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Senior Director, Early Childhood Education

Union Settlement Association
Date Posted: 11/03/2023
Location: New York, New York
Salary/Wage: $100,000 - $115,000 a year
Job Type: Full-time
Work Arrangement: Onsite


Reporting to the Chief Program Officer, Families, Youth & Children and in conjunction with the President & CEO, the Senior Director, Early Childhood Education is responsible for overseeing all fiscal, operational, educational, compliance, evaluation, and program activities of Union Settlement’s Early Childhood Education program. The Senior Director, Early Childhood Education provides leadership and consistent development of Union Settlement’s comprehensive, whole-family approach to birth to five education programming which consists of multiple Early Childhood Education/Head Start centers across our impact area in Harlem. The Senior Director, Early Childhood Education must have significant experience in Early Childhood Education and the ability to oversee and manage a large, diverse high-quality education program, and be a strong, hands-on manager, of an educational program with approximately 130 employees.

Core Responsibilities

Oversight of program administration, initiatives, and monitoring of overall compliance with the Head Start performance standards and all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and requirements. The Senior Director, Early Childhood Education works collaboratively with the Senior Leadership Team to develop and implement the goals and objectives of the agency's strategic plan. The Senior Director, Early Childhood Education will lead and engage the Early Childhood Education team to develop innovative, creative, strategies to achieve the agency's Childcare and Head Start strategic goals with a primarily focus for assuring program mandates and standards for excellence are met on a daily basis. This includes developing recommendations for the structure, systems and procedures to facilitate efficient and consistent service delivery assuring that the program is strategically positioned for the future.



  • Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Early Childhood Education program to ensure that all program services are of the highest quality.
  • Coordinating and supervising the efforts of early childhood staff in developing and maintaining program components, including education, health, nutrition, social services, parent involvement, mental health, and disabilities.
  • Facilitates the continuing professional development of all staff as part of the commitment to excellence.
  • Provides and/or secures training and technical assistance for all staff.
  • Monitors the implementation and responsibilities of employees through observation, regularly scheduled supervisory meetings, team meetings, and review of files and documentation.
  • Maintains effective, appropriate communication with the Executive Team, including:
    • Attending all regular and special meetings, and committee meetings.
    • Providing a written report of the fiscal and programmatic status of the program and of the administrative activities since the last meeting, monitoring results, and strategies to resolve problems.
    • Communication of relevant information from the funding sources.
    • Provision of training and periodic refresher on their roles and responsibilities.


Fiscal Oversight

  • Maintains a close working relationship with the Chief Financial Officer and fiscal time for budget management to facilitate effective oversight of expenditures.
  • Maintains sound financial management over all Early Childhood Education program budgets, as well as helping Educational Directors manage their program budgets and ensure timely collection of parent fees.
  • Stays abreast and assures compliance with all funding source mandates, all applicable laws and regulations, and assures that standards which exceed the minimum are being met.
  • Reviews and analyzes monthly financial and statistical reports to assess the budget status and to initiate preventative measures if any problems appear to be predicated.
  • In conjunction with the Development team develops yearly funding applications for programs sustainability and enhancement.
  • Monitors the program's administrative cost, assuring it does not exceed the allowed amount.
  • Monitors the program's non-federal share to assure that the amount required is met. Meets with staff, parents, and the Executive team to develop strategies for increasing the amount of the program's accumulated non-federal share, if necessary.
  • Coordinates with Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer to negotiate final contracts for space, seeking to secure the lowest rate possible.


Operations, Compliance & Evaluation

  • Lead the implementation of comprehensive birth to five services including administration, operations, program initiatives, and ensures compliance with Head Start performance standards and all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and requirements.
  • Assumes an active role in the annual program self-assessment.
  • Assures remediation of any non-compliances found in delegate or grantee assessment and incorporates recommendations into planning for the improvement of the program.
  • Oversees and monitors agreements for the purchasing of goods and services; assures that bids are solicited in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  •  In consultation with the team, assures that classrooms and playgrounds are well-equipped.


Enrollment, Partnerships and Community Engagement

  • Representing the agency and maintaining strong working relationships with the Administration of Children’s Services (ACS), NYC Department of Education (DOE) and other government agencies, Day Care and Head Start employees’ unions, and other community and city-wide organizations.
  • Reviews the current program model and develops strategies to ensure full enrollment in all Early Childhood Education/Head Start centers and the Family Early Childhood Education Network.
  • Partners and collaborates with the Delegate Agency Policy Committee (DAPC) of Union Settlement, including facilitating elections to the DAPC and employee recruitment.
  • In conjunction with the Family Services Worker, assures that the program serves the number of eligible children for which it is funded.
  •  Reviews and analyzes monthly Attendance Reports to assess chronic absenteeism and use individual child attendance data to identify children with patterns of absence that put them at risk of missing ten percent of program days per year.
  • Develop appropriate strategies to improve individual attendance among identified children, such as direct contact with parents or intensive case management, as necessary.
  • Works with other organizations in the community to foster collaboration as defined by federal Head Start.
  • Conducts a yearly complete Community Assessment for need and impact.
  • Reviews, mediates, and resolves community complaints about the program, seeking input from staff, parents, or the Executive Committee, as needed.


Education, Curriculum & Performance Standards

  • Oversee the development and implementation of curriculum and educational activities that promote school readiness.
  • Responsible for overseeing data collection, monitoring, and Head Start five-year goal evaluation systems to measure program effectiveness.
  • Collaborate with staff to develop, implement, and maintain an intergraded program that is efficient and effective.
  • Provides guidance and leadership to staff to emphasize the importance of the program achieving high standards of quality, internally and through public and private sector partnerships.
  • Reviews management and leadership materials and program-related materials to keep abreast of developments in comprehensive early childhood programs.


  • Master Degree Preferred.
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, and a minimum of five years professional leadership/management and supervisory experience preferably in educational non-profit.
  • State Certified and 2 or more years of group teacher experience for children under 6 Years old ideal for related coverage.
  • Significant experience in administration, including knowledge of State licensing requirements and Head Start Performance Standards.
  • Strong knowledge of best practices and systems in the field of early childhood Head Start and/or Day Care.
  • Experience in design and delivery of training.
  • Strong computer skills, including internet and e-mail, excel and the ability to learn new systems as needed.
  • Current enrollment in Child Care Division – Central Background Registry.
  • A strong desire to help improve the lives of the residents of the local East Harlem. community, and an ability to listen to and address parent concerns with care and compassion.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Sustained concentration and ability to handle multiple tasks often simultaneously.
  • Significant diagnostic and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to direct and assess the performance of program supervisors and consultants.
  • Ability to handle highly stressful and sensitive situations in a professional manner.
  • Ability to interpret and implement complex policies and regulations.
  • Ability to work independently and maintain professional boundaries and confidentiality.
  • Ability to exercise tact and discretion in all employee interactions.
  • Frequent sitting for long periods using a computer keyboard, telephone and other office machines.
  • Strong organization and time management skills, ability to meet tight deadlines.


Minimum Education Level: Bachelor's Degree
Preferred Education Level: Master's Degree

Application Instructions:

Additional Information:

Core Competencies 

  • Leading Others: Creates a sense of urgency throughout the organization on the importance of achieving outcomes. Inspires, influences, and enables team members to reach their goals.
  • Facilitating Change: Approaches challenges with creativity and flexibility. Demonstrates analytical thinking. Guides change to meet Union Settlement’s goals.
  • Managing Performance: Evaluates and revises goals semi-annually with the team. Provides consistent supervision and documents performance highlights and concerns.
  • Applying and Developing Expertise: Embraces and leads the team to achieve milestones. Seeks and supports professional development opportunities for team members. Manages finances and budgets effectively.
  • Communicating and Collaborating: Listens well and actively engages with others with honesty and integrity and holds team accountable to the same standard.


Union Settlement’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commitment

Union Settlement is an equal opportunity employer. They do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law.



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