Voices for Illinois Children champions the full development of every child in Illinois to assure the future well-being of everyone in the state. We work with families, communities, and policymakers across multiple issue areas to help children grow up healthy, happy, safe, loved, and well-educated.
The Early Childhood Policy Analyst supports our work on early childhood advocacy and systems building, which includes evidence-based home visitation, high quality early care and education, early intervention screening and services, promotion and prevention of physical and mental health issues for young children. The Early Childhood Policy Analyst advances our policy and system-building priorities by representing Voices within multiple local and state partnerships; supporting coalitions, supporting and implementing legislative and budgetary campaigns; analyzing and drafting policy proposals; advocating with local, state and federal policymakers; preparing and presenting public communications on these issues; and activating Voices’ Children’s Agenda’s supporters to advance our policy priorities. This is a full-time position. This role reports directly to Madelyn James.
Promote the organization’s early childhood policy priorities, including tracking and analyzing community initiatives, programs, legislative policies and funding;
Promote implementation of long and short-term public policy campaigns to achieve organizational goals, with emphasis on statewide efforts around early childhood issues and race equity;
Provide substantive and strategic analysis of government budgets (school district, city, county, and state);
Identify opportunities to address disparities in child outcomes related to systemic inequities, and socio-economic and health status.
Research early childhood policies and investigate trends
Author policy and advocacy materials in collaboration with the organization’s senior leadership and communication’s consultants, including policy reports, advocacy action alerts, issue briefs, infographics, op-eds, and testimony.
Build trusted relationships between Voices’ and key stakeholders, including government officials, children’s advocacy groups, child care and service providers, parents and community leaders;
Represent Voices’ at community events, panels, and requests on legislative and policy issues.
Provide analysis and input for Voices’ annual goals;
Actively coordinate and partner with Voices’ team members on all key issues affecting young children;
Work with senior leadership to identify funding sources and contribute to reports to funders, as needed;
Ensure that all work is delivered on-time, within scope, and within budget; provide regular reports on progress against goals to members of the team and senior leadership;
Participate in the development and implementation of the organization’s communications plan.
Other duties as assigned.
Education and Experience:
This position requires experience that is normally developed through a Master’s program in policy, public administration, or education and a minimum of five years of relevant programmatic and policy experience. Experience in and comfort communicating with and building relationships with high level community leaders; ability to use data in shaping policy messages; experience in diverse coalition-building and working in a team environment; ability to communicate complex information clearly in writing and in oral presentations to a range of audiences; strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
Preferred Skills and Characteristics:
Highly collaborative style; experience developing and implementing advocacy strategies.
Substantive expertise in children’s issues, particularly around early childhood.
Ability to sift through and simplify complex information, to communicate it to a general audience.
Excellent writing/editing and verbal communications skills.
Advanced knowledge of MS Office, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, including such experiences as linking worksheets and creating formulas in Excel, and creating PowerPoint presentations;
Comfort working with news, print, and broadcast media.
Self-starter, high level of initiative, independent.
Energy, enthusiasm, and passion for children’s education and related issues.
Detail-oriented and diligent in follow through.
Team player, well-organized, and collaborative.
Holds a valid Driver’s license.
To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples to Jennifer Neals at firstname.lastname@example.org. Writing samples must be a 3-5 page report or policy brief on a topic related to an early childhood policy issue. NO PHONE CALLS.
Voices for Illinois Children is an Equal Opportunity Employer that supports equal access for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. We strongly encourage people of color, people with disabilities, women, veterans and LGBTQ candidates to apply.
Additional Salary Information:
Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Voices for Illinois Children offers a competitive benefits package, including employer-provided health insurance, generous retirement plan, and paid vacation.
Voices for Illinois Children is an independent, non-partisan advocate for responsible public investment and policies that give Illinois children and families the resources they need to live healthy and stable lives.