Did you know that your Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree can take you beyond the traditional classroom setting? Students interested in this rewarding career path will graduate equipped with a unique set of skills that can support their future in meaningful ways. And according to executive director Rosalind Cutchins, those unique sets of skills are exactly what The Children’s Center is looking for in its next hire.
The Children’s Center—based in Franklin, Suffolk, Courtland, and Smithfield, Va.—is a nonprofit agency that provides children ages birth to five with educational childcare services, early intervention services and Early Head Start and Head Start.
According to the center’s human resources director, Paige Powell, 90% of the positions she’s looking to fill are for pre-K teachers, with the other 10% including speech and occupational therapists, admin assistants and bus drivers/monitors.
“We like to source candidates who have completed the required ECE community college courses,” says Powell. “We do take employees that are not credentialed but who are willing to work on their credentials as long as they are enrolled in at least one community college course.”
The center is also currently hiring for family advocates – people who have a social services or human services background.
“Family advocates are unique to the Head Start program and allow parents to receive the support they need,” says Powell. “Our advocates help caretakers meet their goals while the child is meeting goals for kindergarten. Whether it’s helping them get into permanent housing, obtaining their GED or applying for government assistance programs, we are here to support.”
When asked about what makes an ideal candidate for one of their educators, The Children’s Center’s Early Childhood Education Director, G. Lee Taylor, said that the deciding factor often comes down to the observational assessment.
“Anyone can tell you that they love working with children but when you’re in the classroom for over six hours a day, it’s really helpful for us to see who can handle the pressure while connecting authentically with the children,” says Taylor. “It takes a special kind of person to work with infants and toddlers – especially when it comes to the nonverbal element of the job. There’s definitely a learning curve.”
In addition to securing qualified individuals for the roles, the ideal candidate at The Children’s Center is going to be passionate about the work. They will be open to learning new things, admitting when they feel lost and willing to learn from the seasoned teachers around them.
The center strongly believes in community partnerships and relies heavily on community partners to help them thrive. They are excited to build more connections with high school and community college students to help plant seeds and bring in qualified, passionate individuals who are willing to answer education’s call.
The Children’s Center is a supporter of Virginia’s Community Colleges through the G3 Business Ambassador program. If you think you’re a fit for a role at The Children’s Center, visit its website to learn more.