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Join the Team

Children First currently has the following (5) positions open:

Child Policy Research Assistant

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Position Summary

Children First is seeking an individual with strong quantitative skills who can serve as the organization’s point person for all things data and research-related. The Research Analyst will produce in-depth research reports and construct data sets on key issues affecting the region’s children that Children First will use to persuade lawmakers and the public to support specific policy and funding measures. Research is largely focused on K-12 education but also includes early childhood care and education, child health, and family financial stability. The position is ideal for someone who wants to use quantitative skills to create real-world systemic change that improves the lives of the region’s children.

Responsibilities

  • Prepare in-depth research reports on key issues affecting the region’s children, including data analysis, data visualization, and writing. Research is largely focused on K-12 education but also includes early childhood care and education, child health, and family financial stability.
  • Analyze publicly available administrative data to evaluate policies and construct arguments.
  • Create clear Excel-based data sets for internal use.
  • Participate in the creation of data-based communications products such as fact sheets and social media graphics to be used in Children First’s advocacy efforts.
  • Write op-eds to disseminate research.
  • Assist with the organizing of report release events, including press conferences and panel discussions.
  • Create and deliver data-driven presentations to policymakers and the public.
  • Participate in legislative meetings and assist field staff with other advocacy efforts as needed.
  • Compile demographic and other data as needed to support grant applications.
  • Assist staff members with other data-related needs that arise.
  • Participate in organization-wide outreach efforts and other organization needs that arise.
  • Assist the Executive Director with meeting scheduling.
  • If needed perform administrative duties for the Early Learning PA campaign, including meeting scheduling, staff list management, and note-taking for Governing Committee meetings once a month.

Qualifications, Education, Experience, & Skills

  • Master’s degree in education, public policy, quantitative research or related field, or at least 3 years of research work experience.
  • Strong quantitative skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel.
  • Experience working with large administrative data sets preferred.
  • Familiarity with key issues in education policy and funding.
  • Familiarity with Pennsylvania’s K-12 education and/or political landscape is a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to handle multiple projects at once.
  • Ability to work independently and follow through on projects with minimal supervision.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to be a great team member.

Reports To: Executive Director

How to Apply: Email cover letter and resume to info@pccy.org with job title in subject line.

Salary: $45,000 plus benefits for you and your child(ren) and generous paid time off.


Parent Advocacy & Community Engagement Specialist

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Position Summary

The Philadelphia School District Kindergarten programs are under-enrolled citywide, which is defined by enrollment falling far below program capacity by the priority deadline of May 31st. Even more pronounced are the under-enrollment levels of schools in areas with the highest concentration of poverty.

At Children First, we know equity in early childhood education is rooted in providing every child with a strong foundation to realize their full potential which is strengthen by every child being enrolled in kindergarten in advance of the priority deadline. On-time enrollment ensures proper students-to-teachers ratios and helps families have access to schools that are proximate to their neighborhoods. When enrollment lags far beyond the priority enrollment deadline, schools are not able to make accurate predictions on staff and classroom needs, consequently resulting in schools and students suffering. The role of the Field Research Associate is to build, cultivate, and leverage relationships with families, schools, community organizations, and extended networks across Philadelphia to increase the Philadelphia School District understanding of what parents need to know:

  • To ensure their children are enrolled in kindergarten on-time (defined as May 31st)
  • To ensure schools are ready and prepared to support each new class of kindergarten students

This strategy recognizes that when parents are equipped with the right information and are working together with early childhood providers, centers/schools, children are more prepared to enter kindergarten and are more successful academically throughout the school years. The Parent & Community Engagement Specialist will play a lead role in the execution of that strategy – learning from the communities we seek to impact and analyzing the information to inform recommendations for School District enrollment strategies and initiatives. Our goal is to align district practices and policies to the community needs.

Key Duties:

  • Identify critical school staff and community allies/networks across 20 elementary schools – within The Philadelphia School District and its surrounding neighborhoods – to build local networks of support
  • Cultivate a pipeline of early childhood parents to participate in enrollment events, educational workshops, focus groups, and 1:1 interviews
  • Leverage local network of supports and parent pipeline to create opportunities for parent engagement – to examine the root causes of late kindergarten enrollment – to understand what will motivate parents to take advantage of the kindergarten transition programming and ensure their young children are registered to start their first year of public school on-time
  • Collaborate with families, schools, and community organizations to gather qualitative and quantitative data to inform district wide recommendations for enrollment strategies and initiatives
  • Organize school-based enrollment events in partnership with Director of Parent Advocacy & Engagement and Philly Mobilization and Policy Director to boost priority Kindergarten enrollment for targeted schools
  • Solicit feedback on proposed enrollment strategies to the ecosystem of parents, school staff, and community partners for implementation

Position Description 

  • Listen to parents in 20 schools and learn from them what actions the School District and other partners can take to support more parents to choose to enroll their children in kindergarten, and to do so well before or on the annual registration deadline
  • Examine the root causes of late enrollment to understand what will motivate parents to take advantage of the district’s kindergarten transition programming and ensure their young children are registered to start their first year of public school on-time
  • Solicit feedback and information from families of young children about their perceptions of and need for kindergarten through 1:1s, focus groups, and outreach events to help inform the district’s ongoing strategies to ensure that all available seats are filled citywide
  • Plan and executive enrollment events targeted at boosting the enrollment levels of target schools to 70% or greater
  • Assist in the identification of families affected by suspension and expulsion policies in early childhood education (ECE) programs
  • Coordinate with other CF staff members on projects related to suspension and expulsion of children of color from ECE programs

Qualifications, Education, Experience & Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred, but not required
  • Hybrid work environment
  • Required to be in person at pickup and drop-off within the school scope on a rotating basis
  • Flexibility working afterschool and weekend hours
  • Bilingual (Spanish) – strongly preferred
  • Track record of successfully securing rapport with diverse and low-income communities

Important Skills:

  • Highly organized and keen to pay attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and with others
  • Works well under pressure
  • Strong systems orientation
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects
  • Ability to collect, interpret, and simplify large datasets
  • Very strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to travel to communities across the Philadelphia region and must have reliable transportation
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) and Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides)

Reports To: Director of Parent Advocacy & Engagement

Salary: $52,000 plus benefits and generous paid time off.

Apply: Resume and cover letter to info@childrenfirstpa.org.


Behavioral Health Policy Project Coordinator

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Position Summary

Our goal is increase the breadth, depth and access to mental wellness/mental health services in public schools in Philadelphia.  The Behavioral Health Policy Project Coordinator will be responsible for designing strategies that will help system partners increase the utilization of quality, behavioral health services for children delivered in their public schools – starting with the Philadelphia School District. The coordinator will also help design new practical strategies to increase the utilization of available mental health services and deepen the menu and reach of services available for students with low level behavioral health issues and no diagnoses.  This position requires a leader who can work with system partners in the design and adoption of these strategies. To be a good partner, this position requires a leader who has strong basic quantitative research skills to, for instance, analyze gaps in services in relationship to need, and estimate the potential impact of models to close the gap, and/or to assess parent and student understanding and satisfaction with available services.

Key Duties

  • Gather data and use that to design and work with system partners to produce new communications tools to raise awareness about school-based behavioral health services.
  • Create a policy checklist that will build clarity for Children First and our partners about what policy, structural or systemic changes are needed to increase utilization, quality, breadth and reach of school-based mental health services in the Philadelphia School District.
  • Define and create fact sheets that help parents, school staff and other child-serving professionals understand the availability of school-based behavioral health programs, how they interact with each other and the processes for accessing the care.
  • Identify systemic best practices that boost utilization of services by building relationships with and regularly engaging key school district personnel at the central office and school level.
  • Convene partners and conduct research to identify new options for qualifying children for treatment with low levels of behavioral health needs and produce short briefing papers to help system partners learn about and consider the adoption of the options.
  • Create and facilitate a thought leadership table of mental health agency staff, teachers, principals, parents, students, and child advocates to inform the recommendations for improved processes and systemic structures needed to boost utilization and access to a full spectrum of mental health services in public schools.

Other Duties

  • Attend and present information at the Children First board meetings and subcommittee meetings as requested.
  • Assist with gathering information needed for grant proposals and funder correspondence/reports associated with your area of work.
  • Plan, orchestrate and/or assist with outreach events which occur in the evening and/or weekends.
  • Attend and participate in staff meetings and committees.
  • Recruit and supervise interns where appropriate.

Qualifications, Education, Experience & Skills

  • Master’s degree in psychology, social work, public administration, public health, education or related fields.
  • Five plus years’ experience managing complex policy and organizational change efforts
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Deep familiarity with city, state and federal resources and policies in the areas of health insurance, behavioral health care and public schools.
  • Understanding of financial management and organizational structure of public agencies and the non-profit sector.
  • Excellent research, written and verbal communications skills.
  • Experience convening groups and ability to work with a diverse set of stakeholders, both internal and external.
  • Experience with program and system evaluation.
  • Fluent user of Excel and basic knowledge of data analysis.
  • Experience creating presentations that describe complex information in accessible formats using simple graphics and presentation related synthesizing tools and techniques.
  • Strong interpersonal relationship skills, ability to be a great team member and to work independently as appropriate.
  • Values and encourages diversity of thought, background, and perspective.

Reports To: Health Policy Director

Salary: $80,000 plus benefits and generous paid time off

Apply: Resume and cover letter to info@childrenfirstpa.org


K-12 Education Policy Director

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Position Summary

Children First plays a leadership role in setting and advancing local and state policy priorities that improve the quality of education available to students attending public schools, particularly within the lowest wealth school districts in the state; these school districts educate a majority of the state’s Black, Hispanic and low-income students who benefit from our advocacy. To advance our priorities, Children First builds new narratives for education reform, sets a strategy to put those reforms in place, and strategically engages leaders, residents, and youth to advocate for reforms. Our work is built on the premise that we must improve racial equity as we reform public schools and that to do so requires building bi-partisan support for reforms among the lawmakers in southeastern Pennsylvania in ways that enable lawmakers in other regions of the state to support these efforts.  We have a forty-year track record of success and a highly effective staff to which we are eager to add a highly motivated, experienced professional with advanced policy development and advocacy skills to lead our Education Team.

Key Duties:

  • Lead the development and implementation of advocacy strategies to advance state and local level K-12 policy priorities
  • Craft compelling messaging documents including reports, briefs, commentaries, and fact sheets and regularly make public speeches/presentations to increase the public discourse to support the policy reforms
  • Draft and present testimony to legislative bodies on key k12 policy issues including privatization, school finance/funding, racial equity, and teacher quality,
  • Recruit and inform community leaders, parents and youth and engage them to build support for our policy priorities among local, state, and federal lawmakers and appointed officials
  • Create, expand, and lead broad-based coalitions focused on K-12 policy goals
  • Develop and maintain relationships with local school leaders that engage them in efforts to influence state elected officials and other key decision-makers throughout the region.
  • Generate ideas for innovative initiatives or projects that build public support for our k-12 policy priorities.
  • Community organizing experience preferred

Position Description:

  • Regularly hold effective meetings with key policymakers regarding K-12 priorities
  • Monitor trends and collect and analyze data on K-12 policy in order to identify unmet needs and persistent challenges, and establish priority issues
  • Create and implement strategies to maintain engagement of new and existing partners in Children First’s advocacy efforts
  • Oversee and write research and reports, issue briefs and other publications on K-12 issues; this work involves data review, analysis, and presentation of data
  • Create and execute plans for report dissemination and popularizing report findings on social media and news platforms
  • Work in partnership with the Development Team to craft proposals and reports that increase the resources supporting our education policy/advocacy efforts
  • Supervise county-based outreach staff in their work on K-12 issues
  • Recruit and supervise interns who assist with K-12 research and outreach

Qualifications, Education, Experience & Skills:

  • Knowledge of major PA state K-12 policy issues including school finance, governance models, racial equity, school board politics and teaching and learning
  • Experience understanding and advancing legislative goals
  • Advanced skills leading coalitions and implementing processes needed to support effective relationships and operations with coalitions
  • Familiarity with local and state news sources and experience/ability creating relationships with reporters
  • Ability to organize, mobilize and facilitate widespread community participation and engagement at rallies and other events
  • Proficiency in data analysis associated with school finance, demographic analysis and related data-related research
  • Track record of effective collaboration and work with organizational leaders such as superintendents, school board members, non-profit executives, and business owners
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills
  • At least three years management experience with supervisory responsibilities
  • Experience using social media tools to boost advocacy impact
  • Strong desire to lead the K-12 team with a spirit of collaboration and empowering your team to help achieve team goals

Other Duties as Assigned

  • Educate communities about important K-12 policies and initiatives
  • Attend and present information at Children First board and board subcommittee meetings as requested
  • Plan, orchestrate and assist with outreach events which occur in the evening and/or weekends
  • Attend and participate in staff meetings and staff committees
  • Actively support Children First fundraising efforts

Important Skills:

  • Ability to work independently and with others
  • Works well under pressure
  • Detail oriented
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects
  • Ability to collect, interpret and simplify large datasets
  • Very strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to travel to communities across the region – must have driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle
  • Proficient in excel, word, google and social media platforms

Reports To: Executive Director

Salary: $95,000 plus benefits, including health care for you and your child(ren) and generous paid time off.

Apply: Resume and cover letter to info@childrenfirstpa.org.


Grants Officer

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Position Summary

Children First’s Grants Officer is a leadership position responsible for connecting the philanthropic community to the high impact work of Children First. We are recruiting a persuasive, clear writer who can engage and inspire foundation staff to invest their resources in Children First’s myriad of initiatives for children. To do this the Grants Officer must have a passion for our work that comes through in our letters of intent, proposals and reports to foundations and corporate funders. Children First’s grants portfolio currently includes more than 40 foundation and corporate funders that collectively account for approximately 60% of revenues. We are always looking to connect new philanthropies to our work and expand the impact and reach of our initiatives. A highly motivated, engaged writer with development experience can make that happen. The Grants Officer will also engage with the policy leadership on staff to design and improve programs, the communications staff to development new tools to show our impact and tell our story and, most fun of all, be an advocate for kids.

Key Duties:

  • Prepare high-quality letters of inquiry, grant proposals and reports to foundations and corporate funders.
  • Assist in design of programs and initiatives to ensure high level of specificity of work and impact.
  • Develop and maintain systems to track all grant activity deadlines and prepare powerful reports and proposals.
  • Identify new opportunities for seeking new funding from regional, state and national funders.
  • Cultivate relationships with current and potential corporate and foundation sponsors.
  • Work closely with the Major Gifts Director and Events Director to ensure foundation and corporate leaders are engaged in other fundraising activities.

Position Description:

  • Manage all foundation relationships for Children First and respond to all foundation-related development opportunities including grant applications, public engagement opportunities and reporting.
  • Work with Children First’s financial officer on budget planning and cash flow projections.
  • Collaborate with Children First’s program staff on proposals and reports. Build staff capacity on effective proposal development and report writing.
  • Strengthen relationships with funders by:
    • Ensuring on-time submission of all required information and reports
    • Preparing quarterly written updates on program developments and Children First accomplishments
    • Identifying opportunities for funders to get involved in Children First’s work (in person)
    • Identifying special opportunities for funders to attend high profile events
    • Participate in ongoing program planning to stay current on Children First’s actions on the implications for fundraising as well as offer feedback and suggestions

Other Duties as assigned by Executive Director:

  • Attend and present information at the Children First Board meetings and subcommittee meetings as requested
  • Stay abreast of the work of local and state partners/allies and national organizations involved in policy and advocacy
  • Support Children First events and fundraisers, including recruiting attendees
  • Assist when asked in Children First outreach and advocacy events which may be during evening or weekend hours
  • Attend and participate in staff meetings and staff committees
  • Conduct spot research including under tight deadline
  • Serve as a sounding board for staff to discuss new program ideas and strategies

Experience & Skills:

  • Ability to work independently and with others
  • Works well under pressure in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong organizational skills to manage multiple deadlines
  • 5+ years experience in grant writing or related activities
  • Working knowledge of K-12, Public Health, Early Childhood, and Juvenile Justice policy issues preferred
  • Detail oriented with strong written and oral communication skills
  • Strong computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Ability to travel to communities across the region

Reports To: Executive Director

Salary: $95,000 plus benefits, including health care for you and your child(ren) and generous paid time off.

Apply: Resume, cover letter and a sample proposal to info@childrenfirstpa.org.

Remote employment possible.


Internships

PCCY interns gain knowledge and experience in child advocacy and public policy. Interns participate in all aspects of PCCY’s work including attending rallies, conducting research on children’s issues and creating materials to support PCCY’s mission of providing better lives and life chances for children in southeastern Pennsylvania.  For more information, contact: info at childrenfirstpa.org

Children First is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring.