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   Join Our Team

Spring Knolls Cooperative Early Learning Center is seeking a new director! Established in 1965, Spring Knolls is a vibrant, inclusive, and dedicated community of families looking for the next leader to bring our beloved school into a new growth phase.  


Overview of the Role & Responsibilities

The director will be responsible for ensuring the school’s operations and administration are effective and aligned with our overall philosophy and goals. The director is responsible for creating a learning environment that reflects best practices in play-based, early childhood education, including:

  • Overseeing all curriculum design and implementation to ensure alignment with school philosophy and child development goals. 

  • Hiring, retaining, and effectively managing a team of highly qualified teachers and aides. The core of the Spring Knolls staff is a small team of dedicated, tenured, and trusted teachers, who need effective management, guidance and advice when issues arise, and clear and helpful feedback. Growth will require the hiring of new positions, including recruiting candidates, making hiring decisions, onboarding and training staff, supporting professional growth and development, assessing work, and handling performance issues if they arise. 

  • Ensure that the school is a welcoming environment for students of all races, ethnicities, genders,  diverse learners , and that all staff use best practices to effectively support students.

  • Design and oversee the parent co-oping program, including providing necessary training for parent co-opers


The director is also responsible for effective management of the operations of the school, including:

  • Maintaining the school’s good standing with the Maryland State Office of Child Care by ensuring that the school, families, employees, and facility meet all registration, enrollment, attendance, and safety rules and regulations.

  • Maintain a financially stable and sustainable preschool by identifying ways to grow the program and our enrollment. This includes working with families on the parent-run Board of Directors to recruit students through outreach, marketing, open houses, tours, and effective communication with prospective families.

  • Nurture and maintain strong relationships and excellent communication with community families, facilitate engagement and involvement at all levels, clearly communicate school expectations to parents, respond promptly to parent concerns, and communicate promptly and transparently in the event of any problems or challenges.  

  • Prepare and oversee the budget and spending; ensure all obligations, including bills and payroll, are met on a timely basis; see that the school remains well-stocked with supplies. 


The director will report to the Board of Directors.  

Required Qualities or Experiences

  • Experience in early childhood education is required (preferably in parent-cooperative or play-based programs). Experience in leadership or director roles is preferred. 

  • The director must be able to meet the required credentials to be licensed by the State of Maryland to be a director, including: A bachelor’s degree plus 2 years experience, OR an associates degree in early childhood education, plus 2 years experience, OR a required amount of college-level coursework and specific state-approved training.  


You must also:

  • Be an effective manager with experience supervising others in an educational setting. Able to motivate and lead educators, to observe them in action and give timely and helpful feedback to improve their teaching, troubleshoot their concerns, and communicate with the team effectively. 

  • Be an excellent, clear, direct, and kind communicator with multiple constituencies: parents, teachers, and children.

  • Be attentive to problems and concerns – able to listen thoughtfully, investigate thoroughly, respond promptly, and address problems and repair breaches of trust when they occur. 

  • Possess a thorough understanding of early childhood education and alignment with a play-based approach to the preschool curriculum. 

  • Possess a comprehensive knowledge of all state and local regulations for childcare centers, and have a strong track record of meeting or exceeding all regulations in an early childcare setting. The director is ultimately responsible for the safety and security of all children, and must exercise exceedingly good judgment and be level-headed in moments of crisis. The director must act ethically and thoughtfully at all times. 

  • Be able to hold the whole picture (the vision and long-term success of the preschool) and the details (overseeing the minutiae of daily operations, following through on commitments and obligations, with a strong organizational system.) 

  • Have a track record of creating inclusive environments. The staff, parents, and children at Spring Knolls share common values and purpose, but come from widely varying backgrounds. The director must make sure everyone feels welcome, respected, and feels a sense of belonging at the school. 


Salary, Benefits, and other Details

$30-35/hour, 25-30 hours per week; 10 months a year, with the possibility to expand these hours to full time and year-round, if programming expands with sustained enrollment. We offer a wage supplement in lieu of health and retirement benefits. 


About Spring Knolls

Spring Knolls embraces a play-based learning philosophy in a cooperative community while focusing on the “whole child.” Our cooperative preschool includes direct parent involvement with the administration of the school. All parents help in the school operations, from marketing to facilities upkeep. The school is licensed for 52 children in three classrooms and is expanding to offer extended afternoon care in the 2023-24 school year. This is a great opportunity for you if you are eager to work with a group of dedicated and enthusiastic parents, love to work with a devoted and experienced teaching staff, and want the opportunity to think entrepreneurially and shape the next phase of the program’s expansion and enrollment growth. 


How to Apply

Apply by sending your resume to If you wish to explain your background and experience, you are invited to send a cover letter (no more than 1 page), but this is not required. Applicants who meet basic qualifications will be invited to respond to a short initial exercise that simulates the role. The deadline to apply is February 13; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please note, that per state regulations, a candidate must pass a state and federal background check as a condition of employment.

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