- SLCAP Head Start11.Dec 2015
Many employees commonly kept their own documentation on supervisors and other staff because so much of what they were told was later changed. There was not much trust. They always had great ideas to change things, but it never played out for lower level employees. Very stressful. Several employees came down with stress related medical issues that went away after leaving this job.
Support from management
Leadership was horrible especially at the top. Supervisors were very demeaning to employees. There were many times they would explain new processes, wouldn't give us directions in writing and actually wouldn't let us share what we had written down. (even though our main saying was "if it's not written down, it didn't happen") This mainly happened before federal reviews as a way for them to not take responsibility for creating the process if they had findings during the review.
Many classroom staff worked well as a team, but overall the management was not supportive of staff.
Freedom to work independently
Jobs were often eliminated adding that workload to other employees who were already overworked
They did have regular meetings and were informed about results, etc.The agency regularly had great reviews, but lower level employees were not credited for it.
Mostly women work here, but when a man worked here they advanced quickly. When I first applied they would not put my application in for the position I wanted. They told me that even though I have a bachelors degree, 2 men had already applied for that position and they wanted to hire them (with no degree). I was hired for a different position and after a year was allowed to apply for the position I wanted.
Attitude towards older colleagues
The first few years I worked there it was mainly "older" employees there, but more recently, younger employees started moving up and they found other positions outside of the agency for many of the older employees that had been there for 20+ years.
Not much room for advancement except for employees who hang out with the boss
Overall compensation for your work
Pay not great, but that goes along with social services/education. Insurance was very expensive. Salaries always paid on time. Salary did not match the responsibilities. It was always expected to do so much work that almost every hourly employee was taking work home to finish.
Office / Work Environment
Many employees who did office jobs are in the corner of a classroom. This was great to help parents, but difficult when doing paperwork and meeting deadlines in a loud room with noisy children. Most computers were up to date.
Upper management were always trying to be politically correct and always trying to do what looks good to the public.
Employees families not taken into consideration unless you are one of the few who hang out with the boss regularly. Main schedule was regular work hours, but they would often not give notice and tell us last minute we need to work a night or weekend. Some people were not allowed to even trade for a different night/weekend that they would have a babysitter. Supervisors were known to say "choose your family or your job". There were some employees who were single moms and had no choice but to leave their own young children home alone to go provide a family activity to Head Start families where they were not allowed to bring their own children. Also, many hourly employees were forced to work over the 40 hours they were paid to do. Supervisors were told and very aware but told employees not to say anything.
The agency was paying another company to help them boost their image. Once employees feel safe to talk to someone freely you will find out that the image does not reflect reality. Employees usually talk fondly about what they do and helping the families that they love. They are very negative about the way that they are treated as an employee of the company.
Positions were eliminated regularly. I did not feel like my job was stable. Top administration was often heard telling employees that they are replaceable and if they don't like it to leave when employees were only asking for clarification.
Agency was very willing to do what they could to provide accessibility tools resources for disabled.
OSHA training provided. Mostly a safe environment. There were some occasions where children were throwing chairs etc at employees or where one child (over 100 lbs) kept running into a teachers knees. They employees asked for support in the classroom and didn't get it. Some ended up needing surgery for injuries sustained in the classroom.
The work was challenging but very rewarding. I loved the work I did here. This is why many people stayed for as long as they did.
Inclusive / Diverse
This company did promote diversity for the most part and was always trying to improve in this area.
Suggestions for improvement
- Changes are great and were made all of the time. I think what's important is that the management is genuine with their employees. Don't just say what you think they want to hear. Your employees are smarter than that. Also, realize that besides a few at the top, most employees here are doing this because they love it- not for the money- but they do have responsibilities to their own children. They don't have nannies like upper management and some don't have much support. Show them the respect that they deserve for all of the hard work they do and work with their schedule. Be flexible with employees who are working hard and who have always made you look good during federal reviews. Ease some of their stress at home so that they can do a better job at work by showing some compassion and making sure that they are able to have a home life. Keep work load to the 40 hours that they're paid for. Show some understanding when they need to switch a weekend shift because they don't want to leave young children home alone, etc.
What I like about the company
I loved the job that I did for 10 years. I loved and enjoyed the families that I worked with and felt satisfaction from helping them. I also loved the friendships that I formed with coworkers.
What I dislike about the company
I didn't like the environment that I worked in especially when management came around. I didn't like being asked to be dishonest to complete my job. I didn't like who I and others were becoming by following practices required by the agency. I am naturally an honest, happy and positive person.
The following benefits were offered to me
- CompanySLCAP Head Start
- Are you a Current or Former Employee?Former job since 2013