Early Childhood Program Director

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Founded in 1965 as part of the War on Poverty, Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) is one of 1,000 community action agencies across the U.S. and 23 in Massachusetts created to address disparities throughout the nation.  

Our values of advancing equitable access, elevating all voices, and partnering with people are embedded in the role we play as the federally designated anti-poverty agency for Central and South-Central Massachusetts. WCAC embodies service to the community through our Mission: Helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships, and advocacy.   

Our vision is to break the cycle of poverty one neighbor at a time. Through safety-net services and asset building solutions, WCAC creates economic mobility opportunities for tens of thousands of people annually through programs such as energy assistance, early education and care, financial empowerment, positive youth development, and career pathways.  

WCAC is committed to being a responsible and inclusive partner through strong collaboration and a shared client perspective. We are committed to advocating for policies that create equitable access to education, health, social, and economic systems. We are committed to a workplace culture with a shared passion for our mission that promotes teamwork, respect, and the opportunity to make a difference. 

About WCAC Early Education and Care Programs 

Through our Healthy Families, Early Head Start and Head Start Programs, WCAC provides a continuum of early education and care programming for families throughout Southern Worcester County prenatally through Kindergarten enrollment. We strive to support positive parent/child interactions through developmentally appropriate curriculum and activities for the whole family to participate in. Healthy Families is a home-based family support and coaching program that supports young, first-time parents and helps them create stable, nurturing environments for their children. Early Head Start provides intensive comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers through age three and pregnant women and their families. We currently operate two Head Start Centers, one in Southbridge operating 8 classrooms and the other in Webster with 4 classrooms. Both centers are licensed through EEC, accredited through NAEYC, and QRIS rated level 3. Head Start prepares pre-school aged children for school by offering center-based safe and fun education programs which incorporates learning and social/emotional skill development.  Children learn the “Kindergarten readiness” skills they need to do well in school. Families receive the support they need to meet and advocate for the needs of their children.  

WCAC’s Ideal Candidate 

WCAC is seeking a highly committed and experienced individual to provide leadership and oversight of our Early Education and Care programs located throughout Southern Worcester County.  The Early Childhood Program Director will focus on strengthening existing programming by sustaining and creating strong partnerships, overseeing, and strengthening the continuum of early education and programs, while expanding services designed to maximize access and meet people where they are for economic mobility and independence. Multi-cultural, multi-lingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. 

The Director is a full-time, year-round, exempt level position and is a key member of the WCAC senior management team. WCAC offers a competitive salary and excellent benefit package including health, dental, vision, life, 403(b) retirement plan with Agency contribution, flexible spending account, paid holidays, vacation, personal and sick time. 

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or related field, and a minimum of five years’ experience and proven success overseeing early childhood education programs. Knowledge in Head Start and EEC voucher systems is strongly desired.  A focus on working to strengthen the field of early education and care through professional development of staff and advocating for policies and funding to support the demand for quality programs will also be critical to the success and growth of the program.  A competitive candidate will have strong collaboration skills and desire to work as part of a team to meet the needs of families.  In addition, the ideal candidate for this position will possess the following knowledge and skills: 

  • Passionate about the field of early education and care and its role in supporting children and families.  
  • Skillful at influencing people with diverse perspectives towards common goals.
  • Able to analyze performance, program climate and culture and use data to create insights that drive better outcomes for children and families.
  • Ability to develop, lead and implement change management strategies, initiatives and processes for greater effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Experience effectively developing and managing a budget, understanding key business drivers.
  • Strong organization planning, critical thinking, and prioritization skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office and the ability to become proficient in Child Plus and other data bases used by the agency to include utilizing technology to work remotely effectively as needed.
  • Knowledge of Head Start Performance Standards and the ability to create policies and procedures for implementing the standards.
  • Knowledge of EEC and licensing requirements.
  • Experience with childcare subsidies is highly desirable.
  • Values employees at all levels, treating all with dignity and respect. An individual who relates easily to people from all walks of life; empathetic and compassionate.
  • Embraces a philosophy of advancing race, gender, and income equity to support equitable access to programs and services that help achieve economic self-sufficiency for participants. 

 Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Direct the planning, supervision, and implementation of the Head Start, Early Head Start, and Healthy Families programs, activities, staffing, development, services, and community relations.  
  • Foster shared decision making among stakeholders including program parents and staff. 
  • Provide direct supervision to the Head Start component directors and the Healthy Families Director. 
  • Prepare budget for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in coordination with Finance, and Policy Council. Monitor financial reports monthly with key agency management and Policy Council. 
  • Ensure the implementation of ACF, WCAC, DEEC, Policy Council, and other agency procedures, directives, contractual agreements, laws, regulations, and policies. 
  • Write program proposals, including the Head Start annual grant in consultation with WCAC’s Development team, CFO, management team, and Policy Council. 
  • Provide strategic planning for the Head Start and Healthy Family programs with assistance from the HS Policy Council, HF Advisory Committee, and the management team. 
  • Oversee program governance and assist in the development of the Policy Council. Provide training, guidance and support to the members and attend Policy Council meetings monthly.  Ensure information that requires Board and policy council approval is presented and voted by both governing bodies at the appropriate times. 

Interested Candidates may submit their cover letter and resume via email to hr@wcac.net or to the Human Resource Department, Worcester Community Action Council, 484 Main St, #200, Worcester, MA 01608. Deadline to apply is May 31, 2021.

Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity to all qualified employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, physical or mental disability, pregnancy or pregnancy related condition, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, membership in the uniformed services or any other classification which is protected under state or federal law.  

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