Educare DC is growing to serve over 424 children from birth to five years – and their families – through our state-of-the-art centers and through seven community partnerships. Building on the program foundations of Early Head Start and Head Start and accredited by NAEYC, Educare DC promotes school readiness by implementing effective programming aimed at preventing the development of an achievement gap in the early years. Educare DC is part of the 25-school Educare Learning Network that serves as a platform for broader change, inspiring high-quality programs in communities, improving public policies within each state, and demonstrating a comprehensive, research-based approach to the first five years of life and learning to increase equity and opportunity for all. Educare DC draws on a blend of private and public dollars, including child care, Early Head Start, Pre-K, and other state and federal funding streams.
The Advocacy Director will lead advocacy activities on behalf of Educare DC, working closely with national and District partners to advocate for increasing early childhood education quality and funding for low income and historically marginalized young children and their families. Since Educare DC’s opening in 2012, a key part of the school’s mission and design has been to support federal and District advocacy. The Advocacy Director will leverage Educare DC’s programmatic expertise, research, and state-of-the art facilities to engage and educate elected officials and policy makers about the impact of existing policies and opportunities for innovation and improvement. The Advocacy Director will partner and collaborate with policy and advocacy experts at the Educare Learning Network (ELN), Start Early, First Five Years Fund (FFYF), the Alliance for Early Success, and Under 3 DC, among others. This position offers a unique opportunity to elevate the perspectives of practitioners, children, and families in order to improve early childhood policies, equity and opportunity. The person in this position must have the ability to synthesize complex issues, engage openly and thoughtfully with diverse perspectives, and communicate effectively and clearly, both orally and in writing.
- The Advocacy Director reports to the President & CEO or designee.
The Advocacy Director’s responsibilities will be split between DC/state advocacy and federal advocacy, and the responsibilities apply to both.
Serve as a proactive advocacy resource, utilizing the Educare DC demonstration sites, staff/parent voices, and lessons learned through data and experience operating a high-quality early childhood education program.
- Establish and maintain relationships with elected officials, staff, and other policy makers, in order to serve as a ready information source to provide information and facilitate tours with a goal of informing improved early learning policies and investments.
- Engage with staff and parents related to advocacy by briefing, supporting testimony and building capacity.
- Work with partners to lead selected advocacy priorities for Educare DC. Support partners or monitor progress in other lower priority areas.
- Build relationships with key partners including the Educare Policy Workgroup, FFYF, Under 3 DC, and the Alliance.
- Partner with Federal advocacy organizations and think tanks including FFYF, Start Early, the National Head Start Association, Zero to Three, and others to advance policies that support quality early learning, to provide practitioner and parent context, data, interview opportunities and film footage for advocacy and policy development.
- Participate in the DC Head Start Association, DC Association for the Education of Young Children, DC Early Learning Collaborative, committees of the State Early Childhood Development Coordination Council, and District initiatives such as the Preschool Development Grant and the Pritzker Children’s Initiative grant.
- Prepare and at times deliver testimony before councils, boards, commissions, legislative and other committees on issues related to effective early childhood policy and programs.
- Conduct analysis, provide thought leadership, and serve as an important voice about key policy issues by reading briefs, communicating with policy experts and other advocates. Maintain clear focus on long-term objectives, while recognizing opportunities for shorter-term, opportunistic improvements.
- Understand intersectionality of related issues supporting young children and under-resourced communities, including health, housing, and K-12 education.
- Identify opportunities and develop content for editorials, conferences, presentations or other platforms to inform groups and the broader public about the case for early learning
- Conduct tours. Assist with the planning and execution of advocacy trainings and events. Identify opportunities to engage broader audiences about the case for early learning.
- Serve as point of contact for advocacy related media, in partnership with Educare DC development director.
- Write periodic grant proposals and progress reports, in partnership with development director.
- Perform other duties as assigned within the scope of the position.
EXPERIENCE AND ABILITIES
- Three years of experience in policy analysis and/or advocacy, with demonstrated track record of collaborating with diverse stakeholders and building relationships.
- Strong knowledge of government programs and systems impacting families with young children, including demonstrated knowledge of equitable early childhood and pre-k systems.
- Strategic instincts, good judgment, and ability to navigate complex differences and build alliances to achieve results.
- Deep interest in and passion for creating effective policies and systems to support positive outcomes for young children. Understanding of law-making process and the implications of policies when implemented.
- Commitment to racial equity, including an understanding of the concepts of institutional and structural racism and bias, and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities.
- Superb verbal and written communication with diverse audiences, including via e-mail, phone, video conference and in person. Ability to tailor message and to accurately convey different viewpoints. Ability to synthesize complex issues.
- Ability to feel confident knowing deeply about a few policy areas and knowing “just a little about a lot”.
- Capacity and desire to initiate and independently pursue key aspects of the position responsibilities. Comfort serving as sole Educare DC voice in many settings.
- Ability to manage competing priorities, multiple deadlines, and workflow processes involving multiple people.
- Ability to work flexible hours (e.g. attend community meetings, conferences or events).
- Bachelor’s Degree required. Master’s Degree in public policy considered a plus.
ADDITIONAL JOB REQUIREMENTS
- Clearance of background checks as required by local, state and federal regulations.
- Physical examination and diagnostic tests as required by local, state and federal regulations.
- A bi-annual physical exam, drug screen, COVID-19 vaccine, and TB test are required as a condition of continual employment.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
- Advanced command of the English language and grammar, both verbal and written.
- Visual and auditory acuity within professionally determined normal ranges, with correction if needed.
- Manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer and office equipment, including, but not limited to, the telephone, fax machine, copier, and tape recorder.
- Must be able to lift 40 pounds.
- Must be able to travel.
- Must be able to enter and exit a vehicle without assistance and withstand exposure to adverse weather conditions.
- Experience working successfully with a culturally diverse staff and clients.
- Regular attendance is a necessary and essential function.
- This position may work 40 or more hours per week.
For additional information on Educare DC and Educare schools, please visit www.educaredc.org and www.educareschools.org.
The pay range is $70,000-$80,000, commensurate with experience. Educare DC offers a competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance, retirement accounts with company match, paid leave, and more. Educare DC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Diverse candidates are encouraged to apply.
Submit your resume via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Advocacy Director” in the email subject line. If your email subject line does not have the position title listed, Educare DC may not consider your application.