Though they are charged with caring for our most precious assets, classroom helpers and teachers in early childhood centers are historically low-wage earners. The Early Childhood Education Staff Support Grant is designed to provide financial recognition for early childhood staff, reduce costs associated with staff turnover, and stabilize the workforce. Fewer staff changes are also a quality factor for children attending the centers.

Longevity Bonuses

The Staff Support Grant enables a full time (at least 30 hours/week) staff member in good standing to earn a bonus for every six months he or she stays employed at the SAME center.  Bonuses range from $250 to $800 every six months, based on longevity, represented in the chart below.

6 mo. 12 mo. 18 mo. 2 yrs. 2.5 yrs. 3 yrs. 3.5 yrs. 4 yrs. 4.5 yrs. 5 yrs. 5.5 yrs. 6 yrs. +
$250 $300 $350 $400 $450 $500 $550 $600 $650 $700 $750 $800

Discretionary Bonuses

The grant will also include discretionary funds for center directors to use for additional merit bonuses for full or part-time staff members who exemplify excellence. If a center director is awarded a discretionary bonus, the amount must be at or below the bonus allotted to the staff.

The amount of discretionary funds is calculated based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff at the center.  For each FTE, $150 in discretionary funds are available annually, during this 5-year pilot.

Here are two simple ways to calculate FTEs:

  1. If the center utilizes a payroll software, you should be able to get this total for the most recent 12 full calendar months directly from one of your payroll software reports.
  2. If the center does not utilize a payroll software, use the W-2 forms for all employees from the last full calendar year.  Divide each employee’s gross wages shown on the W-2, by their pay rate, to get each employee’s hours Add all the hours from every employee together. Divide that number by 1560 to get FTEs (calculated on a 30-hour work week.)

The grant application includes a worksheet to calculate both the discretionary and longevity bonuses for the applying center.

Grant applications are due October 30 and will be awarded in November. The next application deadline is April 25 with grants awarded in May.

These grants are restricted to qualifying centers. Be sure you meet the criteria before applying.

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