Family Services of Westchester (FSW) provides mental health and social services that strengthen and support families, children and individuals at every stage of their lives. With 50 innovative programs, FSW serves 30,000 individuals annually in Westchester County, New York.
Founded in 1954, Family Services of Westchester is a private, nonprofit, non-sectarian social services agency.
FSW’s Head Start/Early Head Start is a federal government program that was created in 1965 to give preschool children from low-income families a “head start” on their readiness for elementary school.
Family Services of Westchester is looking for full-time Head Teachers for our Head Start program in Port Chester, NY.
STATUS: Permanent/ Full Time
SUPERVISED BY: Site Director/Site Coordinator / Education Manager
PURPOSE: To interpret and implement the Head Start/Early Head Start
programs. Addressing and supporting the needs of each individual child.
This position serves as the Lead Teacher in a Head Start classroom by planning, implementing, and supervising all classroom activities. This position works with typically developing children and children with disabilities. Because this position is one part of an extensive system of services provided to children and families, this position also serves as a social service referral person and shares responsibility for parent involvement in the program. The role of the Teacher works in tandem with the integrated team to support the goals of the program. The position may be reassigned to various classrooms/centers as necessary for program operations.
Scope of Influence
· Lead teaching team in documentation, reflection and planning process to devise curriculum informed by children’s interests, questions, theories and prior knowledge.
· Work with a diverse community, including a significant Spanish-speaking population
· Build relationships with families and communicate about children’s learning and development in person and through documentation.
· Partner with the teaching staff and administration in the overall philosophy and direction of the Head Start Program.
· Planning and creating a classroom environment with inquiry, exploration, learning and respect in mind
· Nurturing children’s home languages through curated books, materials and the physical environment
· Creating a warm and inclusive environment where children and families feel welcome
· Organizing physical space and selection of materials in a way that is inviting and accessible to children
· Creating visual evidence of the narratives and curriculum occurring in your classroom
Planning, Preparation + Curriculum Development
· Co-constructing curriculum, based on children’s interests, questions and development
· Documenting, reflecting and planning from observations
· Participating in weekly planning meetings with teaching team
- Develop an individual plan for each child to include goal setting based on identified needs, objectives and activities to meet established goals (outcomes).
Relationships with Teaching Team
· Develop schedules and processes to ensure that work is complete in a timely fashion by teaching team.
· Lead regular documentation, reflection and planning meetings with teaching team.
· Provide feedback, coaching and support to teaching assistant as necessary.
Interactions with Children
· Speaking and listening to children with respect and mindfulness
· Supervising the whole group, while giving individual attention
· Managing classroom procedures including transitions, routines and small groups
· Engage students in exploration and ongoing project work
· Scaffolding children through conflict and problem solving
Relationships with Families
· Building respectful and reciprocal relationships with families
· Schedules home visits and parent-teacher conferences with families as required and on an as-needed basis and documents these events.
· Identifies and arranges for parents to participate as volunteers in the classroom and work as substitutes and other volunteer activities.
· Participates in Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings
· Participates in the orientation of parents to Head Start throughout the year,
· Support monthly Parent Committee meetings at the center.
- Involves parents in the educational activities of the program:
a. to emphasize their role as the principal influence on the child’s education and development; and
b. To assist parents in increasing their knowledge, understanding, skills, and experience in basic child development.
- Collect monthly in-kind records from parents and community members participating in the classroom.
· Connect families with Internal Mental Health, Health and Nutrition, and Family Services staff. for housing, employment, college access and medical resources as necessary. Check in with support staff as necessary to ensure that families’ needs are being met.
· Communicating consistently with families
· Documenting children’s learning, development and progress through mini-stories, written narratives, reflections and observations.
· Maintain a documentation portfolio for each child. Upload documentation into the Teaching Strategies Gold assessment platform weekly and complete assessment checkpoints throughout year.
- Conduct point of service meal documentation, count meals when children are seated and have been offered a credible meal by USDA standards for portions and components.
- Enter point of service meal counts in appropriate forms and COPA used by program to support claim reimbursement.
- Maintains strict confidentiality with respect to Head Start/Early Head Start children, families, and staff according to established policies and procedures.
- Becomes thoroughly familiar with FSW Head Start Employee Handbook: Human Resources Policies and Procedures and all other FSW HS handbooks, service plans, and resources and adheres to them.
- Understands and implements all required policies and procedures related to the active supervision of children at all times, including:
a. Observation of the environment evaluates that children have a place to play and can be observed and listened to at all times.
b. Continuously scan & count for children under care and reports accurate numbers when asked.
c. Listen to children at all times to identify potential danger, like specific sounds or the lack of any sound that may trigger an action.
d. Develops knowledge to the children under care to anticipate their behavior, perform a wellness check, be proactive, and avoid putting children in danger.
· Attends all required training and workshops to include focused professional development and methods that comply with applicable State and local laws for identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.
· Remains up-to-date on information that pertains to the needs of the children in the program, including Head Start Performance Standards, child care licensing regulations, and other applicable regulations and practices.
· Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or related field;
Manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer (Microsoft word, excel, etc.) and office equipment, including, but not limited to, the telephone, fax machine, and copier;
- Requires effective writing and oral communication skills to conduct meetings and to prepare reports that are clear, complete, comprehensive;
- Extensive knowledge and skills in the field of early childhood development. Knowledge of various service resources in the community. Knowledge of the state and federal child abuse and neglect regulations and child care licensing requirements. Knowledge of local resources, languages, and customs is helpful.
- Ability to be perceptive of children’s needs and work well with staff, children, and parents/families,
- Ability to organize and direct classroom activities,
- Ability to maintain accurate records which reflect the needs and progress of children, utilizing Teaching Strategies Gold.
- Ability to communicate ideas and instructions orally and in writing,
- Ability to speak before groups of individuals,
- Ability to maintain strict confidentiality at all times, including recognizing situations in which confidentiality is required,
- Ability to exhibit patience and tact when communicating with children, families, staff, management, referral sources, and the public,
- Ability to project professionalism in conducting daily activities.
- Ability to work with typically developing children and children with disabilities.
2+ years of experience working with young children and families in an early childhood programs such as Head Start/Early Head Start, implementing comprehensive family services for young children and families from diverse backgrounds.
- Must be able to lift up to 45 pounds.
- In the middle of the workday, local travel will be required for home visits.
- Travel may be required to attend conferences, meetings, and other duties at distant locations.
- COVID-19 vaccination is required to work at Family Services of Westchester. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 must be submitted as part of employment application.
Family Services of Westchester is an equal opportunity employer and we do not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law.
To apply, please email resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org