Head of Early Childhood Programs

Port Elizabeth

Ubuntu provides world-class health and educational support to orphaned and vulnerable children living in the townships of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Nuancing traditional development models, we have redefined the theory of “going to scale” instead of expanding geographically, we focus on the depth rather than breadth of our impact within a community of 400,000 people. Ubuntu's programs form an integrated system of health, educational, and social services, ensuring that disadvantaged children succeed in the world of higher education and employment.

Ubuntu Pathways breaks the cycle of poverty by providing South Africa's most vulnerable children with what all children deserve—everything, every day.

Our Team At-a-Glance:

  • Founded in 1999
  • 75 global staff with 10 on the New York City team
  • 2,000 vulnerable children on pathways out of poverty

Program Overview:

The first five years of a child shapes their future. At Ubuntu, we believe the most sustainable way of breaking the cycle of poverty is through early interventions. Driven by this core belief, we have created an ECE program that provides children aged 2-5 with a safe and stimulating space to grow and thrive throughout their critical early years of life. The program utilizes a play-based, emergent curriculum on par with the best early education programs around the world. Ubuntu's ECD team designs lessons to stimulate brain development and promote motor control and cognitive functionality through art, free expression, and social interaction. Educators monitor each child’s progress by observing their unique ideas, interests, and challenges in the classroom and engage families in their children's well-being. Incorporating high-quality health and caregiver services, the ECE program provides a truly transformative support system that prepares our youngest scholars for a lifetime of learning and success. Since the launch of the program in 2012, we have seen a remarkable, sustained impact: 100% of Ubuntu's ECE graduates attain age-appropriate developmental milestones and enter primary school with a strong physical, socio-emotional, and academic foundation.

Position Overview:

Ubuntu is looking for a Head of ECD Programs. This person should understand and have experience in play based emergent curriculum. They must be committed to Ubuntu’s philosophy that children have an innate curiosity, sense of discovery and when nurtured and supported on their journey of wonder and learning, they will thrive.

This person will be able to build relationships with other staff based on mutual respect, demonstrate effective communication skills, practice conflict resolution skills and have an ongoing commitment to learning. This person must possess excellent observation skills and model best practice in working with young children. They must be able to lead the interactive coaching and supervision process of observation, discussion, and reflection to promote the teams’ ability to grow.

Closing date for applications : Friday 14th May 2021

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Establish and maintain a healthy, safe and fun learning and working environment
  • Work with teachers to assure that all classrooms are safe, attractive and developmentally appropriate.
  • Maintain the facility in accordance with COVIID protocols
  • Supervise all program staff
  • Execute the policies and procedures that ensure the well- being of children including Ubuntu’s play based model that is developmentally appropriate, positive behavior management plans and safe arrival and departure
  • Encourage, support, motivate, and work interactively with teachers and staff to develop and work towards collaboratively set goals.
  • Translate best practices into specific tasks, skills or techniques which can be mastered and measured.
  • Plan and prepare high quality ECD training and mentoring programs that meet the needs of practitioners in informal settings
  • Facilitate training courses for groups of ECD practitioners
  • Monitor and record progress of practitioners and provide feedback
  • Contribute to the development, evaluation and improvement of ECD training courses, materials and related services
  • Encourage, support, motivate, and work interactively with teachers to develop and implement ongoing goals.
  • Lead day-to-day functioning of the ECD Program
  • Work with local leaders, teachers, staff, and parents to assure a consistent, high-functioning learning environment
  • Manage the program’s discretionary budget
  • Manage all additional school activities, including but not limited to: transportation, health and safety policies, social services, and referrals
  • Promote and brainstorm for innovation and creativity in our classrooms and programs
  • Remain current on issues and trends in early childhood education
  • Model best practices within and without the classroom, including but are not limited to classroom management, diverse learning needs, and emotional responsive practice
  • Support new teachers during the introduction process
  • Participate and lead weekly teacher planning meetings, age group meetings, and individual reflective supervision with teachers
  • Assist in creating a collaborative community of learners among the teachers
  • Support and organize purchasing needs for school supplies and materials

Guiding Principles:

The ideal candidate will understand and value the following:

  • Culturally and linguistically sensitive, family-centered practice
  • Natural learning environments
  • Play-based, child-centered approach to ECE
  • The process of learning through experience
  • Functional and meaningful activities/supports
  • Collaborative goal setting
  • Operation from a systems perspective
  • Long-term view of change

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Education, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, or a related field.
  • Coaching or Mentoring experience a plus
  • A minimum of 5 years experience in a leadership position with a minimum of 3 years teaching in the field.
  • Knowledge and education regarding developmentally appropriate practices.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, competent interpersonal skills, and strong organizational skills. Ability to communicate using technology, develop reports, and track data.
  • Driver’s license required

Salary:

Salary is market related commensurate with scope of competence and experience

Application Information & Method

  • Send your CV via Email to : jobs@panlila.co.za
  • Make sure that your save your CV under your name AND surname.
  • Make sure that you type the name of the job/position that you are applying for the "subject" section of your email.
  • Please include an active and current e-mail address which can be used for communication purposes and which you are happy to receive e-mail information on regarding your application.
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • If you are not contacted within fourteen (14) days after closing date, you should consider your application to have been unsuccessful.
  • Please indicate on your CV whether you have a criminal record, were found guilty of misconduct or have pending criminal or misconduct chargers.
  • Applicants may be subjected to any of the following: a security and credit clearance check, a competency assessment, signing a performance contract on appointment and signing an employment contract on appointment.