• Early Head Start Teacher

    Job Locations US-IL-Chicago
    North Lawndale Children Services
    Early Learning/Child Care
    Variable Schedule
    Monday - Friday | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Overview

    Job Summary:  

    The Early Head Start Teacher II serves as one of two primary teachers for an assigned group of eight infants, toddlers or two year olds, responsible for the safety, care, and well-being of the entire group. Accountable for responsive care to all children, enriched by high quality language experiences, with an emphasis on social/emotional growth. Also accountable for focused observations, planning, and adapting routines and daily experiences with each individual child’s abilities and interests. This also includes child assessment, and evaluation of the effectiveness of child development activities. The Early Head Start Teacher II maintains regular communication with parents, and implements curriculum and program requirements, in adherence to performance and outcome standards, as prescribed by the multiple funding partners, federal, state and local standards, and organizational goals and values.


    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 teachers and other team members to help us achieve our mission one child, one family, and one team member at a time.  

    Our early learning programs create a child-centered environment that promotes learning, character development, healthy living and positive, nurturing relationships. With a commitment to meeting accreditation standards and extensive training and development in research-based practices,

    you’ll also learn and grow and positively impact our children, families and communities.


    Scope of Responsibilities:

    • Provide a positive climate of prompt and consistent responsive and individualized care to help children develop secure relationships and attachment throughout the day including diapering/toileting meal and active play and floor times.
    • Adhere to continuity of relationship practices and work with assigned group of infants and toddlers applying best practices for infant/toddler care.
    • Provide a language rich classroom environment which includes consistency in talking, singing and relating to children’s verbal and nonverbal cues, at eye level.
    • Assure families receives an opportunity to build strong relationships and experience clear communication with teaching staff.
    • Obtain families’ social-cultural background information and designs meaningful learning experiences for children based on their findings.  Utilize fidelity measures to support English Language Learners and to inform linguistic and culturally responsive practices.
    • Follow consistent routines and make certain the schedule for infants, toddlers, and twos is regular enough to be predictable, but flexible enough to meet their individual needs, diapering and feeding on demand.  
    • Meet the individual needs of each child, at their physical level (kneeling, bending, or sitting on the floor).
    • Maintain awareness and supervision of the needs of the entire group to ensure the safety of each child whether in the classroom, on the playground, or in common areas.
    • Promote family engagement and awareness through a variety of methods and ensure parents receive adequate information about their child’s experiences through daily contacts, scheduled home visits and parent conferences.
    • Partner with families to increase their understanding of child development and stages, including social/emotional well-being and early literacy; and to support relationships between children & their families.
    • Participate in required health and safety procedures to reduce the spread of germs for the sake of children, parents and staff.
    • Integrate and assist children with special needs and adapt activities accordingly.
    • Utilize routines such as diapering, toileting/training, cleaning, feeding and changing wet clothes as opportunities for strengthening development, learning, and skill growth.
    • Observe children daily upon arrival to detect signs of illness, injury, abuse, neglect, emotional disturbance, or other special needs and complete daily health check.
    • Participate and support agency/center efforts toward recruitment, enrollment, attendance and retention of eligible families.
    • Maintain regular job attendance, professionalism in attire and demeanor, observe and respect issues of confidentiality, ethics, and best practices.
    • Support the YMCA’s mission and center operations as assigned.
    • Discreetly handle sensitive information and maintain confidentiality at all times.


    Lesson Planning and Classroom Management

    • Provide individualized age appropriate learning experiences that incorporates social emotional, cognitive and physical development, early language stimulation, literacy and integration of the arts
    • Implement well-organized learning environments, with developmentally appropriate schedules, individualized plans, and indoor/outdoor learning experiences that provide adequate opportunities for play and exploration among a variety of learning, sensory, and motor experiences.
    • Adapt curriculum to address and meet individual goals for children as identified in their individualized family service plans (IFSP).
    • Respond quickly to children’s cues, different and personal needs, temperament styles, abilities, and cultures.
    • Communicate regularly and work cooperatively with adults assigned to the classroom, establishing clear expectations for roles and responsibilities and to achieve positive outcomes for children of all abilities.
    • Provide designated areas in the classroom to exhibit displays of families, children and their work.
    • Convene team planning/meeting to develop plans, discuss strategies, review child data, and classroom needs.
    • Complete classroom inventory quarterly and rotate materials at various stages, to maintain and encourage curiosity and new learning.
    • Coordinate with site director in making purchases of suitable concrete materials relevant to children’s interests and culture; and that promotes high quality early learning to support children’s development.
    • Perform and ensure regular sanitation of all surfaces, changing stations, equipment, classroom toys and laundry.


    Assessments, Evaluations, and Reports

    • Conduct developmental screening and assessment of children ages 6 weeks - 3 years, using required tools and established intervals to determine motor, language, social, cognitive perceptual and emotional skills.
    • Establish and maintain a system for collecting and managing daily observations of children.
    • Complete observation and quarterly assessment of individual children according to methods of Teaching Strategies GOLD.
    • Enter individual child and classroom data into appropriate information systems according to set guidelines and timeframes.  
    • Generate reports and use for planning; and accurate and timely submission for sharing information with others.
    • Participate in initial and any additional staffing with parent and FSW, on all children suspected or identified with special needs.
    • Observe children to assess and record development of skills and to recommend or complete referrals for further evaluation.
    • Perform recordkeeping responsibilities for both the individual children assigned and the classroom function. Document daily communication log, observations, attendance, and meal counts for each child.




    • Bachelor’s Degree in ECE or a related field with a signed contingency to complete two Infant/Toddler courses and obtain Gateways Level 4 Infant/Toddler Credential; or other approved Infant/Toddler Certification.
    • 1-3 years experience in infant/toddler classroom, preferably NAEYC accredited and/or EHS or PI funded program.
    • Apply early childhood development theory, curriculum and practices in daily activities and adapt to children’s individual needs.and interests. Familiarity with Creative Curriculum and Gold Assessment preferred.
    • Proficient verbal and written communication skills and ability to tailor communication to different audiences.
    • Flexibility to care for children 6 weeks - 3 years, interact at their eye level, move quickly, monitor and assess situations.
    • Ability to build rapport and to respect the cultural and socioeconomic diversity of the population served.
    • Maintain a safe learning environment at all times in classroom, playground and common areas. 
    • Motivated continuous learner who leverages opportunities for learning and applies new knowledge and skills.
    • Complete and maintain detailed, accurate evidence of children’s learning, records and other documentation as established.
    • Intermediate computer skills, internet and email and the ability to learn and adapt to new technology.
    • Demonstrates evidence of YMCA Leader competencies in previous experience or practice.
    • Travel in Chicago area communities for family Home Visits and training.
    • Discreetly handle sensitive information and maintain confidentiality  at all times
    • Ability to obtain YMCA and DCFS background check clearance and provide documentation of current physical based on program requirements


    Child Abuse Prevention

    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 your supervisor
    • Following all policies and procedures related to keeping children safe in our facilities and programs, including those related to the monitoring and supervision of children
    • Reporting any suspicious behavior and violation of policy and procedures to your supervisor
    • Completing all child abuse prevention training as required


    Commitment to Inclusion

    Supports the YMCA’s commitment to inclusion of all members as required by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Job responsibilities may include implementing program modifications for persons with cognitive, behavioral or physical disabilities, including but not limited to the injection of medical glucagon to members with Type 1 diabetes in emergency situations. Appropriate training and development will be provided to YMCA team members based on your role and responsibilities.


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