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Mid-America Regional Council Head Start Program Director

Posted: 10/07/2019

Mid-America Regional Council Head Start Program Director
The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) is seeking a qualified individual to lead the region’s largest Early Head Start/Head Start grant program. The Head Start Program Director will oversee a team of highly competent professionals who play an integral role in building systems to deliver quality services to children and families. MARC has a collaborative work environment with a culture based on integrity, innovation, diversity and inclusion, excellence in performance and service leadership.

MARC, the association of local governments and metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region, promotes and supports cooperation on regional issues, including transportation, community development, environment, emergency services, aging and early learning.
MARC has a reputation for innovation and excellence. Since 1989, the Early Learning Department has coordinated broad-based community efforts to enhance the region’s system of early learning services that support families and prepare children for success. MARC has served as the Head Start and Early Head Start grantee for Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties in Missouri since 2005. MARC Head Start is funded by federal, state, and private grants as well as local contributions. As a grantee, we offer oversight and support for the provision of Head Start and Early Head Start services for 18 early childhood agencies. By facilitating collaboration and continuity among these agencies, MARC Head Start is creating a network of early childhood programs to support the needs of low-income pregnant women, children from birth through age five, and their families in urban, suburban, and rural settings in the three-county area. More information about MARC Head Start can be found online at

During 2016-2018, MARC Head Start engaged in a thorough self-study that sought to ensure our region’s Head Start programming meets the needs of the community; implements newly revised program performance standards; and is designed to operate in an efficient, effective, transparent and fiscally responsible manner. The community-designed MARC Head Start delivery structure rolled-out in the fall of 2018. As implementation continues, the next MARC Head Start Program Director will have the opportunity to enhance the MARC Head Start Delivery structure by:

  • Strategically placing Head Start in regional discussions to enhance quality and leverage partnerships to broaden community impact.
  • Linking the work of MARC Head Start to broader family support systems such as workforce, housing and peer support networks.
  • Ensuring equitable and inclusive practices that embrace the diversity of the region are embedded in program design.
  • Building team capacity and deploying technology to drive improved access to quality programs and services.
  • A leader who can build a collaborative network while maintaining and valuing individual agency identities.
  • An analytical thinker with a strong dedication to program improvement.
  • Someone who is detail oriented while maintaining a big picture perspective.
  • A strong, tactful and diplomatic leader who works proactively to build relationships with internal and external partners and stakeholders.
  • A team leader who manages a diverse staff and advisors in a caring, genuine, service-oriented manner.
  • An excellent and responsive verbal and written communicator.
  • A self-starter who can determine and prioritize a demanding workload while being flexible to handle emergent unplanned needs and situations.
  • Someone who is able to balance strength-based improvement strategies with compliance with federal performance standards.
  • Someone with proven fiscal management skills.
Oversee the MARC Head Start Program, including the development and continued implementation of appropriate monitoring, governance and reporting systems to ensure compliance with Head Start Performance Standards, and state and local child-care regulations. Representative essential functions include:
  • Supervise MARC Head Start staff of 24 with 7 direct reports.
  • Provide leadership for the Head Start Policy Council and Advisory Committee.
  • Convene partners to enhance the MARC Head Start service delivery system.
  • Empower staff to make decisions and have a sense of ownership for the work.
  • Serve as a spokesperson and liaison between MARC Head Start and a wide-range of stakeholders.
  • Lead the reporting, planning, and periodic grant reapplication processes for all Head Start and Early Head Start programs to ensure continued federal funding and grantee status.
  • Participate in and represent MARC Head Start in local, state and federal early childhood development task forces, committees and organizations.
  • Lead a community assessment effort every 5 years and oversee annual updates and reports.
  • Ensure the continuation and improvement of early childhood development programs by securing additional human and fiscal resources, enhancing the quality of current programs and developing innovative ways to serve low- and moderate-income children and families in the MARC Head Start service area.
  • Establish and maintain relationships and collaborations with public schools, community-based early learning providers, and other community agencies and contractors.
The following qualifications are federal requirements for this role.
  • Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Social Work or a related field.
  • Experience in supervision of staff, fiscal management and administration.
Additional qualifications required to be considered for this role:
  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively complex and responsible work experience, including 5 years at the management level.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a multifaceted program and understand and implement programs consistent with federal and state law.
  • Evidence of successful experience in preparation and execution of budgets.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and supervise a team with a diverse set of job functions.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of high quality and innovative early childhood programs.
  • Successful history of collaboration with a broad array of stakeholders.
  • Understanding of and alignment with the Head Start philosophy and the ability to implement its principle of shared authority and decision making.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office applications.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to pass a physical examination, TB screening, and background check.
Your resume and application will stand out if you have:
  • Master’s degree with a concentration in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Social Work, or a related field.
  • Five years of experience in Head Start programming and administration, including systems development.
  • Leadership experience in a Head Start program of comparable size.
  • Strong skills in Head Start program planning, monitoring and management.
  • Experience working with a nonprofit organization in a variety of settings (urban, suburban, rural).
  • Strong understanding of the Head Start grant application process and reporting systems (ChildPlus), with proven success in securing funding.
  • Experience in leading significant, forward-looking change initiatives.
Starting annual rate of pay for the Head Start Program Director is $85,000 to $100,000 depending upon qualifications. MARC offers an attractive team-oriented work environment along with a competitive fringe benefit package. 

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, salary requirements and resume when applying at  Submit all application materials by October 18, 2019 for full consideration.
MARC provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

Job Type: Full Time