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Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Type: Full Time
Crispus Attucks Children’s Center Seeks Executive Director
Crispus Attucks Children’s Center (CACC) in Dorchester, MA seeks an executive director who is excited to stabilize and grow this longstanding and important early education and care organization.
Founded in 1971, CACC is the largest single-site infant and toddler education and care program in Boston with a long history serving the young children of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and surrounding communities. CACC also provides preschool education and is now part of the Boston Public School's Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program. CACC is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). It is sited on a notable 2.5-acre campus in Grove Hall with two buildings, 15 classrooms, and a capacity for 237 children.
CACC prides itself on diversity, equity, and inclusion, preparing minority students for success in school and life. Most of the children and families served face trauma resulting from experiences of poverty and violence in their communities. 91% of the children are defined as high need by EEC and 99% of the students and families are BIPOC. Though CACC closed due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in 2020, it reopened as soon as it was able in September 2020, and teachers and staff have since then have been working determinedly to rebuild the census and provide care, education, and enrichment to children whose families were often disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
CACC is known as a friendly, inviting center and parents report that they appreciate and value the teachers. The current staff consists of 38 full time and seven part time professionals, of whom almost 85% identify as BIPOC, and many have deep roots in the community.
CACC is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors with strong leadership and commendable engagement. The directors are reflective of the demographics of the families served, representing a broad range of professional expertise, and with strong ties to the local area. The Board is engaged in increasing private philanthropy fundraising to sustain the center; CACC is currently undertaking a range of capital projects to enhance the campus to best serve diverse learners. Also, a Family Engagement Council, composed of CACC parents and family members, seeks advice from families and informs decision making by the staff and board.
CACC operates on a $4M budget with 85% of its revenue from state and city government contracts, 9% from foundation and corporate grants, United Way, and individual donations, and 5% from income-based tuition payments.
The Opportunities Going Forward
A new leader is needed to stabilize CACC and inspire and build a culture of growth and collaboration, both internally and externally. Specific expectations for CACC leadership follow:
Building on the helpful, individualized technical assistance currently provided by EEC and Boston Public Schools, Universal Pre-K, it is crucial that the new leader oversee the meeting of EEC Licensing Regulations requirements and UPK Contract quality enhancements. State and school regulators are committed to the success of CACC and maintaining these mutual relationships with EEC and others is important. NAEYC reaccreditation is also slated to begin soon.
In the coming year, a strategic plan will be beneficial to inspire the board, staff, and community in recognizing CACC’s full potential as a community resource and quality care provider. The next executive will be tasked with leading and developing this effort, contributing to the vision, and operationalizing the resulting fund development plan.
One of CACC’s greatest strengths is its deep and longstanding rootedness in the urban communities served. CACC is focused on enhancing its outward look and building its engagement with families, developing community relationships and partnerships, and participating in neighborhood initiatives. One desired outcome is the creation of CACC as a well-known brand within the community and area; another outcome is increased funding opportunities. This will require executive leadership to do so.
Collaborative, Staff Teamwork
As is the case with many in the early childhood education field, an ongoing challenge is recruiting and retaining teachers. CACC strives to be an employer of choice where people are proud to work. Implementing a strategy for high quality staff hiring and retention will be an ongoing leadership challenge. And, as CACC grows into its potential, a plan for an organizational staffing structure that is set to support the forward movement is needed. A culture of collaboration, good communication, and transparency must be sustained.
Profile of the Ideal Candidate
CACC’s next ED will be a seasoned organizational leader with significant experience as an early education and care professional, capable of leading an organization of CACC’s size. The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following capacities:
- a seasoned professional knowledgeable about early education and care, with boots on the ground experience in running a large childcare center and managing the details of a state regulatory, compliance environment
- a nuanced understanding of the challenges facing a diverse population of children and families living in urban, historically marginalized neighborhoods, and potentially impacted by trauma
- experienced with organizational stabilization and has a steady approach to problem solving and organizational growth and change
- a compassionate, collaborative, and supportive employer who values communication and strives to provide flexible, equitable, family-friendly working conditions for all staff, with experience coaching and leveraging talent
- a respectful bridge-builder who fosters collaborative relationships with community and education partners, regulators, and funders
- an innovative fundraiser who engages creatively with the community and institutional funders to leverage financial support
- a skillful and experienced nonprofit administrator who can manage a complex budget with multiple funding streams and maintain efficient systems, working in partnership with an active board of directors
- a trusted community ambassador who fosters mutual respect and unity among staff and the families served, while serving as the primary ambassador of CACC in the greater community
- an entrepreneurial leader who thinks strategically about the role CACC could play long-term in ever-changing economic, political, demographic and technological terrains, and makes thoughtful and brave decisions
- a collaborative decision maker who prioritizes inclusive and transparent practices, seeks out the widest diversity of views on the question at hand, listens attentively, and gracefully builds consensus among a wide variety of stakeholders (including staff, families, the Board of Directors, community partners, donors, regulators, and supporters)
- an experienced advocate for families and the early education and care field
- a flexible and willing team player who happily engages in the wide variety of tasks and enjoys having fun
Compensation and Benefits
This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position with a starting salary range of $150,000 – $170,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications. CACC also offers a comprehensive and generous benefits package that includes a contribution to health insurance and dental insurance, and full life insurance coverage. This is a place-based position.
Candidates must include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of CACC. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Send required documents to: https://eostransitions.applicantpool.com/jobs/
CACC is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and looks forward to an inclusive hiring process. It encourages a broad range of applicants, particularly candidates from diverse backgrounds and cultures, BIPOC candidates, and LGBTQ candidates.
This executive search is being conducted by Eos Transition Partners consultant Nancy Jackson. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions must be submitted to: [email protected].
Required and Desired Credentials and Experience
- Has Massachusetts EEC Level II Certification
- 8-10 years of senior level management experience in the private, nonprofit, or public sectors
- Minimum of a bachelor’s degree; master’s degree preferred