Early Childhood Education Program Officer
Reports to: Deputy Director
Department: Early Childhood Education
Employment Status and Work Schedule
Exempt, full-time position, 40 hours per work week. Some evening and weekend hours required.
The Early Childhood Education Program Officer holds the overall responsibility for implementing and supporting activities to promote the professional development of early childhood education (ECE) providers and the quality of early childhood education programs. In collaboration with the Deputy Director, other First 5 Program Officers and other staff as necessary, the ECE Program Officer will lead the planning and implementation of early childhood school readiness projects and initiatives, and particularly projects that promote collaboration between the early learning programs and the K-3 grades.
The ECE Program Officer will have expertise in early childhood and a strong base of program design, implementation, budget management, project management, evaluation experience and technical skills. They must demonstrate the ability to effectively manage relationships, communicate professionally, develop community partnerships, build consensus and facilitate collective problem solving, and understand the unique responsibilities and accountabilities of representing a funding agency. The ECE Program Officer holds a leadership role and requires a person who works with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort. The ECE Program Officer ensures programs reflect First 5’s core values of diversity & inclusion, equity, cultural humility, and community partnership.
About First 5 Contra Costa
First 5 Contra Costa helps young children grow up healthy and ready to learn during the most important time in their development. We have nearly 20 years of experience funding innovative programs and advocating for policies that produce better futures for our children. Since our inception, First 5 Contra Costa has invested more than $140 million in Prop. 10 revenues to programs and services that help Contra Costa’s children get the best start in life.
Vision: Contra Costa’s young children will be healthy, ready to learn, and supported in safe, nurturing families and communities.
Mission: To foster the optimal development of our children, prenatal through 5 years of age.
Core Values: Our everyday work is grounded in our commitment to diversity & inclusion, equity, cultural humility, and community partnerships.
Learn more at www.first5coco.org.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Implement and support a variety of activities to promote the professional development of early childhood education providers and the quality of early childhood programs, including the Contra Costa Professional Development Program, Quality Counts California, Contra Costa Quality Matters, First 5 California IMPACT Program, HUB IMPACT, Ready Kids East County Project, and other related early childhood workforce initiatives.
• Oversee one or more strategies, programs, or grantees, requiring capacity building, technical assistance and grant management skills.
• Lead the planning and coordination of early childhood school readiness projects and initiatives, especially projects that promote collaboration and alignment between the preschool and early learning system and the K-3 grades.
• Partner with contractors and grantees, including school districts, County departments, community-based organizations, and grassroots efforts, to develop projects, identify needed resources, and define key outcomes and milestones, ensuring that appropriate monitoring and evaluation processes are established to support learning and produce focused evaluation of outcomes.
• Support the fund allocation process as requested, to include review and feedback on Request for Proposal (RFP) submissions related to feasibility of program components, implementation approach, and proposed outcomes.
• Work closely with contractors to achieve desired impact of grants by conducting site visits, providing technical guidance, convening meetings of key stakeholders, and by applying and monitoring milestone-based performance objectives.
• Collaborate as necessary to manage internal processes related to program areas, including contract administration, contract monitoring, budget development and monitoring, and evaluation.
• Represent the Commission to key external constituencies, or on committees or work groups related to area of expertise and responsibilities of the position. Participation may include preparing formal and informal presentations such as education and training events, attending conferences, participating on regional workgroups, and other meetings as necessary.
• Write and produce informative briefings and other materials on key issues for team members and the Commission as needed.
• Contribute to the development and implementation of services to improve the quality of early learning programs for children, particularly for those children who otherwise would have no access to high-quality programs.
• Plan and initiate projects and programs including professional development, site quality improvement, consultation, and the linking of early mental health, developmental screening and other practices related to early childhood education.
• Form partnerships and sustain collaborations with individuals and organizations to enhance implementation of programs and promote P-3 practices and policies.
• Monitor, evaluate, and analyze trends and policy issues relevant to early childhood education and related research and initiatives within California and the U.S.
Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
This position supervises the Quality Improvement Coaching Coordinator, three Quality Improvement Coaches, and the Early Childhood Education Program Assistant II.
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements
• A Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university in Early Childhood Education
or a related field and a minimum of 5 years of experience in early childhood program design and implementation. Two years of additional relevant experience may be substituted for a Bachelor’s degree.
• Experience developing program budgets; demonstrated ability to understand and use financial reports to monitor and manage program budgets.
• Ability to conduct targeted research, analyze information, summarize findings and make recommendations.
• Demonstrated ability to work with diverse personalities with a wide variety of cultural and professional backgrounds and experiences including Commissioners, staff and community partners.
• Ability to work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
• Experience working with a variety of public, private, nonprofit and grassroots organizational structures.
• Experience working with public funding and other sources of funding for early childhood education programs.
• Experience working in or with a funding agency, understanding of procurement processes, contract monitoring and evaluation.
• Experience developing cross-sector community partnerships.
• Ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, in varied settings and to different audiences.
• Effective project management skills including ability to manage several projects simultaneously while upholding quality standards.
• Critical and analytical thinker who can approach problem solving creatively and manage complex issues, while considering the needs of varied stakeholders.
• Strong organization and time management skills, with the ability to prioritize work, communicate with supervisor about work challenges, meet critical deadlines, and have great attention to detail with excellent follow through.
• Ability to model and promote organizational values and participate as a key strategic partner in the organization.
• Effective manager of people who can provide direction, guidance and feedback to strengthen knowledge and skills. Shows a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and values perspectives and encourages contributions by all team members.
• Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access).
• Proficiency using databases.
• Some evening and weekend hours required.
• Valid California driver’s license and automobile insurance required.
Preferred, not required
• Spanish fluency, both oral and written, is highly preferred.
• Experience working or living in Contra Costa County or the Bay Area.
• Experience working in a public or non-profit organization with an understanding of procurement, contracting and grant monitoring processes.
This job description describes the general nature and level of work performed. It is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and expectations required of the position. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change.
Salary and Benefits
Starting salary range is $80,627.38 to $102,306.40 commensurate with experience. First 5 Contra Costa offers a comprehensive benefits package.
How to Apply
Please visit www.first5coco.org for full job description and instructions on how to apply.
Incomplete submissions will not be considered. The position will remain open until filled.
First 5 Contra Costa is an Equal Opportunity Employer