WCOP has taken an unusual approach to funding full-day services. All funds are placed in a central pool from which all expenses are paid — a process approved and supported by the regional office even though WCOP does not allocate costs to the different funding sources. WCOP has been operating its program this way for many years and has worked with state and local officials to change regulations that limit their ability to use this accounting method.
All of the teachers, both Head Start and non-Head Start, are employees of WCOP, which pays all of its employees according to the same scale, with all of the salary rates blended together. In addition, WCOP has been able to provide the same cost-of- living increases to all employees.
The only time salaries vary is if care is provided by non- WCOP employees. For instance, when Head Start pays for one or more classrooms in a non-WCOP center, the non-WCOP center is the employer for the providers in the non-Head Start classrooms and usually pays a lower salary. The directors of these centers are working to bring the salaries of their teachers in non-Head Start classrooms in line with WCOP salaries.
On the other hand, if the classroom is in a public school setting, like BOCES, the non-Head Start teachers are paid a higher salary commensurate with other public school teachers (these teachers usually have to have a Bachelors degree). As previously stated, these public school positions are viewed as promotion potential by Head Start teachers.