Executive Director – Bright Beginnings Inc.
Bright Beginnings seeks an Executive Director to build on a 30-year tradition of delivering nurturing and evidence-based educational, therapeutic, and social services to children and their families experiencing homelessness in the Washington, DC region. The Executive Director will contribute leadership to programming that will empower children to learn, succeed academically, and achieve their dreams while their families move from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
Established in 1990 by the Junior League of Washington, Bright Beginnings has a robust history of helping thousands of children and their families experiencing housing instability by providing them with quality care, education, and support during times of hardship and transition. Bright Beginnings is dedicated to meeting the immediate needs of children and families experiencing homelessness by: providing children with a safe, nurturing educational environment; preparing children to enter kindergarten ready to learn; and supporting parents in stabilizing their home lives and becoming self-sufficient. With a whole-child, two-generation approach, Bright Beginnings envisions a world where all children and families in the District receive the support and resources necessary to thrive and realize their full potential.
The five pillars of Bright Beginnings’ Two-Generation approach are to:
- Provide early childhood education and support children’s development.
- Connect parents with post-secondary education and employment pathways.
- Build economic assets.
- Support health and well-being.
- Help families accrue social capital.
Bright Beginnings offers comprehensive wrap-around services to both children and their parents with the goal of supporting families as they take the brave journey from crisis to self-sufficiency. Programs include:
- Family Services, providing knowledgeable and reliable resources to families to assist them in building economic assets, supporting personal health and wellbeing, and accruing social capital.
- Home Visiting Program, coaching parents on strategies for being their child’s first and best teacher in their home environments.
- Health, Wellness & Therapeutic Services, providing early interventions to children with learning disabilities, cognitive delays, and health problems upon entering kindergarten.
- Fatherhood Program, supporting fathers while improving their parenting skills and increasing their knowledge of effective fathering by building self-awareness and self-care.
- Workforce Development, preparing parents of Bright Beginning students for jobs and careers that lead to self-sufficiency.
Bright Beginnings uses an evidenced-based, data-driven approach to improve programs consistently and intentionally in order to better serve families. As a result, over the years, the organization has grown and refined its two-generation programming. During the 2020-2021 school year:
- The Parent Intern Program progressed in terms of curriculum and goal setting and grew in workforce partnerships. Ten parents participated, and the work they did throughout the program helped them to progress and reach their desired employment goals.
- A new Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Coordinator and new Child and Family Trauma Specialist joined Bright Beginnings. The team also includes a Speech and Language Pathologist and an Occupational Therapist that work together to provide services to Bright Beginnings students with special needs or emerging concerns.
- A revamped Policy Council formed to include parents and prepare them as soon-to-be members on governance practices, Head Start programming, and goals for the school year.
- The Language Environmental Analysis (LENA) system, which measures a child’s daily language experience and generates feedback on the amount of back-and-forth interaction, provided curriculum for 61 students. Results of the analysis validated the program’s effectiveness to produce significant outcomes.
Bright Beginnings just kicked off its first year in a five-year strategic plan. Its goals include:
- Two Generation Approach: Provide innovative programming that eliminates disparities in DC.
- Whole Child: Maximize opportunities for children.
- Collaboration: Develop effective partnerships to meet the needs of families.
- Two Generation Policies: Advocate for resources and fair policies for the betterment of children and families.
- Asset Growth and Sustainability: Cultivate the resources required to meet the needs of children and families and build sustainability.
- Human Capital: Recruit and retain highly effective staff.
- Effective Governance: Provide exceptional governance and leadership to the organization to actively support the success of the strategic plan.
Furthermore, the plan outlines Bright Beginnings’ approach to Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive outcomes:
- Examine and study structural racism as one of the root causes of poverty that, unless addressed, prevents board and staff from realizing the organization’s vision.
- Implement culturally affirming pedagogy and practices that promote equity and inclusion.
- Board membership that reflects the diversity of knowledge, skills, experiences, and competencies needed to effectuate the vision and mission of the organization.
Bright Beginnings seeks strategic leadership from a 16-member Board of Directors. The organization’s FY22 budget is forecasted at $8.9M. A majority of its funding comes from Federal/DC funding along with foundation and other organizational donations. Over 70 dedicated instructional staff and industry professionals implement the work of the organization, with the senior management team that includes the Chief of Staff (currently serving as the Interim Executive Director), the Director of Programming, the Education Director, the Director of Development & External Affairs, and the Controller. For more information, please visit https://www.bbidc.org/.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will embody and fortify Bright Beginnings’ commitment to excellence and equity by attending to the whole child and incorporating a two-generation approach, being a learning organization, and having an evidence-based, data driven culture. The Executive Director of Bright Beginnings is responsible for the smooth and efficient operation of a quality Head Start program for infant/toddlers including the educational, health, nutrition, social services, and parental involvement for homeless pre-school children. The Executive Director also:
- Represents the Center in the larger community and in advocacy arenas to help respond to the needs of low-income children and their families.
- Ensures the maintenance and upkeep of the Center so that it remains welcoming to families and conducive to learning and creative exploration.
- Participates in fundraising and development, which includes proposal writing independently and as a team member with Board members, staff, and consultants.
- Establishes new resources and maintain existing support (in-kind, financial, partnerships, volunteers, and interns) to enhance the Center’s ability to serve children.
- Maintains collaborative relationships with foundation representatives, contract monitors, and other key partners such as the Office of Head Start, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), and other directors of community-based organizations that align to the mission of Bright Beginnings.
- Supervises staff to ensure maximum parent participation through the establishment and development of Parent Policy Council, Parent Internship Program, and cohort programming aligned to parent’s goals on the Family Partnership Agreement.
- Supervises the Education and the Program Directors in developing appropriate programs for Board approval.
- Recruits, trains, and evaluates staff on an on-going basis. This includes the clear establishment of annual performance goals, corrective action for poor performance, regular staff meetings, and development of job descriptions.
Governance and Operations
- Attends all Board meetings and retreats, as directed, including the preparation of a monthly program report, which serves to inform the Board of program activities, accomplishments, challenges, and the evolving needs of the client population.
- Develops annual program budget for Board Approval.
- Monitors and approves all expenditures and ensures appropriate management of all program revenue in collaboration with the Accountant, President, and Treasurer of the Board.
- Communicates interim financial needs with the Board in a timely fashion to maximize resources and eliminate program disruptions.
- Ensures compliance with all federal and local government licensing and reporting requirements and regulations, including writing reports required by funders (private and public).
- Ensures the adherence to the highest level of practice and ethics standards, consistent with the mission and character of Bright Beginnings, Inc.
Skills and Attributes
Ideal candidates for this position will share a philosophy and mission compatible with the goals and purposes of Bright Beginnings. They must also believe in Bright Beginnings’ values of:
The committee welcomes applicants with a variety of experiences and attributes, including:
- Demonstrated administrative ability to plan, organize, direct, evaluate and refine comprehensive services to children and their families.
- Comprehensive working knowledge of early childhood education, including theories and principles of human growth and development, broad working knowledge relative to the needs of homeless children, including experience with exceptional needs.
- Nonprofit Management Experience.
- Established track record in curriculum and program development.
- Head Start administrative experience strongly preferred.
- Fundraising experience, and the ability to assess an organization’s need for resources to operate effectively and attain sustainability.
- Relationship building capacity to become acclimated to the community, partners, staff, and board.
- Ability to lead, motivate, and supervise a team of professionals serving low- income families.
- Change management capabilities to guide staff following a transition in an ever-evolving world.
- Effective verbal and written communications with experience in advocacy, public relations, proposal writing, fundraising and policy development.
- Master’s degree in Early Childhood Administration or related field with five (5) years post master’s degree experience in childcare or similar setting working with children ages 0-5 from low-income backgrounds.
Bright Beginnings offers a benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and retirement. Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
Equal Opportunity Employer
BBI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is our policy and commitment to recruit, hire, train, and promote individuals, as well as administer all personnel actions, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, status as a qualified disabled individual, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, place of residence, or membership in any other class protected in accordance with applicable laws. Decisions regarding recruiting, hiring, and promotions are made on the basis of individual qualifications related to the requirements of the position. Likewise, the administration of other human resources matters such as compensation, benefits, transfers, reductions-in-force, recall, training, education and social/recreational programs are free from any discriminatory practices.
To apply, upload resume, cover letter, and salary requirements here. No other documents will be collected and reviewed at this time. For inquiries, contact Olive Idehen or Adrienne O’Rourke. Resume review begins immediately and will continue until a candidate is hired by the organization.