The Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE) is committed to engaging and empowering children from birth through second grade through exemplary, high quality early learning experiences that develop joyful and successful lifelong learners.
Reporting to the Chief Education Officer (CEdO), the Chief of Early Childhood Education will provide oversight for early childhood education and services including Head Start, Preschool for All, and family and community services. The Officer will increase awareness of and alignment to Illinois’ Early Learning Standards, ultimately affecting student success in college and career.
Develops the vision and multi-year/annual strategic plans to ensure all Chicago children have access to a high-quality early educational experience that: boosts academic skills, fuels intellectual curiosity, fosters independence and instills a love of lifelong learning.
Establishes expectations for family-responsive classroom environments (safe, nurturing and stimulating) that support the recruitment, retention and development of early childhood students and teachers.
Oversees the pedagogic, operational, safety and compliance elements of CPS’ early childhood programs.
Researches and communicates innovative and exemplary trends and practices for improving outcomes in grades PK- 2 and represents the district as an expert on these and other (related) topics.
Manages and motivates a team of approximately 50 employees across sub-teams
Cultivates and nurtures relationships with key stakeholders - internal and external - including other central office departments, universities, other municipal entities and funders (current/potential).
Plans and directs an evaluation system for all OECE programming, including implementation and outcomes.
Collaboratively manages, evaluates and develops OECE staff (FTEs and consultants).
Initiates and maintains a high-performing network of thought partners to support the continuous improvement of OECE programs.
Serves as the face and voice of the OECE. Guides the major behavioral shifts in accordance with communication/change management strategies -- ensuring stakeholders are continuously and effectively engaged.
Reviews and oversees procedures for early childhood student identification/screening.
Oversees the implementation of the district’s Universal Full-day Pre-K Initiative including program expansion, cross functional coordination across offices and partners and parent, school and community engagement.
Ensures the effective planning and implementation of initiatives related to continuous improvement of early childhood education, including national and/or state accreditations (i.e. NAEYC, CDEPP).
Oversees identification of, preparation for and management of grants to increase resources for early childhood programming.
Oversees the tracking, analysis and reporting of critical data, including enrollment, budget/financial projects/forecasts and staffing.
Ensures early childhood programs are compliant with federal, state, and all other applicable laws and regulations.
Serves as district liaison representing the CPS to county/state child welfare and attendance agencies.
Ensures early childhood curriculum and programming aligns vertically across grade levels, horizontally across content areas and simultaneously addresses the needs of CPS’ diverse student population including English Learners and students receiving specialized services.
Performs additional projects and ad hoc assignments as required.
Type of Education Required:
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master’s Degree in Education, or a related field of study.
Illinois Type 75 Administrative Certificate strongly preferred
Type of Experience and Number of Years:
10 or more years of instructional leadership experience in K-12 Education (large urban setting preferred) with early childhood focus.
Experience in planning and monitoring complex project and program portfolios with large financial, procurement and budgetary implications.
Evidenced success in leading culturally and educationally-diverse teams.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Deep knowledge of modern theory and practice in early childhood education.
Knowledge of modern teaching and learning processes, practices and research.
Knowledge of professional learning practices and standards.
Knowledge of and commitment to decentralized decision-making and accountability for results.
Ability to lead and effectively communicate with large, complex teams to focus resources (both human and financial) toward achievement of expected results.
Knowledge of educational standards, including Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, Common Core State Standards, NGSS, MTSS and WIDA ELD standards.
As a condition of employment with CPS, employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of his or her CPS hire date and maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.
About Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States, serving over 360,000 students in 600+ schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission we make three commitments to our students, their families and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments – student centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership and continuous learning.