Has primary responsibility for planning and conducting developmentally appropriate early childhood care and education for children ages 6 weeks to three years. Has primary responsibility for adhering to the guidelines set forth by the Head Start Performance Standards, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Licensing Standards for early head start programs. Meets the social, emotional, cognitive, physical, safety and health needs of children in classroom setting in accordance with the above mentioned standards and developmentally appropriate practices. Builds partnerships with parents to strengthen parent-child relationships, enhance child development, and meet other relevant parent goals. Works with teaching team to create and implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum in the classroom. Implements the program curriculum, and conducts child observations and appropriate developmental screenings using agency recommended instruments.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Demonstrates knowledge and competency of basic child development and professional early childhood care and education practices. Demonstrates the ability to apply developmental theory to practice with children.
- Assists Director or designated supervisor in planning an organized early childhood care and education program that is in accordance with appropriate developmental practices and Early Head Start Performance Standards.
- Provides warm, positive, sensitive, and responsive care for each child. In collaboration with the family, establishes positive care giving routines for each child and for the group. Provides individualized learning opportunities and experiences for children in a respectful manner.
- Attends to the cognitive, social, emotional, physical, safety and health needs of children in an assigned group. Facilitates and reinforces sensor motor exploration, physical and cognitive development, language/early literacy development, development of a positive self concept, development of self-regulation, and development of positive interaction with others through daily interactions and a range of planned activities with individuals and group.
- Provides children, individually and within small groups, with opportunities for making choices, exploring safely, and problem solving, and when developmentally appropriate for learning to plan, review, and assess their actions.
- Leads classroom education team (Primary caregiver and/or Caregiver and/or other classroom personnel including volunteers) in implementing learning plans and in creating a calm, nurturing, and safe environment in which children can learn.
- Provides necessary child guidance and classroom management in a calm, positive, professional and non-threatening manner, in accordance with agency’s policies regarding child discipline.
- Participates in planning field trips and other activities that involve both children and their families.
- In collaboration with families, conducts regular child observations and appropriate developmental screenings as scheduled and as needed. Enters child observations and developmental screenings into appropriate data entry systems (Teaching Strategies Gold and PROMIS).
- Uses information gathered from observations, screenings, and assessments to develop individualized learning plans in collaboration with families and in accordance with the program curriculum, Early Head Start Performance Standards, and the agency’s philosophy and approach to early childhood care and education. Recommends any changes to the Director.
- Confers with appropriate agency staff, family, and appropriate other to determine treatment/educational plans and/or individual family services plans for individual children with special needs and/or to determine appropriate counsel, referral, or reference source.
- Maintains a file on each child. This may include samples of child’s work, photographs, observational records, anecdotal reports, screening, assessments, individualized plans, individualized family service plans, and records of the child’s developmental growth.
- Maintains periodic progress reports regarding the children and shares them with parents.
- Completes all other required program records and reports, including daily attendance, meal participation records, parent communication and/or contact forms, etc. Completes all necessary reports and records in an accurate, legible, and timely manner.
- Facilitates transitions of children and families to and from the program as well as to and from each classroom.
- Complies with funding source, state and federal program requirements, these include the following: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Licensing requirements, Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Child and Adult Food Care Program and Early Head Start.
- Reports any instances of suspected child abuse or neglect to the Director and to DCFS, following agency procedures.
- Ensures a safe, healthy, and sanitary environment for children, assumes overall responsibility for proper maintenance of classroom and classroom materials; shares responsibility for classroom maintenance, orderliness, and cleanliness with classroom education team.
- Assumes primary care giving responsibilities for four children in the classroom. This includes making and entering child observations and creating and implementing individualized lessons for each of the four children.
- Controls utilization of equipment and materials for classroom use, may recommend new materials or equipment, conducts periodic checks to ensure proper maintenance and safety.
- Assists in planning and attends at least two evening Parent/Child events at the center.
- Participates in intake meetings with new families.
- Conducts at least two home visits per year with each family enrolled in classroom.
- Develops a relationship based on mutual trust with families of children in classroom. Develop partnerships with parents to establish and meet parenting and child development goals in a manner sensitive to and respectful of cultural differences.
- Interprets the program to parents and models positive developmentally supportive interaction with children.
- Communicates effectively with parents daily regarding child behavior, activities, and development. Discusses the children’s progress with parents regularly. Collaborates with parents in establishing individualized care giving routines and developing and implementing learning plans. Plans and conducts regular parent teacher conferences (at least two a year), and participates in or conducts additional conferences as needed.
- Collaborates with families and other team members to develop Family Partnership Agreement (FPA); identify family strengths with focus on capacity building. Involve parents in recognizing their own abilities and their own strategies. Collaborate family and with other team members to meet parent goals.
- Maintains productive relationships with the community at large. Access community resources to promote the development of the enrolled children, recruit and supervise volunteers for the enhancement of program offerings for the children.
- Increases knowledge and skills by participating in a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of professional development annually, in seminars or workshops in child development specifically in regard to children ages birth to three years and their families, with an additional 20 hours specifically in early childhood education.
- Participates in regular staff; team, and supervision meetings.
- Works effectively as a team with all Early Head Start staff.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties.
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE
Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education or an Associate’s degree in another area with coursework equivalent to an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Child Development Associate (CDA) credential required. Must be trained (or have equivalent coursework) in early childhood development with a focus on infant and toddler development. Minimum of two years experience as a Teacher or Assistant Teacher in an early childhood program. Experience working with infants and toddlers in a center based early childhood program is required.
Bachelor’s degree (or another advanced degree) in Early Childhood Education or a Bachelor’s degree in another area with coursework equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Child Development Associate (CDA) credential required. Must be trained (or have equivalent coursework) in early childhood development with a focus on infant and toddler development. Minimum of two years experience as a Teacher or Assistant Teacher in an early childhood program. Experience working with infants and toddlers in a center based early childhood program is required.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and taste or smell. Employees will regularly operate a telephone, fax machine, and a computer.
The employee is primarily responsible for caring for the welfare of the infants/toddlers in his/her classroom. The employee is responsible for lifting, carrying and holding children each day. Staff must also be able to lower a child into the crib when the child is sleeping. CDC Growth Charts indicate boys/girls, birth – 36 months can weigh up to 40 pounds. As a result, staff must be able to regularly lift, hold, carry, and lower an infant up to 40 pounds. In evacuation situations, staff must also be able to push a crib (on wheels) holding up to 4 children. Staff will also need to assist walking and crawling infants as needed.
Staff will occasionally need to rearrange classroom furniture, equipment, and objects in order to prepare the classroom for the children and to ensure safety for the children. Staff will use proper lifting techniques and tools (dollys/carts) to move furniture, equipment, etc. Staff should ask for assistance when moving furniture, equipment, or other heavy objects. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust and focus.
Email your cover letter and resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org