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Executive Director

Posted: 11/17/2023

The Gateway Early Childhood Alliance (The Alliance) is seeking an Executive Director to replace the Founding Executive Director. This position is responsible for catalyzing a regional coordination nonprofit that drives early education (ECE) quality and access in St. Louis seeking to provide the most benefit to underrepresented, marginalized, and highest need communities.

The mission of The Alliance is to create and sustain an early childhood system that ensures Black and Brown children and families have access to high-quality early childhood care and education.

The Alliance was first envisioned in 2014 when the For the Sake of All report identified a lack of quality early childhood care and education as a leading indicator of health disparities between white and Black residents of St. Louis. In 2018, an advisory committee of twenty-two organizational leaders from across the region partnered to study the access and affordability gaps in the early childhood care and education landscape and published The First Step to Equity report. This was followed by a community-led process facilitated by WEPOWER to develop a” Playbook” to redevelop and redefine ECE in the region. In 2021, in response to the information from the studies, the regional coordinating entity announced its launch with the name Gateway Early Childhood Alliance.

The Gateway Early Childhood Alliance provides the following:

Capacity Building
Building the capacity of ECE providers and educators—helping them feel supported in their work—will lead to effective and sustainable programs, which will expand access to quality ECE. Through increased funding and knowledge, providers will be able to provide a high-quality experience for families and children.

Power Building and Advocacy
Centering providers’ and families’ voices and experiences in The Alliance’s strategies is non-negotiable. In turn, this will generate increased connection, feelings of value, and commitment to the field, which will lead to more supportive policies, increased funding, and expanded access to quality slots.

Communication and Connection
Creating spaces for people within and outside of the ECE sector to create and plan together enables The Alliance to collect and share the experiences of the ECE community. Together, The Alliance and the ECE community will create accountability and champion responsive policies and programming that put the needs of children, families, and educators first.

Internal Infrastructure
Building a thriving organization and unified team of ECE champions gives The Alliance a strong foundation to foster and support these efforts. The background of the team will always reflect the communities The Alliance serves.

The New Executive Director for Gateway Early Childhood Alliance will need to live in the greater St. Louis area.


Major Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for catalyzing The Alliance to drive access to high-quality early care and education in St. Louis. The Executive Director seeks to provide the most benefit to underrepresented marginalized, and highest-need communities.
  • Responsible for managing all activities related to human resources, finance, fundraising, strategy implementation, partnerships, communications, and governance.
  • Hires and manages internal team members and external consultants with skillsets and experience to inform the functions efficiently and effectively.
  • Fosters a collaborative, trust based organizational culture.

Organizational Governance

  • Works with the Steering Committee to transition the organization from fiscal sponsorship under the St. Louis Community Foundation to an independent 50l(c)3 nonprofit organization. (By-Laws have been drafted and sent to the Secretary of State’s office for approval)
  • Recruits, develops, and inspires a Board of Directors charged with ongoing governance as outlined in the by-laws.
  • Establishes policies and procedures aligned with the organization’s current values and operating culture.
  • Establishes administrative support, as necessary.
  • Works with the team to identify needs in relation to physical space.

Strategy Design and Implementation

  • With the team and Steering Committee and, once established, Board of Directors, implements current strategy and goals as they relate to Capacity Building, Power Building and Advocacy, Communication and Connection, and Building Internal Infrastructure.
  • In conjunction with the staff team, Committee/Board, and community establishes future strategies that are responsive to the needs of the early childhood community.

Relationship Development and Maintenance

  • Builds buy-in and trust by listening and collaborating with caregivers, providers, educators, advocates, and stakeholders.
  • Expands and solidifies the organization’s coalition within the broader St. Louis Community.
  • Develops resources to ensure a diverse and steady stream of funding to both build capacity within the field and enhance/expand quality services.


  1. Master’s degree in education, human service administration or related degree and a minimum of five years management experience is preferred.
  2. Ability to provide leadership to both Board of Directors and staff. Knowledge of funding sources, community resources, current best practices in the field, legislation and/or regulations pertinent to the alliance.
  3. Demonstrated experience working to address systematic inequities that prevent Black and Brown children from accessing high-quality early childhood care and education.
  4. Understands how to work across political boundaries to impact public policy. Is collaborative with state, regional, and local advocacy organizations to advance legislation that positively impacts early childhood education.
  5. Habits of Work, mindsets and approaches that are key to success in this role:
    • Shares the core value that the highest need communities should receive the most benefit.
    • Strong entrepreneurial inclination with a command of start-up business operations.
    • Develops an organization with long-term health and sustainability in mind.
    • Strategically and organizationally agile systems thinker.
    • Keeps the vision and mission; is able to motivate, rally, and infuse all organization action with a sense of shared purpose.
    • Respected reputation for effectiveness and sound judgment in their close professional community and broader network
    • Advocates for amplifying community voice; actively engages with those closest to the system.
    • Politically-savvy; attuned to the complexities of local ECE system-wide intricacies and able to navigate with sensitivity.
    • Seasoned networker who fosters new relationships to promote the organization while nurturing pre-existing relationships with community members of influence.


The projected compensation for this position is $125,00 to $150,000.

Compensation is supplemented by a strong benefits package including 403 (b), Dental insurance, Health insurance, Flexible Spending Account, Life Insurance, Vacation, Sick Leave, paid holidays, and personal leave.


St. Louis Community Foundation (fiscal sponsor of the Gateway Early Childhood Alliance) is committed to the principles of equal employment. We are committed to complying with all federal, state, and local laws providing equal employment opportunities, and all other employment laws and regulations. It is our intent to maintain a work environment that is free of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation because of age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation (including transgender status, gender identity or expression), sexual stereotyping, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation, and related medical conditions), marital status, physical or mental disability, genetic information (including testing and characteristics), association with anyone who is a member of a protected class, AIDS/HIV status, veteran status, uniformed servicemember status, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws.


The search for the Executive Director is being conducted by The Moran Company.

To apply for this position, submit a cover letter and resume to Ann Graff at the Moran Company. Resume should include all professional experience, dates of employment (month and year), position/title, and organization names.  APPLY NOW 

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