Early Childhood Education Specialist #430

LifeWorks NW is a private, non-profit organization providing prevention, mental health, substance use treatment, and related social services to youths, adults, and older adults in over fifteen locations throughout Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. LifeWorks NW promotes a healthy community by providing quality and culturally responsive mental health and addiction services across the lifespan.

Our core values-Recovery and Relationships, Resilience, and Results-inform the work we do. The four pillars of the strategic vision include Compassionate, Impactful Care, Holistic Health, Passionate Team, and Thriving Organization. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are critical to successfully achieving the mission. We know that "life works" when people get the help they need and are dedicated to changing lives.

The Early Childhood Education Specialist is responsible for developing and implementing the curriculum and related program components including: classroom and home visit planning, prevention and intervention programs for at risk children 0 - 5 and their families, ongoing assessment, and case coordination. Knowledge of child development and ability to work effectively with teams including disciplines in mental health, early intervention, and connecting with diverse families.

As a behavioral health organization, LifeWorks NW employees are required to have had their COVID 19 vaccination (or have an approved medical/religious exemption) per State of Oregon rules. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required upon hire. 

Location: This position is based out of LifeWorks NW's Gladstone site. 

Pay/Benefits: $18.42 to $19.80 per hour. This position is 40 hours a week. Full benefits.

Essential Responsibilities: (Must be able to be performed with or without reasonable accommodation.)

  • This position requires provision of services in a toddler/preschool classroom and playground setting as well as in participating families' homes in the community. Position involves supervision of children with emotional and physical responsiveness, and awareness of them at all times.
  • Enroll and schedule children in classroom or respite services maintaining Relief Nursery ratio and standards.
  • Plan, develop, and implement curriculum, daily activities, and routines for children.
  • Determine materials required to implement the daily activity plan
  • Assess child and family needs through family assessment tools, home visits, and informal contact; address needs through intervention strategies including written, oral, and hands-on assistance.
  • Assist with and/or administer assessments and diagnostic screening instruments at appropriate intervals.
  • Develop goals for individual child plans and family service plans based on assessments.
  • Evaluate child and family progress through written records and interactions with parents.
  • Arrange for transportation for families as appropriate.
  • Transport clients and families in a LifeWorks NW vehicle. CRN EC Specialists are requred to drive CRN buses daily to pick up and drop off children.
  • Provide classroom supervision, informal training, and evaluation for Volunteers and Interns.
  • Manage cases for assigned children and families providing developmentally appropriate and therapeutic activities for children and community based referrals and support services for families as needed.
  • Travel between sites or in the community as needed.
  • Conduct home visits with families focusing on parent-child interaction, developmentally appropriate expectations, positive guidance and limit setting, nurturance, and strength based support for families. Assign child and families to resources, referrals, and information as appropriate.
  • Provide 1-4 home visits per month for each family on caseload with an average of 5-6 home visits a week or as required by the program for a full-time Early Education Specialist.
  • Network with community agencies for education and resource referral purposes.
  • Provide follow up services for families as they enter and exit services including phone contact, home and site visits, referral assistance, and crisis intervention.
  • Conduct objective evaluations.
  • Maintain client confidentiality.
  • Adhere to guidelines for mandated reporter status.
  • Interact respectfully, confidently, sensitively and non-judgmentally with young children and their families.
  • Work independently and as a team member. Display a positive attitude toward work; instill positive, optimistic attitude in co-workers.
  • Problem solve and develop creative approaches to provide program services.
  • Maintain calm demeanor in crisis situations.
  • Continually increase level of cultural sensitivity, awareness, and competency.
  • Meet performance standards for direct client care, documentation, quality (including engagement and evidence-based practices), and teamwork as defined in the performance review.
  • Participate in a culture of feedback at the agency by eliciting feedback to promote professional growth and assess work effectiveness.
  • Use Feedback-Informed Treatment service delivery approach to obtain and review feedback from clients regarding the fit and effectiveness of the services provided to them.

Documentation and Program Outcome Functions

Complete documentation in electronic health record system. Check e-mail/voicemail daily when working.

Document visit interactions focusing on parent-child dynamics. Document classroom notes and progress.

Maintain daily attendance, status reports, USDA meal counts, and all required tracking and reporting forms.

Observe, report, and record significant child behavior or indicators.

Complete case management files of pertinent child and family information and enter information in to database.

Maintain up to date signed documents.

Provide pertinent oral and written information for Clinical Supervisor/Program Director; including incident reports, child protection services reports, child illness and contagious health incidences.

Provide needed information for outcome reporting in time allotted

Professional Development

Apply research informed knowledge and practices in regard to early childhood development, brain development, trauma, attachment security, parent-child relationship, stress factors and learning, positive parenting and classroom approaches.

Incorporate therapeutic principles, emergent curriculum and positive behavior support in daily practices.

Maintain required continuing education hours for child care division.

Lifelong learning model of openness to innovation, program/service improvement, flexibility and willingness to change.

Use of supervision with child and family therapist to advance understanding of children and families and complex family circumstances.

Apply increasing expertise in service provision and practices.

Participate in regular individual and team meetings with supervisor. Attend informational and clinical meetings which may include all staff and team meetings, meetings with community partners, consultation with other staff, and required trainings. Participate in special events as determined by staff or program.

Requirements: (Equivalent education and/or experience may be substituted for qualifications. Requirements are representative of minimum levels of knowledge, skills and/or abilities. To perform this job successfully, the employee will possess the abilities or aptitudes to perform each task proficiently.)

  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in Early Childhood Education, Education, Health, Social Services or related field OR three years of experience in early childhood education, health social services or related field.
  • Minimum one year case management experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of intervention and crisis principles and techniques for at risk children and families including: substance use issues, adult mental health, domestic abuse and affects of violence on children, and early childhood trauma.
  • Knowledge of community resources including housing, food, health, domestic violence, shelters.
  • Knowledge of child maltreatment indicators and prevention.
  • Spanish language fluency preferred and required for Bilingual Early Childhood Education position.
  • Valid first aid/CPR certifications and valid Food Handlers card.
  • Requires access to a car and valid driver's license.
  • Ability to drive a LifeWorks NW van is required. If driving the LifeWorks NW van, must be able to meet LifeWorks NW driving requirements.
  • Must be able to pass criminal background check.
  • Good computer skills including a functional knowledge of Outlook and Word. Ability to master proprietary software including electronic health record system.
  • Demonstrates effective communication skills and maintains a cooperative working relationship with others in a culturally diverse environment.
  • Ability to perform essential functions of job without creating a direct threat to the safety of self or others.

Work Activities

Providing Direct Client Care - Individual, family, parenting, and group skills training; case management; and occasional crisis support.

Assisting Clients - Responsible for rendering assistance in clean up duties involving the bodily fluids spill kit.

Communicating with Supervisors or Peers - Providing information to supervisors and co-workers by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic form.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others and maintaining them over time.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Performing General Physical Activities - This job requires lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling up to 30 pounds on a frequent basis, and up to 50 pounds occasionally. Prolonged periods of sitting, standing, and walking may be required. Stooping, kneeling, bending, balancing, reaching, and use of the hands may occur throughout the workday.

Includes bending, sitting on the floor, lifting, carrying, and fast walking/running during a 3 - hour classroom time 4 days a week. Many activities with children and children and parents together take place on the floor both in classrooms and in homes.

Employee must be able to:

Safely lift and carry children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.

Quickly and effectively respond to a wide variety of circumstances in both emergency and non-emergency situations, in both indoor and outdoor settings, and in public and private or residential locations.

Secure children in car seats, assist children on and off the bus, and assume responsibility for monitoring children during transit.

Must be able to perform work in a variety of settings, including clients' homes and other public locations.

Maintain a safe environment for children at all times.

Home visits - Requires navigating various housing situations including stairs, narrow walkways and homes that may have issues of clutter, allergens, limited furniture etc.


Counseling - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Monitoring - Monitoring/assessing one's own performance, that of other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Working Conditions

CRN staff work on site during morning in the Therapeutic Classrooms. Work is Community-Based home visiting in the afternoons and Friday's doing home visiting. The total workday is from 7:30am-4pm.

Early Childhood Specialists are required to use their earned PTO for vacation time during the following calendar Therapeutic Classroom Breaks:

Summer 2 weeks

Spring 1 week

Winter 2 weeks

Equal Opportunity Employer


Drug Free/Tobacco Free Site 01/09