Staff Wellness

SUMMIT Early Learning is committed to the health and well-being of all staff members. 

Our agency’s philosophy includes the following key statement:

We are responsible to our employees. We care deeply about their well-being as individuals and try not to lose sight of their individuality, their potential for creativity, and their need for respect, recognition, and flexibility. All staff are encouraged to grow and develop, to learn from mistakes, and to take risks within a supportive environment. Our organizational family focus extends to our staff as well as to our clients. Simultaneously, we have high staff performance expectations, such as a sense of optimism, truly liking children and families, energetic job performance (physically, emotionally, and intellectually), honesty, willingness to listen, flexible attitudes, and a commitment to program goals.

We want you to know that we place high importance on this commitment and have put several things into place, in order to fulfill this responsibility. 

The following information and resources have been compiled to make sure that you are aware of the opportunities, benefits, policies and procedures that are available to you and of which you may take advantage, as an employee of SUMMIT Early Learning.

Additionally, we are always interested in how our agency can improve in the area of Staff Wellness and appreciate ideas and suggestions that are presented by you.

SUMMIT has modeled a Staff Wellness Plan around the U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being and its 5 Essentials for workplace Mental Health & Well-Being

  1. Protection from Harm
  2. Connection and Community
  3. Work-Life Harmony
  4. Mattering at Work
  5. Opportunity for Growth 
Click below for more information about each of the following 5 Essentials and Resources specifically for SUMMIT team members.

SUMMIT has put several things into place for the protection of staff, which include but are not limited to:

  • Excellent Health Care Benefits including mental/behavioral health, vision insurance, and dental insurance.
  • Sick time, which may also be used for family illness and appointments.
  • An in-house State Certified Safety Committee that meets monthly to review safety concerns and hazards, inspects each SUMMIT facility/workspace, and acts to correct safety issues.
  • Wellness Trainings/Seminars
  • Locked doors that can only be accessed with key cards.
  • Staff training on how to handle safety-related situations.
  • Policies and procedures for:
    • Violence in the Workplace
    • Workplace Harassment
    • Mental Health Services
    • Civility in the Workplace
    • Safety of Employees in Community Settings
    • Employee Pandemic Procedures
    • Infectious Diseases & Employees
    • Confidentiality

These can be found in the Employee Handbook or in the Personnel section of the Policies & Procedures Manual.

Our employees are the backbone of the agency and at SUMMIT, we always strive to make sure everyone knows that their individual role is a necessary key in making our programs and services run effectively. And, each person’s unique perspective and experiences are required for the total operation to be successful. 

Our mantra is #SUMMITONE – one mission, one team, relentlessly resilient. We need you!

Some of the ways we make sure you know that you matter include the following:

  • Annual Staff Recognition Lunch – each year, when fiscally feasible, we recognize staff who have been with SUMMIT for at least five years (and every five years thereafter). We hold a special luncheon for those staff members and their direct supervisors and acknowledge their tenure with a special gift.
  • The Sick Day Transfer Program – a program option that permits the donation of sick days to a co-worker who cannot return to work because of a serious, unplanned, prolonged illness or injury. For eligibility to give and receive, see Employee Handbook.
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package – includes generous time off, a 50% child care tuition discount, and a retirement savings plan with contributions made by SUMMIT.
  • A Staff Newsletter – the SUMMIT Staff Connector, where you can learn about other SUMMIT programs, services, and locations and stay up-to-date on what’s happening. And, staff are recognized and celebrated for personal and professional happenings and achievements.

At SUMMIT, we view our staff as whole people, not just as employees. Whenever possible, we choose to be flexible and work with our staff to ensure that they are able to balance work and life. Some of the ways that we promote work-life harmony are:

  • Paid Time Off
  • Sick Time 
  • Remote Work Policy
  • Casual Dress Policy

Education is a BIG part of our mission at SUMMIT but it’s not just for the children. We know that it is important for our staff to have opportunities for continuous learning and growth. These opportunities create a sense of accomplishment and competence. 

In addition to ongoing professional development presented through in-house training programs, webinars, and conferences/workshops, employees have the opportunity to continue their education, earn credentials, and even receive an Associate or Bachelor’s degree while working here!

Upon completion of certain coursework and degree programs, staff receive bonuses AND a pay increase!

We also participate in the T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® Pennsylvania Scholarship Program. T.E.A.C.H. works with early childhood providers, colleges and child care staff to offer scholarship programs and support systems that improve the education and compensation of child care workers.

At SUMMIT, we are welcoming of everyone and supportive of one another. We appreciate collaboration and listen to others’ ideas. We need everyone’s input and rely on teamwork to achieve our mission.

The relationships and connections we have at work are important, because of the amount of time we spend here. SUMMIT promotes healthy connections through a number of means:

  • Communication – whether in person, on Zoom, or through email, communication keeps one another informed, helps us be open and forthcoming, and allows us to share what’s happening throughout the agency.
  • A Staff Newsletter – the SUMMIT Staff Connector, where you can learn about other SUMMIT programs, services, and locations and stay up-to-date on what’s happening. And, staff are recognized and celebrated for personal and professional happenings and achievements.
  • Annual All Staff Training Day – a day when all staff get together in person, we bring in speakers and get together with teams to build relationships and rapport and learn new things.
  • Reflective Supervision – this practice supports staff to analyze and evaluate experiences to problem solve and develop solutions led by them with the supervisor’s support. In addition to giving staff the encouragement and guidance they need, it also keeps leadership in touch with the real issues that the program faces. Reflective supervision is a time to debrief after challenging, stressful encounters and/or situations.
  • Local celebrations and team building events – centers and teams have the flexibility to hold local events and build rapport.
  • Community service – Opportunities to participate in community service activities / volunteerism are offered throughout the year.
  • Partnerships with other organizations – SUMMIT is a big part of the communities in which we are housed. The families we serve and the staff we employ are all from within our local communities. Our relationships and partnerships with other local organizations allows us to meet the various needs of families and staff.