Executive Director

South of Market Child Care, Inc. (SOMACC) - San Francisco, CA

Founded in 1970, South of Market Child Care, Inc. (SOMACC) celebrates 49 years of serving children, their families and the community by providing early childcare, preschool education, and free comprehensive family support services in safe and nurturing environments. From the beginning, SOMACC has focused on serving low-income, recent immigrant and homeless populations, as well as full-pay families, using Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) for infants and toddlers, the Reggio Emilia Approach for preschoolers. Competitive and negotiable, based on experience, up to $140,000 plus generous benefits. 


The Executive Director embodies SOMACC values -- service to the disadvantaged, dedication to social justice, the potential of every child in his/her unique way to learn, grow and thrive, consistent with RIE and Reggio Emilia approaches to early childhood development. The Executive Director promotes the highest and best aspirations of the children and families served, inspiring with enthusiasm, energy, and vision the Board, staff, funders, community partners, and all others touched by the work of SOMACC. The Executive Director radiates warmth, concern, acceptance, and caring – aware at all times that at the heart of the organization’s best work is the quality of interpersonal relationships. The Executive Director, as the chief executive officer, is responsible for implementing all policy decisions of the Board, and for the management and operation of all programs and services provided by SOMACC. S/he oversees the administrative and fiduciary functions, and is solely responsible for employing and organizing staff to achieve SOMACC’s goals. S/he inspires trust and confidence, is transparent and authentic, and leads staff colleagues and board in a unifying, collaborative style.  S/he represents SOMACC to the community, and builds strong relationships with the residents of San Francisco, with leaders at every level of community involvement, with the schools, public officials and government executives, with local media, and, with funders. 

Specifically, the Executive Director:

  • Creates a happy, healthy, caring, collegial learning community for students, families, staff and Board.
  • Helps determine and ensure, in partnership with the governing Board, that the mission, vision and values of SOMACC remain at the forefront of all business decisions, and that SOMACC operates effectively in every respect.  Is able to identify and employ metrics of success that will support data-based monitoring of every aspect of program and operations, working closely with management staff to inform Board and staff decision-making.
  • Anticipates changing community needs with vision and imagination, is a perceptive student of the educational, developmental, and clinical needs of children, and especially for low-income families, understands how to apply limited resources to the whole-child advancement of such children, is planful in the provision of services and is responsible and accountable for execution of all such plans, demonstrating the ability to translate vision into implementation.
  • Works closely with all external government funding sources to maximize support to different child populations served. Works closely with Board members and the community to identify, cultivate, and solicit individuals, foundations, and corporations for charitable gifts in support of the programs and operating costs of SOMACC. Promotes inter-organizational partnerships, like those presently with First Five and Mercy Housing, wherever collaboration can enhance such services.  Has the expertise, credibility and gravitas to be a trusted partner to the Board and other volunteers offering their time and expertise, and to win the respect and confidence of caring and sophisticated funders.
  • Demonstrates a high level of business acumen. Has the ability to stretch limited resources with a no-job-too-small attitude that encourages hard and dedicated work, inventiveness in execution of program, frugal priority-setting, efficient effectiveness. Oversees the development and management of budget, oversees revenues and expenditures, monitors cash flow, maintains internal controls and financial discipline, and works closely with the Board to ensure the financial wellbeing of the organization. Remains always sensitive to the financial ramifications and fine balances among services to the poor, affordability to the tuition-paying, the essentials of quality services, and the needs of staff.
  • Values diversity and is highly sensitive and responsive to the needs of multicultural and multilingual staff, community, families, and children.
  • Is transparent, trustworthy and open in engaging with all stakeholders. Partners comfortably in a union environment.
  • Is an articulate, persuasive, credible, charismatic advocate to parents, donors, and other community stakeholders, government, and the media, promoting SOMACC, Reggio Emilia education, and the importance of early childhood care and development.
  • Takes executive responsibility for SOMACC compliance with all applicable non-profit laws, contractual obligations, daycare and preschool licensing, land use and zoning requirements, and funder restrictions, and maintains appropriate internal policies and procedures to ensure such compliance.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Sincere affection for low income children and their families, understanding of their challenges and needs, and an infectious passion - the proverbial “fire-in-the-belly”- for early childhood education and mental health. Will be committed to RIE and Reggio Emilia principles of curriculum and teacher engagement, promoting the empowerment of children of all ages to master their learning. Multicultural sensitivity, dedication to social justice, and comfort surrounded by diverse stakeholders. Expertise in early child development and dedication to the education of inner-city children, understanding of the clinical needs of children and their families, appreciation of the special needs of traumatized children. Ideally, extensive classroom experience and understanding of such organizations at every level.
  • A history of and reputation for uncompromising integrity, inspiring trust in SOMACC, its board, its staff, its relationships with students and families, partnering organizations, funders, the community at large.
  • Visionary ability to conceive new, expanded, improved services, both comfort with and ability to strategize and scale, and the capacity to execute on plan.
  • Fundraising skills and the ability to recruit and fuel the efforts of volunteers.
  • Extensive non-profit and/or philanthropic leadership experience, ability to manage the boundary between executive leadership and a governing board, and a lifelong history of public service.
  • Profit and loss experience, a strategic perspective, entrepreneurial ability, and proven leadership, with a broad array of skills transferable to a mid-sized non-profit organization.
  • Comfort with information technology and the ability not only to employ new technologies but to engage internal and external technical expertise to update infrastructure in support of efficient and effective operations.
  • Exceptional communication skills, most importantly with a highly evolved capacity for active listening; facility with synthesizing information, and promoting interactive processes eye-to-eye, in groups, before audiences, in writing. Appreciation of the importance to leadership of high visibility to all staff and parents, of frequent presence in classrooms, in meetings, at stakeholder events, projecting an image of total involvement at all levels. Sincere enjoyment of community-wide activities, promoting a high profile of the SOMACC as the face and voice of the organization.           
  • Ability to identify, recruit, and engage able staff, and to motivate and mentor colleagues. A genuine understanding of and commitment to staff development through internal trainings and external associations. Commitment to high level performance of staff, of accountability by staff, ability to reward quality performance as well as to make difficult personnel decisions when necessary.
  • Ability to delegate to staff and to micromanage only when necessary; ability to maintain a healthy executive balance among managing up, managing out, and managing down responsibilities; ease with completing any task, however minor, if the interests of SOMACC are served.
  • Flexibility to be accessible and present to all constituencies; the ability to lead from behind or by example; the mature judgment and confidence to follow and to give credit wherever due; the internal strength and humility to inspire respect.
  • Persistence, sensitivity, and attention to detail.
  • High energy, durability, a healthy sense of humor.

How to Apply

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Contact Info

Dr. Robert M. Fisher

Job Details

Category: Management

Type: FT

Location: San Francisco, CA

Salary: Competitive Salary

Posted On: August 12th, 2019

Agency Details

Website: https://www.somacc.org/

SOMACC, with a budget of about $4 million and 57 staff, serves 130+ infants and young children, and hundreds of families each year. SOMACC plans to serve another 40 to 50 children with the completion of its new Transbay Child Development Center.  The successful new Executive Director will be deeply committed to and experienced in early childhood education, dedicated to the needs of inner city children and families, and will possess exceptional nonprofit leadership, advocacy and institution-building abilities.


Lifelong learning and educational achievement appropriate to the complexity of the position. Ideally, will be qualified or able quickly to qualify with a Child Development Program Director Permit (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing). Advanced degrees in teaching, early childhood education, counseling, child development, management are preferred. Experience as a teacher with Reggio Emilia education a major plus.