Humboldt County Office of Education: Early Childhood Educator I

Notice: In July 2022 HCOE classified job descriptions were re-classified. We are working to get the classifications changed on individual job descriptions. A PDF mapping these changes can be found here. For questions please contact the HCOE Personnel Office at (707) 445-7039.

HCOE Job Description

Early Childhood Educator I

Position Summary

Under the general direction of the Special Beginnings Principal, assists one or more teachers in the education of children within an early childhood classroom. Provides care and supervision of children in a preschool classroom. Maintains and prepares classroom environments and materials. Provides instructional assistance to individuals or small groups of children.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Early Childhood Educator (ECE) 1 provides instructional assistance and daily living activities to children in preschool classrooms. The ECE  1 is entry-level, requiring an Assistant Teacher permit or 6 semester units of early childhood education.

Supervision Received and Exercised

This position is under the supervision of the Department Manager and the classroom teachers. (SDC teacher and ECE 4)

Examples of Duties and Responsibilities (Examples of Essential Job Functions)

Duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assists the instructor to implement lesson plans by providing positive play-oriented learning experiences for children.
  • Assists the instructor by maintaining classroom order by observing the activities and children. These activities may be in or out of the classroom setting.
  • Observes, monitors and provides proactive behavior directions to students.
  • Participates in activities for preschool-aged children that involve interacting and playing with children.
  • Gives each student individual and special attention each day. Responds to each child’s particular needs and characteristics. Ensures all children receive equal attention.
  • Depending on age/development level, performs care-related duties, such as preparing meals, eating family-style with children and facilitating toilet training and rest periods with students.
  • Sets up and arranges supplies and equipment in the classroom as directed.
  • Prepares and washes eating utensils, cleaning supplies, eating and work surfaces, restrooms and other areas in a manner that satisfies sanitation and safety requirements.
  • Performs other duties as assigned that support the overall objective of the position.

Management reserves the right to add, modify, change or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the essential functions of the job.

Qualifications (aka Employment Standards)

Knowledge of:

  • Basic knowledge of principles and practices of age-appropriate early childhood development and guidance applicable for an educational setting.
  • Basic knowledge of instruction methods for preschool-age children.
  • Basic knowledge and skills using personal computers, recording information and sending communication.

Ability to:

  • Sufficient human-relation skills to work productively and cooperatively with teachers, students and parents in informal settings and to demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of students.

Education, Experience, and Requirements

Minimum Required: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities as qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:


  • Must possess an Assistant Teacher permit or qualify for one with 6 units of Early Childhood Education/Child Development units


  • Must have concurrent experience working with preschool-aged children in a play-oriented learning or equivalent environment
  • Pediatric First Aid & CPR Certificates are required within the first 90 days of employment

Working Conditions (Work Environment)

This position will be required to shift between indoor and outdoor work environments. Some county travel will be expected to attend staff trainings and meetings.

Environmental Elements

Workers in this position will predominantly work in a classroom setting, there will be time spent outside in play areas with students and colleagues. This position is public facing and will require interactions with the public, parents and staff.

Physical Demands   

  • Sit, stand and/or move about for extended periods.
  • Actively engage in play activities with students.
  • Visual acuity to read and write printed materials, computer screens and observe students’ movement.
  • Hearing and speech abilities for ordinary and telephonic conversations and to speak to small groups of children.
  • Sufficient manual and finger dexterity to point out important words/figures to students and to operate personal computers.
  • Ambulatory ability to move around the preschool classroom, playgrounds and assist with play-oriented learning activities.
  • Ability to lift children, carry, push and move supplies/furniture/etc. of light-to-medium weight (under 40 lbs.) on an intermittent basis.
  • Demonstrate competence in communicating effectively with children and parents, staff members and representatives of other agencies.
  • Ability to assist teaching staff with the implementation of play-oriented instructional goals and activities.
  • Ability to respond to student needs with interventions or activities with individual students.
  • Ability to conduct informal reading and project circles with students.

Other Requirements

  • Must be fingerprinted and a satisfactory Department of Justice records check must be received by HCOE prior to employment.
  • TB testing and/or risk assessment will be required upon employment.
  • Must pass a pre-employment physical (if applicable).
  • May be required to obtain first aid and CPR certificates within the first 6 to 12 months of employment.
  • May be required to drive with or without students; some positions may require a California driver’s license, proof of insurance and possible participation in the DMV PUll Notice Program once employed.
  • May require knowledge and competency in a second language.

Classified hourly, Range 4, Reclassified from Range 3 | Personnel Commission Approved: April 11, 2023

Administration Office

Natalie Carrigan
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent

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Natalie Carrigan
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent