Director | Child Care and Early Education

ABOUT CLASP

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)—founded nearly 50 years ago in Washington, D.C.—is a nonpartisan, nonprofit anti-poverty organization advancing federal, state, and local policy solutions for low-income people. We view all our work through a racial equity lens, addressing the barriers people face because of race, ethnicity, and immigration status.

Low-income people are under greater threat than at any time in CLASP’s history, making our work more urgent than ever. We are a growing organization that brings a distinguished history and the capacity for innovation and change. In that dynamic context, we are seeking a deeply committed, strategic, and knowledgeable leader to direct CLASP’s Child Care and Early Education team.

Across decades, we have kept our vision alive by providing trusted expertise, a deeply knowledgeable staff, and a commitment to practical yet forward-looking approaches to achieving opportunity for all. We lift up the voices of poor and low-income children, families, and individuals; equip advocates with strategies that work; and help public officials put good ideas into practice.

Within this broad anti-poverty mission, CLASP is organized around five policy teams: Child Care and Early Education, Youth Policy, Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, Income and Work Supports, and Job Quality. Over the past several years, we have integrated our work more extensively across teams, providing depth on crosscutting issues like immigration and immigrant families, criminal justice reform, and mental health.

ABOUT CLASP'S CHILD CARE AND EARLY EDUCATION TEAM

CLASP works across all levels of government. Our federal policy work is informed by our technical assistance to states and localities. And our ability to provide technical assistance is enhanced by our knowledge of the intricacies of federal policy and its implementation.

CLASP’s child care and early education team works to increase access to high-quality child care and early education for low-income children and families. The team focuses on policies that support child development and the needs of low-income working parents as well as break down barriers due to race, ethnicity, language, and immigration status. This includes a strong emphasis on expanding resources for high-quality child care and early education, including funding for child care assistance as well as Head Start. In addition, CLASP addresses maternal and child health, intersections with civil rights issues, and immigrant rights around early childhood programs.

Furthermore, our team brings its expertise in child development—including the importance of parents’ wellbeing and family economic stability—to public debates about policy toward immigrant families, health and mental health care for parents and children, and the stability and quality of low-wage work.

POSITION SUMMARY

The successful candidate will have leadership experience, strong knowledge of child care and early education policy or a closely related field (such as child welfare, child health or family economic security), and robust understanding of early childhood development. S/he will be able to lead a six-person team of advocates as well as creatively partner with experts from other teams. The successful candidate will bring passion for CLASP’s anti-poverty and racial equity mission and strong relationships with key external partners and stakeholders.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Strategic leadership and vision: Develop, articulate, and implement a strategic vision for the child care and early education team in partnership with team members and other colleagues. This will be achieved in the context of CLASP’s organizational mission and the rapidly changing policy environment.
  • Management and supervision: Implement the team’s work plan; supervise a team of highly-collaborative experts with attention to individual professional development; communicate effectively and listen actively, respecting diverse perspectives; and leverage team members’ skills, expertise, and knowledge.
  • Communications and external engagement: Maintain and strengthen CLASP’s role as a strong voice for child care and early education policy that supports children in low-income households; strengthen our ability to effectively frame and communicate the importance of our issues; and speak directly to our vision and practical next steps through speaking, writing, and direct partnership with policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders.
  • Fundraising and funder relations: Lead the team’s fundraising efforts and effectively engage with funders.
  • CLASP-wide leadership and collaboration: Participate with CLASP colleagues in strategic thinking about: 1) opportunities and risks for low-income people, people of color, and immigrants in setting priorities for CLASP’s work as a whole; and 2) creating an organization-wide atmosphere that supports CLASP’s values of diversity, inclusion, and effectiveness.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • 7-10 years’ experience in high-level policy advocacy.
  • Advanced degree in relevant field required, such as Master’s or JD in public policy or a related field.
  • Deep knowledge of policies affecting young children at the federal, state, and/or local level, ideally related to child care and early education.
  • Strong understanding of relevant political and social contexts.
  • Demonstrated commitment to improving the circumstances of vulnerable and low-income children and families, immigrants, and communities of color.
  • Demonstrated capacity to bring a racial equity lens to policy development and implementation.
  • Successful record of initiating and cultivating relationships with partners, both mainstream and nontraditional, and proven ability to collaborate.
  • Proven ability to develop, articulate, and execute a vision and lead a team.
  • Strong reputation and visibility in the field.
  • Strong communicator, including experience successfully interacting with news media as a content expert and proven ability to write and speak to a variety of audiences.
  • Ability to distill the technical details of public policy into language that is easily accessible to wider audiences.
  • Demonstrated capacity to supervise and mentor staff and successfully build and manage a collaborative team.
  • Ability to identify and develop policies and/or practices based on a deep understanding of political and budgetary context, use of research and data, strong analytic skills, and a racial equity lens.
  • Strong project management skills; demonstrated ability to effectively manage multiple initiatives; and experience overseeing grant and contract deliverables.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising as well as developing and managing funder relationships.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Salary is commensurate with experience. CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including health insurance; dental insurance; life and long-term disability insurance; long-term care insurance; a 403(b)-retirement program; flexible spending accounts; and generous vacation, sick leave, and holiday schedules.

Please send a cover letter and resume to jobs@clasp.org. Use the subject line: Child Care and Early Education Director. (NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.) Resumes will be accepted until position is filled.

The Center for Law and Social Policy is an equal opportunity employer, and people of color are encouraged to apply.