Under the direction of the Director of Community Impact, the Chicago Community Impact Program Manager manages the agency’s work to advance the development of strong early childhood community systems. The Program Manager will help communities in Chicago achieve enrollment and retention of young children in early learning programs, specifically preschool. The Program Manager will work with community stakeholders to develop enrollment strategies targeting local system barriers, garnering the support of integral partners, and effectively communicating enrollment opportunities in respective community areas. This work draws upon innovative best practices developed through the Innovation Zones and other agency projects in order to build a seamless system of supports for children and families in the community. The Chicago Community Impact Program Manager will assist the Community Impact team, Research Department, local collaborations and others in obtaining quantitative and qualitative data; and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data for community needs assessments, planning, continuous quality improvement.
This position will be expected to promote and adhere to the workplace core capabilities of: accountability, customer focus, continuous quality improvement, communication, competent people and clear priorities. All work to be completed with minimum supervision and in accordance with Organizational standards.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Manage and develop relationships with city agencies, elected officials, schools, and community partners to support early childhood program efforts. Build relationships with directors, principals and community leaders to support families’ enrollment in Chicago’s early learning and early childhood services.
- Increase “buy-in” and readiness from key stakeholders, including local public officials, by broadly educating and promoting early learning opportunities in Chicago communities
- Understand and communicate to others the complexities of the early care and education systems in Illinois. Maintain knowledge of the underlying public policies and the grassroots action needed to continue to support the programs and families within these systems.
- Develop strategies and action plans for engaging early childhood collaborations in targeted communities to use community systems approaches to enroll young children in early learning programs and identify retention strategies. Identify and develop early learning enrollment campaigns within the community.
- Develop and incubate new early childhood collaborations in targeted Chicago communities to include cross-sector stakeholders. Build diverse relationships and bring stakeholders together around early childhood goals and priorities.
- Serve as primary contact with communities participating in early learning collaboration work, connecting communities to technical assistance, education, and facilitating coordination among and within communities
- Utilize data analysis, such as community asset mapping, to identify early childhood goals and understand enrollment strategies for preschool and early learning programs. Support communities to use data to develop small-scale strategies that will lead to increased enrollment in early childhood programs.
- Provide supervision and manage four staff (three Community System Coordinators and Community Systems Trainer). Support their professional development and build their capacity to support early childhood collaborations.
- Create systems to manage documentation and budgeting requirements related to work plans, billing, contracts, check requests and invoicing. Manage budgets and financial records of contracts to maintain compliance.
- Manage logistics involved in coordinating meetings and events. Draft reports and support grant writing opportunities.
- Manage Salesforce and Smartsheet project management software and systems.
- Execute our workplace core capabilities of: accountability, customer focus, continuous quality improvement (CQI), communication, competent people, and clear priorities.
- Other Functions: The organization may assign other functions to the job at its discretion.
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE:
- Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or related field is required. A Master’s degree in early childhood education, social work or a related field is strongly preferred.
- At least five years of experience in early education, social services, or community organizing
- Experience embedding an equity lens in working with communities
- Experience supporting collaborations and community systems
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Ability to build strategic relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders with divergent interests and goals.
- Access to transportation and willing to travel locally and statewide
OTHER SKILLS & ABILITIES
- Ability to work independently, with a flexible schedule, which may include nights and/ weekends
- Able to present information effectively and respond to questions
- Ability to work well independently and as a team member
- Effective written and spoken communication
- Ability to manage staff and relate to a variety of personalities and cultures
- Accurate record keeping skills
- Ability and willingness to travel locally and statewide
- Valid driver’s license, reliable personal transportation and insurance are required in order to visit community sites.
Location: Chatham, IL
Illinois Action for Children is an AAP/M/F/D/V Employer