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Early Learning Center Director

Position: Early Learning Center Director

Supervisor: Executive Director

Schedule: 40 hours/week

Designation: Salaried, Exempt

Revised: December 2022


Pathways seeks a dynamic, innovative, and experienced childcare professional to manage teaching staff and center operations at Pathways’ Early Learning Center (ELC) for children experiencing homelessness.


Pathways is a shelter for women and children experiencing homelessness, and the childcare center is located in the downstairs of the Pathways shelter facility. It is open to children from all homeless shelters in the city, as well as families sleeping outside or in a car, in a hotel or motel, or doubled up with another family in a temporary living situation. The center has the capacity to serve 22 children ages 8 weeks to 5 years and is open Monday - Friday from 7:30-5:30. The ELC Director will be primarily responsible, under the supervision of Pathways’ Program Director, for providing guidance and support to the teaching staff and cultivating an environment in which children and their parents can feel safe, secure, and well-educated.


Position Description:

The ELC Director is the individual responsible for everything that goes on at the child care facility and, as such, must keep aware of all goings on at the facility. Pathways ELC is a licensed childcare center, and the Director will be expected to stay up to date on all standards and take the lead to manage center inspections and license renewals. The Director will be responsible for managing and training teaching staff, maintaining staff and children's files, managing the intake and orientation process for new children, and overseeing daily classroom schedules, providing teaching support as needed. This is an innovative pilot program which will require a Director willing to think outside the box to best serve the unique needs of children experiencing homelessness.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Plans appropriate curriculum and daily activities for the center

  • Develops or updates program operating policies, intake paperwork, and parent handbook

  • Sets short and long term goals for teaching staff

  • Keeps accurate files on employees, children, and activities.

  • Conducts interviews and reviews the qualifications of all new staff before hiring the most qualified applicants for teaching, administrative, or support staff positions.

  • Manages the work schedules of teaching and administrative staff.

  • Provides feedback for staff on their performance in the classroom.

  • Meets with teachers and parents to keep parents up to date on their child’s progress and development

  • Works with teaching staff to find ways to address any behavioral or learning problems.

  • Ensures that the facility and staff adheres to all state and local regulations.

  • Provides regular professional development opportunities for teachers and ELC staff

  • Teaches and supervises children in the classroom to give breaks to teachers, assist with daily routine as needed, and act as a substitute teacher as needed.

  • Learns the principles of trauma-informed care, trains staff to practice trauma informed care, and integrates the values of trauma informed care in all aspects of ELC operations

  • Promotes parent involvement in the center through parent meetings, parent learning opportunities, and take home resources

  • Conducts intake for new families and provides referrals to Early Intervention and other resources during case management meetings with parents.

  • Enters data including daily attendance into HMIS data management system

  • Conducts ASQ and DECA assessments on children along with parents and teaching staff

  • Tracks and reports on ELC data to administration and program funders

  • Completes USDA forms and reporting requirements for Project Hopewell Catering

  • Completes Bundles of Hope forms and reporting requirements for monthly diaper donation

  • Works with DHR, the Jefferson County Department of Health, the Birmingham Fire Department, and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education to meet and maintain performance standards for a licensed childcare center

  • Conducts outreach to other shelters and partner agencies to promote awareness of the ELC to families who may qualify


Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Must possess exceptional interpersonal skills with children and adults alike.

  • Must demonstrate excellent verbal and written communications skills in order to communicate with parents, staff, and children.

  • Must have strong leadership skills to inspire respect from young children.

  • Knowledgeable about the latest trends and techniques in early childhood education, including discipline, encouragement, and communication.

  • Familiarity with theories and practices of behavioral therapy, child development, and parent-child relationships.

  • Must have an appropriate code of ethics for working with young children.

  • Must be flexible and able to react appropriately to changing circumstances.

  • Must have strong crisis management abilities and be able to maintain calm in face of a crisis.

  • Must have strong administrative and time management skills.

  • Must be professional and provide a public face for the childcare facility.

  • Must have exceptional computer skills and ability to perform data entry


Education and Experience

  • Must have Bachelor’s or Master's degree in Early Childhood Education or similar field.

  • Must have minimum of 12 months of work experience in a licensed childcare center

  • Experience working with low-income children, in nonprofit setting, and/or with trauma- informed care is preferred.

  • Must pass a background check and Child Abuse/Neglect Registry Screening.


Work Environment

  • Time is divided between administrative work and supervision of staff/children in the classroom.

  • Must be able to take on classroom duties as needed.

  • Must be willing to spend long hours standing, walking, kneeling, and lifting no more than 30 pounds


To Apply:

Interested applicants can email their cover letter and resume to info@pathwayshome.org. Please include “ELC Director Application” in the subject line.


Pathways recruits, hires, compensates, and provides services without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, political affiliation or belief, veteran status, marital status, or disability status. Applicants who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women, differently abled, and/or bilingual are highly encouraged to apply.


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