Early Childhood Specialist (2669)

Organization: Woodland Park Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Seattle, WA, United States
Job or Internship: Job

DEPARTMENT: Education/Early Childhood Programs

REPORTS TO: Supervisor, Early Childhood Programs

FLSA STATUS: Non-exempt

PAY RATE: $14.24 per hour


Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting a standard for zoos all over the world. The zoo is helping to save endangered species in Washington State and around the world. By inspiring visitors and others to learn, care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future.

This is your opportunity to join the dynamic Education team at Woodland Park Zoo. Applications are now being accepted for Early Childhood Specialist in the Early Childhood Programs department. There is one part-time, temporary, non-benefited position to be filled at this time.

The Early Childhood Specialist is responsible for presenting engaging, educational, developmentally appropriate programs, to early childhood/caregiver audiences, with the overarching goal of fostering a sense of empathy and a connection to nature, essential steps for young children to become conservations stewards. The successful candidate will have a strong foundation in early childhood education, and experience facilitating social emotional learning, integrating nature-based play and STEM principles, and working with culturally diverse families. Will require experience or interest in handling or presenting animals. The person in this position will work as part of a team developing and implementing curriculum, interacting with young children in a variety of settings on zoo grounds and in outreach activities in the community, and assisting in the training of staff and volunteers. Fluency in a language in addition to English, for example, Somali, Arabic, Spanish or Vietnamese, is an asset. This schedule for this position may vary, but will start at 20-25 hours per week. Position is grant funded through February 2015.


Responsible for the development and implementation of education programs and activities.


Develop curricula, programs and activities.

Present engaging programs and experiences that inspire conservation action to audiences of all ages on and off zoo grounds.

Develop, lead, assist with and evaluate training programs and activities.

Research content and write publications and other support documents.

Perform logistical support duties to include registering participants, processing payments, scheduling activities, and maintaining records and databases.

Assist with collection and reporting of statistics and reports.

Handle and present animals.

Maintain program props, materials and supply inventories.

Assist with research, development, revision and dissemination of program/projects, supporting and promotional materials, and interpretive elements.

Lead/mentor presenters, volunteers and interns.

Perform other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Ability to develop and present creative, mission-driven programming to a wide variety of audiences.

Ability to work effectively as a team member and independently with little supervision.

Possess general knowledge of natural history and conservation.

Flexibility in dealing with program delivery and changes in deadlines and operation protocol.

Ability to work a non-standard/flexible schedule, which includes weekends, some evenings and holidays.

Ability to handle education program animals and to become a WPZ certified animal presenter.

Commitment to the mission of the zoo and the institutions’ Core Values.


A minimum of four years combined education and experience in early childhood education; program and curriculum development; presenting thematically-based interpretive programs and/or classes to audiences of young children, families and caregivers; and program implementation/evaluation. Minimum of one year of experience with a zoo, aquarium, museum, park or other informal education facility preferred.


US Driver’s license required.


Proficient and experienced with Microsoft Office applications, particularly Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Must be able to work with customized databases and technology, and conduct Internet research.


Must be enthusiastic and customer service oriented and deal with clients in a courteous and professional manner. Enjoy working with the public including diverse populations and people of all ages.


Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write curriculum, routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively to a variety of audiences including young children, families, adults and before groups of zoo employees.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 35 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds while handling, lifting, and storing program supplies, kits, and bulk food supplies. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear, and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is frequently required to sit. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl while setting up displays, transporting class props and materials.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to loud.


Applications are only accepted online through our Jobs page at www.zoo.org; no other forms of application will be accepted. Cover letter and resume are REQUIRED when applying for this position. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.


Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.

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