We’re Hiring! First4ME Portland Director

Job Title: First4ME Portland Director
Location: Portland, Maine
Department: Starting Strong/Portland ConnectED
Reports To: Starting Strong Director
Position Type: Full-Time
Starting Salary: $70,000 annually


A program of Starting Strong, First4ME Portland is a two-generation framework for a coordinated birth to kindergarten-entry program that provides quality early care to support a child’s school readiness, regardless of risk factors. This community-supported framework aims to improve a child’s social, emotional, educational, and health outcomes by providing family stabilization support and education to families with young children “at-risk” to increase resiliency. To support these efforts, First4ME will also focus on intensive support to childcare providers for the obtainment and sustainability of high-quality staff and programming. The First4ME Portland Director implements the First4ME project within their community through an integrated approach with providers, families, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the community coalition in a respectful and professional manner.

Key Responsibilities:

Targeted Supports to Early Childhood Education Providers:

  1. Support providers through various forms of technical assistance (coaching, mentoring, peer-to-peer networks, consultation, referral) and role modeling to ensure interactions and instruction are supportive, responsive, inclusive, intentional, and developmentally appropriate.
  2. Assure provider use of child assessment data to inform lesson planning and individualization that incorporates child interests, culture, and family input to create meaningful learning opportunities with clear learning objectives to advance the child’s development and goals.
  3. Visit providers on a mutually agreed upon schedule, at least twice monthly, to support individual goal setting, professional growth and best practices, and achievement of First4ME outcomes.
  4. Provide responsive, ongoing outreach to the provider, either as requested by the provider or as otherwise needed
  5. Support providers and provider staff to achieve their professional development goals.
  6. Assist providers in implementing workforce plans to retain high-quality, trained staff.
  7. Oversee the partnership with the SAU (School Administrative Unit) to strengthen alignment from early learning environments to the K-12 education setting.

Interdisciplinary Work, Collaboration, and Community Connections: 

  1. Actively participate in Starting Strong’s community coalition with a varied membership representing the local community.
  2. Collaborate with Starting Strong as needed to support community and community-at-large communication
  3. Ensure intentional partnership and communication between educators and staff at all early care and education programs, Head Start, and elementary schools participating in the program.
  4. Develop and support meaningful and intentional transitions for children and families within and outside of provider locations, including intentional outreach to public schools to coordinate successful transitions to preschool and/or kindergarten.
  5. Work closely with the Office of Child and Family Services Program Specialist and Program Manager as they monitor and oversee compliance toward First4ME goals, objectives, and outcomes.
  6. Work with evaluators to coordinate schedules with providers for on-site observations and support usage of data gathered to inform provider, child, or family goal setting and practices.
  7. Work with local service providers to coordinate services to providers, families, and children.

General Expectations:

  1. Be committed to the First4ME mission and goals.
  2. Adhere to all program policies and procedures, including maintaining strict confidentiality of internal and external participant information.
  3. Exhibit a positive, professional, collaborative approach in all internal and external connections, including maintaining a professional appearance and communication, both written and verbal
  4. Be punctual for scheduled work and use time appropriately.
  5. Follow accepted safety practices when performing all tasks and never work in a way that compromises his/her safety or that of clients or co-workers.
  6. Perform other reasonably related job duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:



  1. Must be able to meet requirements of agency & State Child Care Licensing regulations for background checks and physical exams.
  2. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or a related field.
  3. Experience in mixed age group care settings for children, experience working with Adult Learners, awareness of community resources, and knowledge of Family Child Care preferred.
  4. Strong leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  5. Knowledge of early childhood education standards and best practices across program settings.
  6. Ability to build and maintain partnerships with various stakeholders.
  7. Data management and reporting skills.
  8. Familiarity with relevant regulations and compliance requirements.
  9. Knowledge of local community resources and culture is preferred.

Position type/Expected hours of work:

This is a full-time position. Days and hours of work are flexible, though generally Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This position will operate with a flexible hybrid in-person/remote work model. Travel is primarily local during the business day, although some out-of-area and overnight travel may be expected.

To support the great work of the First4ME Director, we offer a competitive salary and a robust benefits package, including health and dental insurance, a 403 (b) plan, life insurance, generous paid vacation, holiday, and sick time off.

Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume, a cover letter outlining their qualifications and relevant experience, and references to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until November 10th, with an anticipated start date in late November. Please include “First4ME Portland Director Application” in the subject line.

Starting Strong/Portland ConnectED’s Fiscal Agent is United Way of Southern Maine. United Way of Southern Maine is an equal-opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.