The Early Head Start (EHS) program is federally funded through a grant from Orange County Head Start, Inc. (OCHS). All direct program costs are paid through the grant and the administrative cost reimbursement plan fully reimburses all related administrative services. The program serves approximately 50 infants/toddlers and/or pregnant women in a home-based program option. Home educators visit the child’s home on a weekly basis and provide one-on-one educational enrichment activities to the child with the participation of the parent. Socialization activities occur twice a month wherein all children enrolled in the program, along with their parents, are provided with group activities that offer an extensive variety of educationally enriched activities in an environment that emphasizes language and literacy acquisition, mathematical awareness, physical development, and emotional and social development.
On September 21, 2020, the City Council approved the City's Delegate Agreement that allowed the City's program to receive an additional $9,623 in funding from OCHS to cover the cost of a 1.5% COLA adjustment for EHS staff. Pursuant to grant guidelines, the use of grant funds for compensation increases are non-discretionary and are to be retroactive to July 1, 2020.
Moreover, effective January 1, 2021, the State minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour. The Step A hourly rate listed in the current Head Start salary resolution is less than the State's new minimum hourly wage. In order to correct this on the salary schedule, effective January 1, 2021, the first step (step A) of the EHS salary schedule has been eliminated and replaced with the remaining steps (steps B through G will be changed to become steps A through F) of the salary range. No employees’ compensation will be impacted by this change as no employees are currently being compensated at the first two steps of the salary schedule; however, this change will increase the pay a newly hired employee will receive, pursuant to State law. The change in the salary schedule will allow the City to be in compliance with the new minimum wage increase without any additional cost to the City.