VB Parks and Rec raises pay for child care employees to combat program staffing issues

Virginia Beach

The news of the pay increase comes days after the department announced it would need to close three of its before-school and 11 after-school programs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation is offering pay increases for child care staff to try to attract new and qualified employees.

The news of the pay increase comes days after the department announced it would need to close three of its before-school and 11 after-school programs, impacting more than 300 program attendees.

Relocated services will start on Nov. 29, but canceled services will discontinue on Jan. 3.

Parks and Rec said pay for all child care team members will range from $15 to $18.50 starting Nov. 25.

Pay currently ranges from $9.50 to $14.89. The city did not specify how it will fund the pay increases.

The child care programs in Virginia Beach needed to add about 50 new staff members to be able to return to normal staffing levels and reopen the programs that were listed to be closed or consolidated. Those programs were chosen based on the number of participants.

A press release earlier this week from city officials said hiring and onboarding qualified team members has been a consistent hurdle throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs chosen for closure were selected based on the lowest registration numbers.

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“Closing our child care programs and putting that burden on the families who trust us with the care of their children was a heartbreaking decision,” said Michael Kirschman, director of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, in a news release Friday. “We are thankful that the City is supporting this pay increase to help us try to attract and retain the staff we need to reopen the programs and give these families the peace of mind and quality service they have come to expect and deserve. Community members stepping up and applying for these jobs will mean the world to a parent who needs affordable child care to maintain their own employment and provide for their family,” he added.

Here are details from the job posting:

  • The department is actively recruiting reliable team members with a desire to work in a child care setting who are creative, fun, and have a passion for youth development! Roles in the Out-of-School Time Programs (OST) unit include planning, programming, and leading age-appropriate activities for children ages 5-12 in a recreational setting and are divided in several categories:
  • Activity Center Aide (ACA) – applicants must be at least 16 years old with some high school education or GED. Pay starts at $15/hour.
  • Activity Center Assistant Leader (ACAL) – applicants must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED. Pay starts at $17/hour.
  • Activity Center Leader (ACL) – applicants must be at least 21 years old with a high school diploma or GED. Pay starts at $18.50/hour.

ACAL and ACL positions require certain experience such as “teacher/substitute, coach, recreation program leader, camp counselor, youth leader, scout leader, or childcare provider, either in a paid or volunteer capacity or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities,” according to Parks and Recreation.

There are also part-time positions for up to 27 hours per week. Hours are typically between 6:15–9 a.m. and 2:30-6:15 p.m.

Job benefits include:

  • Training/mentoring for career advancement
  • Paid holidays
  • Paid Time Off
  • Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union exclusively for City employees and their dependents
  • Deferred compensation plans
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Maternity/Paternity/Parental Care Leave

If a program is able to reopen, the current affected participants will have first priority for registration. For the complete list of closures and consolidations, click here.

If you’d like to apply to work for the city of Virginia Beach, click here.

Resources to find alternative childcare providers:

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