Executive Director

The Oak Park River Forest Day Nursery (The Day Nursery) is a not-for-profit early childhood organization located in Oak Park, Illinois. The Executive Director of The Day Nursery leads the organization to promote the mission of providing exceptional early childhood education in an environment that welcomes all children, enhancing individual strengths, and fostering the academic, social-emotional, and physical development that leads to school readiness.

At the Day Nursery we are committed to:

  • Individualized Learning - embracing each child's unique strengths and needs by individualizing every learning experience and ensuring school readiness.
  • Engagement - building strong, healthy relationships with each other, our children & their families, along with the community through communication and understanding of the cultures around us. To partner with families, empowering them to actively participate in their child's learning process.
  • Positive, Safe Environment - providing an uplifting and positive atmosphere for our children and staff; a fun learning experience in a secure, safe, and loving environment for all children and families.
  • Excellence - achieving the greatest levels of excellence, with integrity, in childcare, in education, and in everything we do so that our children and staff can reach their highest level of excellence. We aim to do this by being highly professional, innovative, creative, effective, and efficient.
  • Leadership - serving as a thought leader for advocacy and best practice in early childhood education in the community and beyond.

As The Day Nursery Executive Director, you will:

  • Incorporate the organization’s mission, culture, and values to build and maintain an inclusive environment for children, families, and staff.
  • Oversee day to day operations and employee daily responsibilities to effectively manage the organization. This includes guiding the leadership team and providing feedback to help each employee grow.
  • Promote the organization’s mission, culture and values to generate, raise and/or secure funding for high-quality early childhood education programming.
  • Identify opportunities to promote and market The Day Nursery to maintain and grow enrollment levels, retain/recruit staff, and increase donors.
  • Oversee proactive communication and regular meetings with staff to build a strong team.
  • Serve as the key leadership contact for The Day Nursery Board (“Board”), volunteers, internal and external stakeholders and promote effective communication in a professional work environment.
  • Exercise supervisory authority, including hiring, managing conduct and performance, discharging, assigning, rewarding, disciplining, training, and onboarding
  • Develop and audit the budget, process payroll, and manage all fiscal responsibilities.
  • Establish objectives to ensure appropriate use of financial, administrative, and staffing resources.
  • Ensure compliance with all state and federal early childhood regulations related to operating a nonprofit and a licensed day care center.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience applying regulations pertaining to early childhood education
  • Provide oversight over the general upkeep and maintenance of the historical building, including prioritizing capital projects and sourcing contractors for discussion with the Board

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, nonprofit management or business is required. Preference will be given to candidates with a Master’s degree in business, nonprofit management, and/or human services.
  • Meet Illinois state licensing requirements or commit to meeting the requirements within the timeframe required to be Director qualified in the state of Illinois.
  • At least five years of leadership and teaching experience in a high-quality program required; experience in a NAEYC-accredited center strongly preferred.
  • Demonstration of raising, generating and/or securing funding to sustain and grow an organization, with a preference towards early childhood funding sources.
  • Demonstration of marketing and outreach strategies to create and maintain relationships within the broader community.
  • Proven record of outstanding customer service skills, strong organizational skills, the ability to think critically, manage time, and manage multiple situations effectively.
  • Experience of partnering with a Board of Directors to develop and implement strategic plans.
  • Have successful financial management experience including the ability to develop and manage a budget, set appropriate financial policies, complete other financial tasks and oversee Operations Director responsibilities and administrative support staff.
  • The ability to provide supervision, support and leadership to staff responsible for the organization’s administrative functions, the educational quality, and staff professional growth.
  • Candidates must provide proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to ensure compliance with enhanced health and safety protocols and to keep yourself and others safe and free from illness.

Salary: $80,000 - $95,000 commensurate with demonstrated capacity to excel in the role.

Job Type: Full-time

Benefits: Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance; 403b; Vacation, Sick and PTO


The Day Nursery is dedicated to creating a workforce that promotes and supports diversity and inclusion. We provide equal employment opportunities to all individuals without discrimination. The Day Nursery complies with the federal and state laws and regulations regarding EEO, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA). Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact Michelle Arnold, President of the Board. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


How to apply: Submit a cover letter, resume or CV, copies of your educational transcripts, certifications, and proof of COVID vaccinations to Michelle Arnold, President of the Board, [email protected]


Please direct any questions to same contact email.