Fewer enrollments to compensate for wage increases
MINOT — The Minot Head Start Program plans to increase wages for staff and serve fewer children.
According to the Director of the Minot Head Start Program Karen Knowles, base pay for staff is $12.10 plus benefits. The new starting wage will be increased to $15 with benefits.
Base salaries for those with bachelor’s degrees will be moved from $27k to $32k with benefits as well.
In light of COVID restrictions and mandates that took a toll on their numbers in staff, even after the mask and vaccine mandates were removed, Knowles anticipates that changes in pay will attract more eligible candidates.
Currently, they are serving 198 children instead of the 311 that they are funded for. In applying for their 2022-2023 grant, Knowles said funds will be allocated to serve only 244 children in order to compensate for staff wage increases.
Such changes should attract additional staff, allow more children to attend, and will open four more classrooms.
Final approval for these changes must go through the Head Start Program office in Denver that oversees the Minot location. Once approved, the changes will go into effect on June 1, 2022.
As for the Jefferson building at 3800 11th Avenue SE, Knowles said that the Minot Head Start Program has decided not to reopen it at this time.
However, once the Voya building beside the old Cognizant building on North Hill is remodeled, Minot Head Start Program plans to add a playground and one classroom to that location sometime in 2023.