SchoolSmartKC’s Director of PreK and Early Childhood Education will have deep connections with community members and work to facilitate unprecedented collaboration amongst K-12 schools and early childhood providers. This individual will steward strong partnerships that have been part of the PreK Cooperative since 2018, including early childhood programs and schools in the Kansas City Public School System. The Director will report to and partner closely with SSKC’s Chief Program Officer to improve equitable access to quality early learning and create connections between the early childhood and K-12 sectors. This role collaborates closely with members of the PreK Cooperative, including early childhood education providers, K-12 schools, and technical experts supporting quality early childhood education efforts. The Director will also work closely with all SSKC team members to cultivate and support new relationships including engaging key constituent groups around major initiatives to increase quality seats, support the growth of PreK seats available, and development efforts in the educational ecosystem.

The Director of PreK and Early Childhood Education will be responsible for stewarding strong partnerships and will oversee the onboarding of new PreK Cooperative members that joined through a refurbished 2022 Request for Proposal process. These new members represent all facets of our diverse mixed delivery model – from family childcare providers to community based early childhood centers to large public school districts. Leveraging the power of collective action, the Director will be attuned to equity and disparate educational outcomes within the school system while effectively overseeing grant relationships, related PreK development projects, and budget. A key metric of success for the Director will be to effectively fortify strong partnerships between new and continuing PreK programs and school-level stakeholders that work collectively to improve the education, life, and career opportunities available to local youth.

Specific Responsibilities include: 

  • Develop and maintain long-term relationships with a broad base of early childhood programs, K-12 partners and Early Childhood Education experts to inform, educate, build, and fortify support for a PreK cooperative strategy
  • Support schools and early childhood providers by providing ongoing, hands-on technical assistance
  • Convene stakeholders and facilitate deep collaboration and cooperation between the early childhood and K-12 sectors through regular meetings focused on instruction and assessment including quarterly meetings between early childhood and K-12 partners
  • Conduct due diligence and manage contracts with outside vendors to provide additional technical assistance around organizational development, instruction, talent, enrollment, and general administrative and finance functions
  • Serve as liaison for Kindergarten readiness assessments and facilitate academic progress monitoring
  • Work in partnership with the Cooperative’s leadership team as a core partner in a strategic planning process to chart the future organizational structure of the Cooperative in Fall 2022
  • Provide creative thinking to build and participate in managing long-term partnerships that advance community and key stakeholder ownership of the PreK Cooperative
  • Support fundraising and grant writing activities in support of the PreK Cooperative
  • Represent the KC Pre-K Cooperative externally at regional events and convenings
  • Assist in identifying internal and external resources required for completing projects successfully
  • Build consensus while supporting grant programs with core partners to ensure a data-informed, common understanding of critical areas of need for local early childhood programming and the rallying of stakeholders toward collective action in the PreK Cooperative
  • Work directly with PreK Cooperative partners on site
  • Play a key role in defining/collecting metrics for success, including both short term and long-term indicators, for collaborative and sustained partnerships in close coordination with the organization’s overall PreK Cooperative efforts


Education:  Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred. Other degrees combined with relevant experience will be considered.

Work Experience:  At least 5-7 years’ experience in education or education-related field. Candidates should possess core foundational beliefs in the value of partnerships in support of youth, as well as strong interpersonal, organization, management, research, writing, and communication skills.

Travel:  Requires significant local travel around Kansas City and occasional business travel regionally and nationally.


Qualified candidates for this position must be highly motivated, capable of self-direction, detail-oriented, and able to work well in a highly collaborative, team-oriented, startup environment. She/he must exhibit a keen sense of responsibility and enjoy working with multiple demands, shifting priorities, and constant change. A successful candidate will also possess:

  • Fluency in early childhood with preferred experience in early childhood and K-12 systems
  • Familiarity with the early learning policy landscape and ability to move policy into practice
  • Strong knowledge base of schools in the Kansas City area and the interworking of schools
  • Program development and management skills to effectively support the Cooperative vision
  • Exceptional interpersonal, communication, and facilitation skills, with the ability to work closely and build relationships of trust both internally with team members and external with partners from all sectors across Kansas City to maintain and build upon the existing collaborative working structures
  • Leadership skills, with the ability to establish and develop credibility quickly acrosst all levels within stakeholder groups
  • Excellent writing skills and public speaking ability as demonstrated in high-profile forums
  • Keen analytical and organizational skills, with the ability to identify and summarize trends emerging from both quantitative and qualitative information to inform high-impact recommendations and strategies
  • Outstanding organizational skills and strong experience leading complex project management efforts
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, with an ability to thrive in an environment that is characterized by growth and change
  • A high level of ethics with a strong sense of integrity and committed to the values of the organization and maintenance of confidentiality
  • Cultural competence, humility, and an understanding of issues related to education and leveling the playing field for young people in economically challenged communities
  • An ability to maintain a calm and competent demeanor in uncomfortable or difficult situations
  • Financial acumen and experience working within budgets
  • Ability to cultivate resources in support of organizational strategic aims

All the statements in this position description are intended to describe the general nature of the work being performed and are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required.  This document describes the position currently available. The organization reserves the right to modify job duties or job descriptions at any time.


A competitive compensation package, including base salary and an outstanding benefits package, will correspond to the experience level, credentials, and personal characteristics of the candidate.


SchoolSmartKC firmly supports the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state, or local law.

To apply, applicants should send a cover letter and resume to