provides quality education and care.

Affinity Education says they, ‘Play a vital role in the success and reputation’ of a child care centre, and generally speaking, a Centre Director is responsible for:

  • Recruiting, managing, supporting and leading child care staff
  • Building respectful and reciprocal relationships with families that respond to their needs and expectations
  • Maintaining a safe and healthy environment for children, families, staff and visitors, by ensuring policies and procedures are followed and legislation is complied with
  • Making sure the centre delivers on the requirements of the National Quality Framework
  • Managing the centre’s budget, performance and resources, and
  • Managing enrolment enquiries, tours and orientations.

Petit Early Learning Journey says Centre Directors, ‘Provide effective leadership and educational direction to deliver quality outcomes’ in the service, and they also create bonds with the local community, including schools and allied health professionals.

Instead of just being pen-pushers, Centre Directors drive the quality and continuous improvement of their service, and successful ones have a genuine focus on people, as well as practicalities.

Goodstart describes its Centre Directors as, ‘The heart and soul of our centres,’ and if your child’s service has a warm and inclusive feel, you can put a lot of this down to your Centre Director.

All in all, they’re qualified and experienced professionals who may not be in the classroom with your child, but are deeply committed to their education and care.

What should you look for in a Centre Director?

When you approach a new child care service, its Centre Director will be your first point of contact, and from the outset, you’re looking for a child care leader who communicates well and listens to what you need and expect for your child and your family.

Petit Early Learning Journey says they should be objective and understanding of your family’s individual situation, and a good Centre Director is, ‘Honest, respectful, non-judgemental, approachable, empathetic, supportive and organised.’

They’ll work through any queries or concerns you might have, and invest in building a respectful, responsive and ongoing partnership with your family to achieve the best possible outcomes for you and your child.

The Centre Director’s focus, like yours, should be to provide a safe, healthy, supportive, engaging and inclusive environment for your child.

Also, think about the kind of relationship the Centre Director has with their team. If the work environment is positive and educators seem motivated, happy and supported, then there’s a very good chance that your child will feel the same.

You can search for quality child care here, and Adam Angwin of Goodstart Tuggerah is one example of an excellent Centre Director.

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