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Next Door – a leading provider of high quality early childhood education in Milwaukee – increased its minimum wage to $15/hour starting July 1, 2020. This move, from $14 to $15/hour, will directly impact 46 Next Door positions as Assistant Teachers and Nutrition Services staff.
“These Next Door employees work extremely hard to serve our students every day in our classrooms and in our kitchens,” said Next Door President Dr. Tracey Sparrow. “We feel recognizing them, and future Next Door employees, with a higher minimum wage is one of the important ways Next Door can expand opportunities for success and help build a more equitable and inclusive community for Milwaukee.”
Funding for this minimum wage increase came from grant support from the Office of Head Start. Earlier this year, Next Door received two Quality Improvement grants, which allow Head Start agencies like Next Door to use the funding to strengthen employee compensation.
Next Door’s minimum wage increase to $15/hour follows an earlier raise in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. At that time, the agency’s minimum wage went from $12 to $14/hour for Assistant Teachers and Nutrition Services staff. Careful budgeting for operational efficiencies generated funding prioritized for the minimum wage increase.
Understanding that its employees can face financial hardships in their lives, Next Door’s leadership team has focused on an incentive package addressing barriers to success and promoting greater social justice in the community. In addition to raising the minimum wage, Next Door has implemented several recent benefits for its 254 employees. These include: a pilot program offering financial support to help teachers pay off student loan debt; prepaid tuition assistance; loans for unexpected life costs; additional paid time off and two Success Coaches helping employees manage work and life challenges.
About Next Door
Next Door supports the intellectual, physical and emotional development of children by partnering with their families for success in school and the community. Next Door serves more than 1,400 children, from birth to five years old, with two locations in Milwaukee’s central city and 11 early childhood partnership sites in the community. Through home- and center-based programs, Next Door strives to create a long-term foundation for success by closing the achievement gap for children living in poverty. Next Door’s highly qualified team provides critical educational support during a child’s most important developmental years with a focus on academic achievement, building social-emotional skills, and helping children become better prepared for school. Visit Next Door online at nextdoormke.org.