Washington, D.C. (temporary hybrid schedule: in office Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and as needed)

About First Five Years Fund

At First Five Years Fund* (FFYF), our mission is to ensure that all children, especially those from low-income families, have equitable access to a continuum of affordable, comprehensive, high-quality early care and education (ECE) to support their healthy development and help them reach their full potential. To achieve our mission, we work to sustain and expand bipartisan support for early learning, while identifying and advancing new and innovative ways to increase access to high-quality early childhood education for children from low-income families. With so many children from birth through the age of five living in poverty, there is a tremendous need for greater investments and policies that expand access to high-quality opportunities that lay the foundation for a healthy and productive future.

FFYF was founded to be singularly dedicated to early childhood issues – and, more specifically, federal ECE advocacy. FFYF is unique and effective because of our:

  • Integration across the work
    We employ three core divisions of labor – communications and public relations, policy and partnerships, and government relations and outreach – that are intentionally integrated, each playing a central role.
  • Proactive, bipartisan consensus-building
    We engage in strategic consensus-building and seek to guide productive conversations to protect the issue from polarization. We identify areas of agreement, as well as where to engage and push. We lead conversations with what is persuasive to entry in the moment, considering all relevant context. We meet people where they are and help them get to where we want them to be.
  • Simultaneous short- and long-term approach
    We create opportunities for strategic victories – great and small – that build toward our long-term goal, while employing careful discipline to ensure short-term political or policy victories do not compromise long-term support and funding for early learning and care from birth through age five.
  • Proactive advocacy while responsive to Washington’s current/changing agenda?
    We strategically account for, and take advantage of, the external environment including the realities of the legislative schedule and the political environment.

To learn more about FFYF, please visit www.ffyf.org.

*FFYF is an independent project of Start Early.

Position Summary

Reporting to FFYF’s Managing Director, Policy & National Partnerships, the Policy Manager is broadly responsible for analyzing data, monitoring the federal early care and education (ECE) policy landscape, and recommending positions on ECE policy issues.

The Policy Manager directly supervises FFYF’s Policy Research Associate and interns.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Track:
    • Developments across federal ECE policy, including proposed legislation, reauthorizations, and appropriations;
    • Congressional hearings, briefings, and Dear Colleague letters;
    • Proposed and final rulemaking; and
    • Other administrative actions.
  • Research and develop recommendations with respect to whether to endorse legislation and to join external sign-on letters.
  • Draft written background materials, talking points, fact sheets, briefs, and summaries to provide status updates to colleagues, consultants, and others throughout the process of passing bills through Congress and implementing laws.
  • Develop:
    • Written content for FFYF-led responses to proposed rulemaking and advocacy letters to Capitol Hill, as necessary.
    • Blog and website content.
  • Contribute to:
    • Development of policy statements and programmatic recommendations for both public and internal use (e.g., for emerging topics and programs FFYF may engage with);
    • Development of federal-facing advocacy resources such as one pagers and toolkits that can be used on Hill visits and in other advocacy efforts.
    • Management of consultants’ development of resources and advocacy tools such as formal responses to proposed rulemaking, advocacy letters to the Hill, etc., based on policy and program tracking;
    • Recurring ECE bulletins from FFYF to funders, advocate audiences, and other constituencies.
  • Collect, prepare, and present data regarding on FFYF’s policy work.
  • Support:
    • FFYF leadership in preparing for and following-up to meetings with other national organizations in Washington, DC, and across the country, as necessary;
    • Creation and maintenance of accurate data sources to assist with supporting statistics in FFYF policy documents and statements; and
    • FFYF Communications team in developing and executing advocacy and awareness-raising initiatives, including social media content, events, and video campaigns.
  • Collaborate with national and state advocates through coalition work to pursue program and policy changes affecting children and families.
  • Manage opportunities to leverage state advocacy to advance federal policy goals, including through tracking state implementation of federal programs and use of supplemental appropriations.


  • Master’s degree in Public Policy, Social Work, Early Childhood Education, Law, Business or a related field; experience with public policy, advocacy, education, early childhood or related field preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy, Social Work, Early Childhood Education, or a related field and 5 or more years of experience with public policy or related field including experience researching and writing materials for external audiences.
  • At least 1 year of supervisory experience.
  • Exceptional skills in policy, research, and data analysis.
  • Advanced knowledge of early childhood development and education, maternal and child health, federal government programs and systems and/or related policy work preferred.
  • Experience or familiarity with the federal legislative process, including ability to read and summarize federal legislation.
  • Competency in use and analysis of state and federal sources of quantitative data.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills; demonstrated ability to articulate complex ideas, thoughts, and concepts clearly and effectively.
  • Ability to organize complex tasks with the ability to problem solve, prioritize multiple assignments, exercise independent judgment, and to remain flexible and adapt to changing needs and priorities.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and develop and move projects forward with a high degree of independence.
  • Ability to think strategically and analytically with an ability to see the big picture while managing details.
  • Ability to process and protect confidential information in a professional manner.
  • Strong passion for FFYF’s mission, with a desire and ability to learn about issues relevant to children and families, and intellectual curiosity about the effects of federal policy on children and families.
  • Required to sit at a desk and focus on a computer screen for the majority of the day
  • Frequently required to talk and listen to other individuals.
  • Must be able to use repetitive wrist, hand, and finger movements to operate computers and mechanical equipment regularly.
  • Must be able to lift objects up to 20 lbs. in weight.
  • Regular attendance is a necessary and essential function.

We recognize that few candidates might meet every single piece of knowledge, experience, or education listed here. Research shows that women and people of color, among many other historically excluded groups, are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. FFYF/Start Early is dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your qualifications don’t perfectly align with everything in the job description, we still encourage you to apply!

Work Environment

General office conditions, with exposure to moderate noise levels.



Please use this link to apply.

FFYF/Start Early is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to our core values by creating an inclusive environment for all staff.