Job Posting: Associate Secretary, Early Childhood Support

Position Title:  Associate Secretary, Early Childhood Support

Reports To:  Secretary of Education

Description of Position:
The Delaware Department of Education is an exceptional team in search of leaders to join us who are team and support-focused. As the head of Delaware's Early Childhood Support Team, the Associate Secretary is directly responsible for many of Delaware's most critical efforts involving our youngest learners and the people and systems that serve them. You will report directly to the Secretary of Education as a core member of the department's leadership team and represent the Department of Education on a number of key committees.  You will provide solutions and guidance on a range of issues; advising the Secretary and Governor’s office on key legislation, coordinating the activities of your team, including, but not limited to, collaborating with leaders around the state, and implementing improvements in the learning experiences our youngest children have each day.

We are looking for a natural motivator who excels in communication, building partnerships with key stakeholders across departmental, state, national, public, and private spheres of influence. We seek a dynamic thinker willing to challenge convention and tackle difficult problems objectively and creatively. You will need strong organizational, analytical, writing and interpersonal skills to be successful. Above all, you will share our sense of urgency as we deliver on the ambitious goals that the creation of this associate secretary sets into motion; the alignment of early childhood learning and care across the state in schools, early learning facilities, and those that serve students birth to age 8.

The chosen candidate will supervise workgroups focused on early learning and child care licensing with other workgroups that may come in the future. The Associate Secretary will advise state policy leaders and collaborate with a cross-sector alliance of community partners, to focus on creating and overseeing the implementation of Delaware’s strategic plan for continuing early childhood improvements. The Associate Secretary will oversee and accelerate current initiatives including, but not limited to, the preschool initiative, quality rating and improvement system (Stars) and its redesign, Head Start Collaboration Office, ECAP, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Initiative, child care licensing, tiered reimbursement and incentives programs, professional development system, kindergarten entry survey, kindergarten registration and the Part B 619 Program.

The chosen candidate will work to promote educational equity so all students have access to the resources, educational rigor and childcare they need at the right moment in their education. Must be a collaborative worker who thrives on the energy of those around them. We learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives in a respectful environment where we all are committed to helping change the lives of Delaware’s children.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Serve as a member of the Department of Education leadership team and work with other department leaders to drive state-level progress.
  • Support the department vision of every learner ready for success, in college, career and life.
  • Lead the efforts of the Department of Education’s Early Childhood Support Team in conjunction with the Secretary of Education, including the following workgroups: Office of Early Learning and the Office of Childcare Licensing.
  • Serve as the department’s representative on groups whose emphasis is early learning and care.
  • Coordinate the review of relevant legislation, prepare legislation upon request, and provide assistance to the Secretary, the Governor’s office and General Assembly.
  • Drive communication at the local, state, national, and international level so that our key initiatives are understood and that the Department is held accountable and responsive to feedback.
  • Serve as a tireless problem-solver and thought-leader for the Department by continually identifying areas for improvement and opportunities to drive results for the department’s ongoing initiatives.
  • Ensure strong communication with families, community members, early childcare providers, educators, districts, and schools.
  • Display knowledge and administration of state and federal funding, program budgets and grants, including monitoring of spending throughout the fiscal year.
  • Work with other state agencies on ideas to streamline similar activities and platforms including, but not limited to, finance, credentialing, and database alignment to improve outcomes for children and their families.

Essential Qualifications:

A Master’s degree in early childhood development, education, or education policy, preferably with a concentration in Early Childhood Education or a related field; EdD or PhD preferred (though not required).


  • A minimum of five years of experience in early childhood or educational administration or a related field. 
  • Considerable knowledge of issues relevant to early learning/early childhood education and a track record of significant managerial, organizational, and leadership experience.
  • Experience in project management, including development of metrics and methods for tracking established goals; developing and executing contracts and budgets, and ensuring deliverables are met.
  • Two years of experience in working with diverse groups and building coalitions to support policy changes and program improvements.
  • Experience developing and maintaining strong relationships with key stakeholders, advocacy groups, elected officials and others.
  • Experience with federal grants preferred.

Salary will be computed in accordance with the education, experience, and training of the individual selected and in accordance with salary schedules for employees of the Department of Education. Direct deposit of payroll checks is a condition of state employment, and employees are paid on a lag pay schedule with the first payment made after approximately one month of employment.  

This is an appointed position and continued employment with the State of Delaware is at the discretion of the Secretary of Education. A criminal background check is required. The successful candidate must demonstrate during the interview process an understanding of diversity, educational equity and multicultural education. This job description is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of duties and standards of the position. The selected candidate should expect to perform any other related activities needed to deliver the position’s key duties and responsibilities and follow any other instructions as defined by his/her supervisor.  

The Delaware Department of Education is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment practices or educational programs, services or activities based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran’s status or any other legally protected category. Inquiries should be directed to the Human Resource Office, 401 Federal Street, Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901.  Phone: 302-735-4030.

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