BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Teacher shortages are forcing the Head Start Program in East Baton Rouge Parish to “stagger” opening its centers.

The mayor’s office said the following centers are scheduled to open on Sept. 6:

  • Freeman Matthews
  • New Horizon
  • LaBelle Aire
  • Charlie Thomas
  • Progress II

Other centers will open when they reach staffing capacity as required, according to City-Parish officials.

The Divison of Human Development and Services said the Head Start program currently has 42 teacher vacancies representing 42% of its teaching staff and 24 teacher assistant vacancies.

Amid staffing shortages, the program is offering to pay for additional online coursework for individuals with an associate or bachelor’s degree, working with teacher assistant applicants to earn a degree, and providing bonuses.

To learn more about the EBR Parish Head Start Program, click here.