The Professional Center for Child Development
The Professional Center for Child Development (the Professional Center), a comprehensive agency helping children ages 1-10 of all abilities fulfill their potential, seeks nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director (ED). The Professional Center’s highly skilled and professional staff provide a range of services to support the growth and development of children including: developmental day school for children with disabilities; early intervention for children from birth to three years old with disabilities or who are at risk; preschool for both children with and without disabilities; play groups; pediatric therapy programs; and regional consultation.
Building on a 43-year-old legacy of serving local families and their children within a diverse community, the Professional Center is at a significant moment of transition after more than four decades of leadership under its founding executive. The Board of Directors seeks an individual who has an understanding of and a passion for the unique needs of the children served by PCCD to carry the agency into a new era of success and growth. Specifically, the incoming Executive Director will leverage the talents of the exceptional staff to help the agency become more agile, efficient, and responsive both to the changing landscape of the broader human services environment and the needs of those it serves. The incoming Executive Director will push the boundaries and expand the work of the agency while establishing clear timelines and expectations for its continued success and will develop mechanisms for ongoing communication and feedback within the organization to ensure a cohesive effort.
The Professional Center’s services are concentrated in the North Shore region of Massachusetts into Southern New Hampshire and serves over 2,000 children with and without disabilities. The Professional Center’s Early Intervention program, supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, is recognized as a best-in-class integrated development service within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The agency’s original and longest running program, the Developmental Day School, provides comprehensive education and therapeutic programs for children ages 3-10 with multiple disabilities, moderate to severe developmental delays and complex care and/or medical needs. This program is licensed by both the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. The Professional Center’s staff members are deeply committed and passionate about their work, and the agency enjoys extraordinary stability in both its management and financial well-being.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the incoming Executive Director is responsible for leading and managing the agency. The Executive Director serves as a trusted and engaging leader, fostering and developing deep relationships across the agency and with our key funders, partners, advocates, including our local, State and Federal policy makers. With a personal commitment to early education and human services and a dedication to operational and programmatic excellence, the Executive Director upholds a culture of collaboration and transparency to ensure operations are always supporting exceptional quality and the highest ethical standards.
The Professional Center for Child Development is working with Katherine Jacobs and Nureen Das of Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group in the recruitment effort.
The Professional Center for Child Development currently supports a team of 125 employees, and has an annual budget of $7 million dollars. The Professional Center offers a wide range of specialized services in individual and group settings. The robust programs provide support to enable children with disabling conditions to remain at home, teaching parents to be successful advocates for their children, working to transition children successfully to public settings, and educating public organizations to equip children to achieve their full potential. In addition to this the Professional Center offers a variety of parent support groups, parent/child groups and educational workshops for child care givers and families.
Developmental Day School
The Developmental Day School provides comprehensive educational and therapeutic programs for children ages three to ten who have multiple disabilities, moderate to severe developmental delay, complex care or medical needs. As the Agency’s longest running program, it is licensed by both the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.
Early Intervention (EI)
Early Intervention is an integrated developmental service, licensed and supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, offering evaluation and therapeutic services to children birth to three years of age who exhibit developmental delays, have a diagnosed condition or who are at-risk for developmental delays due to biological, medical or environmental risk factors.
Two by Two Toddler Playgroup
The Two by Two program is a playgroup opportunity for children ages two to three. Groups are integrated with children from the community, the Early Intervention Program and Developmental Day School. The program features play-based curriculum to promote all areas of development.
Two by Three Preschool
The Two by Three Preschool is a high-quality, fully licensed preschool for children aged three to five geared primarily toward the positive social and emotional development of the child.
Saturday Play Pals
The Play Pals group is designed for children aged three to six who would benefit from a small group setting (six or less) for developing important speech-language and social skills. Using play-based therapy, the focus of the program is in speech and language development, pre-literacy enrichment and social development skills.
Pediatric Therapy Program
The Pediatric Therapy Program (PTP) continues a child’s progress, after the age of three, by providing a variety of therapies, both individually and in small groups, to help all children achieve their goals.
Regional Consultation Program
Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, the Regional Consultation Program (RCP) serves the early intervention and child care programs throughout Northeast Massachusetts to build community capacity for inclusion of infants and toddlers with complex needs.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Professional Center’s forty-three-year commitment to eliminating barriers to growth and development for children with disabilities and families coping with health issues and challenges has been its hallmark through its years of service. Given the increasingly complex demands of families, school systems and communities, this leadership transition presents an exciting opportunity for an entrepreneurial and innovative professional to lead an established agency through a period of a changing programmatic and funding realities. The ED will need to balance external demands with a strategic growth plan that is focused on sustainability and invest in internal capacity to support the growth of services. The Board of Directors is committed to a strategic assessment of the agency’s operations and to outlining the opportunities that lay ahead together with the incoming Executive Director.
The Executive Director will be responsible for leading and managing all aspects of the agency, and, in partnership with the Board of Directors, for all strategic and capital-related obligations. To ensure operational effectiveness, the Executive Director will model and lead effective communication and collaboration across the agency so that distinct lines of operations work independently, yet synergistically.
The Executive Director’s responsibilities include:
Vision and Leadership
Working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will set a vision for organizational and programmatic development that brings together the different programs into a holistic narrative about the Center and its service to community. The ED will oversee systems, structures, and internal policies to support the highest level of quality and effectiveness. The ED will review current organizational opportunities and needs and help determine the direction and model for development focusing on fidelity and sustainability. The Executive Director will actively identify areas for operational improvement and utilize best practices to set strategic goals for programs. The ED will direct the effective implementation of these strategic plans ensuring that the internal capacity, systems, and policies are strong and directed at supporting children, families and front-line staff.
Finance and Administration
The Executive Director will oversee a $7 million budget and will act in a fiscally astute, disciplined and conservative manner to maintain the organization’s commitment to financial stability through sound fiscal controls and leadership, while identifying additional ways to broaden revenue streams and enhance quality of services to the children and families it serves. The ED will work actively with the Board and senior staff to lead a budgeting process that ensures accountability and program sustainability while actively encouraging creativity, entrepreneurship, and the exploration of new best practices.
Facilitate Collaboration, and Communication Across Teams
The Executive Director will identify and help to implement systems that ensure coordination, collaboration, and effective communication between programs and teams both organization-wide and at the site level. The ED will promote, facilitate, and document strategic conversations across program areas aimed at strengthening information sharing, organizational learning, and continuous improvement. The ED will also lead the development and implementation of structural as well as technological improvements for the agency to ensure best practices in communication and collaboration are institutionally supported.
Community Relations and External Partnerships
As chief spokesperson and fundraiser for the Center, the Executive Director will be expected to navigate, negotiate and maintain mutually beneficial relationships that provide long term benefits for the agency. Specifically, the ED will develop opportunities to expand the agency’s profile through broad and diverse engagement with professional associations, advocacy organizations, prospective partners, corporate and nonprofit partners, public officials, policymakers, the media and the public-at-large. The ED will serve as a compelling spokesperson, promoting the agency’s mission, programs and services throughout the immediate community and the broader region, and ensuring that the Professional Center is consistently presented in a strong, positive way to key stakeholders and the public. The Executive Director will lead all of the Professional Center’s fundraising efforts as supported by the Development Director and the Board of Directors and will develop an advancement strategy that both effectively stewards existing relationships and establishes new and deeper relationships with grant makers and individual donors.
CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS AND ATTRIBUTES:
The successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial and effective leader who possesses both the vision to inspire and the skills to lead an organization into its next phase of development. With a demonstrated commitment to the Professional Center’s mission and expertise in early childhood education and service delivery, the new Executive Director will be a confident, transparent and accessible leader. Moreover, the ED will demonstrate the ability to protect, secure and expand agency funding, while operating with integrity and sound judgment.
While no one person may embody all the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:
• Commitment to and respect for the agency’s mission and history. Familiarity with the early childhood education services context and demonstrated skills and capabilities in the areas of clinical quality management, service line and program growth, client satisfaction and employee engagement is desired. A solid business mind paired with sound judgment and a commitment to the agency’s values, including the delivery and continuous improvement of high-quality care and services.
• Sophisticated and seasoned leadership skills developed through significant executive level experience.
• A strategic and comprehensive approach to planning and decision making; the ability to lead a multi-program organization through periods of growth and change, requiring creative and innovative solutions to on-the-ground challenges. Ability to recognize and capitalize on growth opportunities while staying mission-aligned.
• A successful track record in identifying and securing private and public funding through diverse sources including government relationships and fundraising.
• A successful track record in stewarding donor relationships and a commitment to maintaining current funders and cultivating new donors. Ability and enthusiasm to involve and solicit the Board and other community leaders in the solicitation process.
• An enterprising spirit to build coalitions and nurture current partnerships and alliances while identifying and establishing new strategic collaborations. Demonstrated ability to create and maintain partnerships between individuals, governmental entities and organizations, corporations and foundations, both locally and state wide. A collaborative, consensus-building style with the humility to forgo ego in the service of mission.
• An illustrated understanding of sound board governance, gained from direct experience working with professional boards or through active board involvement. Maturity and wisdom to engage and leverage a board’s diverse knowledge and expertise to hone the organization’s strategic direction.
• Ability to strategically and successfully negotiate state contracts, along with a knowledge of the Massachusetts compliance and reporting requirements associated with public funding. Solid grounding in core business practices of fiscal responsibility and data-driven decision-making.
• Comfort and capacity to deliver high quality services to a decentralized client base
• A leadership style that supports staff of different cultural and educational backgrounds.
• A management style that embodies respect, transparency, teamwork and accountability. Flexibility, humility and sense of humor; ability to share credit and spotlight others’ contributions.
• Exceptional written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills with a high emotional IQ. Ability to understand, translate and adapt content for multiple audiences.
• Unquestionable ethics, honesty and integrity in professional, business and personal dealings; a positive “can do” attitude. Ability to provide calm, approachable leadership and direction under all circumstances.
• An advanced degree in business, nonprofit management, human services, education, health or a related field is preferred.
Nureen Das, Senior Managing Associate (617)939-9276