Special Needs Assistant – Rockbridge

Rockbridge, VA

  • Department: Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Posting Date: 4/29/22
  • Closing Date: 5/13/22
  • Salary: $12.00-$14.45/ hr
  • Code: SNAROCK – HS/EHS




Assists the Teacher in carrying out the educational program for children with disabilities, special needs, and/or mental/behavioral health issues.



Supervised by: Lead Teacher, Teacher, Center Supervisors, Disabilities Coordinator, Behavior Health Coordinator, Education Coordinator

Supervises:  No One

Coordinates with:  EHS/HS Center and Administrative Staff



  • Assists in planning and conducting activities that meet the individual needs of the children with disabilities in the classroom as indicated by IFSP/IEP goals, Individualization Plans or Individual Service Plans.

–     Assists with the implementation of lesson plans and IFSP/IEP goals.

–     Assists on field trips and REACH bus drop-off/pick-ups as scheduled.

–     Contributes information on children’s progress to the classroom teacher, weekly.

–     Reviews IEP goals and/or service plans before children arrive to make sure of his/her responsibilities.

  • Assists in the selection of adaptive materials and supplies, as needed to implement IEP goals and other special needs of children with disabilities or service plans of children with behavioral concerns.

–     Works with the teacher to develop learning aides.

–     Communicate with teacher if special equipment or materials are needed.

–     Assist in documenting observations for Teaching Strategies GOLD

  • Maintains a working knowledge of all Head Start Performance Standards, Policies and Licensing regulations.

–     Based on Head Start performance standards, demonstrates developmentally appropriate practice throughout the center in all interactions with children.

–     Assists in arranging and maintaining a classroom environment conducive to exploration and experiential learning with interest areas labeled, defined, and accessible to children.

–     Assists with keeping equipment and materials safe, clean, and in good condition at all times, both indoors and outdoors.

–     Calls supervisor one hour prior to center opening when unable to report to work (tardiness, sickness, emergencies).

  • Works to continue education by attending classes, meetings, workshops, and conferences related to Head Start and early childhood education, earning at least 21 training hours per program year as defined in the TAP Head Start training plan.

–     Attends center staff meetings monthly, or as needed.

–     Develops professional development goals with supervisor, annually.

–     Participates in classes, workshops, meetings, and conferences that move toward meeting professional development goals, as requested or assigned.

–     Attends planned in-service training, as assigned.

–     Attends service area committee meetings, as assigned.

  • Assists the Lead Teacher in creating an atmosphere in the center that is welcoming to parents and families of all children, including children with disabilities.

–     Encourages parent participation daily by providing parents with information about how they can be involved.

–     Assists in providing a parent reception area.

–     Greets parents daily and invites them to participate.

–     Attends parent meetings as assigned.

  • Works with staff and parents to maintain a quality program.

–     Works as needed to provide center coverage for staff shortages.

–     Calls Supervisor and Lead Teacher one hour prior to center opening when unable to report to work (tardiness, sickness, emergencies).

–     Reports cases of suspected child abuse or neglect to supervisor and calls child protective services immediately.

–     Administers first aid, as needed.

–     Interacts respectfully and appropriately with children, staff and parents.

  • Adheres to all policies/procedures as outlined in the TAP Head Start Center Based Handbook.
  • Presents self professionally to colleagues, parents and community through appropriate dress, language and behavior.
  • Creates a positive work environment by demonstrating flexibility and willingness to perform duties by participating appropriately in program planning and decisions and implementation of those plans.
  • Adheres to NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct as adopted by TAP Head Start.
  • Performs other duties as assigned and required.
  • Required to wear masks with a few exceptions.



  • Working knowledge of developmental characteristics and needs of preschool children.
  • Good knowledge of appropriate activities and interactions with preschool children.
  • Ability to learn, understand and follow policies and procedures outlined in the TAP Head Start Policies and Procedures Manual and other written and oral directions from program staff and supervisors.
  • Ability to participate in and contribute to writing of lesson plans, collection of child data, and recording of child observations.
  • Demonstrated ability to read, write and communicate with staff, parents, and children in an appropriate and professional manner.
  • Demonstrated patience and understanding of children with special needs.



  • Must have high school diploma or G.E.D.
  • Experience with preschool children in a group setting.
  • Obtain/maintain a current First Aid and CPR certification card within 6 months of employment.
  • At TAP, we focus on the Whole Family Approach.   Whole Family is a family led strategy to achieve set goals.  As an employee you may be required to attend Whole Family training and subject to data entry into the agency’s software as part of the Whole Family approach and serving clients.



  • Must have a valid Virginia Operator’s license and reliable transportation.
  • TAP participates in the Virginia DMV Driver Alert Program.  Employees who operate a TAP vehicle or their personal vehicle to conduct TAP business may be subject to driver record monitoring through the Virginia DMV Driver Alert Program.

  • Must pass drug screening.  Some positions require positive complete background screening including: criminal, sex offender and child protective services.
  • Must have ability to interact with children.
  • Physical activity of this position – climbing; ascending and descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like; balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, use of fingers for – picking, pinching, and typing; grasping, feeling, hearing, talking repetitive motion of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.
  • Physical requirements of this position – medium work; exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 30 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds constantly to move objects.
  • Visual acuity requirements – must be able to determine the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned or to make general observations of facilities or structures.
  • Conditions subject to in this position – worker is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions.


This description provides information regarding the essential functions of the designated job, and general nature and level of work associated with the job.  It should not be interpreted to describe all the duties that may be required of such employees or be used to limit the nature and extent of assignments such an individual may be given.


Every TAP employee shares in TAP’s responsibility to “Mobilize Community Resources” in support of TAP’s anti-poverty efforts.

We only hire individuals legally eligible for employment in the United States.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Drug Free Workplace

Bilinguals Encouraged to Apply