Collaborative Strategies Inc.

  • Center Manager

    # of Openings
    Non-Profit Management
    Youth In Need
    US-MO-St. Louis
  • Overview

    Youth In Need Logo

    Position Announcement


    Center Manager

    Academy Neighborhood Head Start Program


    If you want to ignite the potential in children and their families …

    If you are an operational leader who thrives in a fast-paced environment …

    If you love the feeling you get from coaching and developing others …


    …you need to talk with us!


    We are Youth In Need … and we believe in the power of POTENTIAL, DIVERSITY, and COMMUNITY to change the world.  Voted as one of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s “Top Workplaces” every year since 2013, Youth In Need is a local non-profit that is building a stronger community by building families.  Since 1974, our more than 400 full- and part-time staff have served over 12,000 of the area’s most vulnerable children, teens and families in our fifty (50) direct service and support programs.  Among these programs are Youth In Need’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs, serving families with children, ages birth to 5.  To learn more, visit us as


    Want to help us change the world?  Youth In Need is excited to announce its opportunity for an experienced, high-energy Center Manager to drive all aspects of operations at our Head Start East Academy Neighborhood Center.   As the Center Manager, you will be responsible for providing a safe, nurturing and inclusive center environment that supports individualized learning for children, families and staff.  You will ensure that agency policies and procedures, State Licensing requirements, Head Start Performance Standards, and ongoing monitoring are maintained at all times. 


    Who’s right for this role?

    A true professional with experience in and passion for Early Childhood Education.  A leader who knows how to build a culture of excellence.  Someone who is driven to go above and beyond to engage families.  On any given day, you’ll work to build relationships with families, coach and develop our staff, and ensure that all services are delivered in a comprehensive, cost-effective, and coordinated manner.


    Reporting directly to the Director of Center Based Services, the Center Manager will:


    Provide Executive Leadership – Partner with the Director of Center Based Services and agency leaders to design a high-performance culture of accountability.  Lead by example with un-reproachable ethical standards and unparalleled customer service.  Demonstrate a calm, professional demeanor with the ability to show empathy, compassion and cultural competency.

    Lead a High-Potential Team – Provide oversight and inspirational leadership for four (4) direct reports, including two (2) Assistant Center Managers, with an overall management responsibility for 30 staff.  Participate in the ongoing hiring, training, evaluation, and retention of staff.  Lead or attend team meetings and oversee credential requirements in accordance with Head Start guidelines.

    Promote a Quality Teaching & Learning Environment – Ensure teacher/student ratios are maintained and children are supervised at all times.  Create and maintain an environment that promotes quality instruction, adherence to curriculum standards, and positive child development. 

    Monitor Performance Standards – Conduct classroom observations, assessments, and lesson plan reviews.  Assure that Center meets and/or exceeds Head Start Performance Standards, Missouri State Licensing and Youth In Need policies for safety, health, hygiene and sanitation.

    Engage Parents, Families & Community – Establish and promote an environment of respect and appreciation for cultural, socio-economic and ethnic differences among staff, parents, and children.  Partner with Family Advocate and Center staff to conduct orientation, provide supports, and deliver on-going communication to families.  Assist parents in identifying opportunities to engage with staff and provide greater educational and emotional support to their children. 


    What does it take to succeed in this role?

    • Bachelor’s or advanced degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or related field (with at least 18 hours in ECE) from an accredited college/university recognized by the US Department of Education.
    • Knowledge of Early Childhood Development, Head Start Performance Standards, Missouri Licensing Regulations, Creative Curriculum.
    • Understanding of effective classroom management, lesson planning, individualizing for children, and developmentally appropriate practice. Infant/Toddler Responsive Care.
    • Three or more years working with children ages birth-5 years or equivalent.
    • Strong team management skills with a successful track record in developing and retaining top talent and building a solid team.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to facilitate critical conversations

    Must haves:

    • Must be a can-do, “hands-on” leader with the agility to address ever-changing needs of families.
    • Must thrive in a fast-paced, challenging, and team-oriented environment.
    • Must have a leadership presence, resilient attitude with a strong work ethic.
    • Must be a person whose personal values and management style are compatible with our culture.
    • Must have excellent organizational skills with the ability to effectively prioritize and direct the flow of multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.
    • Must be able to keep a clear head in stressful situations and be able to effectively resolve conflicts and address family and staff concerns.


    At Youth In Need we offer career advancement potential, on-going professional development and other great benefits.  Ready to become an Everyday Hero and change the world by impacting the lives of children and families?  Let’s get started.




    Youth In Need is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

    Youth In Need welcomes difference in the form of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, geography,

    socioeconomic status, age, politics, religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression

    and veteran status. All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply.



     Collaborative Strategies, a St. Louis-based consulting firm with a dedicated executive search practice, has been connecting talent with opportunity since 1994. We take pride in matching talented leaders with great opportunities and organizations such as Youth In Need.


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