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OST Organization Increases Job Quality through Paid Leave and Pandemic Pay

Friday, 28 January 2022 15:19

How can organizations increase job quality for OST professionals? Here’s a real-life example from Wisconsin Youth Company.

Wisconsin Youth Company, an out-of-school-time nonprofit in Wisconsin, continues its commitment to the safety and well-being of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding its Emergency Paid Sick Leave through June 2022 and committing to pay staff when programs close due to the pandemic. 

This emergency paid leave was initially adopted with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act by the U.S. Department of Labor in April 2020. WYC continued offering this pandemic-focused sick leave after it expired federally in March 2021. Originally planned to expire in December 2021 within WYC, the Omicron variant growth showed the importance of continuing this sick leave.

Under this leave, both full- and part-time employees can take a paid leave of absence in addition to other paid leave provided by the organization.

Additionally, WYC commits to continue to pay its after school staff when programs close due to COVID-19 exposure. Families receive credits when programs are closed due to the pandemic; however, federal relief dollars allow Wisconsin Youth Company to continue operating and supporting its staff.

WYC after school staff have been working in-person with children throughout the pandemic — programs were only closed March-May 2020 — and continue to support children, working families, teachers, schools, and the community. These workers must be supported and valued for their important work.

“It is important that our staff feel supported through this pandemic. Whether it’s when they take off work to care for someone who has COVID-19, if they themselves get the virus, or our programs close because of COVID-19, we want our employees to know that they are valued and supported,” says Rebecca Carlin, executive director, Wisconsin Youth Company.

Do you have OST job quality examples to share? Email your stories to for the opportunity to be highlighted in the NAA eNews.

Learn more about the Wisconsin Youth Company here.