Reporting to the Vice President of Programs & Exhibits, the Senior Director of Child Development will develop and guide the implementation of the vision for the Child Development team, including the creation of programs and activities, curriculum, and other educational resources for internal and external use. The Child Development team is made up of individuals with areas of expertise that broadly support child development. This includes play, accessibility, social-emotional learning, identity development, social justice, and caregiver engagement.
The Child Development team is one of the Museum’s program teams. Each of the teams is broadly responsible for developing and facilitating fun, engaging educational experiences for children and families visiting the Museum and other locations, including schools, partner organizations, and online platforms. Senior Director level staff develop Museum-wide strategy and define team objectives to achieve the strategic vision in their area of expertise, support implementation of the Museum's Learning Framework and Equity Tool, and manage daily operations of the program teams.
The Child Development team is responsible for conducting a broad array of programming, including hands-on programming in PlaySpace, the Museum’s exhibit for children ages birth to 3 and their caregivers, and Countdown to Kindergarten, a model classroom designed to highlight school readiness; as well as play-based programming for young learners (birth to 10) and their caregivers and educators across all Museum experiences (onsite and in homes, childcare centers, and other than community settings). The Child Development team also lends expertise across teams (other program teams, exhibit teams, visitor experience teams, etc.) and projects--helping colleagues think about developmentally appropriate practice, learning through play, access and inclusion, research data, and how we might best serve our audience and communities through programs, resources, and training.
The Senior Director will manage several significant existing projects and will integrate these projects into the development of a comprehensive strategy for Child Development, in collaboration with other teams, visitors, educators, and community groups in Boston. The Senior Director of Child Development will manage all aspects of programming and will also support a variety of exhibit development projects, which might include content development, prototyping, and evaluation with visitors. In all our programs and exhibits, we seek to make the museum accessible, inclusive, and relevant to all families in our diverse community. The Senior Director will play an active role in writing and managing grants and innovative projects, as well as building and managing a strong team.
- Refine the vision for and guide the implementation of our Museum-wide Birth to Five strategy, developing team objectives to achieve strategic goals.
- Experiment with new, and assess existing programs for children birth through age 10, such as STEAM Sprouts (STEAM activities designed to support toddler’s curiosity about the world), Morningstar Access program (designed to offer children with disabilities, medical, or special needs to visit the Museum), and inspire staff as well as visitors to explore child and identity development in new ways.
- Supervise and coach members of the Child Development team. Oversee departmental needs such as daily coverage for programming, ongoing training for Museum staff in developmentally meaningful practice and playful learning, and attend to staffing needs through interviewing, hiring, training, and evaluations.
- Provide a hands-on leadership role in strategically implementing new projects, overseeing experience development, and bringing expertise in content and pedagogy. Guide content development for new experiences by applying and implementing the Museum's Learning Framework and innovative spirit.
- Promote a child-centered educational philosophy, with an emphasis on child-directed play and exploration, creativity, and discovery; practice an iterative design process (including prototyping, formative evaluation, and revision based on user input), foster creativity for experienced and entry-level staff. Implement and value universal design and accessible design. Support innovative ideas from concept to reality.
- Recommend and help to fund new programs and initiatives by writing grants and otherwise engaging in fundraising activities. Manage team budgets including operating and salary lines, grants, and targeted funds.
- Collaborate with the Senior Director of Exhibits and Research on exhibit development, suggested exhibit upgrades or remediation, bring expertise in child development, and support component development and prototyping.
- Build, grow, and sustain relationships with relevant groups outside of the Museum, including the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, Boston Public Schools, pre-K-focused community organizations, companies, funders, community organizations, and other Boston-area stakeholders. Help to develop networks of stakeholders in the community and build and sustain strong working relationships.
- Participate as a senior member of the Programs and Exhibits department, reporting to the VP of Programs and Exhibits, and working collaboratively with others in the department and throughout the Museum.
- Support institutional and departmental initiatives, goals, and operations. Collaborate with Museum leadership to further the Museum’s mission, and to ensure a cohesive staff culture. Participate in required all-staff activities, discussions, meetings, and training.
- Develop and implement staff training that supports the growth of staff.
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and/or Early Education related fields required.
- Seven or more years of exhibit, program, and educational resource development experience in a museum setting or the equivalent, with 10 or more years of relevant experience overall.
- Experience leading educational resource development initiatives for children and families, and inspiring a team to complete resource development initiatives effectively. Experience researching, synthesizing, and applying knowledge of current research and trends in education.
- Experience with access and accessibility, community programs, universal design, and a willingness and ability to include community members in the development process.
- Experience with evaluation, including working with the public on formative evaluation, and interactive improvement of prototypes — whether for programs or exhibit components.
- Demonstrated ability to manage effectively in a complex organization. Ability to lead a team, and communicate with designers, fabricators, and/or architects; ability to motivate and mentor a team.
- Strong written communication abilities, including experience developing project reports for internal and external groups. Proven ability to conceptualize, write, and successfully obtain grant funding, and otherwise support fundraising efforts.
- A master’s degree preferred or equivalent work experience, subject expertise in child development, informal education, and/or play preferred.
- Fluency in a second language
Physical Demands: Frequently stand/walk, sit, perform desk-based computer tasks, and use a telephone. Occasionally kneel/crawl, twist/bend/stoop/squat, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, and grasp forcefully, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 21-40 pounds.
Work Environment: Normal office environment with varying exposure to office equipment (i.e. printer, fax, shredder, phone, and desktop computer). The Office space and Museum exhibits can be a fast past environment and often noisy during peak seasons. Sometimes a crowded environment with the public and with young children.
Other Factors: Work is performed routinely within the Museum setting, but on occasion may require work performed outside. Flexibility to work weekends, school vacation, and/or holiday hours are required.
(Benefits eligibility is based on regular weekly hours per week)
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- 13 Paid Holidays
- Up to 12 Sick days
- Mass Earn Sick Time
- Up to 10 Vacation days
- 403(b) Retirement Plan
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Qualified Transportation Accounts
- Life Insurance
- Short- Term & Long-Term Disability
- American Alliance Museum Access
- New England Museum Association Access
- Free Admission to 100+ Museums
Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning.
Boston Children’s Museum is a welcoming, imaginative, child-centered learning environment that supports diverse families in nurturing their children’s creativity and curiosity. We promote the healthy development of all children so they will fulfil their potential and contribute to our collective well-being and future prosperity.
Creativity. Respect. Excellence. Accountability. Thoughtfulness. Equity.
Boston Children’s Museum is a curious, experimental, and creative learning organization. We have a child and family centered focus, welcoming and respecting all Museum audiences. We collaborate and show mutual respect and support for our colleagues. We recognize that each person has equal, intrinsic worth and deserves to be treated with dignity. We are a culture that innovates, changes, and pushes boundaries to keep the museum relevant. We are responsible to each other and strive to keep our commitments to our colleagues. We have a commitment to high ethical standards. We recognize the importance of work-life balance, respecting the importance of personal growth and family. We have an ongoing commitment to fairness in all aspects of the Museum and we embrace alternative ways of thinking.