Options for Full-Day Services for Children Participating in Head Start . Equitable Pay Scales


Grantees that provide full-day services are also grappling with how to provide equitable compensation to all classroom teachers—both teachers paid by Head Start as well as those paid by other sources. In general, the grantees have attempted to find ways to fairly compensate all staff. This has been a problem for some grantees because Head Start can and does provide salary increases that outpace increases and adjustments from other sources.

All grantees have devised systems that attempt to equalize pay for all teachers. Some of the grantees have a single pay scale and pass the raise on to all employees (see Exhibit 4). For example, one grantee passes raises on to all employees using the standard allocation formula devised for all budget line items.

Others try to match Head Start salary increases with funding from other sources. In one case, the grantee has been able to match all Head Start raises with monies from other sources in order to maintain equity in pay. In another case, a grantee attempts to use resources obtained through its collaborators to maintain comparable salaries.

A third approach to pay equity has been to devise a unified pay classification system for all teachers and other child care providers. When the director is able to, she assigns less experienced teachers with lower salary rates to non-Head Start classrooms. She can then legitimately pay more to Head Start teachers because they have more experience and more duties, such as home visits and parent involvement activities.

Pay equity has been a difficult issue for some connected care providers. These providers feel they are treated unfairly because they are paid less than the Head Start teachers. The grantee has no way to equalize salaries, because the connected care providers receive funding to care for Head Start children from a third party. The director feels that issues of pay inequity fuel petty complaints by some connected care providers and may cause these providers to treat Head Start children not as well as non-Head Start children.