Always wanted to be a room leader? Here’s everything you need to know about getting there
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > Always wanted to be a room leader? Here’s everything you need to know about getting there

Always wanted to be a room leader? Here’s everything you need to know about getting there

by Freya Lucas

February 22, 2023

Room leaders in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings are special people, who not only have responsibility for the children in their care, but also for guiding and developing other members of the room team, directing programming and learning, and working with the leadership team to further the overall goals of the service. 


Stepping up into a leadership role is an exciting opportunity for many professionals, and room leadership can be the first step on a journey to bigger things such as assistant centre manager, centre manager, educational leader, early childhood teacher, or even operations management. 


In the piece below we explore what it means to be a room leader, and how to plan your career path to work towards that goal. 


What do room leaders do? 


The room leader role in an ECEC context is a role which allows professionals to take on a leadership role on a small scale. 


Most long day care settings, and some kindergartens, will operate across multiple rooms, typically divided into age groups. In larger centres, this may be divided into children under one year of age, children aged between one and two years, children aged between two and four years, and children aged four years and above. 


Typically each room will have a room leader who is responsible for managing various aspects of that space, including: 


  • Program planning in line with the early years learning framework (EYLF) 
  • Delegating tasks within the room – for example cleaning, speaking with families, completing observations or completing nappy changes
  • Communication with leadership within the centre
  • Contributing to the quality improvement plan and its goals 


The path to room leadership


Room leaders typically have experience within the ECEC sector, and an interest in progressing their careers in a leadership role. 


A common misconception is that room leaders must have a Diploma level qualification to hold the role, but this is not the case. There are no qualification requirements for a room leader role, although individual services may have preferences or requirements in this space. 


The Diploma qualification, however, can help emerging leaders to develop and grow as professionals, because it focuses on an educator’s ability to deliver valuable early childhood education programs for children, as well as mentoring others in the sector. 


During the Diploma, educators will learn about effective management skills, such as developing a cohesive team, staying organised, and prioritising and facilitating compliance in early childhood settings.


Being successful in the room leader role 


There are some skills which support room leaders which cannot be taught in a more formal or traditional sense. Known as soft skills, these are traits like patience, honesty, organisation, emotional intelligence, and cultural competence, all of which contribute to success in the role. 


Communicating continually with others, not only those being led in the role, but also with the leadership of the service, is another important aspect, along with being open to feedback. 


Read about a day in the life of a room leader here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button