Job Description Title: Early Learning Specialist Department: Program Services
Reports to: Director of Programs or Director of Professional & Workforce Development Position
Summary The Early Learning Specialist manages a caseload of early childhood centers, programs or schools and provides technical assistance, career advising, and professional development as needed or dictated by funding sources and program initiative goals. The position requires extensive regional travel and ability to work off site using technology. Early Learning Specialists work closely with other staff or community partners to support the ECE programs, centers, and schools. At First Up, a strengths-based perspective and approach to coaching is utilized. Whenever possible, a mutual learning partnership is created to share responsibility and accountability for project goals. Coaching is customized and every effort is made to establish trust and respect for educators and program leaders. A variety of coaching strategies and practices is employed to achieve goals. Early Learning Specialists must demonstrate integrity and professionalism in all contact with clients and partners and conduct business in a manner consistent with the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and First Up’s Mission and Core Values. Primary Functions • Assess needs and develop service plans with the program or school team to improve quality or meet initiative benchmarks at the program site or school. • Provide coaching, career advising, and professional development opportunities as assigned through collaborations with other partners, agencies, fee for service work, or as required by funders.
Strive for excellence in work by consistently using best practices, incorporating cultural competencies and employing relationship-based coaching and consultation practices. • Complete accurate and timely documentation of work including: visitation and tracking logs, service/action plans, data entry, program portfolio updates, and other reports using technology in an appropriate and efficient manner. Additional Functions • Work as part of First Up’s program services team and ensure positive relationships with all project partners and participants through effective communication, meeting attendance, and collaboration. • Participate in First Up events and public policy activities as needed. • Market First Up services consistently when in the community. • Attend professional development to enhance abilities to serve practitioners. • Maintain PQAS certification as both Instructor and TA Consultant. Remain current in first aid and CPR. • Other duties as assigned. Minimum Knowledge, Skills, Abilities Requirements Education Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education; advanced degree preferred. Specialized certifications welcomed. Related degrees and ECE experience considered. Experience • 2 or more years as an ECE practitioner in an early childhood program: NAEYC accredited or PA Keystone STAR 3 or higher center preferred. • 2 or more years as an educator in both ECE and Elementary settings for projects that span Preschool to Grade 3 Specific Skills • Expertise in one or more of these specialty areas: o Learning Program; Curriculum and Assessment; Child Development o Kindergarten Readiness and Transition o Career Advising; Professional Growth and Development o Leadership/Management/Business Practices o Health and Safety o Family Engagement o Community Partnerships • Knowledge of PA Keystone STARS and NAEYC accreditation and developmentally appropriate practices for ECE • Ability to employ a variety of consultation and coaching strategies that are based on appropriate and culturally competent practices and the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct. • Capacity to align consultation with professional development content. • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team. • Demonstrated effective organizational, communication, and time management skills. • Knowledge of PA DHS and PDE requirements for ECE programs. • Demonstrate proficient computer skills, including word-processing, databases, and internet use. • Ability to work independently with little supervision and to manage multiple task simultaneously
Required Clearances, Credentials, Licenses. • Must maintain PQAS certification both as Instructor and TA Consultant. • Maintain current FBI, PA Criminal Record and Child Abuse Clearances • Complete annual Professional Development Record and PD and TA Core Competencies Self-Assessments and Training Plan. • Complete/renew mandated reporter certificate. Working Conditions Job requires significant flexibility. Regional travel required – must be able to get to all sites in project via personal car or public transit. Limited work time in the office but must be able to juggle multiple priorities and responsibilities. Work is partially in an office environment and partially in the field. Job includes using office machines and may require ability to sit for long periods, stand, bend and lift up to 50 lbs. Must be able to carry and perform competently on a laptop computer. Some evenings and weekends required.