The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.
Reporting to the Senior Associate Provost for Administration and Planning, the Director of Tompkins Hall Nursery and Childcare Center is a visionary leader responsible for cultivating a dynamic and inclusive learning environment grounded in progressive pedagogical approaches and experiential learning for young children. This multifaceted position requires a dynamic individual with a deep understanding of educational philosophies, strong leadership skills, a keen eye for administrative detail, and the ability to quickly develop a firm understanding of the larger University context.
Tasked with the daily management of operations, the Director oversees the design and implementation of curriculum strategies that align with the Center???s core pedagogical values. Effective supervision of and collaboration with staff, ensuring adherence to licensing standards and University policies, and building strong partnerships with parents/guardians and University partners are essential elements of this role. Recruitment of applicants and maintenance of a fully enrolled roster of students are also crucial responsibilities. The Director consistently models professionalism and exhibits leadership with the administrative and teaching team; provides opportunities for learning and participation to parents and guardians; and actively fosters an atmosphere of curiosity, creativity, and respect for students.
Tompkins Hall Nursery and Childcare Center is a unit within the Office of the Provost at Columbia University and located close to Columbia???s Morningside campus. Founded by faculty in the 1930s, Tompkins Hall is a progressive learning environment for children aged three months through five years, with deep roots in constructivist curricular approaches and influenced by the philosophy of Reggio Emilia, both of which center on children and childhood. Its students grow and learn through interacting with interests of their own choice with the guidance of nurturing facilitation from their teachers. The Center???s days are full of art, music, books, and open-ended periods of play as well as extensive outdoor explorations.
Pedagogical Oversight and Educational Leadership
Plan and oversee the execution of the school???s developmental curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, Twos, and Preschool students, integrating constructivist and progressive philosophies into all aspects of the curriculum
Articulate school???s pedagogical philosophy to teachers, parents/guardians, and the community
Oversee all communications: develop messaging and seek out forums for applicant recruitment; supervise teachers??? regular, structured reports to parents/guardians on individual student progress; maintain school-wide communication system (currently Bloomz)
Supervise Associate Director in staff development, training, and supervision of Child Care Workers (substitute teachers) and student workers (may include interns, work study candidates, volunteers, and student teachers)
Conduct and organize all staff development, including during scheduled professional development days and on an as needed basis, identifying areas of pedagogical and administrative training needs
Develop and support teachers in the implementation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), ensuring access to the center???s programs and services in the least restrictive environment possible
Conduct weekly parent workshops on child development and other relevant topics
Coordinate, in conjunction with the Class Parents, all parental volunteer obligations
Maintain the school???s rooftop garden
Supervise all teachers and administrative staff. Conduct annual performance reviews and set professional goals. Cultivate leadership among Lead Teaching team and delegate supervisory responsibilities as appropriate
Work closely with Office of the Provost Human Resources on recruiting, hiring, and onboarding all teachers and administrative staff
Conduct annual orientation for new and returning teachers to ensure pedagogical, regulatory, and policy consistency and to build team culture
Collect and maintain data on all aspects of applications and enrollment to analyze trends and inform policies
Ensure compliance with all New York City and New York State regulations and with Columbia University policies
Explore, pursue, and maintain accreditation and membership with professional and accreditation organizations such as ISAAGNY and NYSAIS
Work closely with the Columbia University Office of the Provost and other central units on strategic and financial planning
Oversee center finances, including the annual school budget and day-to-day financial operations of the school. Work with Columbia central offices on annual budget process
Determine strategy and execute on core human resources functions for the center, including employee relations and performance evaluations, working in consultation with the Office of the Provost and Central Human Resources for more complex needs
Application, Admissions, and Enrollment Processes
Conduct application, admissions, and enrollment processes
Establish and conduct tour dates and Open House events; add different types of applicant recruitment events as needs evolve
Prepare and distribute marketing materials for school
Prepare acceptance and waitlist letters
Develop and maintain application tracking systems and historical data; analyze trends; respond in real time to applicant demand to bolster pool
Enroll, staff, and run annual six-week summer program
Create, maintain, and distribute school contracts and tuition bills
Maintain relationship with external financial aid assessment vendor. Support parents/guardians in financial aid application process, including complying with all requirements
Chair financial aid committee for review of awards; create and distribute award letters
Maintain ex-missions process in alignment with ISAAGNY calendar
Conduct ex-mission meetings with current families, including follow-up meetings with individual families as needed
Supervise teaching staff???s ex-missions related responsibilities, including adherence to deadlines and production of school reports
Stay informed of public and independent school admissions policies and opportunities
Support parental compliance with deadlines and expectations
Perform other related duties and responsibilities as required.
Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education
NY State Certification in Early Childhood Education (Birth to Grade 2)
Eight years of experience in a play-based school environment, including at least three years working in a faculty supervisory position and/or in administration of a childcare center, preschool, or related setting and at least three years of teaching experience with babies, toddlers, and/or young children in a center
Demonstrated understanding of developmental needs of infants, toddlers, and young children
Experience with core human resources functions, including employee relations and performance evaluations
Excellent interpersonal, analytical, and organization skills
Demonstrated excellence at follow-through
Flexibility, diplomacy, collegiality, professionalism, ability to remain unflappable in high-pressure situations
Absolute discretion and the ability to maintain confidentiality of all invested parties at all times
Demonstrated excellence at understanding of administrative and operational services
Passion for excellent customer service; commitment to exceptional quality; attention to detail
Knowledge of Microsoft Office and Excel; experience and comfort synthesizing and presenting data
Ability to quickly acquire a detailed knowledge of Columbia University's financial systems
Experience developing a budget
Experience interfacing with government agencies to ensure regulatory compliance and timely issuance of operating permits
Experience interfacing with government and non-government agencies providing services and support for children with special needs including Early Intervention and NYC Committee for Preschool Special Education.
Familiarity with kindergarten application and admissions processes for both public and independent schools
Experience working in a university, school system, or other large institutional setting
Growth mindset and dedication to lifelong learning
**Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample.**
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.