Join our team!

Head Start California (HSC) is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation supporting California’s Head Start programs serving over 100,000 children in poverty and their families. Our office is in downtown Sacramento, just a short walk from the state capitol, downtown restaurants and the Golden One Center.


Current open position(s): Public Affairs Manager


Job Title: Public Affairs Manager
Reports To: Executive Director
Status: Fulltime, Exempt
Salary Range: $61K-$82K
Application Deadline: Open until filled, priority consideration will be given to applications received by Monday, Aug. 12


Head Start California is seeking a Public Affairs Manager (PAM) to assist the executive director in advancing association interests by:

  • advocating for Head Start at the state and federal level.
  • engaging association members in association efforts.
  • attracting financial resources to support the association’s work.


The Public Affairs Manager will advance the association’s interests through three primary activities:


Policy advocacy (40%)

  • Staff HSC’s Policy Committee, assisting the committee to establish a policy platform, identify and track key legislation, and develop advocacy strategies.
  • Build partnerships and coalitions with organizations that will assist HSC in meeting desired policy outcomes.
  • Develop alliances with key elected officials.
  • Implement strategies and activities necessary to achieve policy goals.
  • Attend and testify at legislative hearings and assist members who attend and testify.


Member & community engagement (30%)

Serve on / attend and recruit Head Start leaders to serve on / attend early childhood, health and poverty workgroups, taskforce and commissions that are relevant to Head Start’s mission and association goals. This would currently include, but not be limited to, opportunities related to:

  • Lifting Children Out of Poverty Task Force
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Early Learning and Educational Support Stakeholder Group
  • CDE Preschool Development Grant
  • Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission Report
  • State Interagency Coordinating Council
  • Dept. Social Services – Community Care Licensing
  • Development of regulations for legislation impacting Head Start


Institutional advancement (20%)

Support the executive director in attracting additional resources to support Head Start California mission and goals.

  • Build relationships with foundations, government agencies, for-profit and non-profit businesses to attract contract and grant opportunities aligned with Head Start’s mission and association goals.
  • Lead grant- and contract-funded projects as directed.
  • Lead Power of 2 campaign.


General (10%) Other duties as assigned

Skills / Abilities

  • Superior communication skills with the ability to translate complex issues into a level appropriate for policymakers and the general population, orally and in writing
  • Savvy people management skills that include diplomacy, tact, fostering a team environment and a positive culture of collaboration
  • Effective project management skills with the ability to manage and prioritize multiple tasks and work autonomously under pressure of deadlines
  • Ability to work with diverse people, communities, and cultures, with an understanding of cultural awareness practices
  • Proficiency with technology, and specifically in Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel, SharePoint, Teams, One Drive, etc.).


Knowledge / Experience

Highly desirable

  • Knowledge of policy-making process at the state level
  • Knowledge / experience with Head Start or Early Head Start
  • Experience with / relationships in the state legislature
  • Knowledge of the state delivery systems impacting young children and families
  • Bilingual / biliterate in Spanish


  • Experience in the non-profit social sector
  • Experience with Salesforce or similar CRM database

Boring but important

  • Possess of a valid California Driver’s license and a reliable means of transportation
  • Ability to lift and carry supplies and equipment up to 40 lbs
  • Our work is sometimes physical, requiring setting up for meetings, which may require lifting or carrying cumbersome materials, e.g., easels, flip charts, refreshments, brochures, etc.


Experience, Education, and Training

  • Master’s degree in related field and 3 or more years’ experience; or,
  • Bachelor’s degree and 6 or more years’ of relevant work experience.


Salary Range: $61, 000 – $82,000 annually, depending on qualifications and experience. Benefits: Medical, dental, vision care, company paid life insurance, vacation, sick time, paid parking, and a simple IRA plan with an employer contribution.


We will accept applications until the position is filled.


For priority consideration, prepare a single PDF file that contains: 1) a one-page cover letter and, 2) a resume and email it to: HR@headstartca.org by close of business on Monday, August 12, 2019. Printed materials will not be accepted. The association does not pay relocation expenses or travel costs for applicants. You will be contacted only if you are selected for interview. We regret that we cannot respond to all applicants.


1st interviews: Aug. 20-22

2nd interviews: Aug. 26-27

Anticipated start date: Sep. 16, 2019