The Early 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. Principal duties include promoting a supportive and positive classroom climate, attention and engagement in activities and play that stimulates development and frequent high quality language experiences. Further responsibilities involve child observation, assessment and adapting routines and daily experiences to meet individual child interests and abilities. The EHS Assistant Teacher communicates with classroom teachers regarding all aspects of each child’s care and classroom management, and conducts child observation and assessment of children assigned in the classroom, while ensuring the individual needs of the children are met as mandated by Head Start, NAEYC, federal, state and local standards.
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 responsive caregiving and continuity to help children develop secure relationships while focusing on the children’s social and emotional well-being.
- Support and embrace the agency written plan for continuity of care.
- Assist in the planning, preparation and delivery of age appropriate instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences and promote the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child. This includes both indoor and outdoor activities
- Assist the Early Head Start Teacher in rigorous academic instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) that will support children’s academic, intellectual and linguistic development.
- Maintain awareness and supervision of the needs of the entire classroom and ensure the health and physical safety of children, at all times, whether indoors and outside.
- Meet the individual needs of each child, at their physical level (kneeling, bending, or sitting on the floor)
- Interact with, and assist children individually or in small groups in order to guide and reinforce learning concepts.
- Assist with the completion of daily recording of health checks, communication logs, attendance, and meals.
- Guide and support all children, including dual language learners and those with special needs.
- Model and promote appropriate English grammar, language, positive interactions and discipline and interactions for children and parents.
- Establish a professional rapport and work cooperatively with adults assigned to the classroom (i.e., Teacher, Aide, Parents, and Volunteers), establishing clear expectations for roles and responsibilities.
- Develop effective communication and professional relationships with families and encourage parent involvement through a variety of methods (e.g., classroom parent meetings & events, center-wide activities).
- 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 Infants, Toddlers and Two’s.
- Discreetly handle sensitive information and maintain confidentiality at all times
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 which 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 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.
- Must have CDA credential or Gateways to Opportunity Level 2 Infant/Toddler credential or Associate’s Degree and minimum of 2 classes in infant/toddler development depending on program requirements
- If required , must obtain a minimum of Gateways Level 2 Infant Toddler Certification within first 12 months of employment
- Experience working with children 6 weeks to 3 years old
- Demonstrated understanding of child growth and development
- Proficient verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to clearly and concisely present ideas and concepts and tailor communication to different audiences
- Ability to build rapport with children, parents and families of high risk
- Continuous learner who leverages opportunities for learning and applies new knowledge and skills
- Ability to organize and prioritize multiple, competing priorities to maximize personal and team effectiveness.
- Ability to keep detailed, accurate and complete records and documentation as needed.
- Intermediate proficiency in Microsoft Office Word, email and the ability to learn and adapt to new technology.
- Demonstrates evidence of YMCA Leader competencies in previous experience or practice.
- Must pass DCFS background check and maintain clearance throughout employment
- 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
- Meet physical qualifications required as outlined in job description and annual requirements. The YMCA will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
- Ability to obtain DCFS background check clearance and provide pre-employment medical screening documentation
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.