Directly Speaking

As we head into the last days of 2012, I would like to thank the many people that made this last year such a successful one for Peninsula.  First I want to thank the entire staff.  We are so fortunate to have such a qualified and dedicated group of people. A close second to the staff is our Board.  Under the leadership of Board President Marilyn Couch they have provided us guidance and vision for our school. I want to personally thank Marilyn for her support, who after 3 years has stepped down as president. I also want to congratulate Joan Corella, our new president. I look forward to working closely with her this coming year.
For the last year our Board and staff with the help of the Social Ventures Partners of Portland have been developing a three year strategic plan.  This will be the blueprint for our growth and development as a center for the next few years.  We hope to have it completed by the end of January and begin its implementation in February 2013.  Once it is finalized I will be happy to share it with you.
We have been very fortunate this past year having support from many organizations, foundations and trusts.  Among those who have been very generous with both time and money are the United Way of the Columbia Willamette who awarded us a capital improvement grant of over $32,000, Social Ventures Partners Portland, who gave us a 2-year $25,000 grant and countless hours of consulting time, City of Portland Children’s Levy who is our largest public contributor (over $172,000 annually), Junior League of Portland who not only provide us hours of volunteer time, but also gather donations from the community for our playground and classrooms. The picture in this article is one of our students standing in front of our "designer" trash can that's in front of our building - a donation valued at over $1,000 secured by the Junior League. And finally Rebuilding Together who annually does a total “make-over” of our grounds, where they not only supply volunteers, but also all the tools and materials. The support of the above organizations along with others has helped us ensure that we provide your children the best care possible at our center. If I left anyone out please accept my apologies.
As we prepare for the New Year we are always trying to improve the quality of our program.  We need your input on telling us about things that you think are successful, and about things that you feel that we can improve on. Our goal is to provide your children the best experience possible while your family is part of our larger Peninsula family.
On behalf of our entire staff I want to wish you a wonderful holiday season and thank you for all the support that you have given ME and the STAFF this past year.

Notes from Amber and Tracey, Co-Directors of Education

Due to our Oregon Program of Quality (OPQ) designation, Peninsula is able to offer our families even more benefits. OPQ is a designation indicating a program has met an identified, research-based measure of quality. The six quality standards are: collaborative family partnerships, child development and learning, physical environment, highly qualified personnel, administration & business practices, and health & safety. In 2012, 23 programs (eleven certified centers - including Peninsula, ten certified family providers, and two registered family providers) achieved OPQ designation through their participation in the OPQ field test.

Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) is contracting with OPQ programs for 12-month child care slots for Employment Related Day Care-eligible families. The three key goals for the field test are:

• for children to have access to continuous quality care,

• for providers to have stable funding in serving low income children in quality programs,

• and for families to have continuity of quality child care to support their employment.

A parent must be working at least 25 hours per week upon enrollment and children must be in care at least 136 hours per month to participate. Parents must also qualify for the ERDC program. Programs will receive monthly payments for each filled slot. Families receive one year, protected-eligibility contracted slots for children ages zero through six. Children receive continuous, quality care for the contract year and priority for a contracted slot for the following year. This is a great benefit to families who may have tenuous employment situations and risk losing their funding for child care. It is difficult for families
to obtain employment if they do not have safe, reliable child care options. With DHS once again placing families on a waitlist for services, OPQ centers will be exempt from the wait list, which is another advantage.

If you would like more information about this program, or wish to apply, please see Amber or Tracy.

For current ERDC families, please submit your paperwork to Tracy by Friday, December 7. Please make getting this paperwork completed and returned to her a priority! Thank you.

Sabin Site Notes

From Site Director Abby Scott

For the month of December, we will be doing activities based on some holidays and events celebrated in this month such as Advent, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. I try to provide basic information about these events and then offer activities associated with them that are always optional. 

We have finished our North America poster. You can find it on the East wall of the classroom next to the dry-erase board. We are now working on Africa! So far we have added animals, flags and presidents. Sara read Anansi the Spider to a group of kids and they added a piece about the story.  Please encourage your student to share what they know about Africa and other continents as we continue our virtual global travel experience.

Boise-Elliot Site Notes

From Site Director Francine Alexander

Happy Holidays from the Boise Eliot Program! During the month of December we will be focusing on holidays celebrated around the world. The children will be making an ornament that represents each country’s holiday to take home with them. During this month we will continue our discussion on changing weather patterns. We are continuing to work on our play “The Napping House” with a performance set for February since there are many events happening in the month of December.

A schedule will be going home this week for parents to fill in the days their child will be attending Boise Eliot during winter camp. Our winter camp dates are December 17-21 and December 26-28. The children will resume their normal schedule on Wednesday, January 2, 2012. Please remember to provide a peanut-free sack lunch each day during winter camp.

If there are any questions feel free to contact Shay or myself at 503-282-0042.

Program Updates

Please let us know your holiday schedules!

With the holiday season fast approaching Peninsula is asking parents to provide an accurate attendance schedule for the last two weeks of December and the first week of January. Please use the form that the teachers have put in your child’s mailbox to let us know when your child will attend. In order to know whether or not we can can accomodate teachers' time off requests we need to gather information about what children will be with us during the busy holiday season. Thank you!

Want to brush up on your resume writing and/or interview skills?

Our wonderful partners at the Junior League of Portland are interested in sharing their skills and expertise with you! In order to gauge the interest of our parents in potential workshops - hosted at Peninsula Children's Center this winter or spring - on the topics of resume writing and interviewing, we ask that you please complete this very short survey:

Your response at your earliest convenience (and no later than Saturday, December 15) will help us decide whether or not to launch this exciting program. Thank you!

Parents Night Out / Kids Night In

This Friday, December 7, from 6:00 - 9:30 p.m, we will have our monthly Parents Night Out / Kids Night In! Our theme this month is Polar Express. We'll be reading the book and drinking hot (warm) cocoa! Our other activities will include art, social time and a yummy dinner. This event has been a big hit with the children who attended in October and November - you can see a few of our attendees listening to Teacher Melissa reading a book in the picture at the left.

Parents Night Out / Kids Night In is open to current students and friends and relatives of current students. Children ages 2 – 8 are welcome to attend. Children do not need to be potty trained. The cost is $25 for the first child and $20 for each sibling. If you are interested please contact Tracy (503-280-0534, ext. 36 or

Calendar of events

Tuesday, December 4
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Family Involvement Committee Meeting
Friday, December 7
6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Parents Night Out / Kids Night In!
Thursday, December 13
4:15 - 6:00 p.m.
Winter Festival at the Maryland Campus
Monday, December 17 through Friday, December 21 School Age Winter Camp
Monday, December 24 & Tuesday, December 25 Winter Holiday - ALL SITES CLOSED.
Wednesday, December 26 through Friday, December 28 School Age Winter Camp
Monday, December 31 & Tuesday, January 1, 2013 New Years Holiday - ALL SITES CLOSED.