What would my career as an early childhood social and community service manager look like?

Not all early childhood education careers involve classroom work. Management opportunities are available for those candidates with the right combination of education and work experience. If you’re looking for an opportunity that merges working with young children and utilizing business skills, you might want to consider a career as an early childhood social and community service manager.

This role revolves around coordinating and supervising social service programs and community organizations. However, it also requires illustrating the effectiveness of programs through data. Because social and community service managers work with stakeholders and the community to identify and establish necessary programs and services, being able to prove their success is imperative.

Specific responsibilities vary based on the size of the organization. Smaller programs might have you take on many roles, while larger programs may require specialized duties, such as managing a single program within a larger organization.

Regardless of what size program you work with, the right combination of experience and education can help make you eligible to become a social and community service manager. If you’re looking to enhance your educational background, consider obtaining an Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (Early Childhood Education). The fully online Master of Education program at ASU Online covers a wide range of subjects pertaining to early childhood education, and the online offerings provide flexibility and customization to students alongside leading educational services. The combination of content areas studied provides a foundation to understand the needs of children from infancy through third grade and craft appropriate educational programs for them.

Manager addresses team in conference room

A typical day for an early childhood social and community service manager

Because this role requires you to oversee administrative aspects of the program or programs you manage, a typical day involves many different tasks. As a social and community service manager, you might:

  • Develop and manage the budget
  • Plan and manage strategies to advocate for and increase awareness of your program
  • Write proposals for additional funding
  • Recruit, hire or train staff as well as supervise them

Showing the impact your program is having on the young children enrolled is also a daily component of your job. To highlight successes in your program, you’ll need to establish appropriate methods for gathering data, be able to analyze it, and then clearly present the results to key stakeholders. You’ll also need to be able to suggest and implement program improvements based on the data. All of this work helps to ensure your program’s continued success.

A closer look at the professional landscape of an early childhood social and community service manager

 

Early childhood social and community service managers are only a small part of a larger career group that focuses on all social and community services. This includes working with the elderly, recovering addicts and others. As a result, this job category has many additional influencers shaping the landscape beyond programs specifically associated with early childhood education.

That being said, the expected growth for this career overall, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is above the average for all professions. From 2014 to 2024, social and community service managers are projected to experience a 10 percent job growth. Programs in early childhood education are not one of the primary factors directly affecting this growth, but a general increasing interest in early childhood education due to its positive impact on young children could have some effect.

The median salary for all social and community service managers, including those working in early childhood education programs, is around $64,000, according to the BLS.

Woman works with children at a table

Becoming an early childhood social and community service manager

 

Education and experience are important eligibility requirements for a career in early childhood social and community service management. You most often need at least a bachelor’s degree to apply for this role, although many hiring managers prefer candidates with a master’s, such as a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction. Additionally, having taken courses in statistics, program management and policy analysis may help you stand out as an applicant.

Related professional experience can often be equally important, and since this career choice is part of a broader field of social and community service, that experience can include both working as an early childhood educator or within the field of social work.

Important skills include:

  • Analytical thinking to evaluate data and provide strategic guidance to your program or organization
  • Effective communication to speak and write clearly, work well with your staff, and present to an audience during community outreach efforts
  • Managerial skills to support the budgetary requirements of this role as well as help you handle a variety of administrative issues
  • Strong time-management skills to prioritize and handle numerous tasks for multiple customers

Most of these skills can help you prepare for both the business responsibilities of this role and the management of people and programs.

Learn more about your potential career as an early childhood social and community service manager

 

Whether you choose a career in the classroom or outside it, you can learn more about expanding your qualifications for opportunities in early childhood education through the fully online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (Early Childhood Education) program from Arizona State University. This advanced degree is designed to equip you with a foundation of specialized skills and advanced knowledge that can help you prepare for a range of careers in early childhood education.

Sources:
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-1
https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9151.00
https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/graduate/master-education-curriculum-and-instruction-early-childhood-education

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