Program Director Competencies

The Competencies for Program Directors of Early Childhood and Afterschool Programs expand the existing core competencies for both early childhood and afterschool professionals. They describe the additional knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed in an administrative role.

The term “Program Director” describes the role of the person or team of people responsible for the day-to-day operation, supervision and administration of a program. It is used broadly and represents a variety of titles used in programs serving children and youth, such as: director, manager, site supervisor, specialist, executive director, coordinator, owner or administrator.

The Competencies for Program Directors consist of five knowledge areas:

  • Child and Youth Development
  • Families and Communities
  • Teaching and Learning/Curriculum and Learning Environments
  • Healthy and Safe Environments
  • Professionalism and Program Organization

Subheadings breaking the core knowledge areas into smaller chunks, and describe more specific components essential to the position of a director.

All of the competencies are relevant for continuing professional development as a director in this field, however individual job descriptions determine which competencies are relevant for a particular job.  Acquiring most of the competencies and having knowledge of all the competencies promotes growth and development for both the director and the organization.