Day Care Administration Career Prep

MSM101 / Hours: 375 / Access Length: 12 Months / Delivery: Online, Self-Paced
Retail Price: $3,535.00 / Materials Included

Course Overview:

In this course, we will become familiar with the development and management of a child daycare center, including such elements as child development theories, legal considerations, bookkeeping, staffing, site management, and parental involvement.

The goal of a quality day care facility is to provide child care that meets the needs of each child and family in a safe, educational environment.At a quality center, the workers and management strive to meet the individual needs of each child, while providing qualityreliable and safe child care.

This course prepares students for the Council for Professional Recognition Child Development Associate (CDA) certification exam.  The cost of the course INCLUDES the cost of the certification exam. 

Curriculum Developer Biography:

Willow Nolland is an expert in education and eLearning, with more than ten years of experience in curriculum development and instructional design. She has worked in higher education for over twelve years, and has developed numerous courses and has been involved in curriculum development across disciplines. She has experience with academic program development and coordination, curriculum development, student learning outcomes, educational partnerships, and student development. In addition, she has developed and administered professional development programs for various groups, including teachers, counselors, healthcare workers and members of private industry. She is a certified Quality Matters Reviewer and has taken graduate courses in online course development. She designs and teaches online courses at the college level and is proficient in a variety of course management systems. She has helped educators redesign their courses to transition them from a face-to-face format to an online format, and has provided course editing assistance to others. As a freelance instructional designer and curriculum developer, her projects have included course editing and redesign of online continuing education courses for nurses, CEU curriculum development for healthcare workers and teachers, and course review and editing for various colleges and universities.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1: Managing Children's Centers in the 21st Century

In this lesson we will discuss the challenges and trends in the modern Childcare Center industry.  We will define standard terms, explore core competencies required, identify stages of professional development required for center directors, and discuss population trends that influence early care and education.

Lesson 2: Types of Child Development Programs

In this lesson, we will explore 5 types of child care programs, comparing and contrasting them.  In addition, we will discuss financing methods for child development programs and the advantages and disadvantages of each.  Finally, we will become familiar with a systems approach to providing child care services.

Lesson 3: Applying Theories in Managing a Child Development Center

In this lesson we will become familiar with and discuss a variety of methods for managing a child development center.  We will discuss the importance of theory and describe 4 types of child development theories as well as how they are applied by child care managers.  In addition, we will discuss 5 management processes and the ecological systems framework.

Lesson 4: Reflective Management

In this lesson, we will examine the importance of self-reflection in effective management, management and leadership styles, emotional intelligence, types of decisions, and prioritization.

Lesson 5: Organizational Management

In this Lesson we will discuss organizational management and stakeholders, including a working knowledge of the many regulatory systems governing program operation, an understanding of the reasons for the regulations, and the ability to manage the program within those constraints.

Lesson 6: Fiscal Management

In this lesson, we will discuss resources needed to start and maintain a child development program, sources of funding, costs, and budgeting.  In addition, we will discuss the relationship among parents, staff, salaries, and quality of care.  Finally, we will identify strategies for managing finances of a child development center.

Lesson 7: Personnel Management

In this lesson we will discuss the steps involved in the job design process.  We will discuss the role of authority, organizational structure, and span of control in coordinating the jobs in a child development center.  In addition, we will overview the steps involved in staffing a child development center.

Lesson 8: Human Relations

In this lesson, we will discuss the motivation of staff, as well as the importance of understanding their needs and desires.  We will become familiar with techniques that foster effective communication with and among staff members.  In addition, we will discuss the importance of professional development along with the elements of a performance appraisal system.

Lesson 9: Facilities Management

In this lesson, we will discuss the considerations and day to day practicalities of managing facilities, including upkeep, location needs, building codes, and custodial issues.

Lesson 10: Managing Health and Safety Issues

In this lesson, we will discuss health and safety codes, worker-child ratios, the safety of equipment and facilities, background checks and legal considerations for workers, infection control, and other issues related to health and safety in the child care environment.

Lesson 11: Managing Food Service

In this lesson, we will discuss food service options for a child care center, child nutrition, food storage, budgeting and cost, guidelines for families, and food allergy considerations.

Lesson 12: Educational Programming

In this lesson, we will discuss the major approaches to learning and education in early childhood, including philosophies of child learning, common learning programs, and standards and objectives related to learning in the child care environment.

Lesson 13: Family Engagement

In this chapter, we will discuss the role of families in the child care environment.  Topics discussed will include family and parental involvement, volunteerism, legal considerations, and family/staff interaction.

Lesson 14: Marketing and Public Relations

In this lesson, we will discuss various methods of marketing the child care, including offline marketing, social media, online marketing, word of mouth, and promotion.

Lesson 15: Assessment and Evaluation

In this lesson, we will discuss the importance of excellence along with various means of assessment and evaluation, including surveys, objective assessments, standards-based assessments, and data-driven changes to a program.

All necessary materials are included.


This course prepares students for the Council for Professional Recognition Child Development Associate (CDA) certification exam.  The cost of the course INCLUDES the cost of the certification exam.   The Council for Professional Recognition Child Development Associate (CDA) certification exam is broken into four areas (students just have to choose one that fits the setting they want to work in):

  • Center-Based, Preschool - Work with children ages 3-5 years old
  • Center-Based, Infant-Toddler - Work with children ages birth-36 months
  • Family Child Care - Work with children ages birth-5 years old
  • Home Visitor - Work with families of children ages birth-5 years old

All areas require the following prerequisites before submitting your application:

  • Earn a high school diploma, GED or be enrolled as a junior or senior in a high school career and technical program in early childhood education.
  • Complete 120 hours of formal early childhood education training, covering the growth and development of children ages 3 to 5 years old, with no fewer than 10 training hours in each of the eight CDA subject areas.

Each area then has additional requirements after submitting your application.   More information on those individual requirements can be found here:

System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.

**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**