Position Summary: Responsible for day-to-day operation and management of the classroom. Responsible for guiding and directing the learning experiences for infants, toddlers and two years-old by providing a developmentally appropriate learning environment.
Essential Job Functions:
- Maintains an open, friendly, and cooperative relationship with each child and family.
- Encourages each child's family to be actively involved in the Early Head Start program.
- Promotes/supports parent-child bonding and nurturing parent-child relationships.
- Promotes/supports feelings of security and trust in infants, toddlers, and two year-olds.
- Greets infants, toddlers, and two year-olds and their parents/caregivers warmly and with enthusiasm each morning.
- Assures that: each infant, toddler, and two year-old is warmly greeted upon arrival; each infant is held; and each child is transitioned to become a part of the learning environment.
- Talks, sings, and reads to infants, toddlers, and two year-olds frequently throughout the day.
- Responds quickly, in a soothing and tender manner to infants, toddlers and two years -old cries or calls of distress.
- Responds consistently to infants/toddler’s needs for food and comfort.
- Implements individualized feeding plans for infants, sit with toddlers and two year-olds, and shares family-style meal; models manners and good nutrition.
- Tends to children's personal hygiene needs, remaining especially attentive to but not limited to: routines such as diaper changing, cleaning, feeding, and changing soiled or wet clothes.
- Respects children’s curiosity about each other; ensures that children treat each other gently.
- Organizes each day's activities to provide children with a variety of individualized experiences and opportunities that allow them to develop curiosity, initiative, problem-solving skills, and creativity, as well as a sense of security and a feeling of belonging to the group.
- Conducts developmental screenings and ongoing assessments of infant, toddler, and two year-olds to determine motor, language, social, cognitive perceptual and emotional skills.
- Completes timely, neat, accurate documentation of screenings, assessments, individualized plans, attendance, daily health checklist, feedings, daily activity logs for parents/caregivers, home visits, inventories, and other documentation as may be deemed necessary for providing quality services.
- Completes menu worksheet for assigned infants, toddlers, and two year-olds.
- Submits weekly, written developmental plans to the CDS for each child, according to growth and needs, with input from parents/caregivers.
- Maintains a safe, clean, care-giving environment, practices good personal hygiene and hand washing, and assures the wellbeing and safety of all of the children in that environment.
- Maintains a positive, calm attitude and a pleasant, soothing voice, and models this attitude and voice for parents and others working or volunteering in the program.
- Maintains a cooperative attitude of working together with other Infant, Toddler, and Two Year-Old teachers and supervisors, parents and volunteers in planning and implementing activities for the program/classroom.
- Utilizes developmentally appropriate discipline techniques.
- Protects all children from physical punishment or verbal abuse by anyone in any program activity, and immediately reports any such incident to the center director or person in charge.
- Provides for the physical safety of each child from arrival time until departure time.
- Assists the family advocate in teaching and modeling developmentally appropriate practices for parents/caregivers in caring for their young children.
- Observes children to detect signs of illness, injury, abuse, neglect, emotional disturbance, or other special needs, and reports these signs immediately to the CDS or person in charge.
- Plans activities for children with special needs, with training and technical assistance from disabilities and mental health specialists; implements individual education plans, behavior management plans, and/or individualized services or activities as outlined for these children.
- Attends all training opportunities and staff meetings as provided and scheduled.
- Performs any other tasks deemed necessary by supervisors.
- Demonstrates proficiency and application in the learning environment of the CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System).
- Guides children in developing basic concepts as prescribed in the education, nutrition, health, dental and mental health plans
- Develops Education Child Portfolio for each infant, toddler, and two year-old in the classroom with required and current documentation and ensures accuracy and completion.
- Ensures referral is completed and submitted to the appropriate service area for any infant, toddler, and two year-old with a suspected delay or any other area of concern.
- Participates in supporting the family with the implementation process of the ISFP in collaboration with the Disabilities team and Early Steps.
- Maintains a safe, clean, and orderly classroom and playground area. Monitors and reports in writing to supervisor any needed repairs and takes appropriate action to correct any unsafe area.
- Establishes and maintains an adequately supplied classroom, ensuring the physical and developmental needs of all infants, toddlers and two year -old are met. Prepares requests for and purchases all classroom supplies/equipment with supervisor approval.
- Provides and participates in learning experiences that allow infants, toddlers, and two year-olds to solve problems, initiate activities, explore environments, and develop language through hands-on learning.
- Supports the development of infants/toddlers positive self-concept and social skills through the promotion of cultural and ethnic acceptance and experiences.
- Provides direct supervision to children at all times; maintaining child/staff ratios in accordance with policies and regulations.
- Provides information to Family Advocate of any known reason for child absence.
- Ensures regular safety and fire/storm drills are conducted. Assures that emergency procedures and evacuation routes are posted in the classroom.
- Maintains and documents regular contact with parents/caregivers ensuring two home visits and two parent/teacher conferences are conducted yearly.
- Recruits parents/caregivers as volunteers in the classroom/center. Documents/reports parent participation in center activities.
- Prepares two individualized home activities each month per child and provides activity instructions to parents.
- Acquaints volunteers with the classroom.
- Prepares parent bulletin board and ensures compliance with program standards.
- Emphasizes the importance of cleanliness/hygiene, assuring that hand washing takes place at appropriate times throughout the day including but not limited to after diaper changing/toileting, nose cleaning, and before/after mealtime.
- Ensures children’s hands and face are clean upon departing for the day.
- Promotes and assists children with tooth brush routine after lunch.
- Assists in the recruitment of children for the program. Participates in community activities as requested that enhance the Early Head Start program.
- Maintains appropriate documentation required by USDA/Child Care Food Program and ensures quality of data and timelines for completion.
- Actively participates in center/classroom activities, parent meetings and annual parent activities as requested.
- Acts as an advocate and role model for Early Head Start families. Recruits infants, toddlers, and two year-olds for the program.
- Assists in the development and implementation of the annual training plan, including pre-service, in-service, T/TA, and ongoing training requirements.
- Attends and actively participates in training programs, staff meetings, and other meeting/trainings.
- Maintains confidentiality in all aspects of client, staff and agency information.
- Maintains effective working interaction with coworkers and outside contacts that will enhance the operation of the Head Start program.
- Organizes and prioritizes all assignments as directed.
- Participates in community activities that enhance Head Start / Early Head Start programs as directed.
- Participates in Community Assessment and Self-Assessment and performs reasonable related functions.
- Uses and follows the policies/procedures of Head Start, federal, state and local regulations/laws, and federal regulations/laws including the Head Start Performance Standards, applicable transmittal notices, and other administrative orders/directions.
- Uses and follows the policies/procedures of Mid Florida Community Services, Inc., including but not limited to Personnel Policies, Occupational Health and Safety policies, payroll policies/practices, etc.
Performs any additional duties as directed or assigned by supervisor, management staff, program director or Mid Florida Community Services, Inc. management staff. This description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of the position and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities, or working conditions associated with the position.
Education: National CDA with Infant/Toddler Endorsement or FCCPC. See Career Development Plan for expected education and DCF/Mid Florida Community Services, Inc. training requirements for each level.
Experience: Two years of experience in child education, care and service or related field.
Licenses & Certifications: Valid Florida driver’s license and be insurable by Company’s current carrier. Subject to Federal, State and Local legal requirements/background checks/clearance for working with children. First Aid and CPR certified. Must maintain a current Director’s Credential.
Critical Skills, Abilities, & Expertise:
Physical Requirements: These physical demands are representative of the physical requirements necessary for an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the position. Sitting, standing for long periods of time, use of fingers, arms, hands and legs and voice/talking are constant. Good eyesight (correctable) and hearing (correctable) are essential. Squatting, walking, handling, grasping, stretching/reaching, bending at the waist, driving and light lifting and/or carrying (up to 15lbs) are frequent. Pushing, pulling, kneeling, balancing, turning, feeling, medium lifting and/or carrying (up to 65lbs) are occasional. Smelling, tasting, bending and feeling are frequent. Playing with children, which may include hopping, skipping, jumping, dancing, and twisting are occasional. Must have ability to get up from a seated position on the floor or a low chair without hesitation.
Equipment: Instructional materials and supplies, playground equipment, computer, multi-line phone and other small office and equipment and vehicle.
Skills & Expertise: Ability to carry out lesson plans. Ability to implement and coordinate activities for infants, toddlers, and two year-olds. Ability to work with children with special needs. Knowledge of early childhood education methods. Ability to establish effective working relationships with people, particularly parents and children. Skill in completing work with a high degree of accuracy. Ability to arrive to work daily and on time. Ability to work with limited direction. Knowledge of organization methods. Ability to evaluate situations and make prompt decision. Ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing. Ability to analyze and interpret data. Ability to use and operate a personal computer. Knowledge of child disability and mental health issues. Ability to maintain Mid Florida Community Services, Inc., Head Start, child and parent confidentiality. Knowledge of classroom management techniques. Ability to be reliable, responsible and accountable to job requirements.
Environmental Job Factors:
Job Location: Primary location is the Head Start/ Early Head Start facilities in Hernando, Sumter and/or Volusia counties. Occasional travel may be require to other counties
Work Environment: While performing the responsibilities of the position, these work environment characteristics are representative of the environment the employee will encounter. Office/classroom environment and working with others frequently. Working with office equipment is frequent. Occasionally outdoors and operates a vehicle.