The Early Childhood Site Director is responsible for the planning and launch, overall management, supervision of staff, and family and student acquisition for the JCC Early Childhood program at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue. The Early Childhood Site Director focuses on best practices and supporting teaching teams in meeting our vision of emergent curriculum with a constructivist approach to learning. The Early Childhood Site Director will foster and develop deeply connected relationships with children, families, and staff as they offer curricular support for educators and make the learning visible and valued for our families. As families grow with our program, the Early Childhood Site Director will work to build engagement and look for stewardship opportunities throughout the agency.
- Embody JCC’s Early Childhood philosophy with passion, warmth and integrity to parents, educators and peers.
- Proactively understand and assess trends, community needs and identify opportunities for innovation and growth.
- Understand and communicate JCC mission and impact to staff and program participants.
- Partner with the Apachi Evanston Camp Director to develop and execute family and joint engagement opportunities to increase enrollments and deepen community connections.
- Partner with the onsite Apachi Evanston Day Camp Director to seamlessly transition children/families between programs.
Curriculum & Program Excellence
- Be responsible for curriculum excellence and utilizing a Jewish lens which incorporates Reggio Emilia principles and a commitment to Outdoor Classroom.
- Ensure the staff provides a dynamic Jewish context for children to learn about themselves, Jewish values, their community and the world.
- Support, train and mentor staff in emergent curriculum, the Reggio Emilia approach, documentation and classroom-home connections.
- Maintain compliance with DCFS licensing and JCC Chicago policies.
- Confer with teachers, Social Service staff, parents and specialists to be alert to the needs for early intervention; responsible for implementation of recommendations of Social Service Team.
- Facilitate tours, attend community gatherings, and actively recruit new families.
- Warmly welcome and greet parents and children on a daily basis.
- Maintain timely and effective communications with parents to ensure a quality customer experience.
- Engage with new and prospective families through various engagement programs both on- site and outside of the facility and program.
- Establish, maintain and assist the Family Involvement Group, ensuring that parents are active stakeholders in the school community and build a community within JCC.
- Be knowledgeable about all JCC programs and ensure that staff is actively and effectively stewarding families through offerings.
- Work with families to seek feedback, resolve issues, and offer engagement opportunities.
- Create and execute consistent on-boarding processes and professional development for new teachers.
- Interview, hire, train and supervise teaching staff. Create annual goals, staff development and training plans and facilitate the staff evaluation processes (both formal and informal).
- Provide oversight and guidance to teachers and administrative staff in managing substitute staffing and family events.
- Build a collaborative and collegial community within classrooms and across JCC Chicago departments.
Business Operations & JCC Partnerships
- Evaluate site performance, growth strategies, and competition, customer and staff feedback and pricing/product strategies.
- Proactively engage in community outreach and engagement to build program registrations and deepen community connections.
- Work closely with Operations Manager and facilities of Beth Emet
- Serve as a meaningful liaison and partner with Beth Emet clergy and professional staff.
- Become an expert in security policies and procedures. Be able to support and lead team in emergency situations.
- Work closely with Community Engagement and Apachi Day Camps teams to determine mutually beneficial ways for various departments to work and program together.
- Proactively develop and maintain collaborative relations and synergy with agency operations staff to ensure and deepen the customer experience.
- Actively participate in department and agency-wide events.
Essential Job Duties (Physical duties):
- Lift/move children up to 40 lbs.
- Demonstrate physical stamina and agility required to be mobile for long periods throughout the day.
- Ability to operate equipment such as phone, computer keyboard, calculator and standard office equipment.
- Repetitive movement of arms and hands to operate computer, keyboard and mouse.
- Vision: must be able to distinguish between colors, shades and brightness with ability to focus.
- Move from sitting (chair and floor) to standing position easily and quickly.
- Stand for long periods of time and be able to run and actively engage physically with children.
- React with physical and mental alertness in emergency situations.
- Use hands for grasping classroom equipment and play material.
- Supervise children by sight and sound.
- Diaper children in accordance with DCFS requirements.
Monday-Friday, specific schedule to be defined; occasional weekend and evening hours per program needs
- Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, Elementary Education or related field.
- Minimum of 23 hours in Early Childhood college course work.
- Master’ degree in Early Childhood Education highly preferred.
- Minimum 3 years supervisory experience in an Early Childhood environment.
- Previous experience with DCFS requirements.
- Demonstrated experience with emergent curriculum and outdoor classrooms.
- 2+ years within a Reggio Emilia inspired school, highly preferred.
- Ability to demonstrate and lead with JCC Chicago’s Four Core Values: Self-Leadership and Accountability, Creativity and Innovation, Teamwork and Collaboration, and Customer Service.
- Outstanding customer service skills with a demonstrated passion for children and families.
- Highly organized and detail-oriented with proven ability for follow up & follow through.
- Demonstrate the ability to learn to develop and maintain budgets.
- Highly business acumen, verbal and written communication skills, conflict management, listening, and decision-making abilities.
- Have a proven ability to model “Best Practices” with staff and families.
- Ability to provide resources, support and recognition to staff.
- Be flexible and adaptable and able to work collaboratively with EC and agency-wide staff, parents and community members.
- Demonstrated intermediate level proficiency in MS Word, Excel with the ability to learn other technology as needed.
- Demonstrated knowledge of Jewish culture and values with previous Jewish programming experience.
JCC Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual preference, gender identity or expression, marital status, apparent or non-apparent disability, veteran’s status, or unfavorable discharge from military service in accordance with state and federal laws.