Early Childhood Program Access Manager

Reference ID : 111677
Location : Newport News, VA
Category : Education/Training
Job Type : Full Time



The FirstSpark Early Childhood Program Access Manager is responsible for managing and coordinating the implementation of three access initiatives: (1) Mixed Delivery, (2) Coordinated Enrollment and, (3) Family Engagement in the geographic area of Ready Region Chesapeake Bay (RRCB). The Manager collaborates regularly with state and regional partners from schools, Head Start and private child care programs to identify current needs and opportunities to improve and increase equitable access to early childhood education for families. Key activities include building relationships for shared accountability and benefit; increasing access to connect families with early childhood programs; strengthening quality and guiding improvement in publicly funded classrooms; and engaging families in the process. 


The Manager has direct oversight and supervisory responsibility for a 3-member team of specialists. The manager has fullscope evaluative responsibility for essential functions and performance. The Manager helps the team explore and implement high-quality educational experiences for young children and affordable choices for families across the region. 

This position provides operational oversight and leadership for the three (3) access initiatives and works with FirstSpark staff and community partners in the development, implementation, evaluation and reporting of the results for all activities required by RRCB. In this daily oversight, the Manager works with staff and community partners to identify assets and gaps in services, coordination, and resources in communities, then plans and implements strategies with the staff team to address and engage programs, partners and parents who participate in the Mixed Delivery, Coordinated Enrollment and Family Engagement activities. The Manager writes narrative and consolidates information received from staff for monthly and quarterly reports, reviews and may approve grant expenditures, providing input on grant budgets in collaboration with the Finance Administrator. Reviews, understands, and shares data and trends with RRCB, VDOE, VECF and actively collects qualitative data to illustrate long term impact With the FirstSpark Leadership Team, the Manager understands, supports, and seeks to integrate these access initiatives into all other system coordination elements to meet overarching regional goals. 

Mixed Delivery (MD) Goal Implementation and Program Accountability:

• Serves as primary liaison between state partners and with the Specialist for participating early childhood programs.

• Works collaboratively with the staff team to develop strategies for identification and recruitment of all types of child care programs ensuring enrollment is maintained per VDOE/VECF requirements and expanded judiciously when additional funding is available.

• Holds responsible staff accountable to processes and procedures for MD programs to ensure spaces are filled and eligible children are enrolled with timely data entry.

• Collects and analyzes MD data.

• Reviews all provider contracts and works with Finance Administrator to process monthly payments.

  • Supports staff working most closely with participating programs so they are fully engaged, ensuring that orientations occur, required documentation and assessments are in data portals, peer-sharing and leadership meetings are held regularly with meaningful agendas. 
  • Reviews staff progress and may actively assist in CLASS observations and feedback and other, quality improvement best-practices including understanding and use of a fiscal model based on the cost of quality.

Coordinated Enrollment (CE) Goal Implementation and Program Accountability:

• Work cross-functionally with community partners to support early education access through collaboration and coordination with other early childhood initiatives to leverage resources and funding

• Provide oversight and coordination to lead the regions’ coordinated enrollment by:

o Supporting the convening of partners for the self-assessment of current enrollment processes, with particular attention to helping them evaluate strengths and challenges of their enrollment systems. o Reviewing and assuring effective implementation of the regional plan for coordinated enrollment and requesting technical assistance if there is an observed need.

Family Engagement (FE) Goal Implementation and Program Accountability:

• Promote ongoing, equity-centered, and meaningful family engagement inclusive of underserved, historically marginalized families.

• Foster how best to seek knowledge from families to understand community needs and assets to address disparities.

• Review data with staff specialist from self-assessments of family engagement in the region and the annual family engagement plan to assist in evaluating strengths and weaknesses and making recommendations for regional priorities to address.

• Advise specialist on multiple types of family engagement and provide the tools or support to carry them out (surveys, consumer information sharing, family focus groups, etc).

• Assist in researching community resources for families to maintain accurate and current information from family-serving community agencies.

• Review and approve informational outreach content and collateral created for families before it is published and approved by a Director. 


  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in education, human services, or related field.
  2. Three (3) years’ managerial experience in an early care and education program, social service agency or other public or private early childhood setting.
  3. Recent supervisory experience with multiple staff with an ability to mentor and coach staff members.
  4. Strong knowledge of child development and early education classroom best practices with CLASS certification and observation experience preferred.
  5. Experience in grant and budget management, specifically tracking deliverables, writing reports, evaluating goals, and contributing to or revising budgets.
  6. Ability to adapt to changing work environments, priorities and organizational needs while meeting deadlines and managing time. Takes independent action to address and resolve problems.
  7. Has an aptitude for and effectively uses marketing and project management tools and systems for communication.
  8. Exhibits collegial interpersonal skills from expressing ideas effectively to demonstrating sound judgement in decision making, while keeping a collaborative style within the team dynamic.
  9. Demonstrated success in strategy development and group facilitation skills for engaging multiple stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.
  10. Communicates well (orally and in writing) with the ability to deal with others in a direct honest manner.
  11. Documentation of current auto insurance and valid driver’s license plus annual reporting of zero infractions.
  12. Completion of child protective services criminal record check and national sex offenders background check. 

Nice To Haves

Experience with VA's new early childhood systems coordination efforts: Mixed Delivery, Coordinated Enrollment, Family Engagement, VQB5, etc.


Up to 3% match Simple IRA

Health insurance (employee only)

Paid sick leave

10 days paid annual leave

Salary : $60,000 to $65,000/Yr
Minimum Education : Bachelor's
Job Type : Full Time
Remote Type : Optional Remote
Category : Education/Training
Minimum Experience : 3 Yrs
Location : Newport News, VA

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