Jeff Bezos’ education philanthropy starts hiring for first tuition-free preschool in Seattle area

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, checks out postcards submitted by kids for spaceflight as part of his nonprofit Club for the Future campaign. (Jeff Bezos via Twitter)

The educational philanthropy that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in 2018 is now hiring for a variety of roles in the Seattle area “to build the educational models, services, and technology that will give these children the leg up in life they all deserve and help them realize their full potential.”

Day 1 Academies is hiring for six management positions, including “Head of School — Day 1 Academy #1,” according to the Bezos Day One Fund website.

The Head of School will lead the fund’s first Montessori-Inspired preschool somewhere in the Seattle/Tacoma metropolitan area. Responsibilities will include recruiting students, hiring other educators, and building community with parents.

The Day 1 Fund is also looking for a specialist in Montessori education, a child-driven style of learning that encourages discovery and freedom within boundaries. The specialist will help develop the Day 1 Academies curriculum.

“Our mandate is to create and operate a network of full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities,” the website says.

Though the Montessori model emphasizes analog over digital, Day 1 Academies is also looking for a “Head of Technology” who can oversee “the development, delivery and management of highly scalable, reliable and extensible services and systems for the organization.”

The new job listings were first spotted by Recode’s Teddy Schleifer.

Bezos, himself a product of Montessori education, plans to fund the network of schools with $1 billion of his personal fortune. It’s one half of the $2 billion Day 1 Fund that he announced more than a year ago. Bezos is donating the remaining $1 billion to non-profits that work with people experiencing homelessness. Separately, he recently announced a $10 billion fund to fight climate change.

“Day One” is a reference to Bezos’ mantra at Amazon, that it’s essential to approach every day with the enthusiasm and energy of a new venture, because it’s “always Day One.”

“We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon,” Bezos tweeted when he launched the initiative. “Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer.”

We’ve contacted Bezos’ team to ask how students will be selected for the tuition-free schools and when they will open. We’ll update this story when we hear back.

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