YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago

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Youth Development Director

Youth Development Director

Job ID 
Posted Date 
1400 W. Northwest Highway
# Positions 
Youth Development
Hours per Week 
Variable Schedule 

More information about this job

Responsibilities & Requirements

Be a part of our mission.

The mission of the YMCA of Metro Chicago is to develop strong children, families and communities across Metropolitan Chicago through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, fitness and healthy living. We rely on the expertise, passion, commitment and energy of our team members to help us achieve our mission one child, one family and one team member at a time.


Our programs create a child-centered environment that promotes learning, character development, healthy living and positive, nurturing relationships. With a commitment to meeting quality and accreditation standards and extensive training and professional development in research-based practices, you’ll learn and grow and positively our children, families and communities.


Job Summary:  

Under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, the Youth Development Director is responsible for the program execution and operation of on-site and school-based after-school programs, camp, schools day out, and teen programs for the center.  The Youth Development Director adheres to all DCFS, federal, state, local and accreditation standards, as applicable.


Provides a safe, engaging, and nurturing environment for children that supports their overall development. Requires committed individuals who want to make a difference in the lives of children and their families. Responsible for ensuring program quality including implementing curriculum that meets the needs of all children and families.


Scope of Responsibilities:

  • Implements high quality and evidence-based youth development programs.
  • Monitors and manages program implementation of on-site and school-based and teen programs.  Serves as schools’ primary point-of-contact for YMCA school-based programs.
  • Identifies potential partnerships and funding streams to support on-site and school-based programs.
  • Identifies and recruits individuals and organizations willing to offer programs and services for students at schools, on-site and day camp.
  • Develops and manages the budgets for programs in which the position has oversight.  Ensures programs are enrolled per the budget and utilizes appropriate planning and recruiting techniques.
  • Manages grants and ensures all contract deliverables are met and correctly reported.
  • Hires and supports all necessary program staff; ensures that ratios are always met.
  • Trains and onboards staff within 90 days on the specifics of their role.
  • Submits staff credentials (education, experience and training) to Gateways to assess staffing qualifications, if applicable, to inform PD and improvement plans.
  • In collaboration with Risk Management and Learning and Evaluation, plans and implements training prior to summer camp and prior to the start of before/after school programming. Ensures teen staff have appropriate ongoing training as well.
  • Trains and onboards camp staff to adhere to American Camp Association accreditation standards.
  • Ensures volunteers have been properly trained and supervised and have proper clearances.
  • Develops, produces and distributes program information necessary to promote assigned programs, in accordance with branch marketing plans.
  • Ensures that safety procedures are followed and that all programs are in compliance with DCFS, ACA, applicable accreditation, and YMCA standards.
  • Ensures fidelity of program implementation and continuous improvement practices through ongoing staff training, program goal setting, and program goal-tracking and monitoring through use of operational scorecards.  Uses scorecards as a tool to communicate department performance goals.
  • Assesses each program site at least twice a year using the appropriate program specific observational tools (like PQA) and operational scorecards and works with site teams to identify continuous program improvement goals.
  • Holds monthly all-staff meetings to discuss school-age and teen programs and camp goals.
  • Provides data and reports as required for assigned programs.
  • Ensures upkeep of related facilities and equipment.
  • Provides oversight of daily/weekly lesson plan submittal and feedback to ensure high quality practice and skill building.
  • Establishes program schedules in afterschool and summer camp; approves any adjustments if needed and ensures that the schedules are being followed.
  • Supports the YMCA’s commitment to child abuse prevention by:
    • Reporting any items that may provide a health or safety hazard to staff, members or guests to the supervisor.
    • Following all policies and procedures related to keeping children safe in Y facilities and programs, including those related to the monitoring and supervision of children.
    • Reporting any suspicious behavior and violation of policy and procedures to the executive director.
    • Developing strong relationship with families and serving as a representative of the Y’s mission work internally and externally.
    • Completing child abuse prevention, CPR, First Aid and all other trainings as required.
  • Supports the YMCA’s commitment to inclusion of all members as required by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 



  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Elementary Education or related field, with at least 2 years of experience with supervisory responsibility.
  • Professional Education License with Early Childhood or Elementary Education endorsement (previously Type 03 or 04 Illinois Teacher Certification) preferred. Must have the required credentials to oversee a licensed school-age program.
  • Must meet DCFS director requirements.
  • Must have proof of completion of 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of credit from an accredited college or university with 21 semester hours related to school age child care, child development, elementary education, or other related fields and 1560 clock hours of experience in recreational program or a licensed child care center.
  • At least 25 years of age in compliance with ACA accredidation standards.
  • 4 years of youth development experience required.
  • 3-5 years of experience in school-age care required.
  • Experience running programs and managing programmatic staff.
  • CPR, AED, First Aid, and Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) to be maintained once in role.
  • Must be willing to apply for Gateways registry credentialing.
  • Commitment to, and a passion for, the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s mission.
  • Experience leading, motivating and supporting a diverse, high-performing team including identifying, selecting, onboarding, developing and evaluating team members and facilitating change.
  • Strategic thinking skills including effective planning, setting goals, monitoring progress, tracking results and making appropriate adjustments to plans based on circumstances and context.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize multiple, competing priorities to maximize personal and team effectiveness.
  • Customer service orientation, with the ability to effectively communicate on a regular basis with internal customers, build relationships, manage customer expectations and take responsibility for a high level of service.
  • Budget and expense management experience, with the ability to assist in managing budgets to plan.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills with the ability to effectively build and maintain relationships with members, team members and other stakeholders and constituents.
  • Intermediate proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel), email; ability to learn and adapt to new technology.
  • Demonstrates evidence of YMCA Team Leader competencies in previous experience or practice.
  • Meet physical qualifications required as outlined in job description. The YMCA will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.


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