Head Start - Assistant Teacher

Company : Name Linked North Lawndale YMCA
Job Locations US-IL-Chicago | US-IL-Chicago | US-IL-Chicago
Location : Address
3449 West Arthington Street
Early Learning/Child Care
Monday - Friday | 9:00 am - 6:00 pm


Make A Difference In Your Community! 




The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is hiring a full-time Assistant Teacher for our Head Start programs


Earn a $300 signing bonus 30 days after your start date as an active Y employee!


This position starts at $21.04 per hour


Now hiring for the following YMCA Locations/Neighborhoods:

Garfield Children Services/Homan Square

North Lawndale YMCA/Homan Square

South Side YMCA/Woodlawn

Jeanne Kenney Day Care Center/Auburn Park

Rauner Family YMCA/ Pilsen-Little Village



The Head Start Assistant Teacher works cooperatively to with both classroom teachers to ensure prompt and responsive care to each child, responding to their emotional, social, and physical, and educational needs. 


The Y offers a variety of impactful programming to all ages and families. Following the Y's impact for more than 150 years, 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.


The Head Start Assistant Teacher in collaboration with the Head Start Teacher provides support in effective instructional strategies, classroom management, learning, assessment, evaluation, and related research for children 3-5 years old. The Head Start Assistant Teacher is responsible for providing developmentally appropriate learning experiences, supervision of children assigned in the classroom, and providing a supportive and positive classroom climate, while ensuring the individual needs of the children are met as mandated by Head Start, NAEYC, federal, state and local standards.


Our staff is the Y's greatest asset. Our teams provide valuable skills, knowledge, and passion that is essential to the contribution and positive impact in our communities, which is why we offer Y employees numerous perks and benefits, including:

  • Comprehensive benefits package for eligible employees 
  • Opportunity for eligible employees to participate in the Y's retirement fund 
  • Be part of a team that is passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable environment for all staff, volunteers, and members
  • Do meaningful work and contribute to the advancement of the YMCA vision by meeting the needs of the people in our communities
  • Complimentary Family YMCA membership and a 25% employee discount on select programs
  • Career advancement opportunities - grow your career at the Y!


Scope of Responsibilities:

  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and interpersonal skills in order to relate well with children, parents, co-workers, administrators, and the community
  • Support high-quality teaching and learning in the classroom that promotes academic readiness
  • Maintains awareness and supervision of the needs of all children and ensures their health and physical safety at all times
  • Aid in the guidance and support of all children including dual language learners and those with special needs
  • Support and assist Teachers in the implementation of English Language Learner programs to inform linguistic and culturally responsive practices
  • Utilize available resources to adapt and apply different instructional methods to support children’s varying needs
  • Assumes the lead in selected activities throughout periods of the day
  • Model and promote appropriate grammar, language, positive interactions, and discipline for children and parents
  • Establish and maintain a cooperative attitude of working together with adults assigned to the classroom in planning and implementing activities
  • Assist with preparations for Parent Meetings, Parent/Teacher Conferences, Parent/Child Activities, and other classrooms/center events
  • Aid in completion of all necessary paperwork for classroom activities 
  • Annually complete at least thirty clock hours of professional development, through participation in offered training, workshops, in-service days, all staff conferences, and maintain a log of professional development requirements, including documents supporting completion
  • Participate and support agency/center efforts toward recruitment, enrollment, attendance, and retention of eligible families
  • Adhere to Head Start Performance Standards, Developmentally Appropriate Practices and the Creative Curriculum for Preschool
  • Observe and respect issues of confidentiality


Lesson Planning and Classroom Management

  • Collaborate with classroom team members to develop lesson plans with goals, objectives, activities, and outcomes for children that integrate health, nutrition, mental health, disabilities, and parent involvement
  • Gather, arrange and display children’s work to help in a manner appropriate for their eye level
  • Assist classroom team to maintain an attractive, clean, safe, and engaging classroom environment that includes positive guidance techniques and that encourages support children's independence and self-selection of activities
  • Model and implement family-style eating during meal times
  • Regularly sanitize all surfaces, classroom toys, equipment, and laundry
  • Assist with classroom management, arrangement, organization, and labeling materials
  • Assume joint share of classroom team to maintain a safe, clean, environment, and practice good personal hygiene and frequent hand washing
  • Assist with completion of classroom inventory quarterly and the selection of materials and equipment to support instruction and children’s learning


Assist in Evaluations, Assessments, and Reports

  • Timely and accurately administer required screenings 
  • Observe, document, and assess children’s health, skills, behavior, growth, and development 
  • Follow the established system for collecting and managing daily observations of children, including weekly entries on-line 
  • Take pictures and maintain anecdotal notes, written observations, and other approved forms of documentation for each child
  • Maintain documentation of each child’s progress and growth according to Head Start guidelines and the methods of Teaching Strategies GOLD
  • Input classroom data into appropriate information systems, as required (TSG, Home Visits, and Parent/Teacher Conferences)
  • Adhere to timelines and complete child assessment information, at least four times annually 
  • Complete all necessary paperwork for classroom activities including attendance and meal count sheets
  • Assume joint share of the classroom team to maintain and ensure accurate and up-to-date education folders and portfolios for each child
  • Observe and respect issues of confidentiality


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


  • Associate’s Degree or equivalent in Child Development/Early Childhood Education or related field with a minimum of 15 college credit hours in Early Childhood Education
  • At least 3 months of experience working in a classroom setting required
  • Must pass DCFS background check and maintain clearance throughout employment
  • Must meet annual physical requirements
  • Experience working with children ages 3-5 years old preferred
  • Ability to read, comprehend and interpret documents such as policies and procedures
  • Demonstrated understanding of child growth and development
  • Ability to build rapport with children, parents, and families of high risk
  • Willing and able to work flexible hours, potentially including some evenings and Saturdays; hours may be adjusted to accommodate program needs
  • Occasional travel in the Chicagoland area may be required for training
  • This position is a union position

YMCA Vaccine Policy

We’re committed to the health and wellness of our employees, members, program participants, and those most vulnerable. If hired by the YMCA, you will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination no later than two (2) days before your start date, unless an exemption for a medical condition or sincerely-held religious beliefs is granted.


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