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State of Montana Best Beginnings Specialist (01116) in Helena, Montana

The Mission of the Early Childhood Services Bureau (ECSB) is to improve quality, affordability, and accessibility of early care and education in Montana with focused efforts on coordinated systems to best meet the needs of young children, their families, and the professionals who work on behalf of young children and families. As such, this position is involved with the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Best Beginnings Quality Initiatives. This position also provides program support and direction of the STARS to Quality program within the overall funding in addition to contracted services. The position recommends courses of action, weighs effectiveness, and suggests program changes to bureau management. The location is primarily Helena, but it is possible to live within 120 miles. Major Duties or Responsibilities: Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation * Coordinates program activities and statewide planning for childcare program implementation; interprets and reviews state and federal regulations. * Determines quality indicators and resources for continuous quality improvement. * Oversees development and changes in Stars to Quality criteria and systems; evaluates overall effectiveness of the Star to Quality program. * Assesses field data and recommends improvements or elements to include in the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS). * Evaluates overall effectiveness of the Star to Quality program. * Researches trends and evidence-based practices related to quality improvement practices for the early childhood system; provides evaluative review of current practices. * Develops policies and procedures for the Best Beginnings Child Care Services. Child Care Services Contract Management * Provides contract development and participates with advisory boards or steering committees as necessary. * Develops contract monitoring tools and procedures; identifies and measures contractors’ effectiveness based on deliverables. * Conducts contractor site visits and provides technical assistance, program improvement plans or corrective action plans. * Utilizes Child Care Under the Big Sky (CCUBS) to monitor and evaluate contract services; provides input to update the CCUBS data system as necessary. * Prepares analysis reports based on findings and fiscal aspects of budget and contracts. * Prepares Request for Proposals (RFPs) for available childcare initiatives; oversees evaluation of received proposals, negotiates contracts for quality services. * Provides professional development and support to contractors/providers participating in grant programs. * Tracks quality program assessments, trends, and reports data. Outreach and Consultation * Promotes public awareness and understanding of early childhood activities and priorities; conducts media outreach, professional trainings, publications, etc. * Participates in collaborative system building conversations to include stakeholders, advisory councils, and agencies. * Develops and provides training to a variety of interested parties as needed. * Provides consultation, technical assistance, and consumer education to early childhood stakeholders concerning issues, policies and rules that clarify and interpret state and federal laws, rules, and regulations. Other Duties as Assigned Physical and Environmental Demands:Typical office environment. Approximately 25% of travel to contractor sites, meeting, etc., typically with advance notice. Potential for out of state travel also with advance notice. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (Behaviors): Required for the_first day of work_: * Knowledge of program planning, coordination, and administration of rules, regulations, and policies concerning childcare and early childhood education. * Knowledge of principles, theories, and best practices of childcare services, early care and education, childcare programs, early childhood development, family and children’s services systems, and program marketing. * General knowledge of contract and grant management. * Excellent written and verbal communication skills including technical writing and public speaking. * Training skills, interpersonal skills, negotiation, and group facilitation skills. * Analytical, conflict management, and interpretive skills. * Ability to monitor contractors’ performance and create analysis reports. * Ability to operate personal computer and general office equipment as necessary to complete essential functions, including using spreadsheets, word processing, database, email, internet, and other computer programs. Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience): * Bachelor’s degree in early childhood development, social work, education, counseling, or other closely related field. * Three years of experience in early childhood services, contract/grant management, and early childhood education or services programs. * Other combinations of education and related experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis. * Preferred contract and grant management experience in early childhood services. /Women (and/or) minorities may be under-represented in this position and are encouraged to apply./ /To be considered for any DPHHS Agency position, applicants must complete and submit their application online, as well as upload any required application materials. Successful applicant(s) are required to successfully pass all DPHHS specific background check(s) relevant to each position./ Materials Required of Applicants: (To be considered in this pool, please submit the following) * Resume * Cover letter * 3 Professional references On your first day of work in the office, the Department will provide you with a cloth face covering. You may also bring and wear your own face coverings. Please be advised, all DPHHS employees are required to wear masks/face coverings while at work in the office and outside the office in official employee capacity. Job: Business/Analyst/Statistics* *Title: *Best Beginnings Specialist (01116) Location: Helena Requisition ID: 21141027