Head of Training and Practice – Early Childhood Ireland

Job Purpose
The Head of Training and Practice will direct and manage a high impact and effective team within Early Childhood Ireland. Reporting to the CEO, and as a member of the senior management team, the Head of Training and Practice will play a key role in achieving the goals of the Strategic Plan 2015-2020. S/he will ensure that Early Childhood Ireland continues to build a profile as a competent, innovative and effective training organisation, underpinned by extensive knowledge and skills in the areas of pedagogy and andragogy. The post holder will be expected to achieve significant success in managing our strategies for delivering high quality training and mentoring to the early childhood sector.

The Head of Training and Practice will contribute creatively and dynamically to the strategic development of the organisation, ensuring that the voice of Early Childhood Ireland impacts on the policy, legislation and practice which affects young children and their families.

The successful candidate will have at least 5 years’ experience of working at a strategic level in the areas of pedagogy and andragogy. S/he will have demonstrated managerial ability, with a focus on high performance and achievement of strategic goals, working in an integrated way with senior colleagues and teams across the organisations.

Ensuring, with the other members of the senior management team (SMT), the delivery of the Goals of the ECI strategic plan 2015-2020
As a member of the senior management team participate in the generation of new ideas and fresh approaches to how the organisation works.
Managing, motivating and mentoring a team of staff with specific skillsets in pedagogy and andragogy, in programme development, training both face to face and online, on-site mentoring, research, dissemination and publication.
Provide support, supervision and staff development opportunities for assigned staff
Developing innovative and effective ways of advancing quality standards in early childhood settings.
Providing leadership and innovation in the sector
Developing innovative and effective ways of supporting Early childhood Ireland members and the wider sector in sharing knowledge, approaches, skills and practice
Strategically using and creating ECI knowledge to contribute to both policy and practice within the early childhood sector nationally and internationally
Managing organisation research, knowledge creation, and monitoring & evaluation, and ensuring that they impact on all of the work of the organisation
Working in partnership with a range of agencies, including government departments and other local, national and international agencies
Identifying the information and evidence needs of ECI and the ECEC sector and ensuring that the ECI research strategy is delivering these requirements, either through in-house or commissioned research
Implementing rigorous monitoring and evaluation of the ECI strategic plan
Ensuring that learning from ECI’s projects and research is gathered, shared and accessible to diverse audiences
Person Specification

Proven management skills and track record in a strategic role, with an ability to manage a variety of skill sets in different personnel to achieve strategic organisational goals
Strategic thinker with substantial knowledge of policy development, how it relates to early childhood care and education and a capacity to see and understand the ‘big picture’
Strong background in early childhood care and education research, communications and information management and in the role of research and professional development in influencing change
Knowledge of policy, practice and frameworks within the sector
Ability to be reflective, insightful and innovative
Ability to oversee the best use of a variety of communications platforms
Creative and dynamic person with excellent leadership and mentoring skills
Excellent writing and analytical skills
Ability to work collaboratively with staff across the organisation, with ECI members, with key decision makers, and with other professionals who are stakeholders and champions of the sector
Ability to work under pressure, manage competing priorities and maintain a professional approach within a team context
Essential requirements

A relevant 3rd level professional qualification (Masters level) in an appropriate discipline
A minimum of 5 years management experience in a relevant area of work
Track record in practice and professional development, in research, dissemination and advocacy
Excellent communication skills – written, verbal and presentation
Demonstrated commitment to children, their lives, learning and rights

Terms and Conditions:
This is a full time post reporting to the CEO. The contract is permanent and full time and the probation period is one year.

A basic salary in the range €58k – €68k is offered. The starting salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience, with some scope for negotiation

A pension contribution of 6% on successful completion of probation period is provided.

There is a holiday entitlement of 25 days, rising to 26 days after 5 years’ service.

Candidates must have a full current driving licence and have access to a car. Travel and subsistence rates are available. The role will involve some travel, nationally and internationally.

The position may require participation in meetings/events in the evenings and at the weekends. You must be willing and able to work outside office hours as required.

The post is based in the Early Childhood Ireland offices in Tallaght.

Garda Vetting is a requirement of this post.

Applications should be submitted by email to Susan Selfridge and arrive by 13.00 on 20th March 2017. Late applications will not be considered.

Applications should include a letter outlining suitability for the post and indicating how the qualification requirements, skills and experience are met. The letter should be accompanied by a CV.

The names of three referees that have had recent dealings with the applicant, relevant to the role, should be included. Referees will not be contacted without the written permission of the candidate.

Screening and interview process
All applications received within the deadline will be screened against the role requirements and the person specification. Candidates for interview will be advised by email.

The first round interviews will take place on the 7th and 10 April 2017.

It is likely that second round interviews will take place for candidates put forward from the first round.
Further assessment of recommended candidates, including further interview, health and psychometric tests may be scheduled after round two. At this point, references will be sought, and candidates will be asked to confirm that the referees can be contacted.

Early Childhood Ireland is committed to best practice in everything we do and operates on the basis of equal opportunities. Applications are invited from all suitably qualified and eligible candidates. Appointment is based solely on merit and canvassing will disqualify.

If you have any queries concerning the post or the application process, please contact Susan Selfridge – email: sselfridge@earlychildhoodireland.ie or telephone: 01 4040646

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