Manager of Press and Communication

Unit: Government Affairs
Reports To: Senior Director of Advocacy and Strategic Communication
Post Date: May 23, 2024
Location: While we are committed to a distributed approach with staff working remotely from across the nation, we prefer candidates
from or willing to move to the Washington, D.C., area for this role.
FLSA Status: Exempt


Please submit your cover letter, résumé, and an example of an advocacy campaign or project you helped lead (can be a link, a written document, a video, etc.) to with Manager of Press and Communication in the subject line. We thank you for your interest in NHSA and Head Start, and know that we will only consider complete candidate packages for this position. 


The National Head Start Association (NHSA) is a nonprofit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life. NHSA is the voice for nearly one million children, 200,000 staff, and 1,600 Head Start grant recipients in the United States. Since 1974, NHSA has worked diligently for policy changes that ensure all eligible children have access to Head Start’s 360 degree model of support for the whole child, the family, and the community.  


NHSA's vision is to lead - to be the untiring voice that will not be quiet until every vulnerable child is served with the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family, and the community - and to advocate - to work diligently for policy and institutional changes that ensure all eligible children and families have what they need to succeed. NHSA's mission is to coalesce, inspire, and support the Head Start field as a leader in early childhood development and education.


In today’s ever-evolving landscape, the importance of effective communication has never been greater. Amidst the political dynamics of 2024, early childhood education remains a critical issue, yet it faces challenges ranging from funding uncertainties to changing regulations.

As Head Start and Early Head Start providers face unique challenges navigating political instability, a national workforce crisis, and increased needs of children and families, NHSA is seeking a Manager of Press and Communication to advocate for the needs of children and families nationwide.

As NHSA's Manager of Press and Communication, you will have the opportunity to shape the narrative around these issues, amplifying the voices of Head Start and Early Head Start providers and advocating for policies that support their vital work.

You will serve as a spokesperson for NHSA, effectively communicating the impact of our programs and initiatives to a wide audience. You will play a crucial role in shaping the dialogue around early childhood education in 2024 and beyond. Your efforts will directly impact the lives of children and families across the country, ensuring they have access to the high-quality education and support they deserve.

Reporting to NHSA’s Senior Director of Advocacy and Strategic Communications, expect to spend time interacting with reporters, Congressional and Administration staff, Head Start and Early Head Start advocates, and, most importantly, with children and families we serve. This new position will be part of NHSA’s government affairs team and responsible for aligning external communications and marketing efforts with colleagues across NHSA.

NHSA practices a human-centered approach with Head Start children and families at the center of everything they do. Their network is vast (with programs literally in every Congressional district across the country) and the opportunity to expand their impact is great even in this political environment. This position will also help us create awareness and advocacy campaigns, using testimonials by Head Start alums, staff, volunteers and parent/caregivers, that break through the ‘noise’ in this age of distraction and exhaustion.


  • Develop and implement strategic media campaigns to raise awareness of the challenges facing Head Start and Early Head Start providers and advocate for policy solutions.
  • Forge and leverage relationships with national and local media outlets to ensure accurate and comprehensive coverage of early childhood education issues.
  • Craft compelling messaging and communications materials to engage policymakers, stakeholders, and the public in supporting Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
  • Reinvent NHSA’s social media presence and curate content to enhance impact and reach.
  • Assist with content development for various websites, marketing collateral, and events, including the NHSA Fall and Winter Leadership
  • Institutes and other conferences and trainings.
  • Navigate the political landscape to identify opportunities for collaboration and advocacy on behalf of Head Start and Early Head Start providers.
  • Work independently and proactively while being a dependable team player.
    Other relevant duties as assigned.


Minimum qualifications and skills:

  • Minimum of 4 years relevant work experience in writing, coordinating and managing press and communications strategies and campaigns, especially with a political focus.
  • Passion for Head Start’s commitment to ensuring every eligible child has the opportunity to succeed.
  • Successful track record in leading a cross-functional/cross-departmental team, with an ability to learn quickly and ask appropriate questions.
  • Proven analytical abilities for synthesis of information, strategy development, and identifying themes and relationships.
  • Strong task-orientation and organizational skills. Experience with establishing, managing and prioritizing multiple strategies and meeting deadlines.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with meticulous attention to detail and computer literacy.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills. Experience and ease working with large and small groups.
  • Desire for continuous learning and always improving in every facet of your work - your interpersonal professional relationships, your communication abilities, your impact, your team’s success, etc.
  • High tolerance for ambiguity. A high level of energy and a sense of humor.
  • Good judgment, flexibility, and problem-solving skills.

Salary is commensurate with experience.

These are preferred and not required:

  • Washington D.C.-based (Note: While NHSA is still operating as a remote organization and they are open to this position being anywhere in the US, there will be meetings, interactions, and efforts that will require extensive time spent in Washington D.C.  You’ll need to work with the organization to help figure out that plan should you be interested in the role and are not in the D.C. area).
  • Social media expertise including current trends and future opportunities, experience managing a non-profit’s brand on social media is a HUGE plus
  • Background and experience in negotiations, specifically in knowing when (and how) to fight and when to talk.
  • Spanish-writing and speaking proficiency with cultural competency
  • Experience with using WordPress


NHSA is proud of our inclusive, collaborative, and professional culture. We value and reward teamwork, initiative, creativity, and intellectual and professional growth.

Collaboration: NHSA works in teams— we share ideas, brainstorm endlessly, and constantly seek innovative ideas that advance NHSA’s and Head Start’s missions.

Vision: NHSA values colleagues who see and seize opportunities, take risks, learn from failure, and bring a relentless passion for our mission.

Creativity: NHSA team members use data to form original insights. We find ways to incorporate innovative ideas and approaches that exist in the rich and vital Head Start community to push our mission.

Mindfulness: NHSA has an organization-wide commitment to strive for excellence; we set clear objectives, achieve ambitious goals, ensure accountability for results, and focus on our impact.

Intellectual Growth: NHSA values those who are curious and hungry for knowledge. Reflecting Head Start’s nearly 60 years of commitment to continuous improvement, our staff is dedicated to personal and professional growth, understanding, and commitment to NHSA’s mission.

NHSA IS AN EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, marital status, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, personal appearance, family responsibilities, political affiliation, or enrollment in a college, university, technical school, or adult education.

Take Part

Join NHSA to help advance a strong and innovative early childhood profession.

Take Action

We need powerful advocates to secure a bright future for Head Start children and families.

Take Care

Support our early childhood workforce as they shape the lives of the next generation.