Agenda for Children (Agenda) seeks a collaborative, innovative, and entrepreneurial leader and manager for the Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (ECPDI) to advance our mission to ensure the well-being and readiness of young children, between the ages of birth to eight, for school and life. The talented leader will grow the Institute’s portfolio of early childhood professional development programs and direct service activities, by strengthening its products and services, improving its internal systems and broadening its client base.


Agenda for Children’s mission is to make Louisiana a state in which all children can thrive. Founded in 1984 as the state’s first independent child advocacy organization, Agenda has also served as the largest state provider of childcare resource and referral services in southeast Louisiana since 1989. Since our inception, Agenda has worked to improve child well-being in Louisiana through three key strategies:

  • advocating for better policies and programs to serve Louisiana’s children throughout the legislative and regulatory processes;
  • informing public discussions on children by monitoring the well-being of children at the state and parish levels through the KIDS COUNT project; and,
  • improving the quality of early childhood education through “on the ground” work in the early care and education sector in Southeast Louisiana, specifically by training practitioners, helping program administrators strengthen their organizational capacity, increasing access for families, and building public and private support for the work.

A trusted resource for policymakers, advocates, researchers, media representatives, youth serving nonprofit organizations, and early childhood professionals, Agenda is helping leaders, organizations, partnerships, and systems – at the local and state level – assess, improve, and align their practices and policies. Improving life outcomes for children is the vision that drives Agenda’s work.


Agenda has formed an Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (ECPDI) that will help to transform early childhood care and education in the greater New Orleans region and across Louisiana through work in direct service programs, research, education, outreach and advocacy. The long-term goal of the ECPDI is to be a leading center where practitioners, community members, and policy makers collaborate to advance a unified approach that can improve the lives of young children and families and the early childhood systems that support them.

The ECPDI provides professional development opportunities for early childhood educators and administrators working in private and public early care and education programs and Prek-12 schools enrolling children from birth to eight years of age. The ECPDI’s current professional development programs and direct service activities include providing specialized and general child development training and on-site technical assistance to teachers and program administrators, supporting the creation of new seats in centers for children ages birth to 4, and offering a Child Development Associate (CDA) course for teachers to meet the state’s new requirement for teachers.

Agenda for Children has a budget of over $4 million with a staff of 25, headquarters in New Orleans, and two other offices operating in southeast Louisiana. The ECPDI will operate out of the New Orleans office.


Leadership and Management

The Managing Director will serve on Agenda’s executive team and manage the-day-to-day operations, services, and activities of the Early Childhood Professional Development Institute.

Build, lead, and support a committed team with common drive and sense of purpose to maximize performance. Develop and maintain clear leadership/management structures, decision-making processes, and staff supports and protocols across the Institute. Strengthen the Institute’s culture, climate, and efficiency.

Business Planning and Growth

In collaboration with the executive team and other staff, update and execute the ECPDI’s business plan with the goal of establishing Agenda as the “go to” organization in the region for high quality training and job-embedded professional development for early childhood educators. Build staff and systems capacity for and pursue appropriate growth in state contracts and fee-for-service client contracts. Ensure delivery of high quality products and services that earn high customer satisfaction and retention. Work with executive team to set and achieve annual growth targets by bringing Agenda’s existing products and services to new clients and markets, and by ensuring the ECPDI is regularly developing new and/or improved products and services for existing clients. Work with colleagues and consultants to establish an annual research agenda for the ECPDI to advance the Institute’s positioning and foster new and improved products. Work with executive team to develop a long-term business strategy and financial forecasting.


Serve as a passionate and persuasive advocate and thought leader, spreading the word about Agenda’s ECPDI, its programs and initiatives, and staying abreast of new developments. Serve as thought partner to clients, early childhood networks, and funders to help them scale and sustain their efforts to improve early childhood programs with support from the ECPDI.

Financial Management

Maintain bottom-line responsibility for the ECPDI’s financial performance. Work with senior staff and Agenda’s Director of Finance & Administration to manage the ECPDI’s annual budget. Demonstrate mastery of and oversee the ECPDI’s revenue sources (contracts and grants); revenue flow (seasons and cycles); grant and contract budget development; staffing, hard costs, and general administrative expenses. Work with the executive team to maximize the use of general and administrative funds and ensure that the supports provided (e.g., human resources and fund development) are efficient and effective.

Relationship Management/Community Building

Establish a strong working partnership with Agenda’s executive team on strategic direction. Leverage and build upon existing partnerships and seek new strategic alliances to promote the ECPDI’s products and services. Develop effective working relationships and institutional partnerships with higher education entities, school districts, and Charter School Management Organizations (CMO’s). Build collaborative relationships with other early childhood organizations to support the increase in high quality early childhood programs in southeast Louisiana. Represent Agenda and the ECPDI to potential clients, funders, and partners, and persuasively state the case for the ECPDI’s work.

Performance Management

Assess and evaluate the organizational structure, staff, systems, and functions. Make changes where necessary to ensure that programs and operations maximize business productivity. Measure efficacy of service delivery of products and services with a clear sense of metrics. Define organizational and staff goals and performance expectations, providing guidance and conducting regular performance evaluations.


The Managing Director of Early Childhood Programs for the Early Childhood Professional Development Institute will demonstrate:

  • A deep commitment to and firm belief in the idea that all children can be ready for school and life if given the high-quality early care, education, supports and developmental opportunities they deserve. An unwavering commitment to the delivery of high-quality products and client service.
  • Proven executive and managerial experience leading a performance-based organization in a growth-oriented environment committed to child development and education. Familiarity with and passion for early childhood education and adult professional development.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, develop and manage teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, manage a budget. Ability to share responsibility for leadership of the organization and work in partnership to set goals, track progress, and assess organizational effectiveness.
  • Business acumen with the sophistication to build the fee-for-service business. An understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities of leading a fee-for-service business unit within a larger mission-driven not-for-profit.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people. Experience as an inspirational, persuasive, and influential communicator with diverse audiences. Success in collaborating and building strong partnerships externally and internally. Ability to balance the desire for collaboration with the need for efficient and effective business practices.
  • Track record of success as a social entrepreneur and/or a steward of responsible growth in scaling an organization, entity, or division. A belief that anything is possible and the ability to get it done.
  • Ability to maximize the effective use of technology, including social media.
  • Consensus-building skills with an inclusive style and approachable demeanor. A commitment to treating others with respect and openness.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, experience as an effective communicator with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Sensitivity, appreciation, and commitment to socioeconomic, cultural, and racial diversity.
  • A high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness. A self-reflective nature and a hunger for lifelong learning.
  • An ability to work irregular hours and travel regionally and statewide as needed.
  • An advanced degree in a relevant discipline (required).