Research and Policy Staff Attorney – Early Childhood Education
Advocates for Children of New York, Inc. (AFC) seeks an attorney to join the Early Childhood Education Project to provide direct representation, community education, and policy advocacy to improve access to early childhood education for young children (ages 0-5) from low-income backgrounds so they can enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.
AFC is a not-for-profit social justice organization that strives to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low-income backgrounds. AFC works on behalf of children and youth who are at greatest risk of academic failure due to poverty, race, ethnicity, disability, homelessness, immigration status/limited English proficiency, or involvement in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems. We use uniquely integrated strategies to advance systemic reform, empower families and communities, and advocate for the educational rights of individual students.
The majority of the attorney’s work will involve providing case assistance to help parents secure appropriate early intervention, preschool, and kindergarten services and placements for their young children. The attorney will provide families with information about their rights; participate in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings for students with disabilities; advocate with the Department of Education to resolve problems; and represent parents in special education administrative hearings. The attorney will also provide technical assistance to other attorneys and professionals who are working to help connect young children with the early childhood education services they need.
The attorney will present know-your-rights workshops to parents and professionals to provide them with information about early childhood education programs and services. The attorney will also develop and update guides and other informational materials.
The attorney will advocate to help strengthen and expand high-quality early childhood programs and services that prepare young children for kindergarten, with a particular focus on children with developmental delays or disabilities, students from immigrant families, and children who are homeless. This work may include participation in coalitions and work groups and analysis of proposed regulations and legislation.
We are looking for an attorney with up to three years of legal experience. Applicants should have a strong commitment to public interest law and public education; excellent oral and written advocacy skills, research and analytical skills, organizational skills, flexibility, and initiative; and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively. Experience and/or knowledge of education, disability, or general civil rights law is preferred. Direct representation experience is preferred. Fluency in a language other than English, especially Spanish, is strongly preferred.
The salary depends on experience and includes generous benefits.
AFC is an affirmative action employer that actively encourages applications from a broad spectrum of people, including people of color, with disabilities, and of diverse religions, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations and socioeconomic backgrounds.
For more information on AFC, see www.advocatesforchildren.org.