Job Title:

Early Head Start Teacher


Matrix Head Start

Job Description/ Duties:

This position serves a teacher (aka caregiver) in a classroom of Early Head Start infants and toddlers by planning, implementing, and supervising all center-based activities. This position may work with infants and toddlers with developmental delays.  Because this position is one part of a large system of services provided to infants/toddlers and families, this position also serves as a social service referral person and shares responsibility for parent involvement in the program. The position of Teacher works in tandem with the rest of the parts of the system as an integrated team to support the goals of the program. The position may be reassigned to various classrooms/centers as deemed necessary for program operations.  The position may serve as “site director” for child care licensing purposes.



  • Participate in self assessment process.
  • Work to recruit children for the program and assist to maintain enrollment.
  • Plans and provides developmentally appropriate activities and experiences that advance all areas of children’s development (social, emotional, cognitive, physical) in a manner appropriate to age and stage of development.
  • Assists in development and implementation of a developmentally appropriate curriculum that focuses on routines and individual child interests and development.
  • Provides a safe, healthy and well-managed environment so that children will have comfortable learning and growing experiences. Sets up the physical environment to meet the changing needs of infants and toddlers.
  • Displays and develops material and provides activities related to cultures of the community in order to increase the children’s respect and understanding of their own and other local cultures.
  • Models and promotes communication and problem solving skills that assist in developing positive interactions, creating an atmosphere of acceptance, support and encouragement, which fosters the development of positive self concept and self esteem in children as well as attachment, bonding and trusting relationships.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of infant-toddler development applying this knowledge in practice.
  • Serves on IFSP meetings.
  • Participates in on-going training and development specific to working with infants and toddlers and their families, including infant/toddler development, communication and safety issues such as reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
  • Works closely and cooperatively with family services staff (case managers) to promote partnerships with families.
  • Responsible for knowledge and understanding of the philosophy, content areas and functions of the infant/toddler curriculum including familiarity with the Head Start Performance Standards, NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate Practices and state child care licensing regulations.
  • Displays commitment to continuing professional growth by taking classes, reading journals, etc.
  • Conducts developmental screening of infants and toddlers’ motor, language, social, cognitive, perceptual and emotional levels.
  • Ensure an appropriate written Transition Plan for all children, six months before their third birthday; provide parents with training and information.  Establish communication to facilitate and coordinate the transition.
  • Complete all paperwork as assigned.
  • Assist with potty training and changing diapers as needed.
  • Direct team members and provide for their training.
  • Commit to ongoing professional development.
  • Participate in the licensing process to insure compliance.
  • Obtain required Food Handler’s training.
  • Assist custodial team in keeping classroom and other educational areas clean; clean toys daily to prevent spread of germs, bacteria and other communicable diseases
  • Assist with continuous recruitment in the program
  • Assist with management of ADA by encouraging parents to bring children to school
  • Assist with parent engagement
  • Perform other related tasks as required by the program.

Working with children with special needs, you are expected to:

  • Assist in implementing the Individual Education Plan (IEP) developed for children with disabilities and their families.
  • Write progress notes of special needs children and include in child’s file.
  • Care for the special needs of children.
  • Encourage independent participation of Special Need children in all aspects of the program.


At a minimum, a CDA credential and have been trained (or have equivalent coursework) in Early Childhood Development with infant/toddler endorsement and have been trained or have equivalent coursework* in age appropriate early childhood and child development with a focus on infant/toddler development.


*  For equivalent coursework in age appropriate early childhood and child development, there are a number of alternative credential programs available for infant and toddler teachers.  There are some State agencies, State boards and commissions as well as accredited colleges and universities that have developed infant-toddler certificate and degree programs that meet or exceed the CDA.  Those programs that require MORE than a CDA may award college credits that accrue toward a 2-year degree.  Teachers who successfully COMPLETE such certificate programs that meet or exceed the 120 educational/training clock hours (120 clock hours) and the professional experience requirement of at least 480 hours with infants and/or toddlers as required for the CDA credential are considered by the Office of Head Start (OHS) to meet the Early Head Start (EHS) credential requirement.


State-awarded certificates should be age specific to the children each teacher works with (basically for EHS ages birth to three) and must meet or exceed the minimum requirements for obtaining a CDA credential. Such certificates must include content explicitly related to the care and early education of infants and toddlers.  Remember the minimum requirements for obtaining a CDA are 120 clock hours of training in the 8 subject areas and 480 hours of experience working in a group setting with infants and/or toddlers.


NOTE:  Equivalent combinations of education and experience that could provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities, will be evaluated on an individual basis.


Must pass requirements for licensing including criminal clearance, Central Registry Clearance, and drug screen.


If applicable federal, state or local Head Start or child care regulations, now or as amended in the future, contain additional requirements or qualifications for this position which are not specifically stated in this Job Description, the requirements and qualifications will apply, even if not specifically set forth in this Job Description.


Bilingual preferred (English/Spanish or English and other languages present in the local area).  


Within 90 days of employment, must obtain and continually maintain basic first aid and pediatric CPR certification (or sooner if required by local/state regulations).  Acceptable tuberculosis screening results, a clear criminal records check (including child abuse registry check if required by state regulations) and an initial health exam are required post job offer and prior to employment.   To drive agency vehicles (if applicable), must have a valid driver’s license and be insurable by the Matrix Human Services insurance carrier and have a Motor Vehicle Record acceptable to Matrix Human Services.



All personnel of Matrix must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics and incorporate Continuous Quality Improvement efforts into their everyday performance. All employees of Head Start must adhere to the federal regulations and requirements for Head Start operations including the Performance Standards, Licensing rules, and be of Good Moral Character as defined by Code of Ethics.



  • Good professional work habits and attitude.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • Able to lift up to 45 pounds
  • Noise level in work environment may be moderate to loud.
  • Job may require lifting, sitting, standing, walking, squatting, kneeling, climbing, and bending for periods of time.
  • Able to work independently and provide guidance and direction to team members.
  • Documented experience working with low-income families.
  • Must be culturally sensitive able to work in a diverse community.
  • Able to read, write and communicate in standard English.
  • Must be resourceful, patient, and sensitive to the needs of staff, children and families.
  • Documented experience working with persons of various racial, ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to write clear and accurate reports.
  • Good organizational and time management skills.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality of all discussions and records.
  • Must be physically and mentally capable of performing the duties of the classification.

Employer Info:

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