Director of PHLpreK

  • 1515 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact. 

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia values inclusion, integrity, innovation, empowerment, and hard work above all else. We offer a vibrant work environment, comprehensive health care and benefits, and the experience you need to grow and excel. If you’re interested in working with a passionate team of people who care about the future of Philadelphia, start here.

What We Offer:

  Impact - The work you do here matters to millions. 

  Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it? 

  Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs.

  Opportunities in Tech - Don’t wait for the future, shape it.

  Benefits - We care about your well-being.

Agency Description

The Office of Children and Families (OCF) aligns the City’s policies, resources, and services for children and families. Our priorities are:

  • Safe children.
  • Strong families.
  • Supported schools and communities.

OCF administers a number of City-supported programs, including Out-of-School TimeWorkReadyCommunity SchoolsPHLpreK, and Access Centers. The office also oversees the Department of Human Services (DHS), Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

PHLpreK Program

The mission of the PHLpreK program is to increase access to quality early learning by offering free pre-Kindergarten to children regardless of their family’s income. This program is funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax proposed by Mayor Kenney and passed by City Council in 2016. PHLpreK currently offers free quality pre-K to 3,300 children. To achieve this, the Office of Children and Families partners with more than 130 early childhood education providers to provide:

  • A safe, well-equipped classroom staffed by trained teachers.
  • A challenging, proven, play-based curriculum.
  • Careful attention to the whole child (academic, physical, social, and emotional needs).
  • Parental engagement and a transition plan for Kindergarten.

Since January 2017, the PHLpreK program has expanded the number of seats available to families by over 65%. This rapid expansion has been simultaneously coordinated with investments in trainings and support services that assist providers to improve the quality of the early learning experiences children have. As a result, the number of seats available to families that are rated STAR 3 or 4 in the state’s QRIS system has grown by 160%, beginning with 1,119 of the 2,000 (56%) available PHLpreK seats in January 2017 to 2,916 of the available 3,300 (88%) seats in the current program year.

Job Description

The Director of PHLpreK reports to the Chief of Early Childhood Education and oversees the operations, oversight, management, supports, strategic planning, and promotion of the PHLpreK program.  This includes leading the city’s expansion of quality seats available to families, coordinating new and existing pre-K initiatives that support the mission of the program, managing a team of 2-4 staff members, producing reports to senior members of the Mayor’s office and Office of Children and Families, and utilizing data and analytics to recommend strategic priorities of the city’s early childhood education sector. The Director of PHLpreK is also responsible for balancing a system of oversight and accountability with a system of supports offered to providers, teachers, staff, and families.

The Director of PHLpreK further manages strategic partners that includes a program intermediary which is responsible for the monitoring and oversight of the PHLpreK system, contract conformance and flow of funds to PHLpreK providers, and the enrollment processes for families to access PHLpreK seats. The Director of the PHLpreK program is further responsible for overseeing the partners providing technical assistance, professional development, and related support services offered to PHLpreK providers. Other strategic partners include the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for classroom observations and evaluation, the National League of Cities (NLC) for workforce development strategic planning, the Philadelphia region’s Early Learning Resource Center #18 (ELRC), post-secondary training agencies, philanthropic foundations, as well as any/all intra-city government agencies. The Director of the PHLpreK program is further responsible for coordinating new and existing partnerships to support the mission and vision of the PHLpreK program.

Essential Functions

  • Ensure the mission and commitments of the PHLpreK program are met.
  • Manage the strategic planning and implementation to further expand the PHLpreK program.
  • Manage and support the PHLpreK staff.
  • Oversee the operational work of the intermediary, including the provision of technical assistance to PHLpreK providers.  
  • Manage the PHLpreK budget
  • Direct the work of the PHLpreK staff under the Office of Children and Families
  • Secure additional resources, as needed, to fully operationalize the PHLpreK program’s priorities.
  • Support and coordinate evaluations of PHLpreK
  • Development and manage RFPs and contracts.
  • Develop and implement a plan to ensure an adequate and qualified workforce exists for expanding PHLpreK seats.
  • Secure additional resources, as needed, to fully operationalize the PHLpreK program mission and goals.


Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Public Policy, or similar field required; Master’s Degree in related field strongly preferred.
  • At least 8-10 years of overall professional experience.
  • Early Childhood experience preferred.
  • 3-5 years of progressive management experience.
  • Knowledge of word processing software, presentations, spreadsheets, and databases.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Capable and detail-oriented multitasker who can prioritize and remain professional in demanding situations.
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s licensing and certification requirements of childcare providers.
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating System, Keystone STARS.
  • Ability to interpret relevant local, state, and federal rules and regulations pertaining to childcare program administration.
  • Ability to reference and identify small and medium business best practices.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues at all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to learn quickly and succeed in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Ability to project manage a variety of tasks while meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in a politically savvy environment.
  • Team player capable of resolving organizational roadblocks.
  • Talent for listening, asking effective questions, and synthesizing information.
  • Values and encourages diversity of thought, background, and perspective.

Additional Information

Salary Range: $100,000 -$115,000

Please attach a resume and cover letter, indicating why you are interested in the position, in the additional attachments section. Applications without all documents will not be considered.

Did you know?

  • We are a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program qualified employer
  • Employees are eligible for a 25% tuition discount program (and sometimes spouses and dependents as well) in partnership with area colleges and universities
  • We offer comprehensive health coverage for employees and their eligible dependents
  • Our wellness program offers eligibility into the discounted medical plan
  • Employees receive paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays
  • Generous retirement savings options are available 

Successful candidate must be a city of Philadelphia resident within six months of hire

The City of Philadelphia is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not permit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information or domestic or sexual violence victim status. If you believe you were discriminated against, call the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations at 215-686-4670 or send an email to [email protected] For more information, go to: Human Relations Website: