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INDIANAPOLIS — Many schools across central Indiana are on a block schedule, meaning they have more long breaks during the year and a shorter summer. While this approach has its benefits to the education world, it can make childcare tricky for working parents.
There is an option for caretakers who want to work but also want to be home with their school-aged children at districts like Perry Township. The employment would also be an alternative for people who are retired and want to work part time or anyone who wants to work less than 40 hours a week.
Perry Township Schools are hiring workers for the child nutrition department. These cafeteria workers have an important job of preparing, serving, and cleaning up the meals for students during the school day.
For mom Sara Milenbaugh, being able to work in the district where her daughter goes to school is a big plus. She herself is a 2007 graduate of the district.
"Yeah anytime she had a snow day, I had a snow day. When it's summer vacation, I'm on summer vacation, spring break I'm on spring break," Milenbaugh said. "It's very consistent. You know when you are going to work. what the pay is."
Milenbaugh starts her workday at 8 a.m. and works about 30 hours a week serving breakfast and lunch to kindergartners in the township.
"Oh its great," Milenbaugh said. "They really warm your heart like when one of them is like, 'can I have a hug?' It just makes your heart tingle."
Milenbaugh says there are several benefits to working within the district and it is family-friendly.
"We even have opportunities in the summer time to do a summer feeding program, or a jump-start program if you are concerned about being off all summer long," Milenbaugh said.
LEARN MORE | Employment opportunities at Perry Township Schools
Child Nutrition Director Erin Coleman says this is a position they are almost always hiring for and they have a lot of flexibility depending on how many hours employees want to work.
"We've got positions for all sorts of hours, anything from three to seven hours for your basic child nutrition workers to assistant managers and some head cashiering as well," Coleman said. "The hours typically start after you drop your kids off from school and you are home before they get home. So it really does provide a nice flexible work environment to be able to get some hours in in your workday but still be available to be with your children and take them to their activities."
Coleman also says this type of work is fast-paced but also fulfilling.
"It's a wonderful opportunity. It's very rewarding to know you are making a huge impact with the children and serving them and seeing their smiling faces everyday," Coleman said. "You get to feed children. Some of them this may be their only meal too, so you really go home knowing that you made a difference."
Starting pay is $12.32 an hour. The district offers long-term disability to employees who work more than 20 hours a week. The district offers that plus health, vision and dental benefits to employees like Sara who work more than 30 hours a week.