Chief Executive Officer (Family Day Care Services - Toronto)


Client Organization: Family Day Care Services
Position Title: Chief Executive Officer
Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: Toronto, Ontario


Dedicated to the care and education of children since 1851, Family Day Care Services (Family Day) has a long history of serving children and families throughout Toronto and the surrounding communities. Today, Family Day is a nonprofit registered charity with a current complement of approximately 600 staff, relationships with approximately 210 independent contractors in its licensed home child care program, and revenue of approximately $35 million. Family Day offers families safe and nurturing early learning and child care opportunities that reflect their values and needs through a number of programs and services in Toronto, York and Peel:

Child Care/Early Learning: Family Day’s child care and early learning centres offer care for children from birth to 12 years of age. Programs use the HighScope curriculum, which concentrates on “active participatory learning.” The central belief of HighScope is that children construct their own learning by “doing” and by working with objects, people and ideas with a knowledgeable educator. Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE) and Assistant Teachers receive ongoing training in this evidence-based curriculum.

Extended Day/School Age Programs: Family Day’s Extended Day programs are for children aged four to six in Full Day Kindergarten and are delivered in partnership with school boards. School Age programs are designed for children aged six to 12 years of age and provide a safe and stimulating before- and after-school experience offered in both child care centres and licensed home child care programs.

Licensed Home Child Care: Family Day’s licensed Home Child Care Program is child care in a “family style” setting with flexible hours, family groupings and the opportunity for siblings to be in child care together. Family Day contracts with caregivers who provide child care for children from infancy to 12 years of age, with a maximum of five child care children (no more than two children under two years of age). Family Day is a licensed child care agency under the Child Care and Early Years Act 2014 (CCEYA).

Summer Camp: Family Day’s summer camp is an enriching, rewarding and fun experience for children. Family Day works with educators and program consultants to create a comprehensive and fun summer calendar for all camp programs.

EarlyOn Child and Family Centres: Family Day’s five EarlyON Child and Family Centres are welcoming, supportive and accessible places where children (birth to six years of age) and their parents, grandparents and caregivers can play and learn together. Parents/caregivers can participate in a variety of activities with their children, get information about programs and services available to them, and get information and advice from qualified EarlyON professionals.

Family Support Programs: These additional programs also focus on providing activities, learning opportunities, information, and special services to parents, grandparents and caregivers and their children, including Integration Services-Special Needs Resourcing, Early Literacy Specialists, Homework Plus, and AOK programs.

Our Vision: A society where all children achieve their potential

Our Mission: Leading innovation in early learning, child care and family support services

Our Approach: Family Day uses evidence-based approaches in all of our services to ensure quality programs based on sound knowledge. The HighScope approach is utilized in child care programs, and in licensed home child care the providers are supported through “I Care for Kids, I Care for Quality.” The family-centred approach runs through all programs at Family Day.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer is the senior leader for the agency and is responsible for all strategic and operational planning and implementation of services and programs, guiding day-to-day management decisions in alignment with the organization’s vision, mission and values. The CEO has overall responsibility for the strategic plan and associated annual budget and ensures that the assets of the organization are protected and secure. The CEO complies with all relevant legislation related to the operations of the organization and ensures that staff are treated with respect and professionalism. The CEO supports the governance mandate of the Board and ensures effective communication with all stakeholders.

Many gains have been made in recent years to improve legislation, professionalization, funding and expansion as well as enhanced accessibility and options for families. At the same time, there continues to be uncertainty with regards to funding and regulatory changes, and attracting and retaining top ECE talent in a competitive market remains a key challenge. Within this context, the new CEO will want to focus on the following key near-term priorities:

  • Quickly build trust with staff, the Board and the union and immerse in the culture of the organization.
  • Continue to build upon Family Day’s strong foundation and excellent reputation.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with partners and governments, advocating effectively for the sector, profession and for children and families.
  • With its emphasis on innovation and collaboration, continue to implement and evolve the current strategic plan.
  • Continue Family Day’s role as thought leader and change agent in the sector.
  • Strategically pursue areas to grow, including new locations and programs, while ensuring capacity to deliver quality services.

Working with children and families is rewarding, meaningful and impactful work. For the new CEO, this is a wonderful opportunity to join a long-standing, highly regarded, influential organization with a history of leadership and effective advocacy (for children/families as well as front-line staff) and with a positive profile among sector partners and governments. Working with passionate and dedicated staff, a model culture, a committed Board, and an appetite for innovation, the CEO will further Family Day’s momentum, building upon its capacities and strengths.


Whether from child care/early learning or a broader, related not-for-profit sector, the ideal candidate brings the requisite leadership capability, management experience, and passion and commitment to lead Family Day in the development, communication and implementation of strategy and plans to achieve the organization’s mission and goals. While it is understood that a candidate may not possess all of the competencies noted below, it is expected that over time, the candidate will demonstrate most if not all of these aspects:

  • Adaptable to change and resilient, recognizing that the external environment in the sector is on “shifting sands”.
  • Committed to Family Day and accountable for its success.
  • A collaborative leader with a primary focus on high-quality service and a cultural fit with Family Day.
  • A skilled communicator; demonstrates strong communication and interpersonal skills, including written, verbal and presentation/public speaking.
  • Leads by example and is respectful of people within and outside the organization.
  • Senior leadership/experience in advocacy as well as government, funder and partner relations; has strong political acuity and diplomacy and is effective at building strong partnerships.
  • A strategic thinker who is able to align Family Day to its short- and long-term strategies.
  • Responsive to daily issues and challenges facing the organization.
  • Experience and capacity to work effectively in a highly regulated business and can quickly assess and understand emerging or changing regulations.
  • An inspirational leader who inspires others, encourages participation, and is able to engage others.
  • A courageous decision maker, possessing integrity and emotional maturity.
  • Innovative (or can harness other’s creativity) and encouraging with an appetite to experiment.
  • Demonstrates the values of equity, diversity and inclusion, embraces anti-oppression principles, and seeks and is respectful of others’ views.
  • Able to lead a large organization and develop direction and structure as well as manage financial requirements in a complex and multiservice environment.
  • Mindful of the inherent risks of the sector and demonstrates strong risk management skills.
  • Human resource management capacity at a senior level, ideally with experience in a unionized environment.


Managing Strategically

  • Establish and implement effective strategic planning processes (the “Strategic Plan”)
  • Develop a yearly work plan setting out how to implement the Strategic Plan
  • Operationalize and the Strategic Plan into both long-term (3-year) and short-term (one-year) action plans
  • Maintain personal development plans and investment in managers
  • Report progress on the Strategic Plan to the Board throughout the year

Managing the People of FDCS

  • Continue to grow a culture of respect and fairness
  • Build strong teams at all levels
  • Train staff to develop their knowledge and skills
  • Delegate appropriately to senior staff
  • Develop and adapt an appropriate mix of effective human resource systems
  • Maintain a good relationship with both union and non-union staff
  • Maintain a good relationship with CUPE
  • Standardize and communicate FDCS policies

Managing the Business of FDCS

  • Manage to ensure long-term financial viability of FDCS
  • Develop appropriate financial systems
  • Develop systems to monitor financial performance of FDCS
  • Seek revenue-generating and fundraising activities having a positive net impact
  • Develop models for growth or shrinkage to ensure that impact on internal systems and infrastructure is considered
  • Ensure that the technology infrastructure is built to support current and future business requirements

Providing Leadership to FDCS

  • Communicate a positive vision of FDCS’s future
  • Communicate FDCS’s values and goals to all stakeholders
  • Make FDCS an employer of choice

Working with the Board

  • Comply with the Policy Registry
  • Report regularly to the Board through its monthly meetings
  • Analyze issues for the Board

Decision Making and Financial Scope

The CEO is responsible for the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the entire budget of the organization and should ensure that the agency and services operate within the approved framework on an annual basis. The CEO works under the limitations as laid out in the Family Day Board of Directors policy framework and is subject to the limitations laid out in that document.

Organization Impact and Influence

The CEO works within a framework of clear direction to the staff members who report into the position and will be accountable for all areas of programs and services. The CEO is specifically accountable for the full budget of the organization and in particular the administration budget of the organization.

People/Team Leadership Responsibilities

The CEO is a strategic individual who works from a sound knowledge base related to the main services of the organization. As the leader of the organization, the CEO demonstrates a style and method of leadership that is collaborative and engages a wide range of stakeholder knowledge and opinions. The CEO works with a senior leadership team who oversee programs and services.


Should you have any questions regarding this important and meaningful opportunity, or wish to forward a cover letter and current resume for consideration, please contact:

Chris Sawyer, Partner

Ed Perkovic, Director of Research

Ambar Maqsood, Project Coordinator

About Amrop Knightsbridge (

Amrop Knightsbridge is a leading executive search firm with offices across Canada and partner offices around the globe. Amrop Knightsbridge is an integral part of LHH Knightsbridge, a human capital management organization comprising teams of specialists with an integrated perspective across recruitment, leadership and organizational development, learning, and career and workforce management. Solutions are customized to fully meet client specific needs, maximizing investments in people and achieving optimal organizational and business productivity and performance. Further LHH Knightsbridge information is available at