Director, Fisher Early Learning Center

Apply now Job no: 497211
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Business Operations / Services, Teacher (Early Childhood)
Division: Fisher Early Learning Center

Department Summary 

The Fisher Early Learning Center is one of the most distinctive early childhood learning centers in Colorado. As a part of the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) at the University of Denver (DU), we are uniquely positioned to provide a high quality learning environment that is specifically designed to deliver evidence-based programming for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children and their families, as well as a model program that supports the growth of early childhood professionals. Fisher is an inclusive setting that values diversity, professional development and collaboration across the early childhood ecosystem. 

Position Summary

The Director of Fisher Early Learning Center will lead the implementation of the mission and goals of the Center. The Director will create and maintain an environment that supports the overall education and well-being of enrolled children, supervise and support teachers and staff, and lead a variety of constituent groups efficiently and effectively. The Center Director is ultimately responsible for maintaining and advancing the Center’s integrity, success and effectiveness through appropriate and innovative leadership, management and supervision with the support of MCE leadership.  

Essential Functions: 

Overall Program Leadership, Management and Supervision

  • Oversee all educational and administrative aspects of the program from daily operational management to the Center’s long term vision. Ensure adherence to policies and procedures, coordinate educational and administrative activities, understand business operations, directly execute or delegate all necessary duties, and supervise and support all staff members.  

Program Leadership 

  • Provide a clear and well-rounded philosophy and vision for the Center that articulates the current mission of the program and plans to maintain and advance program goals in the best interest of children, families and staff. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of best practices in early childhood general and special education and integrate those practices in short and long term plans for and goals of the Center.  
  • Establish a culture of respect, professionalism, collaboration and inclusion.  
  • Lead administrative team on all special projects, including curriculum development, accreditation and program development. 
  • Establish and advance Fisher’s relationship with the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) and the University of Denver (DU). 
  • Collaborate with Dean of MCE and Fisher’s Associate Director to evaluate significant programmatic needs and establish plans to address needs.  
    Develop strategy and communication around rate and financial aid 
  • Develop, guide and implement a strategic vision and direction for the school in collaboration with key staff and stakeholders.  
  • Identify resources and efficiency opportunities to meet strategic plan and vision.  
  • Develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders at various levels to support the Center’s mission. 
  • Collaborate with Center’s Curriculum Specialist to develop program pedagogy and curriculum, inclusive methodology, developmental best practices, and professional development.   
  • Engage in reflective supervision to support individual staff members and teaching teams in self-evaluation, teaming, collaboration and successful educational and professional practices.  
  • Lend leadership assistance to mentor teachers in developing problem-solving strategies for use with teaching teams and families.  
  • Coordinate and lead Center committees that include staff in addressing goals and initiatives for the Center. 
  • Provide and promote Center’s inclusive philosophy and oversee all aspects of the Fisher Inclusion Team (FIT).  
  • Report directly to University leadership, starting with the Dean of MCE and up to the Offices of the Provost and Chancellor 
  • Participate as a member of the Morgridge College of Education and collaborate with Fisher’s Faculty Liaison from MCE to support the Center’s inclusive philosophy and strategic vision.  
  • Complete annual performance self-appraisal identifying areas of strength, areas of growth/improvement and areas of need. 
  • In collaboration with key stakeholders, develop a strategic plan that will increase funding and support for Fisher priorities. 

Program Management  

  • Provide a consistent and stable management presence for the Center. 
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with all immediate Fisher, MCE and DU administrative team members (Associate Director, Enrollment Coordinator, Program Manager, Business Officer) to support Center’s operations and short and long term goals. 
  • Collaborate with Associate Director to ensure adherence to CO state licensing regulations, in regards to health and safety policies and procedures. 
  • Maintain national accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) through annual reporting requirements and reaccreditation every 5 years.  
  • Coordinate with various departments at DU to ensure program needs are met and in alignment with University standards and requirements, including, but not limited to Human Resources and Inclusive Community, University Advancement, Athletics and Recreation, Ricks Center for Gifted Children. 
  • Provide budgetary oversight and identify budgetary needs in collaboration with MCE’s Business Officer. Evaluate and revise budget priorities and policies.  
  • Develop and evaluate annual enrollment plan (including Summer Camp), oversee admissions, financial aid and scholarship policies and procedures with Center’s Enrollment Coordinator. 
  • Collaborate to support daily and annual program operations, including, but not limited to scheduling, hiring and supervising student employees, establishing extracurricular programming and special projects. 

Program Supervision and Maintenance 

  • Supervise leadership and administrative team, and in collaboration with the Associate
  • Director supervise all teaching staff and student employees. 
  • Complete annual performance appraisals for immediate team of benefited employees.  
  • Effectively address performance needs of staff members as needed, in collaboration with Associate Director and staff member. 
  • In collaboration with Associate Director and staff member, develop performance improvement plan for staff members, as needed, and evaluate growth as related to the plan. 
  • Provide support in cases of disciplinary action. Execute disciplinary action as needed based on professional performance or actions. 
  • In collaboration with the Associate Director, recruit, hire, train and supervise all staff.
  • Address terminating staff in collaboration with Dean of MCE and HRIC. 
  • Collaborate with Dean of MCE, Associate Director and University leadership, offices and departments as necessary to ensure appropriate and effective supervision of all benefited and non-benefited staff members of Fisher.  
  • Supervise the Fisher Inclusion Team (FIT) staff of five therapists, graduate student from MCE, and social work intern from the Graduate School of Social Work.  
  • Develop, evaluate and revise policies and procedures for families and employees that adhere to DU, local and state regulations and NAEYC program standards.  
  • Ensure programmatic needs and schedules are adhered to for annual, seasonal and regular items and topics. Review and update annual calendar for successful delegation and completion of all program needs.  
  • Renew annual contracts to maintain program operations, including, but not limited to food service, curriculum and assessment, and Denver Preschool Program. 

Family Partnerships  

  • Establish and maintain high-quality relationships with families of currently enrolled children. 
  • Maintain relationships with past families. 
  • Engage prospective and incoming families as necessary to build foundation for future relationships. 
  • Support the development of collaborative relationships between teachers and families. 
  • Mediate challenges between staff and families as necessary.  
  • Respond to parent concerns, involving all necessary parties to effectively resolve concerns in a timely manner. 
  • Provide regular communication to families regarding typical Center activities and provide ongoing updates as novel topics and events arise.  
  • Support parent education through coordinating and executing Fisher Family Forums on child development related topics.  
  • Introduce families to the Center’s inclusive philosophy.  
  • Connect families to the FIT Team to support the education and development of children with special needs or challenging behaviors. 
  • Develop and promote a positive collaboration with Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and Room Parents to plan and implement Center wide community and fundraising events throughout the school year.  
  • Coordinate Fisher Advisory Board to support topics significantly impacting the Center. 
  • Support successful transition of children and families to public and private kindergarten programs. 

Philosophy, Curriculum and Professional Development  

  • Develop and promote a pedagogical philosophy for the Center with a focus on best practices, diversity, inclusion, collaboration and professionalism. 
  • Ensure philosophy, curriculum and professional development plans promote the Center’s commitment to best practices in early childhood education, and diversity, equity and inclusion for staff, children and families.  
  • Support program implementation of selected curricula, instructional methods, assessment tools and any supplemental materials at all age levels. 
  • In collaboration with the Associate Director and Curriculum Specialist, 
    provide support for curriculum development and instruction across all departments at Fisher. 
    coordinate annual teacher training and professional development plan. 
  • Coordinate and oversee all FIT functions, services for children (with internal and external therapists) and communications between classrooms and families. 
  • Participate in ongoing professional development opportunities, including workshops and conferences, to bring new and emerging best practices into the program. 
  • Maintain annual training requirements.  
  • Work with staff to ensure all curriculum objectives are aligned with the program standards, including local, state and national guidelines.  
  • Identify a variety of professional development opportunities that align to program and teacher’s goals and needs. 
  • Collaborate with teachers to develop individual professional development plans. 

DU and Community Relations  

  • Identify with and support the vision, mission and strategic plan of DU and MCE.  
  • Increase visibility and integration of the Center across DU and the broader community. 
  • Present Fisher as a model program in collaboration with all DU and MCE, fellow faculty and staff constituencies.   
  • Represent the Center to all of its constituents including staff, children, families (past and present), DU, and the surrounding community.  
  • Establish collaborative relationships with numerous DU offices and departments that support ongoing program operations, maintenance, growth and development. 
  • Monitor and ensure compliance with all grant provisions and regulatory requirements. 
  • Participate in EC professional organizations and promote the Center’s accomplishments and goals through such platforms.  
  • Partner with MCE on research and training opportunities to mutually benefit staff, faculty and programs across both Fisher and MCE.
  • Collaborate with DU faculty for research opportunities involving staff, children and families from the Center. 
  • Collaborate with other EC programs, colleges, universities, school districts and organizations at local, state, national and international levels to provide research and training opportunities for EC students and professionals.  
  • Serve as a model EC program for visiting professionals, faculty and staff. Welcome and tour such parties as requested.  
  • Explore and establish relationships with local and state EC programs and organizations to add to the Center’s resources for staff, children and families. 
  • Identify, cultivate and maintain community relationships resulting in increased resources and major gifts. 

Statement of Other Duties 

  • Duties, responsibilities may change, or new ones may be assigned at any time with or without notice. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 

  • Ability to establish and maintain positive relationships and collaborate with multiple stakeholders 
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills to effectively manage sensitive and challenging topics involving diverse parties expressing various opinions and demands 
  • Develop respectful and trusting relationships; demonstrates optimism, passion and strong work ethic 
  • Direct effective communication efforts with a wide variety of audiences 
  • Knowledge and experience implementing best practices in early childhood education 
  • Knowledge of and experience collaborating with a variety of early childhood stakeholders and programs at local, state and national levels 
  • Attention to detail, ability to multi-task, think flexibly and to adapt expectations 
  • Maintain confidentiality and exercise good judgment under stressful and challenging situations Effectively adapt to or develop efficient processes and systems to meet continually changing needs and competing priorities involving staff, children, families, program and community 

Required Qualifications 

  • Master’s degree or higher in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Special Education or Child
  • Development and Family Studies or a related field
  • Minimum 3-5 years’ experience teaching in an early childhood setting (birth to 5 years old) 
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience in an early childhood leadership position 
  • Colorado State Director Qualification 
  • CPR and First Aid Certification 

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Five or more years’ experience in an early childhood leadership position 
  • Teaching or leadership experience in a NAEYC accredited program 
  • Terminal degree in Education

Work Schedule
Monday-Friday 40 hours/week.

Application Deadline
For consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) May 1, 2024.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 12.

Salary Range:
The salary range for the position is $83,000-$93,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, religion, creed, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, military enlistment, or veteran status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the University's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Americans with Disabilities Act; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; Equal Pay Act; Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act; the Colorado Protecting Opportunities and Workers' Rights ("POWR") Act; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For more information, please see the University of Denver's Non‑Discrimination‑Statement.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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