Heartland Agency & Educational Services
2.9 out of 5 stars.
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Heartland Agency & Educational Services Employee Reviews

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2.8Work-life balance

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Rewarding work, long hours, challenging job

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Working here, you can make a real difference for families who need help BUTSenior management is all related to the founder, most upper management have family members working for Heartland, and if you can live with doing what you're told without asking questions then you may do well there. There is NO planning time during the day and you end up spending a lot of time driving a school bus or on home visits with families two times a year. Classroom expectations are high which means most of the planning and prep work happens at home on your own time. You will be working with very challenging children who come from very challenging backgrounds, expect to be hit, kicked, and bitten as a normal part of your day. In-class support is inconsistent, not all staff are equally trained or experienced to deal with tough situations. Teacher training is basic, you will need to be able to learn on your feet and not be put off by children who have high needs. Support from management to deal with these situations is inconsistent, but generally they do try. Heartland is trying to do a lot on a shoestring, this means that you will be asked to do a lot (jumping in to cover frequent staffing shortages) with almost nothing (for example being told not to colour photocopy anything because it's too expensive), it can be exhausting and despairing at times but it can also be very rewarding.

Pros

Rewarding work that helps families in need.

Cons

Questionable management practices, exhausting and demanding work.
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Supportive Team Culture

As a new teacher at Heartland, I can say that I have learned so much during my time here. I was lucky to work with 2 amazing EAs, and we had a very open and collaborative relationship within our classroom. The other staff, therapists and management team were very approachable and supportive, and answered all my questions as I was building my confidence. I love the relationships that staff are able to build with children and their families…it really makes the work I do so much more meaningful and rewarding. No two days are ever the same and I like that aspect of my job.

Pros

Amazing coworkers

Cons

Challenging behaviours
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Rewarding work

Reading other reviews, I agree that the nature of the work is challenging and demanding. However, my experiences with the Agency have been very positive, with many of my co-workers having been with Heartland for more than 10 years. The management has always been fair, and has had to make difficult decisions with COVID and changes to funding. There are lots of little 'extras' that Heartland does for their employees that I appreciate...wellness days, staff lunches, professional development days, guest speakers, etc. The culture is very caring and nurturing, and staff and managers are there to support each other, especially during challenging moments. I have had the opportunity to work alongside a number of practicum students during my time at Heartland, and several have become employees after their placement because of their positive experiences.

Pros

Caring staff and managers; good team dynamics

Cons

Challenging children and families
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Best Decision I Made!

I worked at the Mayland Heights location. The past year was full of ups and downs. Things were getting hard after Christmas. There was a change in Management in April and I’m glad I stuck it out. Things got so much better and I’m looking forward to seeing what next year brings.

Pros

Working with Challenging kids

Cons

Working with Challenging kids
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Wonderful Calgary Program!

I have been an EA at Heartland for 8 years and am so happy to be part of this amazing team! The culture is very family-oriented and the people I work with truly care and work towards a common goal for children and families. I have been supported in my career growth through ongoing professional development and training opportunities, and I appreciate the trust my manager has put in me. Upper management is in touch with the program and often check in to get feedback from staff. I value the opportunities I have to learn and grow within my position. As a non-profit, the company is always finding fun and inventive ways to let the staff know that they care about them and value their contributions.

Pros

Ongoing training, open communication

Cons

None
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Rewarding, feel like I made a difference

This is a demanding job but the Agency supports and cares about their employees. Management was responsive to feedback from staff, and unique initiatives make the Agency stand out in Calgary. I worked at the Agency for 4 years before going back to school for Education, and plan to return as a teacher when I graduate. The positive workplace culture helped to keep staff motivated even on the tough days, and the manager was very open and approachable.

Pros

Positive culture, supportive team, strong communication, caring staff

Cons

Challenging behaviours
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Rewarding place to work

The work can be hard and so can the culture but this is true of any place I have worked. There are great people and those that are challenging but overall the culture at Heartland is better than most due to the floor staff and their positivity. The managers also work hard for their staff.

Pros

Coworkers, the work, the children

Cons

Can be challenging
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The knock-off version of what it could be.

If they had the right people with the right education running the place it could be a 5 star program and a 5 star place to work. Their major downfall is the fact that it's family run and mostly government funded. I do believe the people who run the program have (mostly) their hearts in the right place, but can be jaded. They do treat staff as terribly and you're basically disposable. There is a lot of gossiping happening in the management offices and I could never recommend working here unfortunately because a majority of the people who are in charge either don't know what they're doing, dont have the education to be doing it or refuse to do it well.

Pros

Rewarding work

Cons

Management
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Workplace

Worst company EVER to work for. As with other reviews they are a family run business and if they don't like you , you're out. Have no idea how to treat employees.

Pros

Free lunches

Cons

Petty bickering throughout staff and management
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Company should be reviewed....

Run by a family that never even shows appreciation or interest in their staff (this includes the EvenStart program). One small misstep and you're out - even though you are doing a job way beyond your competencies with little training. While the company promotes the "well-being" of a child, management is more concerned with running side businesses. I have heard of other staff working on the senior managers' personal projects, which is inappropriate. The front-line staff is the only reason this company is still standing. The teacher's and EA's are placed in difficult situations and work with complex children for 8+ hours a day and try their best to offer a safe and happy environment. If the company was smart, they would hire an external HR company to manage and deal with these concerns. Not having an HR individual that can be unbiased creates a toxic workplace. No wonder I have seen so many colleagues leave.

Pros

Kiddos

Cons

Management, poor work culture, no room for growth, no HR, toxic
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Amazing place

I have worked for Heartland for 21 months. I moved from the UK after getting a job offer. I am so, so thankful for all the support I have received from all in the agency. From colleagues in my location to upper management and the founder. I have learned so much from the expert therapists and Management. There is so much support and care given to staff, children and families who utilize the program. I feel extremely privileged to be part of the work the agency does. The work is challenging at times but the rewards outway this.Through the challenges of recent times the agency has had to make some difficult decisions but with the needs of the families and children at the forefront. They have managed to maintain programs and continue the excellent work they have done for years. I'm proud to be a member of staff at The Heartland Agency.

Pros

Supportive and caring company. Great staff. Experts on site. Self development and skills.

Cons

None
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Such an amazing place to work!

I loved working here. The management was always available and willing to help when needed. They helped support the staff during the COVID shut down. The kids are amazing and challenging but there is always support around to help. I wish I could have stayed longer. I always felt valued. The staff are hard workers and a great support team for each other. I will miss the kids the most.

Pros

kids are amazing, the management is totally supportive, senior management is always available

Cons

the kids can be challenging
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This job is ok if you want a start with working with traumatized children,not for long term

There is too much bullying from management. They like to belittle you in front of other staff. They make you feel dumb and appreciated at the same time

Pros

Good starter job

Cons

Not for long term.
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Poor environment

A very high turnover rate. Abusive management. They like to hire untrained and less educated people so they don't have to pay more. High expectations with less pay. Don't not recommend anyone to work there. Worst place. People don't know when they get fired for no reason. They are selfish people and everyone working there is completely insecure.Family run business.

Pros

Nice families

Cons

Under-educated manager
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Mayland Heights location is the worst place ever

Poor management. The office people are all very condescending. They will make you feel that you are beneath them. High expectations but too little support from the management. They don’t pay me high enough to stress myself out here. I work hard but they can discard you easily for stupid reasons such as they don’t like you.

Pros

families are great

Cons

Management is horrible
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Cooking at heartland

My job at heartland was to shop clean .make up the menus week Nd cook for preschoolers and I loved every middle of yet once a month I would show them how to bake they loves baked spaghetti ate it every week

Pros

My own kitchen. Showing kids how to bake

Cons

Not letting me know sooner i had great ambition
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Bad work culture

There is definitely an “in crowd” at Heartland and if you aren’t “in” you are treated poorly. Senior leadership made it well known to frontline staff that we were all replaceable. My manager approved various days of time off and then threw me under the bus at my performance review with the director present, for absenteeism.
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The Heartland Agency Experience

My time with Heartland has been a great experience. Everyone works together as a team, communication is good, the work life balance is great, management is understanding and receptive, they believe in education and supporting staff to pursue education and promote accordingly. Overall, is a great team to be a part of.
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Poor Management !

Agree with the other 1-star ratings. Upper management treats staff very poorly. Management unapproachable and not supportive - EA's working as teachers due to high teacher turnover rates. Difficult work with no understanding or support. Variation in wages throughout team (regardless of previous experience or education). Front-line staff were supportive and worked hard every day to make a difference for the children. Inappropriate 'team-building' activities that attempt to divide front-line staff. Consistently high turnover rate. Would not recommend working here.
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Poor management

Upper management treats staff very poorly. Unapproachable and not supportive. Inappropriate 'team-building' activities that attempt to divide frontline staff. Very high turnover rate (teachers and EA's). Would not recommend working here.
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Great place to work

Fun and energetic environment to work. Great communication between superiors and and younger staff. Everyone seems to get a long and therefore creates a fun work environment.
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Overall rating

2.9

Based on 25 reviews
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Ratings by category

2.8Work/Life Balance
2.9Salary/Benefits
2.6Job security/advancement
3.0Management
3.2Culture

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