Associate Director of Early Learning Policy

The Organization

The Education Trust–West (ETW) works for educational justice and high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-K through college. ETW exposes equity gaps that separate students of color, English learners, and low-income students from their peers, and they identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps. ETW works alongside schools, districts, college campuses, and higher education institutions to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of change strategies intended to reduce and eliminate equity gaps. They use lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, to drive a state and national conversation about how our P-12 education system and higher education institutions can better serve all students. To learn more, please visit

The preferred location for the role is Oakland, CA, but candidates based in Los Angeles or Sacramento are also invited to apply. The role requires a willingness to travel throughout the state. Due to the pandemic, ETW is currently teleworking, but team members will be expected to return to the office once it’s deemed safe.

The Opportunity

The Education Trust–West seeks an experienced Associate Director of Early Learning Policy to lead a high-impact, innovative effort to advance the organization’s ambitious agenda to advance equitable opportunities for young children and their families in California’s early learning and care system, with a focus on families of marginalized children of color, dual language learners, and families experiencing poverty.

Major Responsibilities

Reporting to the Director of P-16 Education Policy, the responsibilities of the Associate Director of Early Learning Policy include but are not limited to:

Serving as content expert. The successful candidate will bring content expertise and have demonstrated policy, advocacy or legislative experience. They will also have experience in one or more of the following early learning and care policy areas:

  1. State-funded early learning and care programs (the California State Preschool Program and Transitional Kindergarten, in particular).
  2. Early learning and care workforce
  3. Early learning and care data
  4. Pregnant and parenting students

Other areas of interest include: Culturally relevant and sustaining measures of early learning and care quality; dual language learners; whole child supports; and developmentally appropriate early childhood pedagogy and instructional practices.

Early Learning and Care Policy Analysis and Strategy

  • Under the leadership of the Director of P-16 Education Policy, setting and executing on the vision for the organization’s early learning and care equity work, with a focus on policy analysis and position development.
  • Working internally and with other aligned organizations, to coordinate the organization’s early learning and care portfolio and ensure integrated work that helps advance Ed Trust–West’s P-16 advocacy agenda.
  • Drafting policy briefs, fact sheets, letters, position statements, and other written collateral in support of advocacy efforts and making policy content accessible for various stakeholder
  • Preparing memos, letters, and statements summarizing Ed Trust–West’s positions, analyses, and recommendations in response to legislative, budget, regulatory, institutional, and other policy proposals
  • Supporting staff members in communicating the research, policy, and practice recommendations by drafting talking points and statements in collaboration with the Communications team.
  • Managing interns/fellows and/or members of the Policy team.

Partnerships, External Engagement, and Development

  • Developing and sustaining constructive relationships with early learning and care organizational partners and coalitions, including statewide and local advocacy, early learning and care practice, service provider, parent, family, and workforce groups.
  • Monitoring and sharing the latest early learning and care research and policy conversations across government, media, think tanks, academia, and advocates to support Ed Trust–West’s early learning and care equity agenda.
  • Representing the organization at meetings of governing boards, advisory councils, workgroups, and other education leadership bodies to advance Ed Trust–West’s early learning and care policy priorities.
  • Leading fundraising efforts for this work by developing and maintaining relationships with current and potential funders.

Qualifications and Experience

  1. A minimum of 5 years of experience in a role addressing early learning and care issues and executing projects with time-sensitive and often competing deadlines.
  2. Deep understanding of California early learning and care issues such as, but not limited to, the content areas listed above.
  3. Demonstrated experience in policy development on education issues with a keen emphasis on equity and closing gaps in opportunity and outcomes.
  4. Excellent analytic and communication skills (both oral and written, and in a variety of formats and contexts).
  5. The ability to prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment.
  6. Strong organizational skills and ability to coordinate several projects simultaneously and track complex tasks across multiple stakeholders.
  7. Ability to deliver effective presentations using visual aids and engaging strategies to targeted and/or lay audiences.
  8. Commitment to “Walking the Talk: operating with – and a willingness to develop – cultural competence: an understanding that systemic and institutionalized racism significantly affect communities of color and of the historical impact of privilege and power on American systems.
  9. Strong computer skills, including proficient or advanced skills in Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and the Internet. Experience using Asana a plus.
  10. Experience fundraising for education policy projects is a plus.
  11. A graduate degree in Public Policy, Education, or related field is a plus.


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust–West offers a comprehensive benefits package.

Application Process

Please provide a cover letter and resume, combined into one document. Your cover letter should describe your background, relevant experience, and your alignment with the mission. In the file name, please write the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g. “Associate Dir of Early Learning Policy_Garcia”

Please submit your application materials at Recruitment (

The Education Trust–West is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.