Head Start Job Postings Are Not New

Despite recent job cuts at the Northern Panhandle Head Start in Marshall County, the agency posted ads seeking to fill several open positions at various centers in the Ohio Valley in the Sunday News-Register’s classified section.

Officials said Monday that the positions are not new. The regional Head Start center reported last month that eight staff positions were eliminated due to federal budget cuts.

Head Start Executive Director Marlene Midget said anyone hired to fill the advertised jobs will replace existing employees who have quit over the summer. Midget said Northern Panhandle Head Start has not created any new positions and is not opening new centers.

Midget said the eight jobs eliminated include two teachers, two assistants, a social worker, a bus driver, a family resource networker and a floater position.

Among the job postings in Sunday’s paper for the Moundsville location was an infant/toddler teacher. Other jobs advertised included an administrative assistant’s job, health and nutrition assistant and a family resource advocate.

“It may look like new positions, but they are replacement positions,” Midget said. “We had people who quit and moved on and we have to fill those slots with the money we have. We are really in transition.”

Last week, city officials and families gathered at the Fourth Street center to participate in the national “Empty Seats Equals Lost Opportunities” campaign. To illustrate the impact of budget cuts on the nation’s families, Head Start centers across the country displayed an empty chair for each child who has been cut from the program.

The Moundsville agency lost $270,000 in July, representing a funding cut of 5.27 percent. The programs serving children ages 3-5 at the Creative Learning 1 and Creative Learning 2 centers, both located at 2200 Fourth St., Moundsville, were eliminated and eight employees lost jobs.