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in Bridgeport, CT

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Estimated Pay $16 per hour
Hours Full-time, Part-time
Location Bridgeport, Connecticut

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About this job

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) is a public service, outreach, and economic development unit of the University of Massachusetts, providing government, business, and non-profit organizations with effective solutions in the areas of research, organizational development, training, and technical assistance through its 9 distinct business units. UMDI has a budget of approximately $23 million per year and employs approximately 130 full-time professional employees, and 50 part-time, seasonal, and graduate student employees.

UMDI's Regional Head Start business unit provides training, consultation and other technical assistance to Head Start grantee recipients throughout the six New England states. This training, consulting and technical assistance supports Head Start programs in their continuous improvement of comprehensive child development services to low-income children and families from birth to age five, with special focus on helping preschoolers develop the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school. The UMDI Regional Head Start group also supports Head Start programs' work with families to help them understand and meet their children's educational, health, nutritional, dental and social emotional needs. Head Start federally funded programs are operated throughout the United States through grants to local public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies.

The Head Start Early Childhood (EC) Specialists will work directly with grantee recipients to provide training, consultation and technical assistance regarding services and professional development to support children being ready for school and family engagement.

Essential Functions

  • Provides on-site, group, and virtual training and technical consultation related to school readiness, family engagement and professional development.
  • Provides training and technical consultation related to the selection and implementation of ongoing child assessment, curriculum and teaching that is age, developmentally, linguistically and culturally appropriate across the birth to five spectrum.
  • Provides training and technical consultation to assist grantee recipients to improve teacher/child interactions as described by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) for center based preschool programs and other measures suitable for programs serving children from birth-to-five or children in home-based and family childcare settings.
  • Provides training and technical consultation to assist grantee recipients to develop the procedures and skills to aggregate, analyze, and use data obtained through multiple sources.
  • Provides training and technical consultation to grantee recipients to implement a research-based coaching model.
  • Provides training and technical consultation to assist grantee recipients to develop and implement family engagement practices that support family progress as described in the Parent Family and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework, including coaching of family engagement staff and selection and implementation of a parenting curriculum.
  • Provides training and technical consultation to assist grantee recipients to strengthen birth-to-five transition practices, including building relationships with local preschools, elementary schools, and other partners.
  • Provides training and technical consultation to assist grantee recipients to improve their collaboration with Local Education Agencies (LEAs), state agencies, and other partners.
  • Coordinates TTA with Grantee, Family Engagement, Health, and System Specialists to ensure effective integration of TTA across service areas, as directed by the Regional Office.
  • Maintains regular and timely communication with Regional Office staff on delivery of TTA and progress toward corrective actions or quality improvement.
  • Incorporates other tasks specific to early childhood education reflective of evolving national priorities as presented by the Office of Head Start, National Centers, Regional Offices and/or aggregate regional assessment data.

Other Functions

  • Provides training and technical consultation to grantee recipients that may also include technical consultation related to the use of this information for the purpose of individualizing for children across the birth to five spectrum in center-based, family childcare, and home-based settings.
  • Facilitates grantee recipient's planning, implementation and follow-up, using a process consultation approach.
  • Attends quarterly meetings with the ACF Regional Office in Boston, and additional meetings of contract staff.
  • Complies with all national, regional, contract, and Institute planning and reporting requirements.
  • Performs other special project-related work as required.
  • Participates in business unit and UMDI initiatives as required.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college in Early Childhood Education/Development or related field.
  • Five (5) years' experience in programs for young children ranging from birth to five years including the provision of training and technical assistance/process consultation to teachers/home visitors and/or content managers in early childhood programs.
  • Demonstrated ability in facilitating group discussions and presenting to a range of audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze data and provide training and technical consultation to assist program to make date-informed decisions.
  • Demonstrated experience providing training and/or technical consultation to programs in developing and/or implementing school readiness goals or plans.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing.
  • Proficient in use of Microsoft Applications, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master's degree from an accredited university or college in Early Childhood Education/Development or related field.
  • Five (5) years' experience providing training and technical assistance/process consultation to programs spanning the birth to age five continuum.
  • CLASS Observation Reliability certification (prior to providing TTA to grantee recipients related to CLASS).
  • CLASS trainer certification.
  • Demonstrated experience and/or education in the implementation of effective strategies in one or more of the following: working unique special populations of children (e.g., children with disabilities, children who are dual language learners, and/or children who are homeless); working with children in different learning environments (e.g. center-based, home-based, and family child care options).
  • Demonstrated experience in early elementary school systems.
  • Demonstrated experience and/or education in the implementation of effective strategies supporting family engagement and/or family wellbeing.
  • Demonstrated experience and/or education in mental health and/or social emotional development.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Must be able to transport and set up equipment and materials to TTA sessions weighing up to 20 pounds per item.
  • The physical/mental demands and work environment factors described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
  • Ability to travel throughout New England at least 50% of the time. Nationwide travel on occasion.
  • Must maintain a home office, with high-speed internet access, sufficiently free of distractions to allow work to be done.
  • UMDI will supply: laptop computer, printer/copier, LCD projector, computer speakers, cell phone. Other equipment and resources may be provided. All must be returned to UMDI when leaving UMDI service or upon the conclusion of the contract.

Additional Details

  • Successful candidate must live in one of the six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.
  • Job offer is contingent upon the Office of Head Start acceptance and approval.
  • This position is funded by grants and/or contracts and is contingent upon funding.
  • This is a full-time, benefited position.
  • Applicants must be work authorized for employment in the U./S on a full time basis.
  • The Regional Head Start business work is built upon advancing equity and strives to use culturally responsive and equitable practices in all of its work. To this end, we are actively working to engage a diverse team of Training, Consultant and Technical Assistance Specialist that is reflective of the Head Start Community.

Work Schedule

  • Standard full time work schedule consisting of five eight-hour days and 40 hours each workweek.
  • Work performed in addition to the regular work hours may be necessary and may require a change in availability at specific times to accommodate for variations in work demands.
  • This position has the opportunity for a remote work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where the employee's work location is to work from a site other than the UMass Amherst campus. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.

Salary Information

Level 30

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.