Save the Children provides high-quality early learning interventions to children, from birth to age eight, in more than 150 low-income rural communities across the U.S. The Senior Program Specialist for Early Childhood Programs plays a pivotal role in helping Save the Children achieve its goal of Kindergarten Readiness across the whole population of children in the communities we reach. Through onboarding, training and providing consistent coaching to Program Specialists this position ensures that staff are in place and equipped to meet this goal. The Senior Program Specialist is also the key manager of program data, helping to set annual and quarterly targets, tracking monthly data, providing data analysis, and supporting grant and other internal reporting. As an expert in programming designed to help achieve kindergarten readiness the Senior Program Specialist will partner with National Team, State Directors, Finance, and other teams to develop grant applications that are competitive and meet local needs. The Senior Program Specialist will also be deployed as necessary to provide credible expertise in meetings with state departments of education, divisions/offices of early childhood and other funders/partners as well as to support state teams with problem solving challenges they are facing. Among the many skills needed in this role the successful candidate should be entrepreneurial in their approach, business minded, adept at problem solving, and able to collaborate across teams. This role has the option of being office-based or filled remotely.
Support for Program Implementation (40%)
Responsible for ensuring fidelity to and quality of our programs as they are implemented in the communities where we work. Key tasks include:
- Providing technical advice to support project implementation; building competencies of Program Specialists;
- Working with local educational agencies (LEAs), state educational agencies (SEAs), departments of Early Childhood, and state teams to innovate and adapt our approaches to align strategies and meet common goals;
- Deploying to state and partner meetings at the direction of the Senior Director for U.S. Field Operations to problem solve challenging situations;
- Monitoring technical quality of implementation ensuring programs are on track to meet key metrics (PPVT scores, enrollment numbers, average number of home visits, play and learn group participation, other grant deliverables);
- Providing coverage for open positions as needed at the direction of the Senior Director for U.S. Field Operations;
- Building the technical capacity of site and state-based staff and partners;
- Developing innovative approaches to conduct training and technical assistance in more cost-efficient manners.
Talent Management & Administration (20%)
Responsible for supporting State Directors with activities related to recruiting, onboarding, training, and developing program staff, including:
- Participating in recruitment and interviews for Early Steps Specialists and other related program staff;
- Design and lead onboarding process for Early Steps Specialists and other related program staff;
- Holding individual and group monthly calls that focus on mentoring and coaching;
- Working with State Directors to provide targeted monitoring and support for program staff with performance concerns.
Liaison with National program team and other departments (15%)
- Participating in Kindergarten Readiness results team;
- Ensuring effective communication on any imminent changes or possible opportunities to support programs across a national level;
- Collaborate with community engagement, collective impact and 3rd grade reading teams to look for ways to innovate, enhance our work and expand reach;
- Work with Monitoring and Evaluation team to improve/evolve our approach to data collection and reporting (reducing time required, increasing automation, improving quality of reports).
Program Planning & Reporting (15%)
Responsible for supporting field team to support data collection and program performance management, including:
- Oversight of data collection, analysis and reporting (PPVT scores, average number of home visits, coordinator enrollment numbers, metrics for quarterly Rural Education reports)
- Working with Senior Director for Field Operations and National Program team to set yearly targets for reach and program results
- Partnering with Monitoring and Evaluation team to work with state departments of education, local school system, early childhood divisions, and research partners to gain access to and analyze our impact on Kindergarten Readiness scores and other key metrics
- Working with State Directors to set quarterly milestones and targets for Rural Education reporting and ensure steps are in place to achieve them
Strategic Partnership Cultivation and Development (10%)
Responsible for activities related to building local and state-based partners aligned with strategic funding opportunities, which may include:
- Working with state teams to identify and vet new possible partners/schools for expansion
- Cultivating partnerships or relationships with state and local donors, partners, governments, and other key stakeholders
- Promoting Save the Children’s expertise and services through state-based and local venues, conference presentations, and other related activities
- Providing program content and edits for proposal development
- Working with finance and state teams to support budget development for proposals.
- Interacting with donors and participating in VIP visits
- Liaising with the Senior Coordinator for field operations to solicit and prepare briefing materials
- You have a minimum 5-7 years' experience in area of expertise
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with colleagues across levels, teams and locations
- Demonstrated ability to work with SEAs, LEAs, Early Childhood divisions, funders, and other partner organizations
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Ability to travel regionally and nationally approximately 25% of the time.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint)
- Pro-active, detail-oriented, and manages deadlines independently.
- Maintains a problem-solving mindset
- A valid driver’s license and ability to drive a car
- Aetna Medical and Dental insurance with a concierge service
- Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
- Vision Insurance
- Life insurance
- Employee Assistance Program
- Commuter Benefit Program
- Vacation and Sick leave
- Paid holidays
What makes us special!
- Generous Retirement Savings with matching company contributions of up to 8%
- Family Leave – 10 additional days of paid time off for you to use to care for your family members
- Additional Maternity and Paternity Leave – 30 days where parents can take additional paid leave (beyond short-term disability and FMLA) at the birth or adoption of a child during that critical first year!
- Critical Child Illness Leave – We hope you never have to use it, but we will provide an additional 30 days of paid leave per year should your dependent child be faced with a critical illness.
- Pet Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Identity Protection, Home, Auto and additional Life insurances
- Summer Fun Fridays – During the summer months, early release at 1:30 pm every other Friday!
- Volunteer Day – One paid day a year to support the causes that matter to you!
- Leadership and Employee Development Training, including:
- Our remarkable in-house CORE, Senior Management Development, and Leadership Development Programs
- Language learning opportunities
- Continuous Improvement skill development programs
- Brown Bag information sharing sessions