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Director – FirstStepNYC Early Education Leadership

SCO Family of Services

SCO is looking for a well-qualified Director - FirstStepNYC Early Education Leadership Institute.

The FirstStepNYC Early Education Leadership Institute is designed to prepare and support current and future leaders to improve outcomes for all children and families by advancing quality and best practice in early education settings.

FirstStepNYC, a public-private partnership, is New York City's first, state of the art, Early Education Center and Leadership Institute co- located within a public elementary school. Located in Brownsville, the initiative was developed to ensure that at-risk children get a positive start in education by focusing on quality practice in the classroom as well as partnering with families to support their children from the beginning. This unique public-private partnership brings together the NYC Department of Education (DOE), NYC Administration for Children Services (ACS), SCO Family of Services, philanthropic foundations and individuals and a wide range of local organizations. FirstStepNYC, a demonstration model with an emphasis on both early childhood and adult leadership development, will advance citywide efforts to ensure all children enter kindergarten on a path to be college and career ready by the time they graduate our schools.

FirstStepNYC houses the Early Education Leadership Institute. Developed with the guidance of a prestigious and expert Advisory Group of NYC academic institutions, early education providers, public agencies, and non-profit organizations, the Institute aims to improve the overall quality of early childhood education across New York City by preparing the next generation of early education leaders for the real world challenges they will face. The Leadership Institute is focused on developing cohorts of professionals who are deeply invested in early childhood leadership. Members will become quality directors and other early childhood professional leaders who will in-turn transform the early childhood landscape in NYC.

Ongoing work of establishing the Institute in its premier year:
• Continue to facilitate start-up of the Leadership Institute
• Refine vision and overarching goals Ongoing fundraising efforts:
• Participate in all meetings with private partners and potential private partners
• Develop, maintain and collaborate with SCO Development office and FirstStepNYC partners in all fundraising efforts. Develop and oversee execution of full spectrum of programs, services, and related materials in collaboration with a team of consultants focused on:
• Supporting existing directors in realizing their full potential as early childhood education leaders
• Providing support and growth opportunities for ECE professionals with demonstrated leadership potential /recommendations from participating directors in becoming site leaders
• Cultivating a broad range of individuals new to the field with demonstrated leadership potential Recruit participants for full spectrum of programs and services by:
• Continually reviewing and refining criteria for selection of participating directors, ECE professionals, and other new talent
• Oversee recruitment plan and its execution for all participants
• Develop and maintain all key partnerships with government agencies, community based organizations, universities and social entrepreneurship organizations Evaluate effectiveness of the Leadership Institute by:
• Formalizing and measuring the effectiveness of the coaching/mentoring model: Powerful Interactions
• Coordinating and collaborating with research partners to ensure full implementation and effective documentation
• Reviewing and analyzing all surveys for Quality Improvement purposes Participate as part of the FirstStepNYC leadership team on:
• Reviewing results of the program as a whole and strategizing around improvements as necessary
• Maintaining and refining a system of Powerful Interactions, reflective supervision and performance evaluation in support of relationship- based work
• Creating a team-based culture where relationships are foundation of work
• Creating specific programming opportunities to develop teachers from FirstStepNYC and other SCO early childhood programs (i.e. panels, mentorships, additional pilots, etc.) Manage the Leadership Institute Advisory board by:
• Regularly updating the group on programming
• Partnering with specific members as needed to advance Institute goals
• Responding to inquiries, feedback, and suggestions for further programmatic refinements and cultivation of new strategies on an ongoing basis
• Expanding the group as appropriate to advance Institute goals Perform other duties as assigned All components should include management of staff, consultants, and key relationships, development of internal/external communications, and development of linkages between leadership institute and FirstStepNYC B-5 center.


• Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or other related field
• Extensive early childhood program and/or policy experience
• Experience in development activities and fundraising
• Experience with professional development and talent acquisition
• Demonstrated leadership abilities to utilize reflective supervision
• Leadership experience in multi-cultural environments serving vulnerable or underserved populations
• Ability to utilize and provide reflective supervision and Powerful Interactions, preferred
• Commitment to the mission and programs of SCO Family of Services
• Possess and demonstrate a strong belief in people’s ability to grow and change; forge a mutually respectful partnership with persons served and their families
• Excellent interpersonal and communications skills, both oral and written
• Diligent; Strong time management skills
• Demonstrated effectiveness working on and contributing to teams

If you are interested in the position mentioned above, please apply directly online at

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Please keep in mind that it is not possible for us to personally contact every candidate, but rest assured that your information will be reviewed and one of our hiring managers will contact you if you’re being considered for the position.

SCO FAMILY OF SERVICES is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V

About Organization:
SCO operates more than 90 programs at over 110 locations. We provide necessary services and unconditional care to more than 60,000 of New York’s most vulnerable people – from homeless families, to struggling teenagers and families at- risk to disabled adults. We produce life-changing results for individuals and families by focusing on safety, stability and mastery, building resilience, strengthening the capacity to make meaningful connections, function independently and become fully integrated into the community.



View Mark Anthony Thomas's profile on LinkedIn