Director of Childcare
Erie Neighborhood House, a progressive social service agency serving the Chicago metropolitan area and dedicated to promoting a just and inclusive society, is seeking a Director of Childcare. Reporting to the Senior Director of Programs, the Childcare Director’s basic function is to oversee the programmatic implementation of Erie House Childcare department and mental health initiatives. The Director provides leadership, vision, focus, and direction to ensure the highest quality early childhood program based on current best practice in the field. The Director motivates, educates, and supports the staff; nurtures and strengthens the relationships between staff, children, parents, and families in accordance with the department mission; and advocates on behalf of the program internally and externally across the larger community, city and state.
- Administers and coordinates the Erie House Childcare Program, providing leadership and direction to maintain the mission, vision and philosophy of the Program.
- Creates and implements innovative models for childcare services (Early Head Start, Head Start, and Preschool for All) and mental health initiatives that will enhance programming for children and their families.
- Works collaboratively with the Senior Director of Programs to create and set a strategic plan to ensure continuity of high quality care, scaffold growth, and secure financial solvency of department.
- Responsible for complying with all licensing, monitoring, and compliance requirements, including the Illinois State Board of Education, Federal Head Start Performance Standards, Department of Family & Support Services, Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation standards, and all city and state licensing requirements.
- Hires, trains, and sets expectations for all current and new staff, including supervising and mentoring a talented team comprised of an associate director, education coordinator, psychologist, lead teachers, assistant teachers, social worker, parent coordinator, family workers, interns, and intake department.
- Develops and administers a substantial budget for the Childcare Program, including complying with and utilizing Erie House’s large public contracts from the Chicago Board of Education, Illinois Department of Human Services, Head Start and Early Head Start, and Illinois State Board of Education.
- Devises collaborative training plans with staff to support professional development, including state-of- the-art program models and strategies, best practices, and industry standards.
- Facilitates recognition of staff achievement and commitment to create and sustain positive team culture.
- Supports staff in the inclusion of children with special needs, and as appropriate, provides specialized training in this area.
- Identifies needs of parents to supports parent activities, with the Childcare Team, Parent Support Coordinator and parents.
- Fosters the leadership skills of parents through shared governance on the Erie House Childcare Parent Council.
- Assures that the Erie House Board of Directors includes representation and participation of the Council.
- Advocates for policies and new paradigms that strengthen the childcare field's provision of affordable and quality childcare services. This includes involvement and participation in committees, work groups, childcare related boards, and other advocacy bodies both city and statewide.
- Oversees the compilation of and provides appropriate data, documentation and materials for dissemination working in conjunction with the Development Department and Database Administrator.
- Oversee all emergency situations, including injury and/or illness, parental custody/pick-up issues, and possible fire/severe weather evacuation conditions. Establish and maintain departmental policies and procedures for all situations; enforce with staff the practice of drills for site safety, etc.
- Communicates regularly with the Director of Operations regarding facility maintenance to comply with state licensing and accreditation requirements.
- Ability to work a flexible schedule which may include days/evenings/weekends, as needed by department or to ensure coverage to meet licensing requirements
Qualifications and Requirements
- Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development or related field required with minimum number of credits in Early Childhood Education/or equivalent, and Administration, per Department of Children and Family Services (Title 89, Chapter III, Subchapter e, Section 407.130). Master’s preferred.
- Illinois Gateway Director Level 2 credential required
- Experience working in a diverse community (cultural and linguistic diversity, multiculturalism, etc.)
- Demonstrates the following qualities: self-motivated, self-directed, collaborative, follows direction, exercises good judgment, accountability, and possesses refined customer service skills, including professional courtesy and dependability.
- Strong ability to respond immediately and independently to emergency situations.
- Bilingual (Spanish) preferred.
- Minimum of 3-5 years in an administrative/leadership position, including 1-3 years of experience working directly with children in a school or licensed center.
- Exhibits sincere interest in working with children and is knowledgeable regarding children's development and growth.
- Physical constraints required include the ability to lift and carry children and other items weighing up to 50 pounds, particularly during evacuation of the building during emergencies
Offer of employment contingent on ability to complete all forms and meet all legal requirements set forth by the Department of Children and Family Services for this position including a Criminal Background Check, Fingerprinting, and a Child Abuse and Neglect Background Check.
Erie Neighborhood House is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Accredited by NAEYC & National Afterschool Association; recognized by Board of Appeals (BIA)*
United Way Member