Director of Early Learning & Head Start

Mid-America Regional Council   Kansas City, MO   Full-time     Education
Posted on May 18, 2023
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MARC – Director of Early Learning & Head Start

OMNI is honored to be retained by Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) in the search for a Director of Early
Learning & Head Start. This leadership role is responsible for advancing strategic initiatives at local, regional, and
state levels to expand access and improve the quality of early learning programs. The Director of Early Learning & Head Start will play a critical role in ensuring that all young children are prepared for academic and lifelong

MARC, the association of local governments and metropolitan planning organizations for the Kansas City region,
promotes and supports cooperation on regional issues including transportation, community development,
environment, emergency services, local government services, aging and early learning. MARC’s early learning and Head Start programs provide leadership and coordination to build a robust early learning system with strong families, skilled teachers, quality programs, supportive communities, sustained and sufficient funding, and multi-sector collaboration.

There is currently significant community momentum to enhance early childhood opportunities and expand access to affordable childcare. The Director of Early Learning will play a key role in helping to advance this vision by supporting and leading broader community initiatives and playing the central role in helping MARC to assess and retool its  early education programs and initiatives to meet heightened community expectations and shifting operational requirements. At the same time, the director will be responsible for managing the ongoing programs of MARC Early Learning and MARC Head Start.

Since 2005, MARC has been the lead grantee for the Head Start Program in Clay, Platte, and Jackson counties,
providing federally funded, comprehensive early learning services to 2,400+ infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and
their families. Head Start innovations... The Director of Early Learning & Head Start will lead a team of thirty staff
and oversee a $36+ million annual Head Start grant with 17 partner agencies, in addition to other systemic work in early learning initiatives across the region.

Additionally, this role will facilitate and support broad community collaborations to ensure the ongoing progress
and effectiveness of all MARC Early Learning programs and services, including educating and providing staff
development for in-home service providers; administration of Western Missouri Pre-K Collaborative Network
(pending); Quality Improvement and Assessment ToolsPartners in Quality convening early educators, and other
programs serving the regional early education and childcare system.

Position Summary
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Early Learning & Head Start will provide primary vision,
oversight, and leadership of the programs and initiatives of MARC’s Department of Early Learning. Additional
responsibilities include:
• Serve as a key spokesperson and build public awareness for the community on early learning issues and
• Provide leadership in the development of long-term strategies for early learning initiatives, both regionally
and statewide in Missouri and Kansas, including participating in statewide system development work for
early learning.

• Support civic and stakeholder involvement in all aspects of Early Learning and MARC Head Start programs
through successfully interfacing with parents, civic leaders, and elected officials, mobilizing diverse
constituencies, and identifying policy and financing opportunities.
• Continue the implementation of the Partners in Quality strategic plan, which is focused on improving
program outcomes, quality enhancements, workforce development, and fiscal sustainability.
• Build relationships with public and private funders and develop proposals that respond to community
needs and funder interest.
• Lead MARC Early Learning staff, maximizing individual and team strengths to achieve goals and drive high
• Maintain superior stewardship of funds and resources by owning the department’s financial health,
including monitoring and reporting on expenditures, and identifying and addressing future financial needs.
• Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence through the continued assessment of the roles that MARC plays
in early education, as well as identify opportunities to enhance educational outcomes.
• Drive performance-based metrics in all programs and staff, including data-driven forecasting and long-term
planning to prove efficacy of strategies through outcomes measurement.
• Continuously unveil opportunities for process streamlining, use of technology to facilitate better service,
and internal and external collaboration.
• Serve as a member of MARC’s leadership team by providing direction to overall agency objectives and

Position Qualifications
MARC encourages diverse candidates to apply and will consider a combination of life and career experience in lieu of the preferred qualifications listed.
• Master’s degree in social work, early childhood education, or closely related field.
• 7-10 years of relevant, progressively responsible experience required; preferred leadership experience in
program and fund development and management with a focus in early education initiatives.
• Proven success leading a high-performance team in an organization of similar size/scope required;
leadership experience in a non-profit environment preferred.
• Demonstrated success leading coalitions and initiatives involving diverse stakeholders and working with
civic leaders, elected officials, program/district leadership, and professional educators.
• Previous public policy and advocacy experience.
• Experience managing federal grants, and strong financial acumen.
• Outstanding communication skills with the ability to serve as a spokesperson and relationship builder.
• Passion for early education; integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven and self-directed leadership style.

We appreciate your referrals to professionals who may have an interest in this outstanding opportunity. Please direct all inquiries to: OMNI Human Resource Management Michelle Anderson, Vice President of Executive Search 

OMNI and our clients are Equal Opportunity Employers and seek diversity in candidates for employment. EEO Employer W/M/Vet/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.


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