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Director of Head Start Program (HRA)

NYC Public Schools
Date Posted: 03/26/2024
Location: New York, New York
Salary/Wage: $129,014 - $149,000 a year
Job Type: Full-time
Work Arrangement: Onsite



Position Summary: The Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) supports the operational and programmatic functions of early childhood education programs for NYC children in elementary schools, Pre-K Centers, and New York City Public Schools (NYCPS) contracted settings included in Community Based Organizations (CBO) and through Family Childcare (FCC) programs. DECE provides families with access to high quality, inclusive early childhood programs for children birth to five, in rich diverse settings, supporting children’s growth and development. Working together with families and programs, DECE ensures that children are engaged, nurtured, and supported.  


Reporting to the Chief of Strategy and Policy, the Executive Director, Head Start DECE will oversee the City’s Head Start grant and support Head Start programs in delivering high-quality early childhood services to children and families. The Executive Director will serve as a critical partner to the executive team and other staff in coordinating the implementation of a unified birth-to-five system of early care and education. In partnership with other DECE teams, the Executive Director will be charged with building systems and developing processes that ensure the successful implementation and oversight of Head Start programs. Performs related work.


Reports to: Chief of Strategy and Policy


Direct Reports: Head Start Coordinators


Key Relationships: Deputy Chancellor of DECE, DECE Cabinet, Chief of Strategy and Policy, NYS Office of Head Start, Head Start governing board, Head Start delegate agencies, Executive Director, Program Directors, teachers and principals, and various offices/divisions within the NYCPS, including external stakeholders.





Strategy, Planning, and Policy


  • Oversee the NYC Head Start program that serves thousands of low-income children and their families, coordinating across teams within the Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) to create a quality experience for children, families, and program staff.
  • Manage relationships with Head Start delegate agencies to ensure that all program leaders are involved in grantee planning processes, aware of new policies and initiatives, and able to raise questions and provide feedback.
  • Supervise development and ensure timely submission of Head Start specific reports, including the annual Program Information Report, quarterly and monthly reports to the Board and Policy Council, the Community Needs Assessment, annual grant applications, and Training and Technical Assistance proposals.
  • Lead the annual self-assessment process, which includes analysis of delegate and grantee data, and involvement of the Policy Council and Governing Board to reflect on progress and areas of growth and development of recommendations based on these processes.
  • Serve as a resource for policy and research across the program team.
  • Develop recommendations for key policies, personnel, and budget decisions.
  • Manage communication and capacity building structures, including resource development, that support Head Start policies, data reporting protocols, and accountability impacts.
  • Ensure the delivery of consistent messaging regarding alignment between policies, programming, and accountability.


Team Governance, Leadership and Communications


  • Manage a team of staff that are dedicated to the support and oversight of Head Start programs.
  • Lead the NYCPS’s relationship with the federal Office of Head Start and Regional Office, including coordinating Regional Training and Technical assistance programming, liaising with the Regional Office Program Specialist responsible for DECE grant management, and coordination and preparation for federal monitoring reviews.
  • Provide leadership, direction, counsel, and support in a broad range of strategic, managerial, logistical, and administrative areas.
  • Support leadership capacity building efforts around resource optimization, strategic staffing, and effective operational practices that impact and accelerate program achievement.


Qualification Requirements:




  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college with a major in education or social services and four years of full-time, satisfactory professional experience in one or more of the following fields: education, child psychology, program development, program evaluation, social or health care administration or a related field; at least eighteen months of which must have been in an administrative, managerial or executive capacity or supervising professional staff performing duties in one or more of the fields described immediately above; or
  2. Education and/or experience equivalent to “1” above. However, all candidates must have the eighteen months of supervisory, administrative, managerial or executive experience as described in “1” above.




  • 10+ years of leadership experience, preferably with the NYCPS or other educational institutions.
  • Ability to lead organizational change in large, dynamic institutions.
  • Expertise in knowledge sharing in general, and familiarity with an array of online platforms and tools that support knowledge sharing best practices.
  • Ability to engage team leaders throughout the NYCPS and the city’s schools around the value of knowledge sharing, resource sharing, and collaboration.
  • Knowledge of research methodologies that support user-centered design thinking and the use of formative data to inform product development.
  • Strong leadership, teamwork and influencing skills, with experience in program teams at all levels in a cross-functional, diverse, and evolving environment.
  • Ability to think strategically and enact a vision and mobilize groups of people toward a common goal.
  • Ability to build strong working relationships with constituents and represent the Division of Early Childhood Education internally and externally.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, prioritize workstreams and achieve results.
  • Excellent and effective communication skills, including the ability to write well and make clear, concise oral presentations and written reports.
  • Skill with group problem-solving and working with complex concepts in a dynamic setting.
  • A broad and deep knowledge base of the issues in K-12 education; experience working in the early education field.
Minimum Education Level: Bachelor's Degree
Preferred Education Level: Master's Degree

Application Instructions:

(Internal candidates who are selected for this position and who currently hold comparable or less senior positions within the DOE will not earn less than their current salary.)

Please include a resume and cover letter with your application.

NOTE: The filling of all positions is subject to budget availability and/or grant funding.

New York City Residency is NOT Required *

We encourage all applicants from the New York City tri-state area to apply.

Visit this website: Vacancy Details (

Additional Information:


DOE Non- Discrimination Policy
The Department of Education of the City of New York is an inclusive equal opportunity employer committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and providing a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment upon any legally protected status or protected characteristic, including but not limited to an individual's actual or perceived sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or pregnancy. For more information, please refer to the DOE Non-Discrimination Policy.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness
As a prospective employee of the City of New York, you may be eligible for federal loan forgiveness programs and state repayment assistance programs. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Education's website at

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