Policy and Outreach Associate/Specialist, Early Childhood Policy

Reports to: Director, Early Childhood Policy
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Education
Position classification: Exempt, full time
Minimum compensation: $54,000/$60,000


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Policy and Outreach Associate or Specialist on the Early Childhood Policy team in its Education department. The Policy and Outreach Associate or Specialist will manage key stakeholder relationships to advance the team’s strategic goals to increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for children from birth to age 5. They will work under the direction of the Early Childhood Policy team lead to advance a progressive agenda for early childhood issues at the federal, state, and local levels. This will include work on child care, preschool, infant health, Head Start, and other issues affecting young children and their families. The ideal candidate will apply strong project management, communications, relationship management, persuasive writing, and analytical skills as well as the ability to complete tasks both independently and as part of a team working across organizations. They will also work well in a fast-paced environment with competing priorities.

This position will be driven by American Progress’ mission “to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.” This work will also include connecting early childhood policy efforts with the organization’s five crosscutting priorities:

  • Strengthening health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust in democracy


  • Act as the team’s liaison to the Advocacy and Outreach department to develop campaign strategies that elevate child care and early learning as an issue in national/state elections and referenda.
  • Manage collaborative relationships across teams at American Progress to ensure alignment with organizationwide efforts.
  • Participate in a multi-organization effort to secure increases in federal child care funding and support state advocacy for child care by participating in partner calls and meetings.
  • Lead and facilitate a national coalition of early childhood and child care advocates focused on passing comprehensive state and federal child care reform.
  • Represent the team in meetings with early childhood coalitions and grassroots organizers, including helping plan aligned policy and advocacy actions and facilitate constituent engagement with federal elected officials.
  • Help facilitate digital communications for the early childhood policy team, including the team’s social media platforms and monthly newsletters, videos, op-eds, fact sheets, and social media toolkits that align with advocacy and policy goals rooted in racial, gender, and economic equity.
  • Execute the rollout of team products, such as reports, issue briefs, and fact sheets, to reach a wide range of audiences and maximize the impact of American Progress’ work.
  • Assist in the development, implementation, management, production, and distribution of team content as needed.
  • Build and refine coalition lists and email lists to develop American Progress’ network and reach new audiences.

Requirements and qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Two to four years of related experience for the Policy and Outreach Associate position; three to five years of related experience for the Policy and Outreach Specialist position.
  • Proven track record of project management, attention to detail, and organizing skills.
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically to advance a policy agenda.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to write in a variety of formats, such as op-eds, talking points, memos, and social media copy.
  • Ability to multitask and to set priorities under tight deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well on a team and across organizations.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial and economic equity.

The following are not required but are preferred:

  • Demonstrated record of early childhood policy advocacy and organizing work.
  • Experience launching campaigns from start to finish, with proven success in achieving campaign goals.
  • Established relationships within the progressive movement.
  • Experience with external affairs and communications.
  • Experience engaging with state legislatures or Congress.
  • Experience working on grassroots campaigns or organizing.

American Progress offers a full and competitive benefits package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 70. The minimum salary for the Policy and Outreach Associate position is $54,000. The minimum salary for the Policy and Outreach Specialist position is $60,000.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page

Apply Now

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to www.americanprogress.org. For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to www.americanprogressaction.org.