Advocates For Children (AFC) is a dynamic social justice organization that strives to ensure a highquality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low- income backgrounds. AFC works on behalf of children and youth who are at greatest risk of academic failure due to poverty, race, ethnicity, disability, homelessness, immigration status/limited English proficiency, or involvement in the child welfare or juvenile/criminal legal systems. We use uniquely integrated strategies to advance systemic reform, empower families and communities, and advocate for the educational rights of individual students. For more information on AFC, see www.advocatesforchildren.org.
The Early Childhood Education Project provides direct representation, community education, and policy advocacy to improve access to early childhood education for young children from low-income backgrounds so they can enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. We are looking for an advocate to join our team to help families navigate the early childhood education systems and admissions processes, secure developmental and special education services for young children, and empower families to advocate on behalf of young children by leading community workshops and trainings. This position will report to the Director of the Early Childhood Education Project.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
• Providing case assistance to help parents secure appropriate early intervention, preschool special education, and kindergarten services and placements for their young children. This includes responding to parent inquiries and providing families with relevant educational resources; participating in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings for students with disabilities; advocating with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and Department of Education (DOE) to resolve problems; and advocating for families in school meetings and mediation.
• Providing technical assistance to professionals who are working to help connect young children with the early childhood education services they need.
• Presenting know-your-rights workshops to parents and professionals to provide them with information about early childhood education programs and services.
• Developing and updating guides and other informational materials.
• Contributing to the Project’s policy work to help strengthen and expand high-quality early childhood programs and services that prepare young children for kindergarten, with a particular focus on children with developmental delays or disabilities, students from immigrant families, and children who are homeless by, for example, tracking cases in order to help identify systemic barriers and identifying families interested in speaking out about the roadblocks they faced.
• Understanding of and alignment with AFC’s mission. Please review AFC’s work at www.advocatesforchildren.org.
• Desire to learn, both as an individual and as part of an organization, and apply diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism principles.
• Bachelor’s degree is required. Experience in education, advocacy, or social services is preferred.
• Strong oral and written communication skills.
• Strong presentation skills and comfort with public speaking.
• Fluency in Spanish, Mandarin or Cantonese with ability to converse with families who speak these languages is strongly preferred.
• Ability to work both independently and as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
• Organized, detail oriented, able to maintain accurate and timely records and meet deadlines.
AFC’s current compensation package includes medical and dental insurance, with a plan option that covers full payment of medical plan premiums for staff and their qualified dependents. AFC has generous time-off policies that include 10 federal holidays, office closure between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and 15 vacation days and 15 paid time off days in the first year of employment. AFC also offers a 403(b) plan with a fully vested employer match, coverage of the premium cost of life insurance and long- and short-term disability insurance.
Please e-mail one document that includes a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with “ECE Advocate” in the subject line. Candidates should highlight why they are interested in this role at AFC and how their experience aligns with the advocate position, including any personal or professional experience that demonstrates your connection to the populations that AFC serves. This position is available immediately, and resumes will be considered on a rolling basis. Due to high volume of applicants, only complete applications from qualified candidates will be contacted. No phone calls please.