Innovation Associate
Fully Remote Lansing, MI Child Care Innovation Fund


Position Summary:

ECIC is partnering with the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education Advancement and Potential (Mi-LEAP) on the Caring for MI Future Initiative which is focused on increasing the number of child care programs across the state – including home-based child care businesses.  The Innovation Associate position will play a key role in helping to successfully implement a pilot of family child care networks – ultimately leading to improved policy, funding and regulations for this type of child care.  The Associate will build the capacity of family child care network hub organizations to support home-based child care businesses through technical assistance, educational and engagement opportunities. The Innovation Associate works closely with the Senior Director of the Child Care Innovation Fund, Innovation Fund team members, and with external partners to advance innovation and related policy changes at the state, regional, and local levels. The Innovation Associate will provide all forms of capacity building for grantees, including but not limited to:  

  • Designing and delivering individual and group capacity building opportunities to innovation grantees to support the successful implementation of their innovations.
  • Designing and facilitating meetings with external partners to support the design and scale up of innovations.
  • Identifying and overseeing the work of capacity building partners and collaborators.



Duties and Responsibilities:

This list is intended to represent job-related duties and should not be viewed as exhaustive.

  • Relationship management: Cultivate and manage new and existing relationships with innovation partners at the national, state, regional and local levels of the early childhood system.
  • Support data collection, research activities, and development of high-quality reports, policy analysis, issue briefs, explanations, and presentations.
  • Plan, coordinate, and provide all forms of capacity building for innovation grantees, including designing and facilitating Peer Learning Communities and progress meetings.
  • Develop and implement work plans for projects, track and review grantee progress and compliance, and create written materials necessary to support effective and compliant implementation of innovations by grantees.
  • Provide ongoing communications and coordination with capacity building partners and contractors.
  • Assist with the coordination and implementation of internal and external continuous improvement and evaluation activities.


Job Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field or equivalent experience
  • Three (3) years of related experience
  • Proficiency in assessing capacity needs, engaging stakeholders for capacity development, and identifying strengths.
  • Skilled in formulating, implementing, and evaluating capacity development strategies and responses.
  • Expertise in designing and executing data collection methods, including surveys, interviews, and observations, to gather qualitative and quantitative information.
  • Exceptional Service: Consistently provide outstanding service to internal and external stakeholders by understanding their needs and solving problems effectively. 
  • Clear Communicator: Ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and professionally both verbally and in writing.
  • A Systems Thinker: Able to maintain a big-picture focus while attending to detail.
  • Attention to Detail: Ability to maintain accuracy and attention to detail while managing multiple tasks, projects, and timelines.
  • Resourceful and Independent Problem Solver: Ability to use data and analytical skills to proactively identify opportunities, set priorities, and solve problems.
  • Relationship Building: Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills.
  • Cultural Competency & Inclusive Collaboration: Ability to partner with racially and ethnically diverse colleagues and community members. Demonstrated authentic commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity, skilled in the use of an equity lens.
  • Remote Work Proficient: Proficient in remote technologies including conference calls, online meetings, and webinars. This includes supporting dispersed teams and maintaining a remote workspace to ensure productivity and collaboration. 
  • Decision Making: Ability to work independently and make decisions aligned with general program goals, objectives, and policies. 
  • Ownership and Hustle: You possess a proven commitment to excellence, coupled with a proactive and energetic approach      characterized by enthusiasm and a positive attitude.
  • Organized: Highly organized, self-motivated, and able to work independently.
  • Receptive: Open to learning and accepting constructive feedback.
  • Proficient in communication and data collection tools such as Microsoft Office, Survey Monkey and Zoom. 

Physical Requirements:

  • Talking - Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word to impart oral information to others accurately. (3-4 hours daily)
  • Hearing - Perceiving the nature of sounds at normal speaking levels with or without correction. Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make the discriminations in sound. (3-4 hours daily)
  • Visual Acuity – Viewing objects with close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; and/or extensive reading. (6-7 hours daily)
  • Office Setting - Sedentary work in which exerting up to 10 pounds of force is occasional and a negligible amount of force is frequently or constantly used to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time.
  • Home Office Setting - Requires set up of home office in alignment with ECIC expectations for safe, secure, quiet space for work 
  • Remote work, with occasional travel within Michigan or to other geographical areas for projects, ECIC meetings and to meet the needs of the organization. This could be quarterly or more often depending on the needs of the organization.


Salary Description
$60,670 - $67,411