Early Childhood Programs Supervisor (2631)

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

DEPARTMENT: Zoo Experiences

REPORTS TO: Manager, Education Services


PAY RATE: Compensation based on experience


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 Programs Supervisor in the Zoo Experiences department. There is one full-time, regular, benefited position to be filled at this time.


Provide vision and leadership for engaging, year-round early learning experiences in Zoomazium, on zoo grounds and in the community. Serve on the leadership team of the department providing vision and leadership across program areas and to other departments and staff in the institution.


- Develop and implement a strategic plan for early learning based on assessment of how the zoo can best support the societal goals of closing the school readiness gap and broadening access to early learning resources for children at risk.

- Oversee development and implementation of early childhood programs at the zoo and in the community including caregiver training and fee-based classes which foster empathy, a connection to nature, and school and STEM readiness.

- Leverage existing partnerships and identify new strategic partnerships to serve more early learners in underserved communities.

- Collaborate with Education Research staff to develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation plan for all early learning programs and activities.

- Advance the zoo’s role as a model for early childhood engagement at informal science learning institutions.

- Oversee the training and implementation of best practices in early childhood education for staff and volunteers.

- Oversee the daily operations of all Zoomazium programming, including Nature Exchange.

- Work with other departments and Education teams to help ensure smooth and effective Zoomazium and early childhood program operations.

- Interface with Communications and IT departments to provide program and exhibit content for Zoomazium and troubleshoot a/v components.

- Develop staff work plans, conduct annual staff evaluations and effectively coach and mentor employees.

- Serve on the Education Leadership Team and work with other zoo supervisors and managers to help ensure smooth, effective education operations and programs to meet strategic plan goals.

- Identify and analyze staffing and equipment needs and maintain financial and personnel records.

- Develop and manage Early Childhood Programs budget.

- Support Managers and Vice President in fundraising initiatives.

- Respond to inquiries, concerns or problem incidents made by the public or staff regarding programming, site policies or site safety hazards.

- Perform other duties as assigned.


Supervise Early Childhood Program staff to include coordinator, program specialists, interns and volunteers.


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.

- Must be able to work independently.

- Must be able to develop and manage budgets and assist in grant writing / fundraising activities.

- Must have experience in developing community partnerships and working with diverse populations.

- Must be able to play a leadership role in the department, representing cross departmental goals and overarching zoo mission.

- Must have supervisory experience over a team of 2+ staff.

- Ability to carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws.

- Ability to interview, hire, and train employees; plan, assign, and direct work; appraise performances; reward and discipline employees; and address complaints and resolve problems.

- Ability to work a regular work schedule that includes one weekend day (Saturday or Sunday) and some evening work.

- Commitment to the mission of the zoo and the institution’s Core Values.


A minimum of 8 years combined education and experience in early childhood development and education, natural science or environmental education with comprehensive curriculum and program development, evaluation and delivery. Minimum of two years leading and coordinating team projects. Minimum of two years supervising staff.


Valid Washington State Driver's License


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.


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. 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. The employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to stand; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.


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 occasionally exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


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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