Management and leadership careers

Early childhood leaders include managers and coordinators in education, care and government settings.

A range of leaders play a vital role in the early childhood sector to support the learning, development, health and wellbeing of young children.

Early years manager

Early years managers, formerly known as kindergarten cluster managers provide professional leadership and management for community based kindergarten services.

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • employment and management of staff
  • improving the quality of services
  • apply legal, regulatory and policy requirements
  • strategic and business planning
  • risk and financial management
  • working with parents, local government and other service organisations

Find out more about early years management

Children’s services manager

Children’s services managers work in a variety of early childhood services, including long day care, family day care, occasional care and kindergartens.


  • direct and supervise early childhood educators (formerly known as child carers)
  • develop and coordinate programs to enhance the physical, social, emotional and intellectual developmentof young children
  • ensure centres are safe and comply with relevant government standards
  • liaise with parents
  • maintain records and accounts for the centre
  • understand and apply relevant legal, regulatory and policy requirements including the National Quality Framework, Education and Care Services legislation and regulations and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.

Salaries vary depending on the employer, service and role. As an example, in loca lgovernment services salaries can range from $59,220 - $98,780 a year.


School subjects

Useful subjects include:

  • English
  • maths
  • business
  • health and human development
  • psychology

University, VET and TAFE courses

  • Certificate II in Community Services Work
  • Certificate III in Education and Care
  • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Diploma of School Age Education and Care
  • Diploma of Business Administration
  • Advanced Diploma of Management
  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
  • Bachelor of Education - Early Childhood
  • Bachelor Degree in a related area, followed by a postgraduate qualification in education, specialising in:
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Bachelor of Early Childhood – Education and Care
    • Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies