The Growing Place

Campus Director, Growing Place Early Childhood Lab School

Employment type
about 2 months ago
Los Angeles

Position: Campus Director, Growing Place Early Childhood Lab School
Location: 1802 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA
Status: Full-time, exempt
Reports to: Executive Director 
Start Date: January 2020

The Growing Place is a non-profit 501(c)(3) child development center, established in 1985. The mission of the Growing Place is to provide the young children of working families with high quality, all-day, year-round early education program. Our philosophy holds that all children learn from interactions with other children and from interactions with the environment, as well as from interactions with adults. The same is true for adults. We are in dialogue with Reggio Children and use best practices from their school systems in our context. We fundamentally view children as competent, resilient, and curious individuals; teachers as researchers, facilitators, and collaborators of learning for children and adults; parents as authentic partners.
We operate two NAEYC accredited campuses in Santa Monica, and have entered a partnership with the City of Santa Monica and Santa Monica College to operate a third campus (Early Childhood Lab School), scheduled to open fall 2020. This campus will serve as a demonstration site for ECE students enrolled at Santa Monica College.

Description of the Position 
The Campus Director of the Growing Place Early Childhood Lab School, will be critical in the successful launch of our new center. Working in concert with the Executive Director, and in collaboration with partners on the project, the Campus Director will lead the start-up of the new center through its opening and operation. 
The Campus Director leads and collaborates with children, faculty, staff, families, and the broader community to carry out the values and mission of the Growing Place. The Campus Director, with support from the Assistant Director, directs, manages, monitors and maintains control over all aspects of campus operations. The Campus Director is responsible for hiring and retention of faculty and staff, as well as oversees the enrollment process and campus facilities. The candidate will work closely with faculty and the Educational Coordinating Team to guide curriculum. The Campus Director holds a strong and clear vision of the organization’s purpose statement and how to actualize the school’s goals and objectives as outlined in our Strategic Plan. 

Responsibilities and Duties 
Promote Effective Teaching and Learning 
Work with Children 

  • Collaborate with staff and the Assistant Director and Educational Coordinating Team to design and implement curriculum for the entire campus that is in accordance with the Growing Place philosophies and pedagogy
  • Ensure that all children are given opportunities to thrive and structures are in place to support children with learning and/or developmental variations
  • Build respectful, trusting and positive relationships with all children


Work with Families

  • Assure all staff have the skills and disposition to create authentic partnerships with families
  • Welcome families and create relationships so they feel a sense of belonging 
  • Support with orienting new families on philosophy, pedagogy, policies, and practices 
  • Participate in parent-teacher meetings and conferences 
  • Engage families through school events such as Coffee & Conversations, Parent Teacher Dialogues, Back to School Night, Parent Events etc. 
  • Effectively communicate with families about the life of the school 


Work with Faculty and Staff 

  • Cultivate a positive, healthy, and professional work environment 
  • Cultivate a culture of curiosity, reflection, innovation, and critical thinking and feedback 
  • Interview, hire, retain and/or terminate faculty and staff as necessary  
  • Design and implement continuous performance management for all staff
  • Participate in a consistent and authentic feedback from employees, including having a continuous performance management plan 
  • Ensure that staff understand and implement the Growing Place mission, values, and practices 
  • Collaborate with Assistant Director to design faculty’s daily schedules 
  • Collaborate with GP Administrators to ensure alignment between campuses’
  • Effectively lead and facilitate meetings 
  • Design and lead on-boarding and professional development plans 
  • Support with mediation of conflicts among the staff 


Work with Community 

  • Develop a working partnership with SMC faculty, in particular the E/EC Department
  • Develop an understanding of SMC’s E/EC department and program
  • Ensure opportunities for all adult learners to engage in the learning at the Growing Place
  • Develop and sustain existing networks with other relevant organizations and schools
  • Work with groups that support additional services for children (ie. Connections for Children, Special Education Services)
  • Serve on the SM Early Childhood Task Force, an early education advocacy group
  • Demonstrate a strong inclusive and welcoming practice for all visitors  
  • Cultivate a strong, positive, and professional relationship with the Board of Directors 
  • Attend and participate in professional development relevant to furthering the organization’s mission and presence 

Fiscal Responsibilities 

  • Procure and lead fundraising initiatives to meet the school’s fundraising goals
  • Cultivate a spirit of philanthropy with parents, community and foundations
  • Steward resources to ensure a healthy overall fiscal budget 
  • Ensure the budget reflects the school’s financial values and practices 
  • Follow the fiscal policies and procedures handbook
  • Responsible for program and finance reports due to the City of SM and SMC


Enrollment and Marketing 

  • Collaborate with administrators to implement policies of admission, interviews, attendance, tuition and enrollment goals for the organization 
  • Collaborate with administration team to ensure full enrollment 
  • Conduct tours of the center for prospective parents, educators and visitors
  • Ensure all members of the community (parents, staff etc.) understand the mission, values and practices of the Growing Place
  • Collaborate with appropriate parties to ensure that all communication/marketing materials reflect the Growing Place’s mission, values, and practices 
  • Ensure visibility at Preschool/Career Fairs and local community events for recruitment of families and staff


Operations and Business  

  • Ensure that the center is compliant with all licensing standards and requirements per California Depart of Social Services Childcare Licensing
  • Seek and maintain accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 
  • Cultivate positive partnerships to promote good business practices
  • Stay abreast of best practices and research regarding children, families, teaching, learning, organizational structures


Campus Facilities

  • Plan and ensure that the campus environment promotes teaching, learning, development of trusting relationships, beauty, richness, connection to the natural world and the context of the school, and safety for children and adults
  • Support the Educational Coordinating Team and staff to select materials for the school 
  • Create effective emergency preparedness plans 
  • Maintain safety and security protocols for the campus

Additional responsibilities will be assigned by the supervisor and outlined in work plans. 
Minimum Qualifications/Requirements 

  • A Master Degree in a related field (ie. Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership/Administration)
  • Experience in leadership, administration, supervision, mentorship
  • Two (2) years of experience working with children ages 3 months-6 years old in a licensed quality child care program, NAEYC accredited child care center preferred
  • Demonstrate an understanding of child development 
  • Qualify for Program Director Permit per the CA Commission of Teacher Credentialing
  • Meet requirements of the CA Department of Social Services (TB status, CPR certification, fingerprint clearance



  • Values parents as important partners in the work of the school
  • Pays attention to the many ways that children make meaning of the world
  • Collaborates with children and adults in positive ways
  • Exhibits a positive, team player spirit 
  • Has a keen interest and curiosity about the nature of learning and teaching 
  • Finds joy in working with children and adults
  • Approaches teaching as a life-long learner
  • Embraces reflection as a tool for growth and learning
  • Demonstrates commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity 
  • Seeks out resources to continually improve one’s practice
  • Values learning from mistakes
  • Establishes professional boundaries with children, parents, and colleagues
  • Demonstrates professionalism in dress, attitude, communication, and punctuality
  • Shows and values integrity for oneself and others
  • Provides value add to the organization beyond the job position   
  • Demonstrates strong writing and communication skills 
  • Demonstrate skillful dialogue and relationship building with parents 


Working Conditions

  • Ability to stand and sit in indoor and outdoor environments designed for children ages 3 months - 6 years
  • Ability to move rapidly from a sitting to standing position, and to be able to get down and up off the ground as needed
  • Ability to push, pull, or lift up to 50lbs
  • Working in all weather conditions
  • Requires developmentally normal hearing abilities and visual acuity 
  • Requires strong communication skills with children, families, faculty, and staff


Salary and Benefits 
Starting Annual Salary: $85,000 (salary commensurates with experience)

  • 4 Weeks Paid Vacation/School Closure
  • 9 Paid Days National/State Holidays
  • Up to 72 Hours of Paid Sick Leave (PSL) 
  • Unused PSL will roll over to the next school year as Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Medical, Dental, Vision Benefits Covered at 85% 
  • Life Insurance with a fully paid premium and a $25,000 benefit
  • 403(b) retirement plan with a 50% match up to 3%
To apply

Please send resume, cover letter, and three professional references to [email protected]  

Qualified candidates will be contacted to participate in a phone interview. Candidates who advance through the interview process will participate in an in-person interview with Growing Place administration. Finalists will be invited to participate in a ½ day interview that will include an opportunity to observe our classrooms and engage with constituents from our community (Board Members, parents and staff).

No phone calls. Please send all required information to [email protected]