Executive Director

Wichita, KS
Full Time
Child Start, Inc.
Senior Executive

Executive Director

Child Start, Inc.

Wichita, Kansas


Organization Profile

Child Start is a nonprofit organization with a mission of providing early childhood development services that prepare children for lifelong success. As the only Head Start and Early Head Start program provider in Sedgwick, Harper, Butler, and Greenwood Counties, Child Start meets community needs by serving young children and their families and providing a network of child care providers with training and mentoring so that quality early-childhood education is available and accessible.

Incorporated in 1958, Child Start annually serves more than 700 children and more than 500 families are served through virtual, classroom, and in-home settings. Child Start also provides 2,000 local child care providers annually with support, education and training.

Position Summary

Child Start seeks a highly-qualified, thoughtful, data-driven leader who demonstrates an innovative spirit to serve as its next Executive Director. The Executive Director serves as the chief executive of Child Start responsible for setting the vision and shaping the culture and climate of the organization. This position also has authority for decisions affecting the overall organization and operation of the institution.

The Executive Director will report to and work closely with a Board of Directors to establish future goals/direction and to implement the Board’s decisions. Additionally, the Executive Director manages a dedicated team of more than 160 staff, including a senior leadership team of five, and develops an organization structure to support programmatic and administrative accountability, future viability, and excellence and integrity at all levels. The successful candidate will create new opportunities for Child Start’s mission to reach its full potential while leading a $13 million organization.

The organization’s next Executive Director will be an experienced leader with management experience and a clear, strategic vision who can balance strong Head Start program-centered priorities and advocacy of children and their families with mission-driven management of personnel and operations. The Executive Director must nurture a dynamic organizational culture while holding people accountable; focus on revenue growth through expanded relationships; pursue high-quality, inclusive early education and services with passion, patience, and excitement; promote the organization and its mission and point-of-view to the local and regional community; and creatively confront the challenges of the early childhood ecosystem and workforce.

Key Responsibilities

  • Works in partnership with the Board of Directors to establish future goals/ direction of the organization and to implement the Board’s decisions:
    • Researches and offers recommendations for organizational goals
    • Raises issues regarding the organization’s future for the Board’s consideration/action
    • Works with Board officers and committee chairs to provide materials, information, etc. allowing them to make informed decisions
    • Provides the leadership to inspire the organization and its staff to achieve the goals established by the Board
  • Develops an organizational structure that supports programmatic and administrative accountability as well as future viability:
    • Establishes and supervises executive staff positions with appropriate responsibilities enabling them to carry out the program and administrative functions of the organization
    • Supports executive staff in responding to (1) direction established by the Board and (2) the challenges of their individual responsibilities enabling them to make decisions
    • Provides strategic input about the future of the organization and implements efforts to build strength and capacity for the future and to develop staff capability
    • Assures that Board of Directors receives information and materials that must be reviewed/acted upon to assure the organization’s accountability and integrity
  • Establishes the expectation of excellence and integrity at all levels:
    • Holds executive staff accountable for program and financial outcomes; provides or requires regular reports to the Board on these outcomes
    • Assures that organization complies with all statutes, regulations, and contractual expectations regarding its programs and funding
    • Leads development of organization-wide code of conduct and requires adherence to it
    • Engages with executive staff in discussion/consideration of responses to current as well as anticipated future issues
  • Promotes the organization and its viewpoint/mission to the local and regional community:
    • Helps deliver the overall message of the organization          
    • Represents the official voice/face of the organization          
    • Leads development/fundraising efforts for the organization
    • Leads/ serves on local/regional early childhood work groups, lending expertise and support and assuring that the organization’s priorities/ viewpoint are represented
    • Serves on local/regional bodies focused on community goals, assuring that early childhood issues/priorities are included in the community conversation

Professional Qualifications & Personal Attributes

  • Bachelor’s degree with at least 7 years of nonprofit management experience at senior levels. Experience working in a highly regulated environment is preferred.​​​​​
  • Knowledge and background in issues and policies surrounding early childhood education.
  • Demonstrated thorough knowledge of fundraising, financial and human resource management in a nonprofit organization.
  • Ability to establish collaborative partnerships with affiliated organizations
  • Skillful manager who commands respect and inspires and motivates staff and volunteers by modeling commitment to a healthy organization and the teams that comprise it. Ability to engage with, motivate, influence, retain, and effectively manage a diverse array of staff. Ability to successfully manage conflict and adversity.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including listening to and communicating with diverse groups.
  • Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers and donors.
  • Experience and skill in working with a Board of Directors. Fosters active partnership of the Board in governance, fundraising, and volunteer leadership recruitment.
  • Strong organizational abilities, including high-level strategic thinking and planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation. Track record of original ideas, thinking outside the box, innovation when thinking about and planning for the future.
  • Fundraising experience, including active donor cultivation and major gifts development, donor relations skills and an understanding of the funding community.
  • Strong advocacy skills and the ability to work with elected officials, especially knowledge of the Political Landscape in Wichita, the region, the state and the industry.

Salary and Benefits

Salary range is competitive beginning at $125,000 and commensurate with nonprofit organization leadership experience and professional successes. Benefits package includes medical, vision and dental insurance; mental health benefits; paid time off (including 9 paid holidays, vacation and sick leave); 403b retirement plan, life insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance; flexible spending account; and optional supplemental products.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

Child Start values diversity in its workforce and understands that it helps us effectively serve clients from all backgrounds by reflecting the population we serve. We also appreciate the fact that a diverse workforce encourages the growth of all employees and helps celebrate the diversity of our communities.

Child Start shall provide its employees and applicants Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) without regard to any status protected by Federal and State law as outlined in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations.

This policy applies to recruiting, hiring, appointment, and promotion into all position classifications. The Organization will make every effort to see that all personnel policies are administered without discrimination.

Application Process

Submit cover letter and resume to Kathryn Evans, The Moran Company.
Resume should include all professional education and experience, dates of employment (month and year) and position/title and organization names. Cover letter should articulate relevant experience and fit with the stated preferences of the position. 


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