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Founding Preschool Director of Early Childhood Lab School


Growing Place
Santa Monica, CA

Start Date: March 16, 2020

Description, Responsibilities, & Duties

The Campus Director of the Growing Place Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School will be critical in the successful launch and operation of our third center. Working in concert with the Executive Director, and in collaboration with partners on the project, the Campus Director will lead the start-up of the new center through its opening and operation.

The Campus Director leads and collaborates with children, faculty, staff, families, and the broader community to carry out the values and mission of the Growing Place. The Campus Director, with support from Assistant Director, directs, manages, monitors and maintains control over aspects of campus operations. The Campus Director holds a strong and clear vision of the organization’s purpose statement and how to actualize the school’s goals and objectives as outlined in our Strategic Plan.

Promote Effective Teaching and Learning

Work with Children

• Collaborate with staff and the Assistant Director and Educational Coordinating Team to design and implement curriculum for the entire campus that is in accordance with the Growing Place philosophies and pedagogy
• Ensure that all children are given opportunities to thrive and structures are in place to support children with learning and/or developmental variations
• Build respectful, trusting and positive relationships with all children

Work with Families

• Assure all staff have the skills and disposition to create authentic partnerships with families
• Welcome families and create relationships so they feel a sense of belonging
• Support with orienting new families on philosophy, pedagogy, policies, and practices
• Participate in parent-teacher meetings and conferences
• Engage families through school events such as Coffee & Conversations, Parent-Teacher Dialogues, Back to School Night, Parent Events, etc.
• Effectively communicate with families about the life of the school

Work with Faculty and Staff

• Cultivate a positive, healthy, and professional work environment
• Cultivate a culture of curiosity, reflection, innovation, and critical thinking and feedback
• Interview, hire, retain and/or terminate faculty and staff as necessary
• Design and implement continuous performance management for all staff
• Participate in a consistent and authentic feedback from employees, including having a continuous performance management plan
• Ensure that staff understand and implement the Growing Place mission, values, and practices
• Collaborate with Assistant Director to design faculty’s daily schedules
• Collaborate with GP Administrators to ensure alignment between campuses’
• Effectively lead and facilitate meetings
• Design and lead onboarding and professional development plans
• Support with the mediation of conflicts among the staff

Work with Community

• Develop a working partnership with SMC faculty, in particular, the E/EC Department
• Develop an understanding of SMC’s E/EC department and program
• Ensure opportunities for all adult learners to engage in the learning at Growing Place
• Develop and sustain existing networks with other relevant organizations and schools
• Work with groups that support additional services for children (ie. Connections for Children, Special Education Services)
• Serve on the SM Early Childhood Task Force, an early education advocacy group
• Demonstrate a strong inclusive and welcoming practice for all visitors
• Cultivate a strong, positive, and professional relationship with the Board of Directors
• Attend and participate in professional development relevant to furthering the organization’s mission and presence

Fiscal Responsibilities

• Procure and lead fundraising initiatives to meet the school’s fundraising goals
• Cultivate a spirit of philanthropy with parents, community, and foundations
• Steward resources to ensure a healthy overall fiscal budget
• Ensure the budget reflects the school’s financial values and practices
• Follow the fiscal policies and procedures handbook
• Responsible for program and finance reports due to the City of SM and SMC

Enrollment and Marketing

• Collaborate with administrators to implement policies of admission, interviews, attendance, tuition and enrollment goals for the organization
• Collaborate with the administration team to ensure full enrollment
• Conduct tours of the center for prospective parents, educators and visitors
• Ensure all members of the community (parents, staff, etc.) understand the mission, values, and practices of the Growing Place
• Collaborate with appropriate parties to ensure that all communication/marketing materials reflect the Growing Place’s mission, values, and practices
• Ensure visibility at Preschool/Career Fairs and local community events for recruitment of families and staff

Operations and Business

• Ensure that the center is compliant with all licensing standards and requirements per California Depart of Social Services Childcare Licensing
• Seek and maintain accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
• Cultivate positive partnerships to promote good business practices
• Stay abreast of best practices and research regarding children, families, teaching, learning, organizational structures

Campus Facilities

• Plan and ensure that the campus environment promotes teaching, learning, development of trusting relationships, beauty, richness, connection to the natural world and the context of the school, and safety for children and adults
• Support the Educational Coordinating Team and staff to select materials for the school
• Create effective emergency preparedness plans
• Maintain safety and security protocols for the campus

Additional responsibilities will be assigned by the supervisor and outlined in the work plans.

Minimum Qualifications/Requirements

• A Master Degree in a related field (ie. Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership/Administration)
• Experience in leadership, administration, supervision, mentorship
• Two (2) years of experience working with children ages 3 months-6 years old in a licensed quality child care program, NAEYC accredited child care center preferred
• Demonstrate an understanding of child development
• Qualify for Program Director Permit per the CA Commission of Teacher Credentialing
• Meet requirements of the CA Department of Social Services (TB status, CPR certification, fingerprint clearance

Salary & Benefits

Starting Annual Salary: $95-100K (salary commensurate with experience)
• 4 Weeks Paid Vacation/School Closure
• 9 Paid Days National/State Holidays
• Up to 72 Hours of Paid Sick Leave (PSL)
• Unused PSL will roll over to the next school year as Paid Time Off (PTO)
• Medical, Dental, Vision Benefits Covered at 85%
• Life Insurance with a fully paid premium and a $25,000 benefit
• 403(b) retirement plan with a 50% match up to 3%

Application Procedures

Please send resume, cover letter, and three professional references to

Qualified candidates will be contacted to participate in a phone interview. Candidates who advance through the interview process will participate in an in-person interview with Growing Place administration. Finalists will be invited to participate in a ½ day interview that will include an opportunity to observe our classrooms and engage with constituents from our community (Board Members, parents and staff).

Program Description

The Growing Place is a non-profit child development center, established in 1985 to provide high-quality early education to full-time working families. NAEYC accredited and inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach.

Contact Info

Pauline McPeake, Executive Director
No phone calls. Please send all required information to

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