LECCEC given OK to raise rates
June 22, 2012 · Jake Krob, Sun publisher
Rates are going up slightly for Lisbon's early childhood services.
The school board approved the new rates last week, and also approved a 3.57 percent salary and benefits increase for Lisbon Early Childcare and Education Center (LECCEC) employees. In doing so, board members indicated a desire to reexamine the salaries in six months or so.
Jackie Luzum, director of the LECCEC, pointed out that rates are increasing between 2 to 3 percent. Still, she said, daycare rates are "right in the middle" of many of the facilities in Cedar Rapids. Rates range from $190 a week for toddlers and infants, full-time, to $53 a week for before- or after-school care for a school-aged child.
Board members also approved the salaries/benefits for LECCEC employees. The increase results in about $9,500 in total new costs to the program.
When board member Dave Prasil asked if staff members were okay with the pay increases, that led to a discussion about how daycare employees should be paid.
All full-time employees - those working at least 30 hours a week - get health insurance paid for by the district. Currently, up to 10 employees districtwide can waive insurance coverage and get a $600 annual stipend. Board member Eric Krob wondered if the district should increase that limit from the current cap of 10 employees. He suggested school leaders examine that.
Board members also suggested the district look at a salary schedule for LECCEC employees that's similar to that for teachers. Such a schedule spells out how much a person is paid based on education and experience.
Luzum said encouraging education, through pay, would also help the daycare center get other accreditations.
Board members decided to wait until after the new early childhood center is open before making any changes in how employees are paid.
"Let's revisit this then," Krob said.