Chief of Staff
Tinycare is building the future of childcare — a world where every child has a loving, safe environment to reach their full potential. Childcare in America is broken: 51% of America is a childcare desert. Childcare is more expensive than college in half the states. The average preschool teacher in California makes $37,000 per year. Without quality childcare, parents struggle to work, and ultimately our smallest children suffer in the most critical time of their lives (90% of brain volume develops by age five).
We solve these problems through a network of micro-centers, small Montessori & Reggio inspired daycares serving 3 months - 5 years. During COVID while 16% of daycares permanently shut down, we grew our number of locations 6X and counting with long waitlists.
Tinycare was founded in 2018 by a collective of passionate educators, experienced school network leaders, and innovators from Google, Bright Horizons, Rocketship Schools, Minerva Project, Teach for America, and more. We are backed by over 2.8M in funding, with a diverse network of top investors (50% female) including the founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, Bling (Techcrunch #1 most founder friendly fund), the lead guitarist of Linkin Park, the co-founder of Away, the author of Lean Startup, and much more.
About the Role
Be the right-hand person to Founder & CEO Michael Lai and partner with him and the budding executive team to grow a thriving organization through hypergrowth, building the right business operating routines, and internal communications as we scale. This is a senior role at the company.
Michael’s life work is ensuring that every child, regardless of background, has the opportunity to become the next Michelle Obama or Bill Gates. After spending six years in K-12 and higher ed innovation across Google.org, Minerva Project, and Noddle, he’s spent the last five years obsessed with improving our childcare system in America. His 10-year plan, in addition to scaling Tinycare internationally, is getting universal child care passed in this country. He is Forbes 30 under 30, graduated with honors from Harvard, co-founded the community house The Archive (featured in The Today Show), and has been known to create book spreadsheets, do triathlons, and start the occasional flashmob in his free time.
Areas of Ownership
- Guide executive decision-making & keep track of details: agenda set, run, and project manage follow-ups to our weekly executive team meeting & weekly HQ staff meetings. Guide clear and thoughtful decision-making
- Lead & incubate strategic projects: own special projects including but not limited to: PR, new markets prioritization, compliance strategy, brand, core values refresh, and comp calculators. These are often areas that end up becoming their own headcount as we get to a larger level of scale, and will vary over time. If any of these become exciting enough for you to own, you can rotate into a functional lead role
- Hiring & onboarding support: assist the CEO in defining the hiring roadmap, executing on creating thoughtful evaluations, and working with our recruiter on executive search projects
- Strategic planning: define and iterate planning processes. Run cross-functional quarterly and weekly strategic OKR planning meetings
- Internal & external communications: assist the CEO in defining internal comms strategies and investor communications
- Playbook writing: Define and record organizational best practices around communication, planning, decision-making, culture, and more that we can repeat again and again as we scale
What we’re looking for?
- Mission-oriented: passionate about our mission to improve quality and access to child development programs while elevating the status of early childhood educators
- Organized & detail-oriented: a smart generalist who can keep trains running on time & leaves no stone left unturned
- Excellent Project Management: 3-7 years of project management, especially large, fast, high-scope x-functional projects with a limited budget
- Obsessed with building people-centric organizations through hypergrowth: you have passion for and have experienced hypergrowth and how to be proactive about building and changing processes that make the organization people and values centric through periods of immense change & growth
- Altitude: ability to zoom out to 30,000 feet, and zoom in to 3 feet and be a strategic thought partner at all levels
- High output: natural executor who gets sh*t done. Reliable. Strong decision-making. Don't procrastinate.
- Proactive: can handle ambiguity, and doesn’t need to be micromanaged
- World-class communication skills: excellent communicator in writing and verbally, able to express needs, manage conflict well, and present to the organization as Michael #2
- Cross-functional collaborator: team player. Empathetic. Able to work as well with executives as on the floor with our teachers & children
- Previously worked at a hyper growing real estate company like Sonder, Lyric, or Common, school environment like AltSchool or Teach for America, or top operational tech company like WeWork, Uber, Instacart or Doordash
- Passion for education and the lives of families and/or early childhood development
Why consider this role?
- Growth Opportunities: You will be reporting directly to CEO in the short term, with the opportunity to either build a team within the office of the CEO or rotate into a functional lead role
- Ownership in Tinycare: Tinycare offers generous equity packages so all employees share in the upside
- Impact – Tinycare is helping solve the childcare crisis in America through increasing the supply of high-quality care, empowering educators to live in the communities they serve, and improving gender equality — you will be a key part of scaling our ability to serve more children & families
- Benefits - Health benefits, 20 paid holidays & breaks, 10 floating PTO days, sick days, and childcare benefits through Tinycare
Why you might not be excited
- Ready to Build?: We are still a fairly young company with >50 employees, including our teachers. Much like the children we serve, many of our processes and systems are still in their infancy stage. There are innumerable problems we’ll still need to solve as we scale, and infrastructure that’s yet to be built. If you like more established companies, this role probably isn’t for you
- Open to Change?: Tinycare is a rocket ship that’s about to take off. We’ll be scaling nearly 10x this year, across our daycares, and teacher hiring. Our company culture and values will stay constant, but how we operate, will likely look very different 6 months, and a year from now. Not everyone is comfortable with change and that’s ok! But pivots are inevitable during hyper-growth. Projects and priorities are likely to shift Enjoy problem-solving? We’re not looking for people who only identify problems, but rather, people who are motivated to find the solution
- Comfortable in the Uncomfortable?: If you’re someone who needs structure or is looking for clearly defined day-to-day tasks, this may not be the right position. This isn’t an environment where someone is going to tell you what to work on each day. We define OKR’s, and everyone at Tinycare has a swimlane, but at such an early stage we’re frequently jumping in to help others, and assisting with tasks that may not be “in our job description.”
- Connected to the Mission?: Everyone on the team is extremely mission-driven and works incredibly hard to push towards our lofty goals of disrupting the early childcare industry. We’re looking for a team that will be motivated to achieve these goals We really value diversity & inclusion in our hiring and culture. We are proud that our team is majority female, strongly immigrant with many ethnicities represented, and many are parents. We encourage you to apply and share this with candidates from diverse backgrounds.