VP, Child Development Programs

VP, Child Development Programs

Ada S. Mckinley Community Services, Inc.

Chicago, IL   |   September 27, 2021

About Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc

The mission of Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc. (“Ada S. McKinley” or “Ada”) is to empower, educate, and employ people to change lives and strengthen communities.

The agency was founded as a settlement house in 1919 by Ada Sophia McKinley, a schoolteacher and social reformer, who saw the need to assist veterans returning from World War I and African Americans migrating from the South. Currently celebrating its 100th year anniversary, Ada S. McKinley is one of the largest human services organizations in the country with an annual operating budget of nearly $40 million, nearly 600 employees, serving more than 7,000 people annually at over 70 locations. Services are provided 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, primarily in Illinois/Chicago with additional sites in Indiana and Wisconsin.

Ada S. McKinley has three primary areas of service:  Child Development & Youth Services, Employment & Community Support, and Behavioral Health & Clinical. Services rendered daily include:

  • Tutoring, mentoring and college placement;
  • Family support and stabilization programming;
  • Foster care;
  • Housing opportunities;
  • Youth and family counseling;
  • Employment training and placement; and
  • Head Start and Early Head Start programing.

As it relates to this job opportunity, Ada’s Child Development program provides Head Start (HS) & Early Head Start (EHS) programming to over 400 children ages birth to five. Services are provided to communities in the south-side of Chicago through two program models:

  • Center-Based Services are inclusive of 15 locations which provide safe, nurturing, and developmentally stimulating environments that offer full-day programming.
  • Home Visiting Services are provided within the family’s home in order to support healthy developmental growth of children through parental bonding and curriculum-based activities.

The vision of Ada S. McKinley is for all people to have the opportunity for education and employment. Under the leadership of CEO Jamal Malone, Ada continues to focus its resources and activities on improving and expanding opportunities for Chicago’s most vulnerable communities. The agency entered its 2019 Centennial year on a viable path into the next century and prepared for another century of growth and leadership as one of Chicago’s leading human services organizations.

To learn more about Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc., please visit their website.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Child Development and Youth Services, the Vice President of Child Development Programs (“Vice President”) provides strong leadership in areas including, but not limited to, the development of new and existing services, the development and implementation of operational standards, budgetary and financial management, customer services, quality assurance and human resource responsibilities. The position has overall responsibility for all activities related to the effective and efficient functioning of Child Development services and programming.

The Vice President maintains thorough knowledge on all Head Start, Early Head Start and other applicable requirements and ensures all aspects of programming and services meet these requirements. The position oversees all reporting requirements of the funding and monitoring entities and serves as the primary point of contact with Chicago’s Department of Family Support and Services (DFSS).

This Vice President serves on the Ada S. McKinley Leadership Team and participates in all functions included in being a member of this team. The position ensures all program elements align with the organization’s mission and strategic plan strategies.

The ideal candidate will maintain strong interpersonal and communication skills, develop a strong team approach and lead from both a position of accountability and compassion.

Candidate Profile

Leading candidates will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

An Action-Oriented Leader with Strong Execution Skills

The Vice President is a tactical and results-oriented leader with the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources. This individual will guide and lead an empowered team in order to implement the course of action for achieving Ada’s vision. The Vice President brings an ability to leverage the expertise of the staff and provides or secures any needed training and technical assistance for all program staff in order to ensure program quality and professional development opportunities. This leader will understand and approach complexities with ease and be able to creatively overcome obstacles to achieve the organization’s goals.

Operational Acumen and Results Orientation

A proven leader, the Vice President will also bring the ability and confidence to ensure that the Child Development Programs are run efficiently and effectively. This leader will have the ability to conceptualize and analyze problems and solutions in a proactive, constructive and creative manner. As a result, there will be improved performance across all service areas with ongoing critical assessment systems to actively confirm the needs of communities are being met. The Vice President has primary responsibility in ensuring program and service delivery compliance. The Vice President will also be expected to remain knowledgeable of all current and updated Head Start, Early Head Start (EHS), Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) mandates and requirements, as well as new developments in best practice and knowledge in the area of child development and early learning.

Program Planning and Community Development

This leader will assess for community and program service gaps and recommend new initiatives and work to secure new funding sources essential to the continuation and expansion of programming. The Vice President will foster positive working relationships with the Ada S. McKinley community, partners, funding sources and regulatory bodies. They will identify and establish, in conjunction with program staff, appropriate linkages and partnerships with other service providers as resource options and supports for staff and program participants. The Vice President is expected to represent Ada S. McKinley on child development and early learning related committees, workgroups and meetings providing expertise and enthusiasm alongside Ada’s leadership.

Passion for the Mission

The Vice President will embody the values and mission of Ada S. McKinley and, as a result, will inspire and motivate others to push the “One Ada” vision forward in a collaborative manner. An empathic, confident leader, the Vice President will treat others with respect. The Vice President will lead by example, understanding that at times, empathy is an essential quality. The ideal candidate will understand the social services landscape and will have an eye consistently focused on the future and how to best adapt the approach to the changing environment of social services. The Vice President will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values – someone who can be trusted without reservation.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Marissa Delgado & George Theotokatos of Koya Partners are leading this search. To express interest in this role please email [email protected] All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.