Chief Early Education Officer
- Experience Level
The Chief Early Education Officer is a new position within Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. It will oversee the MECK Pre-K program, providing strategic oversight and direction in coordination with County leaders and Smart Start leadership. It will also help to define and set a path forward for Universal Pre-K in Mecklenburg County, helping to bring all Pre-K programs and constituents together around a centralized vision and mission. The Chief Early Education Officer will also collaborate with other internal and external stakeholders to provide thought leadership and assist with the execution of initiatives and programs directly affecting Pre-K learning.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Program Oversight and Leadership
The Chief Early Education Officer is a member of the senior management team of SSMC. The employee will be responsible for providing strategic direction and oversight of the MECK Pre-K program, which is administered by SSMC, and funded by Mecklenburg County. This role will entail managing the Executive Director of MECK Pre-K and working with the program leadership to develop a clear human capital and resource strategy to meet the goals of the program, including the significant growth planned for the program over the next three years. This person will also work closely with Mecklenburg County leadership to articulate the vision, goals and results for the program in an ongoing and highly collaborative manner, using the Mecklenburg County Action Plan for Early Childhood Education. The employee should have experience leading, creating organization structure and delegating responsibility to grow an organization.
The Chief Early Education Officer will also demonstrate external leadership in Mecklenburg County, helping to build momentum and ultimately realize the vision for Universal Pre-K in the county. The candidate will have the ability to form strong relationships built on trust and accountability.
Data & Reporting
Ensure consistent and timely MECK Pre-K programmatic data is shared internally with Smart Start leadership as well as County leadership. Use data to inform decisions, and create a consistent method to depict areas of success, opportunity and improvements using identified metrics.
Utilize national, statewide and local data to inform the needs case for Universal Pre-K in Mecklenburg County. Create the business case for Universal Pre-K and build a community-wide coalition to drive toward its execution.
Collaboration with Smart Start Leadership
The Chief Early Education Officer will have demonstrated success building a strong working relationship with internal leaders of an organization, including, but not limited to the CEO. As a member of the senior management team, the candidate will be adept at working with their colleagues to address issues and opportunities across the organization, not just in their direct realm of responsibility. This employee will help to lead the organization through a lens of equity and ensuring that the best interests of all children and families are taken into account. The candidate will closely collaborate with the Chief Strategy Officer and the Program team to ensure best practices, research and knowledge is utilized to inform decisions related to MECK Pre-K and Universal Pre-K.
Community Collaboration and Convening
Working with partner organizations across a variety of disciplines and responsibilities is key to the leadership of the growing MECK Pre-K program as well as moving toward the vision of universal Pre-K. Having the ability to listen and eliminate silos will be essential in this role. The employee should have superior communication skills through a variety of mediums (in person, written, social media, etc.). Consistent communication and meetings with partners in the work will be essential in the role. The candidate will be a recognizable face and voice in the community for MECK Pre-K, universal Pre-K, and the importance of early childhood education in general.