Sound Child Care Solutions Executive Director

Seattle, Washington, United States | Full-time | COVID-19 remote


Sound Child Care Solutions (SCCS) is seeking a new Executive Director. SCCS is a consortium of eight child care centers all committed to anti-bias education and closing the opportunity and academic achievement gaps for young children. Despite the challenges of the past two years, SCCS has been in a period of significant organizational growth and is preparing to launch a new strategic plan with a new leader at the helm. This is an exciting opportunity to lead a thriving and growing organization that is preparing Seattle’s children for kindergarten and life. We hope you will apply if:

  • You bring knowledge and experience of high quality, culturally relevant, anti-bias child care and how to lead a healthy organization
  • You understand how the school readiness and academic achievement gaps are impacted by racial inequities and financial disparities among families, and you are passionate about making change 
  • You value shared leadership and want to have a role in growing and mentoring leaders and building a learning culture of inclusivity
  • You share the SCCS core values of Engaged Learning, Collaborative Relationships, Joyful Work, Social Justice, Shared Accountability, Intentional Practice, and Sustainable Community and want to bring that to your leadership

Organizational Overview

Mission: Sound Child Care Solutions creates high quality, culturally relevant education for all children through the collaboration of early learning centers.

Core Values: Engaged Learning, Collaborative Relationships, Joyful Work, Social Justice, Shared Accountability, Intentional Practice, and Sustainable Community.

Sound Child Care Solutions (SCCS) is a 501(c)3 organization and the first shared services, early learning consortium in Seattle, WA. SCCS was founded in 2006 with a deep belief that all children deserve high quality, culturally relevant education, and tackling the divide between who gets a great education and who doesn’t is critical to reducing gaps in school readiness and academic achievement. SCCS believes that children who know they are loved and who celebrate their history and culture enter kindergarten with a strong sense of self and a drive to engage and learn. SCCS prioritizes anti-bias, anti-racist curriculum at its centers and is on the front lines of undoing institutional racism.

SCCS began as one program serving 17 children and has grown to eight neighborhood-focused centers with 11 program locations in Seattle, serving 450 children (pre-pandemic) and employing over 120 staff. Our intentional hiring practices ensure that teachers and Center Directors represent the diversity of the communities we serve. We employ staff from 18 countries who speak 15 languages, and we offer dual language classrooms in English and Spanish or Vietnamese. Our central office staff consists of 4 FTEs (including the Executive Director) and oversees a total annual budget of close $7.5M per year across all centers. We are one of the largest contractors with the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning, and we are well-positioned within the P-3 system in our region.

Our Shared Services Model centralizes our child care centers’ administrative needs, allowing Directors to focus on high quality programming for children and families, and professional development for teachers. Central Office staff serve as the Directors' team of support, managing benefits administration, payroll, accounts payable, liability insurance, center budgeting, financial reporting with strategic advising, contracts management, fund development, IT consulting, and connection to legal and human resource counsel.

Position Opportunities and Essential Duties of Position 

After an extended period of significant organizational growth and transformation, we are well prepared to search for SCCS’s new Executive Director. With the support of consultants from 501 Commons, SCCS is currently undertaking a strategic planning process that will ultimately guide us as we continue to build capacity to support more children and families in Seattle. The new Executive Director will translate the Strategic Plan into concrete strategies and initiatives to lead SCCS’s efforts to fulfill our mission of creating high quality, culturally relevant education for all children. 

Essential Duties of Position

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of SCCS Centers. The bulk of their time will be spent in the following efforts:

Strategic and Visionary Leadership: 

  • Leads the implementation of the newly developed strategic plan by developing short and long-term goals and tactics.
  • Continually frames and embeds SCCS’s values and mission throughout the organization’s staff, volunteers, commitments, and practices.  
  • Represents and speaks for SCCS at strategic meetings and events.

Operations Management and Fund Development 

  • Supervises three direct reports in the Central Office: Business Office Manager, Director of Development & Communications, and the HR & Bookkeeper. 
  • Oversees effective and efficient operations of the organization, including compliance with all legal, educational, and financial requirements.
  • Oversees the organization’s budget, financials, and payroll.
  • Works with the Fund Developer to raise a specific annual goal in grant and individual donations.

Leadership, Mentoring, and Team Building with SCCS Directors and Staff 

  • Chairs and facilitates Leadership Team meetings, ensuring that key strategic goals and decisions are on track.  
  • Uses the Matrix Management approach to leadership, guiding and supporting Center Directors with professional development and consulting on unique Center needs. 
  • Demonstrates consensus-building and shared leadership as part of a collaborative staff. 

Board Support and Development 

  • Assists in the recruitment, selection, and engagement of Board members.
  • Fosters and supports shared governance between the Leadership Team and Board.

The Ideal Candidate

The next Executive Director must have a deep belief in the mission and values of SCCS. They must be unwavering in their commitment to educational equity and undoing institutional racism and demonstrate this commitment in all aspects of their leadership. Successful candidates will have a genuine love for children and a nuanced understanding of the “whys and hows” of high-quality, culturally relevant child care.

As the executive leader of a growing organization, the next ED will need to be an excellent communicator with different kinds of stakeholders -- someone who is comfortable with fluidity, change, and sometimes conflict. More specifically, the ideal candidate will bring skills and experience in most or all of the following tasks that are fundamental to running a healthy nonprofit organization:

  • Staff management and supervision in a collaborative, team-based environment. Demonstrated ability to build and unite large staff teams, facilitate diverse groups in problem-solving and consensus-based decision-making, and empower others to lead and be accountable to common goals.
  • Nonprofit operational functions including human resources, marketing/communications, budgeting, financial oversight, strategic revenue development, and working with a Board of Directors. Experience managing a seven-figure budget is desired. Experience with a shared services organizational model is also a plus. 
  • External communications and relationship building with partner organizations, community leaders, political entities, and funders of all types (government, foundation, and individual donors). Motivated and fearless about making direct financial asks; previous fundraising experience is a plus. An understanding of the greater-Seattle landscape and/or existing relationships with leaders and funders in the child care sector is desirable but not required. 

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time salaried position requiring a willingness to work some evenings and weekends. The expected salary range is between $100,000 and $115,000+, depending on qualifications and experience. 

SCCS offers generous staff benefits including medical and dental insurance, short-term disability, and Washington State Paid Family Medical Leave. In addition to employee coverage, medical and dental benefits are also available to dependents, with SCCS paying a portion of dependent children premiums. To ensure a healthy work-life balance, generous vacation, sick, and holiday time are provided, and a remote work model is widely used by central SCCS administrative staff. After a year of employment, staff are eligible to participate in SCCS’s 401(k) retirement plan, which is an employer-match plan. In addition, an in-building parking space and a SCCS cell phone are provided.

SCCS’s central administrative office is located in the International District, specifically Little Saigon, which is on the outside edge of Seattle’s downtown business core. The building is centrally located in relation to the SCCS child care centers and is conveniently located near transit lines, major highways, and restaurants.

Commitment to Equity 

SCCS was founded with a commitment to undo racism. We recognize and act on the racism we see, and we know that a child’s positive cultural identity is critical to healthy development. Our teaching approach supports this responsibility through four anti-bias goals for staff and children as published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. On May 1st of each year, we close our centers and hold an annual all-staff training on racial equity. We have intentional hiring practices to support these goals. Center staff regularly discuss anti-bias education and undoing racism. Our Leadership Team consists of eight women with six Directors being women of color, reflecting the communities served. 

Sound Child Care Solutions values workplace equity and diversity. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply. Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply

Online applications only, please no email or paper submissions.  You will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please describe as specifically as you can how your experience, skills, and values are a fit with SCCS’s mission and needs as described in this announcement. 

Applications received by October 28, 2021 will be given full consideration; early applications are strongly encouraged!  All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt. Consideration will be given to applications as soon as they are received; phone interviewing will begin in early October.