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Afterschool care staff needs reach critical situation

August 24, 2021

BPRD will reduce enrollment at elementary schools if unable to hire 20 more

Bend Park and Recreation District is calling on all parents who rely on its afterschool care program Kids INC to help recruit and refer potential employees in the next two weeks. Letters were sent to families of nearly 1,000 school-age children who are enrolled for the upcoming school year today asking for help.

“Kids INC is facing a severe staffing shortage as we head into the school year. We are doing everything we can to find qualified people to help care for your children, including holding job fairs, increasing pay and benefits, revising positions to offer some year-round opportunities and more,” wrote Sue Boettner, recreation services manager. “It does not seem to be enough as there are not many applicants for the open positions. If we are not able to find staff to fill these jobs, we will be forced to temporarily reduce the number of children that we are able to serve until staffing levels improve.”

The park district offers afterschool care on site at 14 elementary school in Bend, which requires approximately 80-90 employees in total. The program plans to add academic support and enrichment activities this fall including STEM activities and homework help, in addition to art, games and sports which have been part of the program for three decades.

Families are being asked to refer friends or family members with experience with young children and might want a fulfilling job opportunity to apply for needed positions and/or attend a hiring event this Thursday, Aug. 26 from 4-7 pm at Larkspur Community Center. An additional hiring event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 1, which may be too close to the start of the school year to stave off temporary changes.

BPRD leaders will reduce enrollments starting at the beginning of the school year until staff hiring improves if additional staff are not hired this week. Follow-up communication to families will occur Friday, Aug. 27 to advise if enrollment reductions must be made.

“Please know that we will continue looking for solutions and will do our best to continue serving the after-school care needs for your family and others in our community,” added Boettner.

The open positions offer a variety of benefits, which may include paid leave, recreation facility passes and recreation program registration discounts. View positions at: www.bendparksandrec.org/jobs.

Bend Park and Recreation District is an equal opportunity employer.