Position Summary: Responsible for day-to-day operation and management of the classroom. Responsible for guiding and directing the learning experiences for children by providing a developmentally appropriate learning environment.
Essential Job Functions:
- Provides developmentally appropriate activities to enhance physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of children in the classroom, ensuring each child’s individual needs are met. Prepares and implements lesson plans in collaboration with teacher assistant using established curricula ensuring that small group, large group and individual experiences are provided. Ensures current lesson plan is posted in classroom.
- Guides children in developing basic concepts as prescribed in the education, nutrition, health, dental and mental health plans. Responsible for ensuring children are prepared for screening and exam procedures such as vision, hearing, dental, speech, and developmental to encourage successful completion.
- Maintains ongoing observation and assessment on each child within the classroom utilizing required tracking tools. Daily observation will include anecdotal notes, health checks, and other tracking requirements.
- Works collaboratively with health staff to ensure a well-stocked first aid kit. Ensures all medication is stored properly in the classroom and all OSHA standards are met. Maintains current emergency contact information for families.
- Ensures medication is administered properly to children, following all written procedures.
- Develops Education Child Portfolio for each child in the classroom with required documentation and ensures information is accurate and current.
- Ensures referral is completed and submitted to the appropriate service area for any child with a suspected delay or any other area of concern.
- Participates in the child staffing process with the disability services team and LEA, including the completion of required paperwork, attending staffings and implementation of the IEP when child is determined eligible.
- Implements and documents organized play in the outdoor learning environment. Provides appropriate guidance to promote children’s gross motor development. Balances indoor and outdoor activities to stimulate both cognitive growth and physical skills.
- 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 children are met. Prepares requests for and purchases all classroom supplies/equipment with supervisor approval.
- Provides and participates in learning experiences that allow children to solve problems, initiate activities, explore, question and gain mastery through learning by doing. Encourages language development of children by asking open ended questions.
- Supports the development of children’s 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.
- Maintains accurate classroom attendance, assuring the sign in/out sheet corresponds with the number of children in the classroom at all times. Provides information to Family Advocate in a timely manner, of any known reason for child absence.
- Posts and reviews current menu in classroom for discussion with children. Participates with children at mealtimes, including breakfast and lunch, ensuring family-style dining is implemented.
- Plans and implements healthy cooking experiences within the classroom setting that reflect the ethnic and cultural composition of the population.
- 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 ensuring two home visits and two parent/teacher conferences are conducted yearly. Recruits parents as volunteers in the classroom/center. Documents/reports parent participation in center activities.
- Completes two individualized home activities each month per child and provides to parents.
- Acquaints volunteers with the classroom and ensures they are aware of the expectations of a volunteer.
- Prepares parent bulletin board and ensures compliance with program standards.
- Reports child abuse and neglect in accordance with program policies and procedures.
- Emphasizes the importance of child cleanliness/hygiene, assuring that hand washing takes place at appropriate times throughout the day and tooth brushing takes place after lunch. Ensures children’s hands and face are clean upon departing for the day.
- Plan and participate in educational field trips meeting Head Start requirements.
- Assists in the recruitment of children for the program. Participates in community activities as requested that enhance the Head Start program.
- Maintains appropriate documentation required by USDA/Child Care Food Program and ensures quality of data and timelines for completion.
- Provides professional guidance to and collaborates with the teacher assistant in all classroom duties.
- Actively participates in center/classroom activities, parent meetings and parent activities as requested.
- Acts as an advocate and role model for Head Start families. Recruits children 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 programs as directed.
- Participates in ongoing monitoring, Community Assessment and Self-Assessment and performs reasonable related functions.
- Submits reports, documents, and files as directed.
- 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: B.A./B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education or a B.A./B.S. degree in a related field with at least 30 credit hours in ECE. 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. Within 18 months of employment, must obtain a Director’s Credential, which must be maintained throughout employment.
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 children activities. 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 facilities in Hernando, Sumter and/or Volusia counties. Occasional travel 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.