Bend Kids Inc.’s popular after-school program is looking to fill 30 vacancies

BEND, Ore (KTVZ) — Children Inc.., the popular Bend afterschool program, hopes to find more workers to serve children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The program run by the Bend Park and Recreation District provides academic support and outdoor recreational activities for students.

Kids Inc. (and childcare in general) is in such high demand that slots filled up shortly after registration opened.

“They filled up that week, and as the slots open up, we’re taking people on the waitlist and checking the waitlists daily,” Sue Boettner said Monday. responsible for the leisure services of the BPRD.

Boettner said Kids Inc. is the largest provider of after-school programs and serves 1,100 to 12,000 young people.

Generally, between 90 and 100 members are hired for the program. This year, however, Kids Inc. has 30 vacancies. Boettner said the lack of staff is not making it easy to expand the care program.

“Currently we have about 300 on the waiting list for the 14 sites,” Boettner said.

She also stressed the importance of finding the right people to join the staff as recreation leaders.

“We hope we can find fun, skilled people who want to make a difference in children’s lives,” Boettner said.

For part-time weekday work, Boettner said they are open to applicants who are high school students, retirees and others.

“Kids who are in college, maybe young adults who are in college who are maybe going to school to be a teacher, and that’s a good experience,” Boettner said.

Selected candidates will undergo a full day training that includes behavior management and activity planning prior to the start of the program.

Along with offering medical, vision and dental benefits to part-time staff, Boettner said they also offer higher salaries, among other incentives.

“You have the ability to accrue vacation, sick (time), and personal day as well as get those benefits,” Boettner said.

Salaries have been increased for the three different recreation manager positions.

Rec 1 item went from $12 to $14.33 per hour, Rec 2 item went from $14.33 to $15.66, and Rec 3 item went from $16.91 to $18, $26.

Boettner plans to host a job fair in the near future to fill staff positions.