The Challenge & Opportunity
DC is a national leader in early childhood education. We provide universal, full-day, publicly funded pre-Kindergarten for 3- and 4-year olds, and we continue to make deep citywide investments to improve quality and access to early care.
As DC’s state education agency, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has focused on early childhood education as a key strategic priority. OSSE’s 5-year strategic plan aims to further leverage DC’s significant investments in this area to ensure more of our children enter school ready to learn—by improving the quality of care for infants and toddlers, helping more vulnerable families access quality care and improving the transitions between early childhood settings and the early grades.
We are looking for an Assistant Superintendent of the Division of Early Learning who is inspired by the vision that early learning can help close the achievement gap and ensure people of all ages and backgrounds are prepared to succeed in school and in life. We are looking for a strong leader who loves building relationships and collaborating to make a difference for young children and families, especially those who are most vulnerable. The work of the Division of Early Learning is focused on continuously improving access to and quality of early care and education in the District, leveraging resources at the state agency - including policy, funding, and data - and building ecosystem capacity to maximize impact.
The assistant superintendent serves as a member of the agency’s leadership team and reports directly to the state superintendent.
What you will do
Management, Leadership and Collaboration
- Inspire and lead a division with an approximately $160 million annual budget and 110+ employees, including overseeing, mentoring and problem solving with 8 direct reports across the division’s five units: operations and management, licensing and compliance, quality initiatives, policy, planning and research and early intervention.
- Lead cross-agency and citywide initiatives related to early learning systems.
- Serve as a member of the agency’s leadership team; work closely with other colleagues in programmatic and operational areas to achieve the agency’s five-year goals.
- Refine and operationalize the division’s five-year goals and priorities as part of the agency’s new 2019-2023 strategic plan.
- Maintain key relationships with the early childhood community, including child development facility operators and directors, DC Association for the Education of Young Children, the DC Head Start Association, the DC Early Learning Collaborative, District government agencies and philanthropic partners.
Policy and Program Design
- Set and implement early childhood policies for child care, pre-K, early intervention, licensing and quality initiatives.
- Serve as the state administrator for the $16 million Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) for the District.
- Continue work on the $10 million federal Preschool Development Grant, Birth to Five (B-5), including cross-agency and District-wide collaboration and the implementation of an early childhood integrated data system.
- Lead the continued implementation of Capital Quality, the District’s redesigned quality rating and improvement system for child development centers.
- Partner with DC Public Schools and the Public Charter School Board in the annual evaluation of all pre-K classrooms in the District.
- Ensure effective early intervention services by setting policy that drives improvement in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C and Child Find programs, and by supporting the full implementation of Natural Learning Environment Practices.
Implementation and Oversight
- Oversee the team that ensures the health and safety of children enrolled in nearly 500 licensed child care facilities through monitoring and enforcement of licensing regulations.
- Oversee the administration of child care subsidy policy and payments to providers.
- Lead implementation of $30 million annually in grants and programs that support improved quality of early childhood care and education and prepare children for kindergarten, such as workforce scholarships and professional development opportunities, pre-k expansion and enhancement funds and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership/ the Quality Improvement Network.
What you bring to OSSE
- A proven track record leading large and diverse teams, including strategic planning, cross-sector collaboration and system building
- Deep belief in the importance of building relationships, and experience in effectively engaging and working with a diverse range of stakeholders
- Expertise and perspective on the unique challenges and opportunities in early childhood education, this may include
- Bachelor or master’s degree in early childhood education or a related field,
- 7 years of experience in early childhood, education leadership, government or a related field, and/or
- 5 years leading and managing an early childhood organization
- Knowledge of early childhood care and education and federal early childhood programs, including CCDBG, Head Start and IDEA Part C and Part B 619
- Unquestionable integrity, and strong leadership and management skills—including great instincts for gauging the relative urgency versus importance of any given issue, and the grit and enthusiasm needed to set, meet and exceed ambitious goals
- Passion for educational equity and a commitment to believing all students can learn and achieve at high levels.
Notice: Career, Management Supervisory Service, and Educational Service positions at an annual salary of $150,000 or more will be required to establish residency in the District of Columbia within 180 days of the effective date of the appointment and continue to maintain residency within the District of Columbia throughout the duration of the appointment.
Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected].