From Jeri, Interim Executive Director
Notes from Michele, Director of Education
A hearty thank you to our end-year donors who gave an extra bump to our income in 2014! Without the unselfish and warm gifts from our community we couldn't serve the more than 120 preschool and 100 school-age children that rely on us all year-round. New books, crafts, and toys came in last month, and some very generous cash gifts. Thank you, from our deepest hearts.
Michele and Alicia share some great information (below) about things you can do with your children during these colder, darker, inside months--don't miss their great articles below.
Melissa Scalf has joined the staff as our new Development Coordinator. Melissa has worked in procurement in the for-profit sector and is excited about her new career in nonprofit services. Welcome, Melissa!
This month will be our last Parents Night Out. We have been glad to offer this opportunity to our families, but need to close the program after this one. There are just nine openings left, so sign up quickly if you're interested! This is available for families of Peninsula only; call Adrienne at 503-280-0534 ext 10 to sign up.
In 2015 families will learn about new policies, and will find us emphasizing and enforcing existing ones, that will help us make sure their children receive the best care and education possible. We've already received commendation for the improvements we're making to our food program. One of the next adjustments (scheduling and hours of operation) is presented elsewhere in this newsletter, so be sure and check it out.
These policies help us align with the new standards for Oregon's Quality Rating & Improvement System. The entire team at PCLC is deeply committed to being a program of the highest quality, and we're excited about the opportunities on our horizon in the new year. Stay tuned for more to come!
In this new year I wish each family, child and teacher here in our Peninsula family warmth, time with those you hold close and joy in the magical moments with children.
In the middle of these darker winter days many classrooms have included light tables, twinkle lights, or watching the light changes outside our windows as a part of children’s daily experiences. Watching light as it moves, sparkles, refracts and creates elusive colors and whimsical shadows will usually capture even the youngest children’s interest and provoke joy.
Why incorporate light into play? Light invites inquiry.
Infants through preschoolers seem to have a natural draw to the beauty and wonder of lights. Watching an infant’s fascination we know they are making brain connections as well as simply finding joy in light. Toddlers begin to use words to describe their reactions, feelings or curiosity about light.
With juniors and preschoolers when observing a ray of light or a reflection we often hear children wonder: where did the light or shadow come from? What made it? Children may begin to experiment to find out. This is the essence of creative and scientific inquiry. Young children do this naturally with new experiences they encounter in the environment.
In experimenting with light and various materials children use the inquiry skills of observation, prediction, experimentation and evaluation over and over again. In doing so they are creating their own knowledge of the world around them.
Take a moment to notice the light changes in nature and cuddle up with your child and a good book. Enjoy!
Light and Shadow books to share with your child:
- In Shadowland by Mitsumasa Anno
- Dark as a Shadow by Lawrence Lowery
- Bear Shadow by Frank Asch
- Nothing Sticks like A Shadow by Lynn Munsinger
- Shadowville by Michael Bartalos
- I Have a Friend by Keiko Narahashi
- Me and My Shadow by Arthur Dorros
- Shadows are About by Ann Whitford Paul
- Let’s Try it Out…Light and Dark by Seymour Simon
From Alicia, Curriculum & Licensing Coordinator
Children can begin to help with household chores much earlier than most people think. As soon as children are able to move around and pick up items, they can begin to practice cleaning up after themselves. Cleaning up may take a bit longer when you are doing it with your young child, but you will be setting an expectation of helping around the house right from the start. Start by modeling what you want the child to do, and describing how you do it. Don’t worry if the chore your child does isn’t done perfectly or the way an adult would do it. Children who receive positive attention while doing chores are more likely to do them. After they are done cleaning up (or doing some other chore), make sure to point out how clean the room is and how proud you are of the child for helping.
Practicing small chores with your young child around the house will lead them in feeling a sense of pride, ownership and connection to their home and family. You will also be engaging in a very important life skill. Here’s a list of chores that young children can do, divided up by ages!
Age-Appropriate Chores for Children
POLICY: Arrivals & Departures
At Peninsula and the Annex, you must check your child in with our Procare Attendance System upon arrival. At the School-Age sites, you must check your child in with a teacher. This is how we track attendance for our funders and our licensing requirements. See a member of the administrative team if there are problems with Procare, or leave a note.
EARLY CHILD CARE: Your child may arrive any time after 7:00 a.m. We cannot effectively supervise your child before that time. Your child must be at school by 8:15 a.m. to receive breakfast. This is a requirement of our Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Program.
You must call us by 9:00 a.m. if your child is going to arrive after that time, otherwise we will assume he/she is not attending and no lunch will be ordered. After calling, your child must arrive by 10:00 a.m. otherwise he/she cannot attend that day. This assures classes are not disrupted and that your child has time to settle in with the class before nap time.
SCHOOL AGE: Your child may arrive any time after 6:30 a.m. until the first bell rings.
At Peninsula and the Annex, you must check your child out with our Procare Attendance System. If there are problems with the system and no member of the administrative team is available, please leave a note with the time of your departure. At the School-Age sites, you must check your child out with a teacher.
You may pick your child up any time after 2:30 p.m. Picking up before that time introduces disruption into the classroom during nap time.
ALL SITES: You must pick your child up and leave the building by 6:00 p.m. each evening. Our teachers are ready to go home at that time. If you arrive after 6:00 p.m. you will be assessed a late fee of $1 per minute after 6:00. This will appear on your future bills.
If you have an unusual work schedule and need special considerations, please call us at 503-280-0534 and speak with Michele at ext. 36 or Alicia at ext. 33, or call the teacher where your School-Age child receives care. Those phone numbers are available in this newsletter.