SUBSCRIBE NOW Get a year of news PLUS a gift box!



Head Start programs expect to lose more staff to vaccine mandates

Programs like Southeastern North Dakota Community Action Agency to take another blow with federal vaccine mandate deadline approaching.

Thumbnail - Headstart.jpg
Southeastern North Dakota Community Action in Fargo is suffering from staffing shortages.
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — More than 100 Minot children will lose their spot in the Head Start program after they were forced to let 18% of the center's staff go due to vaccine requirements.

Now, Southeastern North Dakota Community Action Agency (SENDCAA) in Fargo is expected to lose staff as well, as it's also a federally funded program.

When the mandate deadline hits, the center will likely lose fewer than 10 staff, but it will still shake things up.

The center will, at that point, have 15 openings — positions that are vital to its operation.

"As a program having 15 staff openings, that's huge," said Lindsey Burkhardt, the Project Director at SENDCAA. "It has a huge impact on your day-to-day operations and how you're able to function."


It's a culmination of the difficulties they've faced throughout the pandemic. And because of their current staffing shortage, they are able to take on 74 fewer kids than usual.

If something goes wrong, things only get harder, and shows that the mandate is just another hurdle they'll have to figure out.

"So when we have an employee that calls in sick, and we think about the trickle effect of that, like, we still need to find coverage for that classroom, so those kiddos can come. So it's this whole, like list of impacts," said Burkhardt.

Included in that list are pandemic fears, stress, and exhaustion.

Burkhardt herself is even resigning, not because of the mandates, but because she is tired, overworked and has three little girls at home that need their mom to be the best that she can be.

Related Topics: COVID-19 VACCINE
What to read next
Experienced measure, certifier makes sure the route will be exactly 26.2 miles
Nationally, Liam was the most popular boy name and Olivia topped the list for girls. Read on to find out the names most popular in North Dakota and Minnesota.
North Dakota State University holds commencement Saturday, May 14, 2022, in the Fargodome.
Minnesota State University Moorhead holds first in-person commencement in three years.