Executive Director

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Reports to: Board of Directors Position type: Full-time, exempt, year-round benefited position Salary: $58,000 to $65,000 Organization Budget and Size: $1.2M Budget; Licensed for 48 children per day. Current staff of 19 – 2 Admin staff, 1 Food Program Manager, 16 teaching staff. 

Interlake Child Care and Learning Center has been caring for children between 6 weeks and 5 years since 1982 in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle. We are seeking an Executive Director to lead Interlake for the next generation of children and their families. Interlake Child Care is looking for an exceptional leader with a deep commitment to early learning, experience leading a medium-sized staff and working with an independent board in a child-centered environment. 

Interlake’s Philosophy Statement: Interlake’s philosophy of early childhood education embraces the notion that children develop best by exploring the world around them at their own pace. Its curriculum emphasizes individual creativity and positive social interactions, with the goal of broadening children’s worldview and increasing their sense of accomplishment. Children guide the direction of their own learning while teachers carefully observe, guide when needed and support each child’s development. 

Interlake’s Mission Statement: Interlake Child Care and Learning Center creates an inclusive and vibrant community with families and young children. Interlake’s loving environment and anti-bias and culturally relevant curriculum inspires children to grow into competent, confident and compassionate citizens of the world. 

What makes Interlake unique and special? 

  • A 37+ year history of successfully serving our community with high quality, committed and educated staff; year-round outdoor play and learning spaces; and healthy vegetarian program (cooked on site daily.) Teachers and Admin staff create a unique environment that allows our staff to engage deeply with children through our emergent, anti-bias, child-centered curriculum. 
  • Commitment to maintaining low child-teacher ratios, which are those required by the State of Washington and NAEYC guidelines. 
  • Operates as an independent 501(c)(3) with a governance board comprised of parents and community members who are committed to quality early learning experiences for our children and their families. 
  • Part of Washington State’s Early Achievers program, the state’s quality rating and improvement system. 

Executive Director Roles and Responsibilities Leadership and Relationship Building: The Executive Director (ED) is head of the school, serving as the public face of Interlake and directing all operations. The ED is holder of its mission and pedagogy, providing strategic direction with the board and leading with vision, passion, and integrity, all through an equity lens. The ED fosters a safe and nurturing environment that encourages children’s social and emotional development and instills a sense of wonder and excitement about learning and creativity. 

  • Ensure that children receive the highest quality care and early learning available. Align programming to keep children at the center of all we do. 
  • Foster a culture and environment that provides ongoing professional development and learning for all of Interlake’s staff. 
  • Create, nurture and maintain positive relationships with Interlake’s children, families, staff, board and community. 
  • Promote and maintain a sense of belonging among staff, families, and visitors. Be a champion of social justice within the organization and in all that we do. 
  • Provide integrated support and resources for Interlake’s families. 
  • Proactively and professionally communicate to all key stakeholders. Transparently share information with families, key members of our community, teachers and staff. 
  • Serve as an Ex-Officio member of the Interlake Board of Directors and partner with the Board to develop shared objectives, facilitate meetings and support the governance for the organization. 

Strategy: Working in collaboration with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will help to set a vision and direction, developing our strategic plan and setting the stage for our future growth and development. 

  • Establish a strategic plan for Interlake that aligns with our primary customers, while considering market demand for childcare in our community. 
  • In partnership with the board, represent Interlake in the community, and grow and maintain positive and proactive relationships with partners and community members. 
  • Understand market conditions and guide the Board and administration team in making solid business decisions based on analysis, connection, and commitment to serving its community. 

Operations and Administration: The Executive Director will work in partnership with Board leadership to ensure that Interlake operates as a financially sound business with strong administration, teaching, compliance, and operation practices. 

  • Develop the annual budget for Interlake, and design regular reporting tools that help the Board and administrative team manage the business. Ensure the organization operates efficiently within budget. 
  • Ensure a strong administrative infrastructure (HR, IT/Technology, Finance, and Legal/Compliance) that supports current operations and positions the organization for long term growth and stability. 
  • Manage relationships and communication with current and prospective families. Oversee the enrollment process and annual transitions. 
  • With Assistant Executive Director, oversee and lead efforts in recruiting, hiring, supervising and motivating a culturally diverse, well-trained and engaged staff. Ensure staff have clear performance measurements and are rewarded fairly for their work. 
  • Effectively manage, mentor, and inspire confidence in the staff and board; and appreciate and evaluate the nuance and complexity of teambuilding in fast-paced early learning setting. 
  • Uplift staff as leaders and advocates in the work and the organization. 
  • Ensure that Interlake maintains care and education standards that meet or exceed all Department of Children, Youth and Families; NAEYC and other state guidelines. Oversee process for ongoing certification and compliance with and for accreditation and licensing. 

Our Ideal Candidate 

Interlake Child Care & Learning Center is a very special place with a community of families, children, staff and supporters. We are looking for a unique leader who shares our values and enthusiasm for our work. Specifically, we are seeking: 

  • Five or more years of relevant professional experience with a focus on childcare/early learning and development. Experience should include a supervisory experience and managing a medium-to-large organizational structure and budget and financial accountability of $1M to $2M. 
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Education, Early Education or applicable field with training or experience in the areas of education and ECE along with business administration. 
  • Background working with national and state accreditation and licensing processes strongly preferred. 
  • Genuine passion for and commitment to children and the value of early learning in child development. 
  • Successful revenue generation experience, including grants and fundraising opportunities preferred. 
  • Demonstrated ability to partner effectively with an independent board of directors. Able to manage board relationships in a diplomatic and professional manner, and ability to escalate high priority issues as needed. 
  • Strong aptitude for delegation and prioritization, with a clear understanding of risk and impact. 
  • Ability to relate to and empathize with teachers, program and administrative staff to help them succeed. 
  • Consistent with Interlake’s culture, bring a commitment to learning and growth for self and the staff. 
  • A firm belief and commitment to engage families and staff equitably and with cultural humility. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to building long term community connections to support Interlake. 
  • Strong computer skills, including Google Suite, MS Office products. 
  • Ability to effectively review, analyze and present business and financial information to help the organization make the best decisions. 
  • Ability to listen and communicate effectively with a variety of audiences – – parent, staff, Board and community partners. Ability to develop strong and trusted relationships with each of these audiences. 
  • Must provide documentation of current Red Cross First-Aid/CPR certification, HIV/AIDS blood-borne pathogens education and training, a valid King County Food Handlers Permit, WA State Drivers License, TB test clearance, proof of MMR vaccination, STARS training or documentation of exemption. 
  • Must successfully complete a background check. Portable Background Check preferred. 
  • Be available to step into any one of the classrooms as needed. As such, requires physical ability and mobility to work in a classroom setting. Director must be able to lift a child up to 50 lbs. 

This is a full-time, year-round exempt position. Interlake offers generous benefits that include: Medical, Dental, Short-term Disability, AD&D Insurance, voluntary vision insurance, voluntary Long-term Life Insurance and additional AD&D Insurance, Simple IRA, PTO (paid time off), and 14 paid Holidays. 


Application instructions: Candidate materials are reviewed on an on-going basis and candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as is practical. The Search Consultant will begin initial interviews by early July. 

Please submit a resume and a 1-2-page cover letter addressed to the Search Committee and emailed to Liz Swanson, Search Consultant, at liz.swanson@interlakechildcare.org. You may also direct any questions about the position to Liz. 

Interlake Child Care and Learning Center is committed to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities it serves. We recognize that diversity is crucial for achieving our mission. Qualified individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.