The Center Director serves as the educational lead for one or more centers in the Head Start program, with responsibilities including the following:
Ensures full implementation of all aspects of MSU-ES early learning system, policies/procedures, and tools, with the goal of supporting all children to achieve School Readiness Goals.
Supervise all teaching staff.
Provide ongoing coaching to teaching staff to support them in successfully fulfilling all aspects of their role, including but not limited to effective practices in the following:
CLASS™ Teacher-Child Interactions
Meeting All Children’s Needs
Working with Families
Professional Growth and Collaboration
Work with teachers to implement program curriculum with fidelity.
Work with teachers to implement child assessment system reliably, including understanding child outcomes data and using them to plan and individualize.
• Performs any and all other duties as assigned.
Salary Grade: 13
Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges. For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.
Throughout its history, Mississippi State University-Extension (MSU-ES) has demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to programs that directly impact young children and their families. In the past decade, MSU-ES has distinguished itself as Mississippi’s premier infrastructural support of high-quality early childhood education.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The Center Director is primarily responsible for achieving the following outcomes for the Head Start/Early Start program.
Education: Serve as education lead for the center, overseeing implementation of all aspects of education services and providing teachers with supervision, training, coaching and monitoring.
• Support the effective implementation of the education content area, implementing all relevant policies and procedures.
• Oversee training of new hires: develop, conduct or arrange other training as needed for staff, parents or volunteers.
• Work with teachers to implement program curriculum that incorporates all elements and meets all standards established by MSU-ES (in compliance with Head Start standards and best practices).
• Oversee and approve the preparation of weekly lesson plans, including individualization and all other required elements.
• Ensure that teachers integrate goals from Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for children with disabilities (in consultation with Early Learning Inclusion Specialists).
• Ensure the completion of all required child screenings and assessments, including 45 and 90-day requirements for new children and quarterly progress assessments for all children.
• Ensure that classrooms, gym and outdoor areas are supplied with developmentally appropriate materials.
• Participate in team meetings, home visits, and community events as needed.
• Provide teachers with coaching and support for quality improvement and professional growth through regular observation and formal and informal feedback.
Family Partnerships: Supervise or coordinate with Family Services team to ensure full implementation of family services and parent involvement (in consultation with Assistant Director of Family Service/Family Services Coordinator).
• Support Family Advocates to implement all aspects of family services program, including support and monitoring of Acelero’s Shine On, Families initiative.
• Ensure parents are integrally involved in developing the program’s curriculum and approach to child development and education through regular meeting with Policy Council members and others.
• Assist teaching staff in developing a system offering parents opportunities for enhancing and increasing their child observation skills.
Human Resources & Supervision: Directly supervise center staff, ensure completion of all human resources activities, and ensure compliance with relevant policies and procedures.
• Hold monthly staff meeting while providing ongoing verbal and written feedback
• Submit annual performance evaluations in a timely manner.
• Work with teachers to develop and support their individual development plan, including training plans for each teacher to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher in Early Childhood Education or a related field.
• Understand the personnel policies and procedures and that staff adhere to policies.
• Instruct, train and work effectively with the people you supervise from a variety of backgrounds and with differing levels/areas of training.
• Devise work methods and procedures that support improvements in existing work practices.
Communication & Service Coordination: Lead regular team meetings to ensure effective communication and service coordination.
• Ensure families receive monthly newsletter.
• Ensure children’s individual health, nutrition, disabilities or mental health needs are met, through implementation, coordination with appropriate coordinators/specialists, and participation in case conferences as necessary.
• Develop a working knowledge of local community resources related to education and transition.
• Actively participate in Head Start/Early Head Start community, including staff meetings, mandated trainings, committee meetings, and other program-wide functions as needed, including some evening activities.
Record Keeping & Reporting: Ensure complete and accurate implementation of all MSU-ES required systems for recordkeeping and reporting, including:
• Individual child/family files
• Master binders
• Education portfolios or other documentation of early childhood education services
• In-kind contributions from parents or community members
• Purchasing and tracking of supplies and equipment
• Employee timekeeping
• Child, family & program information in Shine Insight
• Child observations, assessment & planning information in CreativeCurriculum.net
Ongoing Monitoring & Self-Assessment:
• Review weekly MBI (managing by information) and monthly MBI + reports and ensure all concerns are addressed in a timely fashion.
• Review quarterly MBO (managing by outcomes) report and ensure all concerns are addressed in a timely fashion.
• Review quarterly and annual child outcomes data and oversee teacher planning to help all children make developmental gains.
• Participate in annual program self-assessment
• Implement all monitoring systems required by MSU-ES, Head Start, childcare licensing CACFP or other agencies, including
Program Governance and Leadership:
• Serve on the leadership team of the MSU-ES program, attending regular meetings and occasional retreats.
• Participate in annual and quarterly planning to set, plan for, and monitor program goals.
• Improve quality and effectiveness of education service area and overall organization by initiating, sponsoring and implementing organizational change and by helping others to successfully manage organizational change.
• Attend parent committees, Policy Council and board of director meetings as needed or requested.
• Ensure teachers and volunteers understand regulations associated with prevention of occupational disease and injury, including the exercise of universal precautions.
• Recognize that your job description is service area specific but not limited to: confidentiality, child abuse reporting, attendance and dependability, appropriate dress, customer service and support to all families, prudent use of program resources, and promoting and maintaining safe work environment.
Operations and Facilities: Coordinate with the Assistant Director of Monitoring, Compliance, and
Operations to ensure that all operations and facilities meet HSPS and licensing standards.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to carry out each essential duty in a
satisfactory manner. The job specifications listed below are representative of the education and
experience as well as the knowledge, skill and/or ability (KSAs) required.
• Bachelor’s degree Early Childhood Education or field related to children and families.
• Previous experience teaching in an early childhood setting; experience with supervision,
management or coaching.
• Experience managing an infant/toddler or preschool program
• Experience with collaborations and community partnerships
• Physical exam and background checks are required for this position.
• Travel required locally or long-distance up to 10% of the time for work-related meetings
• Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education or field related to children and families
• Experience with Creative Curriculum model and Teaching Strategies, Gold Assessment
system. Reliable in CLASS, ITERS-R and/or ECERS-R.
• Background in special education/inclusion or prior early childhood experience in leadership role in center based program.
• Bilingual in Spanish-English preferred.
• Director’s academy preferred for district collaborated centers.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:
• Ability to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
• Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.
• Demonstrated computer literacy skills, using MS Office applications and other basic data
systems including internet navigation.
• Must be honest, dependable and able to meet deadlines.
• Self-motivated and able to work independently.
Knowledgeable of MS Child Care Licensing Standards and Head Start Performance Standards
Knowledgeable of CLASS
Working Conditions and Physical Effort
• Ability to sit most of the time with some bending and reaching.
• Ability to stand, walk, and bend periodically.
• Ability to engage in repetitive movement of wrists, hands, and fingers – typing and/or
• Ability to work frequently at close visual range (i.e. preparing and analyzing data and
figures, accounting, transcription, computer terminal, extensive reading).
• Ability to receive and respond to oral communication.
• Ability to exert up to 10 pounds of force to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.
• Work is generally performed in an office environment.
• Noise level in the work environment is moderate to occasionally loud (examples: business
office with computers and printers, light to moderate traffic, human voices).
• Standard office equipment generally used includes:
• Personal Computer (monitor, keyboard, and mouse) or Tablet
• Printer/Photocopy Machine
• Fax Machine
Instructions for Applying:
All applicants must apply online at www.msujobs.msstate.edu by submitting: the completed online application, submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and a current unofficial transcript (with social security numbers removed prior to submission). An official transcript will be required if selected for employment.
Position is contingent upon funding availability.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:
MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.