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Hopkins House Increases Wages of its Lowest Paid Employees

September 28, 2017 04:39 PM
Today, Hopkins House announced an increase of $2.50 per hour in the wages of its lowest paid employees. This action is in step with the growing list of employers seeking to hire and retain skilled employees in entry level positions.
Large employers across the nation, including public schools and nonprofits, are competing to attract and retain employees.  In direct competition with Wal-Mart, which increased its base hourly pay to $10 last year, Target Stores recently announced an increase to $11 in the minimum wage it will pay to its employees.  While nowhere near the size of these retailer behemoths, Hopkins House is fighting to attract and retain employees as well. 

"We routinely lose terrific employees who leave us to work for department stores and fast-food companies that pay them more," explained Hopkins House president J. Glenn Hopkins.
Despite the cost, Hopkins House officials feel that they have little choice than to join in the competition for well-qualified staff, along with public schools, retail giants, and other large and well-financed employers, if the organization is to have any hope of maintaining the high standard of educational quality for which its preschool academy is known.
"Every time we lose a member of our classroom faculty, parents are pretty upset," said Hopkins. "This is totally understandable because parents of our preschool young scholars often judge the quality of our early care and education services by our ability to attract and hold onto our classroom educators."
Last spring, the Hopkins House trustees added funding to the organization’s current school year budget to increase by $2.50 per hour the minimum compensation of its lowest paid employees (i.e. Classroom Aides) – raising their wage to $12.50 an hour.  Employees eligible for this increase are required to have a professional child care credential, enroll in college or the organization’s Early Childhood Learning Institute (ECLI), and work in infant and toddler classrooms.  These educators will have the new title of Infant/Toddler Aide. 
The title of Classroom Aide will be retired and Hopkins House will no longer hire individuals under this title.  Effective October 1, Hopkins House will hire only individuals who already have a professional child care certification.  They will be given the title of Instructional Assistant and paid $12.50 per hour.  If they are not currently enrolled in college or the ECLI upon hire at Hopkins House, they will be given up to a year to enroll.
Current Classroom Aides will remain on staff and continue at their current pay of $10 / hour and given up to a year to enroll in college or the ECLI.
Through this new policy, Hopkins House not only seeks to improve the compensation paid to its entry level employees, but also to compete more effectively for highly skilled and experienced preschool educators.