Careers at First Up

Work with Us!

Open Positions:


Early Learning Specialist


Department: Program Services/Work Force Development

Contact: Lisa Schultz

Reports to: Director of Programs/Director of Workforce Development

Definition: Coaching is an interactive process of observation, discussion, and reflection in which the coach promotes the other person’s ability to grow toward identified goals.

Guiding Principles:

  • The Program Level coach will have an understanding and ability to put into practice and advocate for the following guiding principles:
  • Culturally and linguistically competent, family-centered practice
  • Natural learning environment
  • Learner-focused approach
  • Functional and meaningful activities/supports
  • Collaborative goal setting
  • Operate from a systems perspective
  • Change occurs over time
  • Coaches facilitate and participate in change

Position Summary

The Early Learning Specialist will manage a caseload of early childhood centers, programs, or schools and will provide technical assistance and professional development as needed or by programs seeking to get NAEYC Accredited. The position requires local travel ability to work off-site using technology. . At First Up, a strengths-based perspective and approach to coaching are utilized. Whenever possible, a mutual learning partnership is created to share responsibility and accountability for project goals. Coaching is customized and every effort is made to establish trust and respect for educators and program leaders. A variety of coaching strategies and practices is employed to achieve goals. Early Learning Specialists must demonstrate integrity and professionalism in all contact with clients and partners and conduct business in a manner consistent with the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and First Up’s Mission and Core Values.

Primary Functions

  • Recognize the unique abilities of individuals and assist others in valuing everyone’s contributions.
  • Encourage, support, motivate, and work interactively with teachers/caregivers to develop and implement ongoing goals.
  • Support the teacher/caregiver to provide environments and opportunities which promote the child’s growth and development for any of the developmental domains, (language and literacy, health and physical development, approaches to learning, social-emotional development, creative arts, science, and mathematics).
  • Assist teachers/caregivers to structure environments, routines, and interactions that contribute to positive social-emotional outcomes for the children and families in a program.
  • Focus on specific tasks, skills, or techniques that can be mastered and measured.
  • Assist teachers/caregivers to structure environments, routines, and interactions that contribute to a positive social behavior support plan for the child.
  • Assess needs and develop service plans with the program or school team to improve quality or meet initiative benchmarks at the program site or school.
  • Provide coaching, career advising, and professional development opportunities as assigned through collaborations with other partners, agencies, fee-for-service work, or as required by funders. Strive for excellence in work by consistently using best practices, incorporating cultural competencies, and employing relationship-based coaching and consultation practices.
  • Complete accurate and timely documentation of work including: visitation and tracking logs, service/action plans, data entry, program portfolio updates, and other reports using technology in an appropriate and efficient manner.

Additional Functions

  • Work as part of First Up’s program services team and ensure positive relationships with all project partners and participants through effective communication, meeting attendance, and collaboration.
  • Participate in First Up events and public policy activities as needed.
  • Market First Up services consistently when in the community.
  • Attend professional development to enhance abilities to serve practitioners.
  • Maintain PQAS certification as both Instructor and TA Consultant. Remain current in first aid and CPR.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Knowledge, Skills, Abilities Requirements


Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education; advanced degree preferred. Specialized certifications welcomed. Related degrees and ECE experience considered.


  • 2 or more years as an ECE practitioner in an early childhood program: NAEYC accredited or PA Keystone STAR 3 or higher center preferred.
  • 2 or more years as an educator in both ECE and Elementary settings for projects that span Preschool to Grade 3

Specific Skills/Responsibilities:

  • Bilingual in Spanish is highly preferred
  • Develop competency in diversity, equity, and inclusive practices
  • Develop competency in trauma-informed practices
  • Knowledge of the NAEYC accreditation process and best practices
  • Expertise in one or more of these specialty areas:
  • Learning Program; Curriculum and Assessment; Child Development
  • Kindergarten Readiness and Transition
  • Career Advising; Professional Growth and Development
  • Leadership/Management/Business Practices
  • Health and Safety
  • Family Engagement
  • Community Partnerships
  • Knowledge of PA Keystone STARS and NAEYC accreditation and developmentally appropriate practices for ECE
  • Knowledge of state assessment tools (ECERS, ITERS, FCCRS)
  • Ability to employ a variety of consultation and coaching strategies that are based on appropriate and culturally competent practices and the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct.
  • Capacity to align consultation with professional development content.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated effective organizational, communication, and time management skills.
  • Knowledge of PA DHS and PDE requirements for ECE programs.
  • Knowledge of Early Headstart
  • Demonstrate proficient computer skills, including word processing, databases, and internet use.
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision and to manage multiple tasks simultaneously

Required Clearances, Credentials, Licenses.

  • Must maintain PQAS certification both as Instructor and TA Consultant.
  • Maintain current FBI, PA Criminal Record and Child Abuse Clearances
  • Complete/renew mandated reporter certificate.

Working Conditions

The job requires significant flexibility. Regional travel required – must be able to get to all sites in the project via personal car or public transit. Limited work time in the office but must be able to juggle multiple priorities and responsibilities. Work is partially in an office environment and partially in the field. Job includes using office machines and may require the ability to sit for long periods, stand, bend and lift up to 50 lbs. Must be able to carry and perform competently on a laptop computer. Some evenings and weekends are required.

Employees are eligible for all standard First Up benefits, including PTO, health insurance, life insurance, STD/LTD insurance, 403b retirement savings with employer match, professional development funding, etc.


Early Learning Programs Seek Support - Internship Program


Interested in Sponsoring The Internship Program?

Does your center or program need an extra hand? Many young professionals are looking to help and learn from Directors at Child Care Programs or Centers with marketing, business practices, and much more! Sponsor a young professional and get an extra helping hand while providing opportunities for those just starting their careers!

What you need to know as a Supervisor:

• You may need to keep a record of the hours the intern works and share these with Temple or other institutions.

• You will need to provide the student intern with direct supervision, training, and resources necessary to perform the assigned tasks and will assess the student’s performance regularly.

• You will need to communicate a clear job description to the student.

• You will meet with the student at least twice in the semester to provide performance evaluation, complete any required evaluation form and submit timely.

Next Steps

1- You need to decide what you want an intern to do in your program.  Email Norma Finkelstein – and cc Elizabeth Ozer – with your ideas on how you will use an intern.

a. Be specific – e.g., the intern will contact families when children have been absent (this might be particularly helpful with programs operating Head Start); the intern will assist in marketing your program by developing flyers and contacting interested families. A job description will need to be submitted to Temple (or other institutions).

2- First Up is monitoring the job posting responses and will screen interested students to establish the most appropriate match to your request. First Up will provide you with contact information for the student so you can connect and interview him/her.

3- If there is a match, First Up will facilitate the connection with Temple (or other institution) and assist with ensuring necessary paperwork, agreements, etc. are completed.



Vista Fellowship

Are you interested in helping under-resourced childcare centers in the Philadelphia region? Interested in working with the local early learning community to make a real difference in a young child’s life? Then First Up is the place for you! First Up and VISTA are looking for our next Community Outreach Coordinator for the Community-driven Design Project! The goal is to better understand and develop specialized programming for our constituents in underserved and vulnerable communities. The overall goal of the VISTA Fellow is to build capacity for the work of First Up, and to reach all providers in the most vulnerable and under-resourced areas of our region. Click the link to apply today!



First Up is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, age, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or public assistance status in the recruitment, hiring, training, compensation, promotion, transfer, layoff, recall and termination of employees. First Up is committed to building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment. Those who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other members of underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.



Please support First Up's work by making a tax-deductible donation

Please support all ECE teachers and students by advocating for resources