Early Childhood Lead Teacher

JCC Chicago | Chicago, IL, United States

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Posted Date 4/08/2024

JCC Chicago seeks dynamic, dedicated Lead Teachers to join our amazing team at our Lakeview location!

JCC Chicago is the largest JCC system in North America, with more than 800 staff in over 15 diverse locations across the metropolitan area. Our core program offerings include Early Childhood Education, Children and Family Engagement Programs, Aquatics, Arts & Ideas, Day Camps and Overnight Camp.

Classrooms are the first community. When we speak about community, we speak about places of sharing, learning, growing and connection. For some 800 young children in the Chicago area, the first community begins in JCC Chicago’s Early Childhood program.

We are committed to excellence, providing strong professional development opportunities and nature-inspired classrooms that allow our staff to be their most creative selves! With our ongoing commitment to maintaining the highest DCFS standards, we are looking for those who are enthusiastic about guiding each child to reach their full potential.

Job Summary:   

The Lead Teacher is a critical member of a team of educators, social workers and specialists who support the whole child through a developmentally appropriate curriculum that embraces Jewish life and complements what happens at home.

As a Reggio Emilia inspired Early Childhood program, we support the individual needs and abilities of each of our students through an emergent, play-based curriculum. We are looking for professional educators who are interested in growing with us!

Key areas of responsibility:

  • Be responsible for the safety and welfare of the children, supervising all children by sight and sound.
  • Lead your teaching team in implementing a program that includes elements of the JCC Chicago’s integrated secular and Jewish curriculum.
  • Provide and maintain an atmosphere which is conducive to emotional and cognitive growth.
  • Establish and maintain good communication and a strong sense of community with directors, staff, and parents.
  • Make families feel welcome by greeting them personally by name and be able to share specific information regarding their child.
  • Foster a collaborative, team-focused atmosphere, both in the classroom, teaching site and the agency as a whole.
  • Actively participate a minimum of 15 hours in staff meetings, trainings, and on-going development opportunities.
  • Lead your teaching team in maintaining DCFS and Illinois state standards.

Additional responsibilities:

  • Can speak to the developmental skills being targeted in learning experiences following discussions with parents, teaching team, and in documentation, including weekly newsletters.
  • Maintains education in Early Childhood best practices through professional development, reading, and active communication with directors and social services team.
  • Responsible for the written and photo content of all newsletters, portfolios, and mass communications to classroom families.
  • Leads regular, and meaningful, communication with families, including, but not limited to, in-person conversations/meetings, virtual meetings, emails, Kaymbu communication, bi-yearly parent-teacher conversations, and portfolios.
  • Takes initiative in, and has a global awareness of, all aspects of the teaching position including classroom management, daily tasks, social-emotional needs of children, moving effectively through daily schedule, adjusting to the needs in the classroom.
  • Demonstrates awareness of classroom environment, and physically moving through the spaces.
  • Responsible for classroom set up and preparation of lesson plans.
  • Always maintains respect for children and team.
  • Follows and successfully implements guidelines set forth by the Social Services department when raising any concerns about a child’s development or behavior in a classroom setting.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Key Essential Job Duties/Physical Duties:

  • Must be able to lift and move with children (up to 40lbs.)
  • Must demonstrate physical stamina and agility including the ability to be mobile for long periods throughout the day.
  • Demonstrated ability to move from sitting (on chair or floor) to standing position easily and quickly;
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time and be able to run and be actively engaged physically with children.
  • Must be able to respond to emergency situations, moving from sitting to standing, carrying children up to 40lbs and running quickly and effectively.
  • Must be able to supervise children by sight and sound.

Various morning, afternoon and full day shifts available

Job Category:
Union Professional        

Salary Range:
$19.00 -$29.50.            

Education Qualifications:

  • Associates or Bachelors degree or higher in Early Childhood, Child Development, Elementary Education or Early Childhood Special Education.


  • The equivalency of an Associates degree in Early Childhood, defined by NAEYC as at least 60 college/university credits with at least 30 college credits in Early Childhood, Child Development, Elementary Education or Early Childhood Special Education.


  • A Bachelors degree in any discipline with at least 36 college/university credits in Early Childhood, Child Development, Elementary Education or Early Childhood Special Education.


  • A CDA or 30 hours college plus 6 semester hours of ECE

Other Requirements:

  • At least 20 years of age.
  • A love for children and a passion for helping them reach their full potential. 
  • Ability to build relationships with families and coworkers and create a dynamic environment where children’s curiosity is encouraged and celebrated.

Employee Benefits and Discounts: (Benefits will differ for FT and PT employees, based on hours worked)

FT benefits may include medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance, sick, vacation & holiday pay. PT benefits may include sick, vacation & holiday pay.

Other Perks:

  • Free Fitness Membership (individual and family)
  • Free Apachi Day Camp Sessions
  • Free Community Engagement Programs
  • Ongoing JCC professional development and access to JUF Scholarship funding available!

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.

Salary19.00 - 29.50 Hour
Full Time
Early Childhood Lead Teacher
Organization Type
Community Centers
Retirement Plans | Dental | FSA | Life Insurance | Medical Insurance | Paid Holidays | Paid Vacation | Sick Days | Vision
Job Location
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