Belmont, MA, United States
30+ days ago
About Mass Audubon
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.
About This Position
Mass Audubon’s Metro West Region includes Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, and Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont. We seek a dynamic Preschool Director who enjoys being outdoors in nature year-round, is well versed in early childhood education practices and understands the changing social and emotional needs of preschool-aged children to join our Metro West Education Team and participate in the development and leadership of our newest Nature Preschool at our Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont.
The Nature Preschool Director commits the majority of their time to the administration, direction, and supervision of a Mass Audubon Nature Preschool in accordance with Mass Audubon’s Action Agenda strategic goals and Mass Audubon’s education frameworks, standards, and practices, and policies. Specifically, they are responsible for the coordination and oversight of all curriculum and program development, licensing and risk management, marketing and registration, staff hiring and supervision, program evaluation and budget management for the nature preschool that they direct. The Nature Preschool Director supervises full-time, benefitted staff as well as part-time regularly scheduled and per diem educators, depending on each school’s staffing plan. They develop and manage program specific budgets with support from the Education Manager and Regional Director. They may also assist with fundraising for financial aid including grants development and general fundraising. The Nature Preschool Director also serves as a subject matter expert in nature-based early education and collaborates with the Statewide Early Education Specialist to represent Mass Audubon at conferences and gatherings, regionally and nationally.
Duties & Responsibilities
- Work in collaboration with the Mass Audubon education team on development of curriculum, staffing, and operational systems, in preparation for opening in January 2023.
- Oversee and manage operations of a successful nature preschool, meeting Mass Audubon’s early education goals and objectives for nature preschools as well as attending to the needs of children and families in the school community.
- Develop and steward a sense of community, belonging, and connection to nature in the preschool.
- Create and maintain a healthy, safe, and positive environment for children utilizing nature as the organizing principle for all learning.
- Ensure the indoor and outdoor learning environments are in good condition to support safe, engaging, rich in experience, and positive child development.
- Develop and manage annual preschool operating budget with attention to flexibility in enrollment and costs.
- Responsible and accountable to all Mass Audubon safety policies and guidelines to manage risk.
- Responsible for compliance and implementation of all Massachusetts Early Education and Care licensed child care regulations and guidelines, including preparation for re-licensing paperwork and visits, secure maintenance of student files.
- Observe and document children’s progress in the areas of their social, emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive skills and communicate with families about their child’s abilities and goals.
- Work collaboratively with other wildlife sanctuary and nature center staff to ensure the operations of the preschool are in alignment with the ongoing operations of the wildlife sanctuary.
- Maintain the built and natural environment so that it is safe, welcoming and an enriching environment for childhood development and learning.
- Assume teaching responsibilities, as necessary.
- Hire, train, manage, supervise and provide ongoing professional development for all preschool program faculty and volunteers.
- Maintain clear communication with the faculty and ensure that curriculum and instruction is highest quality, meets early education standards and outcomes, and is inclusive and culturally responsive.
- Communicate and work cooperatively with the Nature Preschool faculty to accomplish program goals.
- Conduct monthly or bi-monthly teacher observations.
- Plan and offer Professional Development seminars to Nature Preschool faculty in the school and in collaboration with other Mass Audubon Nature Preschool Directors.
- Determine the work schedule of the school and arrange substitute educators when necessary.
- Communicate with families about their child’s development and daily learning and play experiences including working with teaching staff to plan and conduct parent/teacher conferences.
- Engage parents/caregivers in conversations about children’s behavioral needs and collaborate with Lead Teachers to plan meetings with families to explore appropriate strategies, interventions and possible collaboration with outside consultants.
- Develop and facilitate family events and engagement programs.
Marketing, Public/Community Relations:
- Manage outreach and communication between families, community partners, and state agencies and serve as the lead voice for the school in the community where the preschool is located.
- Work collaboratively with Mass Audubon’s marketing department to develop school marketing materials and any other publications or press that represent early education at Mass Audubon.
- Work with Mass Audubon early childhood education colleagues and attend education and preschool meetings as required.
- Attend monthly Nature Preschool Director professional learning community meetings.
- Collaborate with leaders in the broader network of Mass Audubon nature-based preschools.
At Mass Audubon, our highest priority is finding the best candidate for the job. Research has shown that people of color and women are less likely to apply for jobs if they don't believe they meet every one of the qualifications described in a job description. We encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of our described qualifications or you have a less traditional background. We are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:
The Nature Preschool Director must hold Early Education and Care Director licensure and have a minimum of 3-5 years directing a preschool, and at least 5 years of experience teaching children, ages 2-5 years old. Previous management experience including staff recruitment, hiring, supervision and design of ongoing professional development is required. Additional qualifications include:
- Exceptional understanding of early childhood education practices and the changing social and emotional needs of preschool-aged children.
- Exceptional management of preschool operations.
- Exceptional management and high level of engagement of preschool staff and volunteers.
- Exceptional teaching of Nature Preschool Program.
- Excellent writing and communication skills and ability to work cooperatively and independently.
- Interest and/or experience in nature-based, emergent and anti-bias teaching in early childhood education.
- Passion for the natural world and deep commitment to developing early childhood learning experiences in, about, and for nature.
- Demonstrated ability to promote and respect diversity of ethnic, cultural, linguistic backgrounds and, physical and mental abilities.
- Demonstrated skills and commitment to helping others grow in the understanding, relationship, and concern for the environment.
- First Aid/CPR certifications.
Nice to Haves:
- Experience in providing natural science instruction to preschool age children is preferred.
Compensation & Benefits
This position’s base salary range is $60,000-$65,000 actual salary will reflect level of experience and qualifications relative to position requirements.
Benefits and Perks:
Benefits eligible staff at Mass Audubon may elect to enroll in medical, dental, and vision plans. Mass Audubon also offers disability and life insurance plans, a retirement plan through MetLife, and Flexible Spending Account options. Mass Audubon employment also includes access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Reciprocity Agreement through the Consortium of Non-Profit Arts/Cultural/Environmental Organizations of New England. Mass Audubon employees also enjoy 12.5 paid holidays (holidays may shift annually due to where days fall within calendar).
Mondays-Fridays 8:00am-4:30pm, other times and dates outside of regular hours will be required for trainings, meetings, open houses, and more.
Employees must successfully complete a CORI and SORI Background Check and a Motor Vehicle Record (if applicable) is required.
Mass Audubon requires that all staff, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status. Proof of vaccination status will be required immediately upon hire. This should also include a booster shot if it has been 5 months since you were initially vaccinated.
Mass Audubon's Commitment To Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice
Mass Audubon's mission is to "protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife" by building a strong coalition of employees, volunteers, and community members. We recognize that the environmental movement and field of conservation have been affected by societal systems that have limited opportunity and access for many people. As a result, Mass Audubon is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. We are engaged in an ongoing process of organizational assessment and change, designed to remove barriers and create a workplace where all forms of diversity are recognized and valued.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Mass Audubon is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. Mass Audubon prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
How To Apply
Please send letter of interest and resume to: