PHILOSOPHY, GOALS, AND GUIDELINES
Moss Street Mission
The primary goal of Moss Street Children’s Center is to remove childcare as a barrier to student parents’ access to the University of Oregon. This is accomplished by providing high-quality, affordable childcare in a convenient location and with scheduling options that support students who are also parents. The secondary goal of Moss Street Children’s Center is to enhance the learning experiences of undergraduate and graduate college students by providing quality employment, internship, volunteering, and observational experiences in the field of early childhood education. Incidental fees, parent fees for service, and federal and state sources combined, allow us to meet our mission. Toward our mission, we are committed to the following:
- Supporting multicultural awareness and diversity by ensuring that all families and staff are treated with respect and feel welcomed and supported in our classrooms and curriculum. Also, by offering opportunities for the children and staff to learn about each other’s cultures, values, and beliefs.
- Promoting child development and learning in all domains by providing empirically based and developmentally appropriate activities, planned and implemented by teachers, based on their observations in the classroom, knowledge of the children and families, and expertise and experience in the field. The social-emotional development of the children is strongly emphasized in our program.
- Including children and staff with a variety of abilities.
- Adhering to high safety and supervision standards.
- Being child centered and family focused.
- Providing multiple scheduling options, such as full time, part time, and the opportunity to change schedules each term for both families and student staff.
- Actively seeking opportunities for parent and staff input and engagement, including: Parent Council meetings, parent-teacher conferences, director office hours, morning coffee chats, family surveys, and individual meetings.
- Offering after-school transportation for children in neighborhood elementary schools.
- Supporting student staff to connect their co-curricular experience at Moss Street with their academic and professional goals. Providing on-the-job feedback and training, group trainings, mentoring, and performance evaluations. Covering critical points of professionalism, such as early childhood best practice, self-management skills, health and safety, work habits, and school-to-work transitions.
- Maintaining minimal turnover of staff, in part through professional development support and planning.
- Aiming to reduce expenses and access new resources by prioritizing student employees with work-study, reducing personnel costs; collaborating with and encouraging student families to access ASUO Childcare Subsidy, and encouraging fundraising to offset operational costs.
- Creating safe and nurturing environments for parents to breastfeed.
Curriculum Goals for Children
It is our goal to help children develop pro-social behaviors, including respect, empathy, and compassion. We integrate the value of appreciating and celebrating differences throughout our classrooms and activities. Teachers are trained to reinforce and scaffold all levels of pro-social behavior that the children demonstrate. A key strategy for building empathy in children at Moss Street is the identification and validation of feelings. In each classroom we focus on relationships and building social responsibility.
We believe that children learn through their play. During play children explore and create their own theories and test them. We love to provide activities for children that give them experiences that reflect the interest and curiosity of the children. In our classrooms you will observe children engaged in developmentally appropriate activities that have been carefully designed by teachers who are familiar with each child’s interest and development.
While children play, they sometimes are confronted with problems to solve. We consider this a major part of their development and we take seriously our role as their guides. We know that each problem offers another opportunity to try a strategy and assess success…trial and error. As children identify and practice creative approaches to conflict resolution, they are supported by skilled teachers. At Moss Street we understand that children are learning the important skills associated with cooperation and being part of a community. Each day children are involved in goal setting for themselves. They are also part of the planning for large and small groups in their classrooms. Children get lots of practice cooperating, facilitated by teachers during games, sharing, and working with peers.
Each classroom helps children recognize and develop self-control at the developmental appropriate level. You will see teachers supporting children as they transition from home to school, throughout the day, and from school to home. We work to have a balance between spontaneous activities and the security of predictable routines. Mindfulness skills of deep breathing, recognizing and sharing feelings and needs, and listening to others are practiced often. Moss Street classrooms are rich in language, including music and literature, because we know there are many positive impacts from language exposure on cognitive and social development.
Moss Street staff members have chosen to emphasize the following components, and these are evident in the curriculum.
We strive to teach self-care skills, from potty training to tying shoes; social interaction skills; language skills; learning skills; and development of empathy and understanding. These are all key parts of the child’s growth toward becoming an autonomous, compassionate, competent, and caring individual.
Play is fundamental. What adults consider play is often the learning laboratory where children explore roles and relationships and "play" with notions, concepts, and ideas. Each child is a scientist and explorer. The role of the teacher is to facilitate the further development of curiosity and help expand each child’s interest in learning.
Social skills are learned skills. Learning to share and function cooperatively is a result of both developmental growth and experiences. Moss Street teachers function as facilitators to help children solve conflicts verbally, through guided problem solving and cooperative effort.
Curriculum focuses on celebrating and exploring the diversity of the community and the larger world. We include and cherish all children with varied abilities and challenges. All children have the right to be included and equal members of the group.
Children’s increasing ability to participate in selecting their own activities is encouraged. Times are set aside for children to choose freely from available activities. Children’s initiative and interests are key factors in planning on-going projects.
Foundations for learning are emphasized rather than specific facts and concepts. Basic understandings and processes for exploration are encouraged and developed. Children learn best by doing. Direct experiences with materials and situations are much more valuable learning tools than abstract approaches.
Activities need to be developmentally appropriate. A balance between challenges and successes maximizes children’s growth.
Parents are children’s primary teachers. The role of a professional educator is to support parents in assisting all children in achieving their full potential.
UO-Affiliated Childcare Program Statement of Philosophy
University of Oregon families represent a unique range of students, faculty, and staff whose needs for childcare reflect varying work and school schedules, responsibilities, and budget constraints. Childcare programs that serve the university community must demonstrate responsiveness to these needs by including the following elements:
- Providing an environment where children are encouraged to:
- be actively involved in the learning process;
- experience without limitations or biases a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and materials; and
- pursue their own interests in the context of life in their community and the world.
- Serving children and their families. Close interaction and involvement with parents is encouraged and supported.
- Including university students as an integral part of staffing by providing work-study, practicum, and internship opportunities.
- Providing research, observation and practicum experiences for faculty and students from a variety of disciplines.
- Achieving the highest standards of excellence in the field of early childhood education. In doing so, they will actively encourage and support the professional development of their staff.
State Licensing Requirements
Moss Street complies with state regulations, and the University of Oregon's own stringent standards regarding certification, center management, personnel, physical settings, sanitation, food service, and care of children. There are copies of state rules available in the office for your reference.
At Moss Street Children’s Center, we understand that strong adult-child interactions are key to child development and learning. We expect staff to interact with children in ways that support their learning and development. This means planning for space, time and activities that foster positive adult-child interaction, and will include the following:
Use open-ended questions to engage in frequent conversations with children.
Our staff engage regularly with children in conversations that stimulate learning and social emotional well-being. These conversations are embedded in routines and activities at all ages. Adults ask children open-ended questions while diapering, toileting, playing with toys (indoor and outdoor), while reading books, in small and large groups and one on one, while eating, and while helping children problem solve and play with peers.
Be in close physical proximity to children.
Teachers stay close to children and move to where the children are. This allows staff to observe, show interest, support, nurture, intervene, and scaffold on behalf of children’s learning and development.
Join children’s activities.
Focus interactions on children’s activities and interests.
Sometimes teachers will build relationships by joining the children’s activities. In this way they can strengthen relationships, model peer interactions, scaffold play, and be a resource to children. By focusing our interactions with children around their interests and activities, we can enhance their curiosity which leads to learning.
Use positive comments and encouragement with children.
Acknowledge and validate children’s emotions.
A key to Moss Street philosophy is to validate children’s feelings and encourage them to try new things, to remain persistent, and to share their feelings and needs with others. We believe that by helping children to identify and express their feelings we are building their understanding of themselves and emotional vocabulary that leads to empathy toward others.
Discipline and Guidance Policy
The core of Moss Street philosophy regarding discipline and guidance is that each child and each adult will be treated in a respectful manner. Mutual respect between adults and children provides the foundation for the development of positive social interaction skills.
Standards of acceptable children’s behavior in Moss Street programs are established to:
- Ensure the safety of all
- Foster a climate of sensitivity, mutual respect, and willingness to contribute to the well-being of others
- Model cooperation, use of resources, including use of teacher time and other resources equitably
- Maintain facilities
- Assist children in learning strategies to resolve conflict and express emotions
Prevention of inappropriate behavior is emphasized by:
- Giving children freedom to explore and grow
- Having realistic expectations of behavior
- Communicating to children both the expectations for behavior and the reasons for these standards
- Etablishing, when possible, consequences of inappropriate behavior
Parent Involvement in Behavior Guidance
To support Moss Street’s work in encouraging positive behavior, parents have an obligation to report all relevant conduct issues that occur at school or other childcare facilities to Moss Street staff.
- This information will be used to determine whether a child needs guidance and alert staff to possible trends in behavior.
- This information will not be used for discipline or discharge unless there is a nexus between the behavior and the child’s ability to be a member of the Moss Street community.
- Moss Street staff may initiate planning conversations to develop strategies to provide children guidance in response to off-site misconduct; the parents will be fully involved just as they are in on-site behavior discussions.
When adult interventions are needed in response to children’s negative behavior, the following steps will be taken:
- Take necessary steps to ensure safety of all children.
- Attempt to redirect child's disruptive behavior to a positive, alternate activity.
- Carefully remove child from an area when their behavior is unacceptable or disruptive.
- Involve children in discussion of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, following a cooling-off period.
- Consequences will, as much as possible, be logical outcomes of behavior (e.g., cleaning up spilled item or learning age-appropriate conflict resolution skills after negative interaction).
- When negative behaviors are repetitious and/or continue over time, clear and consistent non-punitive consequences will be established and utilized consistently. In such instances the parent(s) will be fully involved in discussions and planning of actions. It is contrary to Moss Street policy for children, under ANY circumstances, to be threatened with, or subject to, physical discipline, or to be subjected to demeaning personal criticism.
- Some conduct, such as that which endangers or causes harm to other children or the staff of Moss Street, may warrant immediate discharge from Moss Street after the conduct has been investigated and documented.
The decision to terminate/discharge is decided on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to terminate services at any time.
Confidentiality of Discharge
If a child is discharged from Moss Street because of behavior that has put another child at risk or caused another child harm, the parent(s) of the child at risk or harmed may be notified that the discharged child is no longer at Moss Street, but will not be given details about the discharge. Moss Street will not release information about current or former families, except as required by law or court order.
Creating a Violence-Free Zone
Recognizing that violence is all too often part of our media, culture, and communities, we have established Moss Street Children’s Center as a violence-free zone.
We strive to facilitate and guide children in establishing patterns of behavior that are nonviolent and nonaggressive.
To that end we have established the following rules and guidelines:
- People are not for hitting, kicking, biting, or hurting verbally.
- Those who cannot be a nonviolent part of the group will be separated from the group.
- Neither children nor super heroes are allowed to hurt others. If such play cannot be done without aggression towards others, then it cannot continue.
- Weapons, including knives, swords, guns, bows, spears, or clubs are not appropriate at Moss Street. Please keep any of these toy items at home or in your car. If they are brought into a program they will be placed in your child’s cubby until pick-up.
- We will model authority roles and actions that are not based on the superior physical strength of an adult.
- When children use violence as a problem-solving tool, we will ensure that they have the opportunity to learn other appropriate strategies.
- We believe and act as individuals who can and will step in and make a difference.
- When individual children repeatedly act violently, we will use each other as problem-solving resources to meet individual needs in an environment free of fear and intimidation.
BEING AN ACTIVE PARENT
The Moss Street Children’s Center exists to serve families. This means that Moss Street is here to serve both children and parents. We hope that all families find our classrooms welcoming and supportive environments. To that end, the following standards apply:
- Parents have access to their children at all times.
- Access to any program teacher for discussion relating to the classroom and their children is encouraged, although appointments may be necessary.
- Documents dealing with governance, regulations and policies or others applicable to Moss Street are accessible and can be made available to parents.
- Personal family records are kept confidential and only shared with other staff as needed.
- All parents shall have reasonable access to the childcare director to express concerns related to their children and/or the childcare programs.
It is our intention to always communicate with parents in a respectful manner. This respect also includes maintaining professional confidentiality for information parents share with staff.
We hope that parents feel comfortable sharing information about their family that may impact a child’s emotions or behavior. Staff will not discuss private information publicly or outside of confidential meetings.
We also hope that parents will similarly discuss sensitive issues outside of classroom times. Teachers and the director are available to provide consultation, community referrals, and support to parents.
Moss Street is committed to working with children and their families, so that each child's experience at the center is respective, positive, and rewarding. We believe that respectful and open communication between parents and the Moss Street staff is essential to the quality of care we provide. If we have concerns about a child's need, we will meet with parents to discuss our concerns and establish a plan to benefit the child, family and the center.
Families may be discharged from Moss Street Children's Center for certain incidences. These include, but are not limited to:
- Use of profanity on the grounds
- Treating staff/teachers with disrespect
- Verbal and/or physical abuse to children, staff, or each other
- Parent habitually arrives after closing to pick up their child
- Parent fails to complete and/or update required records and forms
- Use of drugs, alcohol, or any other illegal substance on the property
- Non-compliance with required level of participation (attendance)
- Providing false documentation
- Parent's failure to pay fees
The decision to terminate/discharge is decided on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to terminate services.
Orientation of New Families
When a new family is enrolled at the Moss Street Children’s Center, the mentor teacher for the child’s age group will contact the family to set up an orientation at the center. Opportunities for the parent and child to meet other classroom teachers and to spend more time in the classroom can also be scheduled. The initial orientation is the best time for parents to raise questions they may have about the program, about their child starting care, or daily routines.
Once children begin care, additional questions sometimes arise. Because teachers are engaged with children, pick-up and drop-off times may not be the best time for a complete conversation. Parents can let the teacher know they would like to talk and the teacher will strive to find a mutually acceptable time to talk without interruption.
Transition of Children
We encourage the parents of new children to provide a supportive transition into our childcare at a rate tailored to their child's needs. The success of this transition sets the stage for that child's comfort and ability to adjust to the demands of our environment.
Prior to children moving to a new age group, an orientation for parents and visits to the new classroom for children will be scheduled.
Parents are welcome to visit their children attending Moss Street at any time.
Talking with teachers: Because teachers are busy leading groups of children, they may not be available to talk at drop-off and pick-up times. Scheduled meetings with teachers are generally more helpful than dropping in to talk. Brief check-ins at drop off or pick up are a good way to share information about how children are doing each day.
Parent visits: Families with young babies are encouraged to visit in order to feed them or otherwise meet their baby’s needs. With all ages, parents are welcome at any time; however, it is important to be aware that parental visits can be disruptive to classroom routines or to children’s participation in classroom activities. Some children have difficulty saying goodbye to their parent. To ensure that parent participation contributes to a positive classroom environment, teachers will communicate with parents about how visits may be affecting the classroom as a group or their child in particular. In general, the best times for visiting a program are prior to 11:30 a.m. or between 3:00 and 5:30 p.m.
Each year, all parents have the opportunity to meet individually with the lead or mentor teacher in their child’s classroom. We would like this to be a time for us to learn more about one another and for teachers and parent to partner. During this time, teachers will encourage parents to share their goals for their child, their family’s values and beliefs, and anything else they would like the teachers to know. Teachers will share, if requested, their screenings and assessments regarding the child’s development. The teachers will make suggestions for maximizing potential strengths and work with parents to identify goals. It is a primary goal that these sessions will help parents and teachers better understand the needs of each child and the classroom. This is also an opportunity for parents to share concerns and ask questions.
These conferences are not the only opportunity for such discussions. Either parents or teachers can request an individual meeting at any time questions or concerns arise. These meetings will be scheduled in a timely manner.
We recognize that parents often need current information about their child’s sleeping, eating, and toileting routines, as well as their behavior while in care. Because of the number of children in care and varying pick-up and drop-off times, these communications must often be brief. In the younger age groups, communication about eating, sleeping, and toileting is provided daily. Please be aware that teachers continue to be responsible to the whole group and it may be best to schedule a meeting time with the teacher if you wish a more extensive conversation.
The Parent Council serves as an advisory body to the director, on operational topics of the Moss Street Children’s Center. Much of this handbook was developed in partnership with the Parent Council.
Issues that the Parent Council examine include the budget, hiring, grievances, admissions, and fundraising. Each council meeting begins with introductions.
The council meets quarterly while the UO is in session. Meeting schedules are posted for parents. The council elects a parent chairperson and establishes its own operating rules. The Moss Street director is responsible for submitting an executive summary for each meeting. A Moss Street representative from the teaching staff also attends these meetings.
Free childcare and a meal are provided for all council meetings. We ask, when possible, for parents to sign up ahead of time to attend so enough staffing and food can be arranged for each meeting. A sign-up sheet will be posted at the front desk several days before a meeting.
The primary avenue for parent involvement in planning and operations is through the Parent Council. The council governance document includes the following statements on the roles of the Parent Council and Moss Street staff:
- The relationship between the Moss Street Parent Council (herein after, the council) and staff at Moss Street must be, by its nature, collaborative. The council and staff shall work together to promote program excellence and fiscal stability.
- The staff—for legal, contractual, educational, and programmatic reasons—provides continuity in all areas for which it is responsible.
- The council is involved to ensure that the programs meet, as is feasible, the needs and desires of program parents and their children.
- Staff and parents shall work together to guide the programs in the best possible way.
- In practical terms, the council advises the staff. The staff has an obligation to consider such advice seriously and to represent the position of the council, should it be necessary, to the Erb Memorial Union. For its part, the council shall solicit, and consider seriously, advice from staff in exploring options for setting Moss Street’s direction.
- Any parent can choose to be an active Parent Council member. One or two staff members are chosen by the classified staff to be members of the council, and the council as a whole advises the director on pertinent issues. Any parent with children enrolled at Moss Street may attend.
Parents are welcome to volunteer at Moss Street by helping with special projects, accompanying their child’s class on field trips, by sharing special talents or family/cultural traditions. Teachers will communicate with parents about how their volunteering may be affecting the group or their child.
All parents interested in accompanying the class on field trips or volunteering in the classroom must complete a UO Human Resources background check; Moss Street will assist with the form and processing.
Volunteers cannot be alone with children. Volunteers must remain within sight and sound of a teacher.
In addition to volunteer opportunities, we offer work study and student employee opportunities. These are positions in the classrooms working with kids, in the office, in the kitchen, or on a special project basis. Student parents who want to work with children are not usually placed in the same classroom as their enrolled child.
Moss Street will also occasionally ask parents to participate in Parent Work Parties. These events are focused either on general center fix-ups or specific projects. We hope you will join us for these productive and enjoyable events. Food is provided.
At Moss Street we want all families to be able to understand the information we share with and require from families. Toward this end, we inform families through multiple means of the resources available to help families understand our information.
Moss Street emails current families a weekly list of center and community dates, events, and reminders. This is a good way for families to learn information about upcoming Moss Street activities. These communications include occasional reminders of both the UO family listserv: https://hr.uoregon.edu/worklife and Lanekids, Lane County's website for family activities and resources: www.lanekids.org.
Periodically, Moss Street families will be asked to complete parent surveys. The purpose of these surveys is to help the center obtain feedback about their experiences with Moss Street.
Moss Street participates in the eScrip program. This program is a simple way for Moss Street to raise funds. Parents, staff, and friends simply sign up at www.escrip.com (ID 9259684) and then make purchases using their registered credit or debit card. Moss Street earns a small percent of the money spent at participating merchants.
Additionally, Moss Street parents hold periodic fundraising events for classroom supplies and other school needs. These events are coordinated by Moss Street parents, and their success depends on strong parent participation.
Fundraisers held at local restaurants are a delicious, easy way to help raise funds. Each of these tasty events requires a flyer, handed out and e-mailed to parents and staff.
Each year the Moss Street Children’s Center puts on events that are intended to bring families together. Parents are involved through the Parent Council to help plan these events.
A sample of fun Moss Street family events includes:
- Fall: The Harvest Festival is held at the center each year on the evening of a Friday late in October.
- Winter: Moss Street hosts all families to a pancake breakfast at the center.
- Spring: In June, the oldest preschoolers, along with their families and teachers, participate in a ceremony to recognize their transition to elementary school.
- Summer: In July, all families are invited to a birthday party and evening barbeque. Established in 1970, we have celebrated more than 50 years of caring for children.
Application and Enrollment
Because Moss Street is a UO student service and receives operating subsidies from Student Incidental Fees, many of our procedures, guidelines, and schedules have been created to address student needs.
Each child enrolled at Moss Street must have a completed application form on file. The form should include starting and ending dates for the term's care, as well as the weekly schedule request with days and times specifically marked. The application serves as a contract for your financial obligation.
For all new families, an application and a new parent information packet must be completed prior to starting care. Completed parent information packets are due at least 10 calendar days prior to your child(ren)'s initial enrollment start date.
Families must re-enroll each academic year. Once admitted, enrollment continues through the school year although schedules may change each term. Student families receive first priority for available vacancies. University employee families are second priority. A limited number of continuing care slots are available for non-student families admitted during the academic year.
As part of our enrollment process, for children preschool age and younger, we ask parents to complete an online child assessment tool, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The ASQ screens children for the need for further evaluation. Parents can also request a hard copy of the ASQ from our office.
The seven childcare classrooms at Moss Street Children’s Center serve children of different ages. The youngest age group admits children at 3 months old. Children must have reached 3 months of age prior to enrollment in this program.
Children are eligible if they reach the beginning age for that program before the school term for which they are applying begins. For example, a child turning 3 in December, would be eligible for enrollment in a winter term preschool program.
Teachers will consult with parents to discuss the child’s readiness for a smooth transition to an older age group. Language and reasoning abilities are factors, but social skills and self-sufficiency skills are of greater importance. Children moving into an older age group will have opportunities for multiple visits before transferring to the new classroom.
As with all applications, any such "graduations" into older age groups will be on a space-available basis, with returning families having scheduling priority.
Children will be considered too old for a program when they have reached the top age for that program, plus three months. For example, a child who is age 3 years and 3 months would be admitted into a preschool program rather than a toddler program.
Occasionally, a child will not be able to move into an older age group due to a lack of available space. For currently enrolled children, accommodation will be made in the program to meet the needs of such children. New children will only be enrolled within available spaces in the appropriate age group.
For parents needing immediate care, the parent information packet (including the immunization form) is due one full business day prior to the child's start date. For example, if the paperwork is submitted on a Tuesday, the child may start on the Thursday of the same week.
Daily Sign In/Out
When entering and leaving the center, you must sign your child IN and OUT. Actual hours will be computer input. Enter hours legibly in order to prevent over-charging to your account. A sign-in sheet is posted each day inside or outside every classroom. It is very important that this be done. Children must be signed in properly before Moss Street can assume responsibility for them.
For school age children arriving by bus, Moss Street staff will sign children in when they arrive from school. If a school age child will not be attending Moss Street on a particular day, it is the responsibility of parents to inform our center beforehand. This is particularly important when the child is being transported from school to Moss Street. Parents who do not inform us of such changes will be charged as if the child is in attendance.
Please make certain that the teacher in charge is aware of your child's arrival. This enables the teacher to greet and include the child into the activities. Parents make drop off easier with a clear statement of good-bye and a clear transfer to staff. Parents are expected to communicate any daily schedule changes to the teacher in charge (e.g., doctor appointments, early pickup, etc.). Also, please call and notify the teacher if your child will be late or absent. This is important for scheduling the day's activities.
Pick up is also made easier by a clear statement of your intentions to your child (e.g., to stay a few moments or leave immediately) and consistent follow through. To avoid unnecessary concern, you should be certain that the teacher is made aware of your child's departure. Once your child has been signed out by you and is under your supervision, you are responsible.
Only those persons listed on the information and authorization form as having your permission will be allowed to remove your child from Moss Street Children’s Center. Identification will be required when staff are not familiar with an individual picking up a child. Please notify the center if one of the people listed will pick up your child on a particular day. You are responsible for advising these people of the sign in/out procedure.
When school-age children arrive at Moss Street by bus, our staff will sign them in. Parents will still be responsible for signing them out at pick-up.
Children Visiting Other Classrooms
Visits to other Moss Street classrooms encourages a sense of belonging and community among Moss Street children. Older children love to be helpers for younger children. Younger children, who will soon graduate to the next classroom, will visit to meet their new friends and teachers before they switch rooms.
Occasionally, and when appropriate, parents and children may ask if one sibling can visit another’s classroom. MSCC will help to facilitate these visits. To make sure visits are successful, children will need to first be dropped off in their regular rooms, and lead teachers from both classrooms must talk to confirm that visits will work.
Daily block scheduling options are 7:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 7:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m., 7:30 a.m.–5:45 p.m., or 12:45–5:45 p.m. You will be billed on the basis of these established block(s) times, and you are financially responsible for all the hours scheduled. It is wise to schedule only those blocks that are needed.
It is important that all families adhere to the times they have scheduled. Program routines are structured around the natural breaks during the day when parents drop off and pick up.
Exceptions to the block schedule will be made for children who attend kindergarten or grade school. On days when your child attends school, after-school attendees will be scheduled in blocks that are more reflective of their mid-afternoon release times. The regular block times of care for kindergarteners and grade-schoolers are 2:30–5:45 p.m. and 1:15–5:45 p.m. on early-release days.
On Eugene School District 4J “no school” days, the only school age time block options will be 7:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; 12:45–5:45 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.–5:45 p.m., as this age group will often take all-day field trips on these days. A sign-up sheet showing which blocks are available for selection will be posted at least one week before the 4J “no school” day. Block times available for each of these days will depend on what fieldtrips are planned for each classroom.
If your child enters or leaves a program at times other than these block times, billing will reflect the additional hours of care used. These charges will appear as "drop-in hours" on the monthly bill, but are charged at the same hourly rate, and will show on the month following their occurrence.
We understand that schedules may change. If you need to modify your child’s scheduled hours of care, please let us know as soon as possible. We require 30 days’ notice received in writing at the Moss Street administrative office.
Parents are financially responsible for their confirmed schedule through finals week of a term. This includes scheduled hours that fall on an observed holiday, as well as during inclement weather closures and delays.
Financial responsibility for complete withdrawal extends one full month after the initial written request.
Children enrolled in the center play outside every day. Please be sure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. Remember items such as boots or shoes, raincoat, sweater, jacket, hat, etc. Fresh air and freedom of movement in all kinds of weather promote health. Children do not get sick by being in a light rain or cool temperatures, but should be dressed accordingly.
Please dress your child appropriately for classroom and outdoor activities. Children will often be involved in messy art projects, for example, and while precautions such as wearing smocks will be taken whenever possible, easy-to-care-for play clothes are best. Comfortable closed-toe shoes with non-slip soles are recommended.
Each child will be given a place in which to put their belongings and extra clothes. Every child should have a complete change of clothing (pants, long- and short-sleeve shirts, shoes, socks, and underwear) in their cubby. You are encouraged to label your child's clothing to minimize losses. Soiled clothes will be placed in a plastic bag to be taken home. You should monitor your child's extra clothes and replace items as needed and as seasons change.
For children who are potty training, parents should provide an ample supply of training pants (six per day), as well as two or three extra changes of clothes. "Accidents" do happen, and it's comforting for children to change into their own clothes.
Toys and Blankets
Each program is well-equipped with a variety of appropriate and challenging toys and other materials. In general, toys from home should stay at home. Exceptions may be made on sharing days, or for a special stuffed animal, small pillow, or other security object to be used at nap time. Moss Street cannot take responsibility for lost or broken toys.
On sharing days, children may bring a toy to share with other children in the program. Please choose toys that are appropriate for classroom use. Guns, war toys, toys of destruction, or any toys of a violent nature are not allowed at Moss Street. Items such as books, records, tapes, and theme-related items may be brought on days other than sharing days. Please check with your child's teacher before bringing these items to school.
Diapers are not included in regular program rates. Infant and toddler programs require parents to supply diapers. There will be a charge for using Moss Street diapers without replacing them.
Moss Street potty training beliefs:
- Readiness is individual and varies from child to child.
- Potty training often takes weeks or months to accomplish.
- The goal of training is for children to independently use the toilet when needed, not merely when directed to the bathroom.
- Potty accidents are a normal and expected part of the process.
- Most children need to experience both being wet and the sensation of what “needing to go” feels like, in order to be fully trained.
- The biological ability to control the urge to urinate and defecate is dependent both on physical development and on experiences.
Our staff will remind children periodically to use the toilet, but also help them change if they forget or have not yet understood their own internal cues.
When your child is potty training please be prepared with extra patience and extra dry clothing. Our toddler staff will be there to help you and your child in this sometimes frustrating and challenging—but ultimately liberating—process. Being free of diapers is a welcome accomplishment to children, to parents, and to our staff. We all can work together to help your child achieve this goal.
Walks and Field Trips
As a part of the regular activities of our program, children occasionally take walks on the university campus or around the neighborhood.
Field trips involving transportation are planned in advance during the school year and parents will be asked to sign a consent form before children can participate.
Transportation for the field trips will be by Moss Street's (or Olum Center's) mini school buses (with certified drivers). You are welcome to participate with your children in these field trips. To do so, you will need to be cleared through the UO Human Resources background check process ahead of time in order to be able to join us. Please stop by the front desk to start this process. Whether a parent can ride the bus on a field trip will depend on space available, after accounting for children and staff, and will be offered in the order of parent request. If no space is available on the bus, a parent can meet the group at the field trip location.
Field Trip Bathroom Procedures:
When the preschool and school-age children are on a field trip, we will handle toileting needs in the following ways:
We will assign each adult who is assisting and accompanying the group to be responsible for a specific number of children. When a child needs to use the restroom facilities, the assigned adult and the other children in that group will all go into the restroom area. If there is a group of children from different “groups” they will be combined and an adult will be assigned to monitor the bathroom and wait for all children to finish. The supervising adult will notify the lead or assistant they are going to the restroom, and who they are taking.
If we are in small groups and it is primarily younger children, each group will take a turn to use the facilities. Lead and assistant teachers will always be notified of the restroom attendance of anyone on a field trip. There will be a head count performed after each facility usage, and multiple times throughout the trip.
The lead teacher or assistant teacher will be in charge of making sure all children are present and accounted for at all times.
Children will always be required to wear identification, which contains emergency contact information for the center, in the case a child should wander from the group.
Moss Street uses screen time appropriately for early childhood care and learning. Screen time includes all electronic media such as television, video/DVD, electronic games, computers, tablets, smart phones, or any other screened electronic devices. There will be no screen time for children younger than two years of age. Also, no staff will use electronic media for personal use while in ratio.
Appropriate use of screen time follows the following criteria:
The use of screens is only used when related to instructional goals to enhance child’s interests and knowledge as related to the curriculum of the classroom and actively involves the child. When the screen is in use in the classroom, there must be at least one alternative activity available. All screen content must be appropriate for ages of children, nonviolent and culturally sensitive. Screen media will be free of advertisements and brand placement.
If staff plan for screen time that is extended (for example, a classroom movie viewing) parents will be informed ahead of time of the movie showing and will be no longer than an hour.
Holidays and Birthdays
Moss Street uses a multicultural approach to holidays. This is accomplished in several ways:
- By de-emphasizing the prevalent culture's holidays, especially those of religious origins;
- By providing information to children about a wide range of various celebrations; and,
- By making efforts to include traditional celebrations of all the cultural groups in our programs.
The implementation of these efforts may vary from classroom to classroom. The variations are based on the ages of the children, the cultural interests of the parents and children of the particular program, and the expertise of the teaching staff. You are encouraged to provide information and advice to assist staff in providing children with a broad range of opportunities. We welcome parental input, understanding, and assistance.
Many children love to celebrate their birthdays at school. Contact your child's teacher for help in making the day a memorable occasion for your child and an integral part of the experience at Moss Street.
Some ideas may include donating a book to your child’s class and reading it on their special day, joining your child for lunch or breakfast and singing “Happy Birthday,” and some people like to bring a special snack for the classroom (we appreciate consulting with you about any diet restrictions in the class). If you choose to bring a snack, please remember that we require it to be store bought. Please let us know if you have any questions.
In recognition of the diverse religious beliefs of the families we serve, we will credit the bill of any family whose child misses care to observe a religious holiday. If your family wishes such an adjustment, please advise the Moss Street main office.
Information about the health or abilities of any child or a family’s status will be considered as confidential. Such information will be shared with staff only as necessary to meet the needs of the child. Occasionally, family information may also be shared with regulatory agencies (Department of Health, Childcare Division, etc.), with the knowledge of the parents.
Children with Special Needs and Special Health Needs: Consultation and Collaboration
Moss Street currently serves as a placement site for children receiving Early Childhood Intervention Services. We believe inclusion of children of differing abilities and those who need health accommodations within Moss Street enriches the experiences of all the children.
If the Moss Street staff has concerns about the development of a child enrolled at the center, parents will be informed and given referral information by the lead teacher in their child’s classroom.
For children in the preschool, an Early Childhood CARES consultant can visit the child at Moss Street. All assessment and intervention services are provided in a manner that emphasizes inclusion and full integration within the curriculum, activities, and classroom procedures.
If at any time the Early Childhood CARES consultant believes that Moss Street is not the most appropriate environment for a child with special needs, Moss Street will work with other agencies to facilitate a placement.
Regular teaching staff will participate in the implementation of individualized family service plans within the context of the Moss Street program philosophy. Consultants and classroom aides function to support Moss Street staff in enhancing MSCC staff knowledge, skills, and abilities for meeting the unique needs of all children. If you or your children need any accommodations to assure that our services are accessible, please advise us so that we can take appropriate action.
Screening and Assessment
Moss Street asks that families complete an ASQ (online or paper copy) at the time they complete enrollment forms and annually after initial enrollment. Staff may also ask a family’s permission to complete an ASQ when they feel it is needed. If the results of the online ASQ indicate the need for further assessment, the referral is created online with the family’s permission. The same process will be used for hardcopy ASQs, with staff or families scoring and teachers facilitating a full assessment through Early Childhood CARES.
Program Observations and Research
Because the Moss Street Children’s Center is a university program, we are often an observation site for individuals and/or classes that are learning about children. Occasionally research projects are undertaken in our programs. Examples include student observation of child behavior, assessment of children, or the inclusion of children as subjects in research. Reasonable efforts to cooperate with such activities are considered part of the mission of university childcare programs. Any research is subject to university standards for human subjects research, is reviewed by Moss Street administrative staff, and parent permission is obtained. The center’s primary mission is always to provide quality care for children, and other activities will be accommodated when such activities will not significantly alter or disrupt center operations.
Central Background Registry
All employees at the Moss Street Children’s Center shall be enrolled in the Oregon Childcare Division (CCD), Central Background Registry (CBR).
Volunteers, including parents, will complete a UO Human Resources background check, or the UO College of Education background check.
All such background checks and information received will be conducted in a confidential manner to the extent permitted by law. The Moss Street Children’s Center may, when appropriate, share such information, especially regarding individuals who work in more than one UO childcare center or transfer from one center to another.
Moss Street is periodically asked to assist in research or the education of university students. Individuals conducting research will be subject to the volunteer policies described above.
No parent, volunteer, researcher, or observer will be left unsupervised with any child enrolled at the center, except his or her own child.
No volunteer will be alone with children. They must be within sight and sound of a teacher at all times.
Because communication about children, families, and program issues is integral to the success of your child’s experience, staff gather on a regular basis in various groupings to share information. These meetings can be an effective way to discuss parent concerns and comments.
On a weekly or biweekly basis, teachers meet with students who work in their classroom to discuss issues involving the classroom and children enrolled. This meeting serves as a training session for student staff. Lead and assistant teachers meet regularly to plan upcoming activities and to review past events. There are supervising mentor teachers for the infant, toddler, preschool, and school age groups. They lead the training and supervise classroom teachers.
The childcare director and administrative staff meet on a weekly basis as a group, and on a monthly basis with the lead teachers. These meetings are to review operating procedures, policies, budget, and to share information.
Office staff members also meet on a regular basis to review and coordinate administrative function and consider exceptions and/or adjustments to procedures. On a less-frequent basis, –all-staff meetings are scheduled (–all-staff includes classified support staff, regularly scheduled teachers, and substitutes). These usually occur once a term or as needs arise.
Still and motion photography may occur at the Moss Street Children’s Center. On each child's enrollment form, a parent may grant or deny permission for their child to be photographed.
Purpose of Photo Documentation: Photos such as those described below will take place as a regular aspect of the operations of the center. The circumstances for such photography include:
- Photos or videos taken of activities within the center: This documentation of children engaged in daily activities is helpful in assessment and planning, and is used with children to stimulate recall of prior activities. Photos will often be taken to record a field trip: These photos may be taken by staff or by parents who are participating in such a trip.
- Photos used for communication: Photographs will also be used as a means of allowing parents to “see” what their child does during the day.
- Photos used to document progress: Photos or video recordings may also be used as a part of assessment and planning on behalf of children with identified “special needs.”
- Photos as curriculum: Children sometimes will photograph peers, utilizing photography as a medium of expression.
- Photos to provide direction: Photos of children may be taken for classroom use (to label individual cubbies, class photo boards, art projects, etc.).
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Parents and staff share the responsibility for reducing exposure to, and the spreading of, communicable diseases. Our illness policy, developed in consultation with Lane County Health Department, states that children need to be free and clear of the following symptoms/illness for 24 hours, BEFORE returning to childcare.
What this really means is that if your child becomes ill with any of the symptoms listed below, they will need to miss at least the following day at Moss Street Children’s Center.
State regulations require that a child who has any of the following symptoms cannot remain at the centers:
- Fever over 100 degrees F
- Diarrhea* (more than one abnormally loose stool per day)
- Severe cough
- Unusual yellow color to skin or eyes
- Skin or eye lesions or rashes that are severe, weeping, or pus-filled
- Stiff neck and headache with one or more of the symptoms listed above
- Difficult breathing or wheezing
- Complaints of severe pain
*Diarrhea: three or more watery or loose stools in 24 hours OR sudden onset of loose stools OR student unable to control bowel function when previously able. May return after 48 hours after diarrhea resolves OR after being seen and cleared by a licensed healthcare provider or LPHA for specific diarrheal diagnoses.
*Vomiting: at least 1 episode that is unexplained. May return after 48 hours after last episode of vomiting OR after being seen and cleared by a licensed healthcare provider.
Any child showing any of the above signs will be isolated, and a parent will be notified. It is your responsibility to pick up your child immediately or to make arrangements for someone to do so. These precautions are taken to protect the health of your child and the other children at the center.
To attend the program, your child must be able to participate fully in program activities, including playing outside. If your child has mild cold symptoms which do not impair their functioning, they may remain in the program, and you will be notified when you pick up your child.
State regulations also require exclusion from care for a child who has or is a carrier of day-care-restricted diseases, including but not limited to:
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Hepatitis A and type unspecified polio
- Meningococcal disease
- Pediculosis (lice)
If your child will be absent due to illness, please call the center to notify us. If your child contracts a communicable disease, please notify us so that we may inform staff and other parents to watch for symptoms. To maintain consistent staffing, your account will still be billed for your usually scheduled hours. When you have prior knowledge that your child will have an extended absence due to illness (i.e., scheduled hospitalization), please contact us.
Release of the Child
Occasionally, due to unforeseen circumstances, parents may be unable to pick up their children as scheduled. Please remember we will normally only release children to individuals authorized on your “Information and Authorization” form. The adults on this list will be asked to show photo identification. Only the parent(s) with legal guardianship can authorize or edit the pick-up authorization list.
In an emergency, parents with physical custody can authorize adults to pick up their child on a one-time basis. If at all possible, this authorization should be in writing. We will not release children to unauthorized individuals.
Occasionally, parents or other authorized individuals arrive intoxicated, emotionally distraught, or demonstrate in other ways (in the judgment of the staff) that they are temporarily unable to appropriately care for a child. In these circumstances, staff discourages pick up and assists in arranging alternatives.
If an individual deemed temporarily unable to appropriately care for a child persists in their desire to remove a child, staff will inform the UO Police Department to determine whether additional action is necessary to protect the child. We take our moral and legal obligation to protect children very seriously. Also, please see the transportation agreement for children who receive Moss Street transportation after school.
The center may administer medication only with written permission from parents. Medication must be in the original container, clearly marked as to the type of medication contained and the correct dosage. Each day that the medication is required, parents must fill out and sign the medicine chart located in or near the kitchen of the child's classroom.
Some allergies may require an allergy plan on file prior to program participation. Moss Street does not have EpiPens® on site for general emergency use. Staff is trained and prepared to administer child-specific EpiPens® for children with allergy plans when necessary and directed by paramedics.
Emergency Procedures and Plan
Evacuation procedures for Moss Street have been established, and are practiced on a monthly basis. In the event of a major emergency that would necessitate removing children from the site, parents would be notified as soon as possible. If the office staff is not available, university emergency personnel will communicate with parents. Family contact information is shared with this office on a regular basis.
If an individual child is injured at Moss Street, staff will take the necessary emergency steps and contact parents as soon as possible. Medical procedures will not be undertaken without parent contact, except in the case of a medical practitioner's determination that such an immediate action is necessary. Any transportation of an injured child will be by ambulance or other emergency transport. Moss Street staff is not permitted to transport children to the doctor or other medical facilities.
Moss Street Emergency Plan
This is intended to be a written summary for parents on how the center will handle emergencies, including, but not limited to, acute illness of a child or a staff, floods, natural disasters (e.g. fire, earthquakes, etc.), man-caused events, such as violence at a child care facility and evacuation of the center.
If the center director determines that an evacuation is necessary, staff will follow the procedures that they practice frequently to leave the building safely. Emergency exits and routes are posted and practiced by center staff for natural and man-caused events. These procedures are also part of all center staff original orientations.
How the center will ensure that a child’s parents or emergency contacts can be reached in person:
An accessible file of emergency contact information is collected each year from parents (parents are expected to update this information if it changes). These contacts are located for each child in their classroom, at the front desk, and are quarterly shared with UO Department of Emergency Management and Continuity.
Designation of alternate safe locations in the event of evacuations:
The evacuation rendezvous site is the lot just north of Moss Street Children’s Center, after the neighboring houses and before the parking lot. If it is unsafe to return to Moss Street, the first evacuation site would be Global Scholars Hall, the residential hall across the street from our rendezvous location. In some circumstances we may consider both the Olum Child Development Center on Columbia Street and the UO law school on Agate Atreet as alternate sites.
Designated staff members to take the emergency contact numbers file to the evacuation site in the event of an emergency:
The teacher of each classroom is expected to bring the list of contact information for all the children in their class to the emergency evacuation site. In addition, reception staff brings a full center contact list to the evacuation site. Remotely, the contact information is available to UO emergency staff.
In addition, parents register to receive UO emergency alerts, from which Moss Street-specific notifications can be sent via email and texts. In some cases UO staff many contact parents by phone. If the ability exists, parents will also receive e-mails regarding the center’s status.
How the Center will inform parents where children will be in in the event of an evacuation and how children will be reunited with their families:
The above communication systems will be used to let parents know where their children are and how to reunite with them. At the evacuations site, staff will check parent ID before children are released.
Procedures to address the needs of individual children including infants and toddlers, children with special needs, and children with chronic medical conditions:
Staff practice drill routinely with specific procedures for very young children and children with special needs. Additional staffing is assigned when necessary and evacuation cribs are utilized. All medications and infant toddler supplies are located in to-go backpacks that are taken with teachers during all evacuations.
An acceptable method to ensure that all children in attendance are accounted for:
Each teacher takes a roll call at the rendezvous site and the director on site takes a center-wide head count. Each classroom lines up at the edge of the sidewalk by order of age at each evacuation. Evacuation procedures call for a building-wide sweep, if conditions allow.
Procedures in the event that children must shelter in place or if the center must be locked down so that no one can enter or leave:
“Lock down” decision can be made upon recommendation of UOPD, EPD, or the center director. If determinations is made, the following procedures will be followed if possible:
- Office support staff will notify classroom teachers that all children must be in classrooms and that all back access doors shall be locked, windows closed, and shades drawn.
- On-site director will ensure front entrance doors, alley gates, enclosed courtyard, hallways, and breezeway bridge are locked. A staff person will be stationed at each door to facilitate communication within the building. Doorway from office to south corridor should be unlocked.
- Office staff will communicate to the UOPD, and Vivian Olum that a “lock down” has been initiated and the reasoning. The duration of any lock down shall be determined in consultation with that UOPD and/or the Eugene Police Department.
- Upon consultation with UOPD and University Communications, email notification and individual phone calls to families will be initiated to inform them of the nature of the emergency and our actions. The exact emergency reunification location will be shared at this time. Possible emergency reunification locations are listed in our family handbook.
- A bold font notice advising of the lock down will be posted by office at the Moss Street front entrance. No one will be allowed to enter the building, including parents and staff.
- All internal communication will be coordinated from the front office reception area. Classroom staff should contact that number (6-4384) with any questions about the status of the lock down.
- Children shall be engaged in normal activities and only given information that “it is not a time when adults feel it is safe to be outside.” Maintaining a calm, settled environment is essential.
- Student staff will be asked to remain in the building as needed to assist in caring for the children and to ensure their safety. Student staff may decline to stay.
- When UO emergency personnel advise that it is safe to do so, normal operations will resume or an evacuation will be initiated.
- When the crisis has passed, additional communications will go out to parents regarding nature of the incident and actions taken. Consult with Communications if needed.
Procedures for maintaining continuity of child care operations:
It is always the goal of Moss Street Children’s Center to maintain continuity of care. As a part of the UO we are able to draw upon many resources for a variety of situations that may otherwise limit our centers operations. There may be times when the UO as a whole’s continuity is impacted. At these times we would make a determination independent of these resources to continue service. However, if at any time we are unable to maintain safety or to adhere to certification guidelines, we would discontinue services until these standards could be reestablished.
Acute Illness of a child or staff:
Medications are stored under lock and key and careful records are maintained ensuring that medications are only dispensed as prescribed and only with parent’s written authorization.
To protect against infecting their peers from communicable diseases, children and staff who may be contagious and have symptoms of illness should not be at the center. Contagious children (coughing, runny nose, fever, etc.) need to be picked up by parents.
Each classroom is equipped with multiple sensor sinks in bathrooms, kitchen, and children’s activity areas. Adults and children wash hands frequently. Staff who have contact with diapers wear disposable gloves.
Immunization status of children is examined annually.
Parent Communication Plan:
The person in charge of getting information to you regarding any changes at Moss Street related to a pandemic will be:
- Center Director Becky Lamoureux, email@example.com
- Assistant Director Lori Bond, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pandemic response preparation for Moss Street will occur under the direction of the center director until the UO incident command system has been activated and direction is assumed by the EMU associate director, Jessi Steward.
Since the preferred form of communication with Moss Street staff and families is email, this will continue to be the primary means of communication. If new information for staff and families becomes available during service hours, the director may also provide information via written, posted notices, and/or notes handed directly to parents by the lead teachers or placed in parent and staff mailboxes.
If the UO incident management team, via Jessi Steward, directs MSCC to initiate our pandemic response plan, then directives and other information, including a description of the medical condition and symptoms and other pertinent information or directives will be provided and MSCC will implement the following protocol:
If your child’s symptoms fall within the current Child Care Division (CCD) illness exclusion policy:
If the symptoms fall within the current childcare illness exclusion policy, the center director will notify, by email or meeting, all leads, office staff, and kitchen staff, and ask for hyper vigilance with respect to the current illness exclusion policy for both children and staff (i.e., daily health screening), and provide other directives, as relevant (e.g., increase stock of medical supplies, signage, sanitation stations).
If your child’s symptoms DO NOT fall within the current CCD illness exclusion policy:
If symptoms DO NOT fall within the current illness exclusion policy, the director will send the written description of prevention measures and symptoms by email or meeting to all leads, office staff, and kitchen staff, and provide other directives, as relevant (e.g., increase stock of medical supplies, signage, sanitation stations).
- The center director will notify all Moss Street parents and staff by email and website postings regarding:
- Directives and information provided by the UO incident management team, via Jessi Steward, and subsequent MSCC action (e.g., Moss Street closure, exclusion of children attending specific schools).
- Websites recommended by the campus incident management team.
- Contact information for the UO spokesperson (if applicable).
- When staff and families can expect to be updated.
- In the event of overstaffing due to pandemic-related exclusion of children, MSCC administrators will adjust the staffing pattern to compensate for fewer numbers.
- In the event that the loss of regular staff, student staff, or the required numbers of supervising staff threatens state required ratios, the directors will attempt to extend hours of part-time staff and, if necessary, seek approval for overtime work.
- If adjustments of staffing hours provide insufficient staffing to comply with university recommended ratios, MSCC will close.
- Staff will be excused, with the exception of the administrators and office staff, who will reduce hours, and carry out any instructions. Staff and families will be reminded via email to check the website for further developments. Messages relating to the current status of the childcare will be put on the answering machines. The core staff would answer the main line during the day, and record a message during evenings and weekends.
Communication during non-service hours:
- If new information for staff and families becomes available during non-service hours, the director will determine which core staff members need to be included in the action. Relevant core staff members would be informed of the information, and would assist in communicating the information to other relevant staff and families.
- If the information must be shared prior to the following work day, or during the next day, communication would be attempted by telephone calls.
- If the information could be disseminated after the first work day, it would be emailed to parents and posted to the website.
Health and Safety Procedures
The single-most significant step that individuals can take to reduce the spread of disease is handwashing. Staff wash their hands frequently, ensure that student staff do the same, and teach children how to effectively wash their hands.
The staff is trained in careful handwashing, which includes warm water, soap, and scrubbing and rubbing. This occurs after handling pets, diapering or assisting with toileting, or nose wiping. Double handwashing occurs before all feeding, food preparation, or service.
Staff assist children in handwashing before all meals and snacks. Staff monitor children's actions closely to assure that handwashing occurs after toileting. All such washing is done with soap and running water.
First responder packets are located inside and outside most areas of our facility. These include gloves, gauze, bandages, and instructions in a zip-top bag. Teachers are also trained in procedures to reduce the risk of infections due to bloodborne pathogens, including HIV and hepatitis B.
Although Oregon's climate is often mild, there are still days that necessitate a different plan. Our focus is both safety for families and staff as well as being clear with our closure policy around inclement weather.
In short, we will follow the same closures and delays as the Eugene School District 4J announces over local media. In addition, Moss Street is closed when the UO is closed.
When the 4J school district closes due to inclement weather, Moss Street will also be closed. When the 4J school district has a delayed start to the school day, Moss Street will also have that same late start. When there is no transportation/bussing service running for the 4J schools, then neither will Moss Street be offering bussing service.
On such closure and delay days, we will continue to bill for any previously scheduled childcare hours.
Child Abuse Prevention
Child abuse is an unfortunate reality in our society. Moss Street strives to reduce risks by:
- keeping all areas open and accessible;
- screening staff;
- obtaining background checks;
- always scheduling more than one staff in a classroom;
- teaching children about safe touch; and
- training staff in abuse recognition and prevention.
As defined by state statute, all Moss Street staff members are mandatory reporters and are required by law to report any suspected abuse to Child Protective Services. It is not within our purview to be investigators in such instances; that is the responsibility of other agencies and individuals.
An accident report chart is posted in each classroom, and all accidents that occur are recorded by classroom staff. This information includes the date, what happened, and treatment, if any. Every effort will be made to inform you if your child has an accident, and you are encouraged to talk to the lead or assistant teacher about anything you do not understand. Parents are responsible for keeping emergency information updated.
First responder packets are distributed to inside and outside areas of our facility. They include gloves, gauze, a bandage, and instructions in a zip-top bag.
Teachers are also trained in procedures to reduce the spread of bloodborne pathogens, including HIV and Hepatitis B.
We believe that children need a safe environment in which to grow, learn, and feel comfortable. Moss Street’s environment is structured in a way that allows children to safely explore. Our rules are intended to ensure everyone's safety. They are simple because rules that are too complex or numerous create confusion. Some of our rules are:
- Children must walk while indoors, including hallways and breezeways.
- Children must refrain from climbing on furniture and stair handrails.
- Children must use inside (quiet) voices while inside.
- People are not for hitting.
You will be informed of other applicable rules posted in your child(ren)’s individual classroom(s).
During Eugene School District 4J’s school year, Moss Street Children’s Center will share after-school transportation responsibilities with the Vivian Olum Center. Because we’ll be coordinating our pick-up schedules with several schools, we’ve set guidelines to help make the bus runs go as smoothly as possible. In addition, other children are transported to MSCC by 4J district personnel.
- If your child will not need to be picked up, or will not be coming to MSCC, please call us the day before, or the morning of, to let us know. If you call us close to pick-up time, you may get an answering machine, but please still leave a message and we will alert staff not to wait for your child.
- Please do not have your child relay messages to the drivers or other staff that he/she will not be riding the van or bus that day, or that you are on the way. Children sometimes misunderstand the message. Also, your child will not be able to leave with another child and/or parent unless we hear of these plans from you. We will pick up your child unless we hear from you.
- If your change in transportation involves other people picking up your child at school, we will not release your child to anyone without your authorization. Please help us avoid uncomfortable situations such as these by letting us know in advance.
- Please know that delays in transportation will occur if you do not call in your changes ahead of time. If the driver needs to wait and call around to locate your child, other children along the route may also be delayed. We have quite a few children who are the only ones we pick up at a particular school at a particular time. Please don’t send our drivers to your school unnecessarily.
- Because of the cost of staff time and associated problems involved in calling you or the school to find out why your child is not at the pick-up point, we will apply the following:
- First time: warning
- Second time: parent will be assessed one week’s full-time transportation fee of $15
- Third time: parent will be assessed two weeks’ full-time transportation fee of $30
- Fourth time: meeting will be required with MSCC director and mentor teacher; possible discontinuation of transportation service
We take seriously your child’s transportation. If your child is not at the pick-up site, our drivers are instructed to stay at the site until all possible avenues have been exhausted in finding out where your child is. Additionally, drivers will insist that your child come on the bus and be taken to MSCC if there is no message from you stating otherwise.
Menus are posted on bulletin boards, on our website, and emailed to enrolled parents.
Breakfast and an afternoon snack are prepared by the Moss Street kitchen staff. Children bring lunch from home. The children and staff eat all meals together at classroom tables. We believe that these shared meals help develop relationships through conversation and modeling, interest in food, good eating habits, and social and self-help skills.
Food service in each of the classrooms has these same elements:
- All children and staff will wash hands with soap and warm water immediately prior to eating.
- Child-sized serving utensils, distinct from eating utensils, will be used.
- Appropriate tables will be used for each group size.
- Staff will be seated at the table the entire meal.
- When mildly ill children (children that have non-excludable symptoms, i.e. runny noses) are present, staff will serve all food.
- All food brought to the table or served will be discarded if not eaten at the time of the meal.
- All staff and children will wash hands immediately after eating.
Moss Street follows all USDA nutrition guidelines regarding required portion size and meal components.
The schedule of feeding times for our youngest age group is “on demand” and dictated by the indicators each child gives. For children 3-12 months only, parents are allowed to supply some or all of the food served to their child while in care.
At the age of 1 year, children are transitioned to the daily menu that is served to the rest of the children at our center, which includes cow’s milk and preset serving times.
Special Food Request
Menus for each term are posted on our website, parent bulletin boards, and emailed to parents. Parents are responsible for alerting the office staff about any dietary allergies or dietary restrictions their children may have.
We are happy to discuss your child’s food needs and identify the required process and forms that may be necessary to have on file. It is important to understand that in some instances Moss Street may not be able to grant you an accommodation.
Religious/moral belief food substitutions: Moss Street is also committed to providing reasonable accommodations for sincerely held religious, moral, and ethical beliefs. If a family would like to request food substitutions based on the beliefs of the family or the individual child, please stop by or contact the main office. Moss Street will take the specific request for accommodation into account, and work with the family to provide to the extent possible the accommodation, or to identify and provide equally effective, less burdensome alternatives, if available. It is also important to understand that in some instances Moss Street may not be able to grant you an accommodation.
PAPERWORK, FEES, AND PAYMENT
Our office hours are Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–5:45 p.m. We are closed on weekends.
The office is staffed during summer and some breaks, although staff hours may be reduced.
Records and Forms
The Moss Street Children’s Center is certified annually by the State of Oregon, Child Care Division. In order to comply with this agency’s rules, and to have necessary information about your child, the enrolling parent(s) (parents with physical custody) must complete the following forms before your child can be left in our care. In addition, the information contained within these forms needs to be reviewed at least annually by the parent.
- ELD (Early Learning Division) Child Enrollment Authorization
- ELD Infant and Toddler Child Care Enrollment Information
- MSCC Other Permissions, Consents, and Acknowledgments
- MSCC Field Trip/General Activity Permission Form
- Lane County Immunization Record (which must show your child is up to date, or exemption section completed, for all required shot series)
The enrolling parent may have access to these records. All other records requests must go through the enrolling parent or the UO Records Retrieval Office.
Monthly Fees and Payments
Bills are calculated at the beginning of each term. They are based on the hours scheduled each week, and each week's charges will show on your bill with that Friday's date. The enrolling parent will be the responsible party for the bill and only one account per family will be created for billing.
Tuition is paid in advance and can be paid online using the UO Moss Street online payment form on either a monthly or academic term basis. Each month families pre-pay for the next four weeks of scheduled care. During the summer, families may be asked to pay for five weeks each month.
Monthly billings will be emailed or put in parent boxes by the last week of each month. Payments are due by the 1st of each month. If unable to pay within this timeline, contact us to discuss making a payment plan at email@example.com. After the 1st of the month, office staff will send an email reminder for any past-due accounts. To have continuity of care, accounts must be current from one month to the next.
Once a family accepts the hours offered by Moss Street and submits the enrollment forms, they have committed to paying for those hours.
Special Fees and Fines
A $25 application fee is due each academic year (one fee per family). A once-per-term supply fee of $25 will be charged for each child in attendance.
New families will need to make a $75 confirmation deposit. This initial enrollment confirmation deposit is due at the time of the confirmation of your child's schedule. This fee will hold that reserved space in our program until your child starts care. While it is not refundable, it will be applied toward your first month's bill.
A discounted rate is assessed to UO student families enrolled in incidental fee-paying classes. This rate is to recognize the contributions that the university students make to our operating budget through their incidental fees.
After a classroom is closed at the end of the day, there is a 5-minute grace period in which to pick your child up from the program. Beyond that grace period, for every minute that your child is left in care, you will be billed at the rate of $1 per minute. A second late pick-up in one term will result in a double fine, a third late pick-up will triple the fine, and subsequent lateness can lead to termination of care.
As an independent university auxiliary, it is vital to Moss Street’s fiscal well-being that all families remain current on their childcare bill. Payments are due upon receipt. If parents are unable to pay upon receipt, a written payment plan must be established explaining how and when parents will bring the account up to date.
If the payment arrangement and subsequent payment has not been made within 15 days of billing, the account will be forwarded to the UO Business Office in Oregon Hall for entry into the accounts receivable system. Childcare services must be discontinued at the time your account is forwarded to the Business Office.
An exception to these timelines may, at the discretion of the administrative staff, be granted to those whose childcare costs are covered by other university departments, the Oregon Department of Human Resources (DHR), and/or approved third-party billing. Any parent that has not complied with the DHR guidelines and process will not receive childcare until payment has been received from the agency. All billing and payment concerns need to be discussed with the account technician, Robynn Medew, at 541-346-4282.
ASUO Childcare Subsidy: The Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) fund and operate the student childcare assistance programs. Applications are available in our office and at the ASUO offices in the EMU. Completed applications and appropriate documentation must be returned to the ASUO where an eligibility determination will be made. Eligible student families receive from 20–50 percent of their childcare costs from these funds.
Employment-Related Day Care: As part of welfare reform, funds to assist low-income working parents meet childcare expenses have been increased. In some circumstances students who are working and attending school may qualify.
To obtain an application and more information about employment-related eay care, contact the State Employment Office. They are located at 2510 Oakmont Way, in Eugene.
Addressing Your Concerns
The staff in the best position to address your concerns varies with the nature of the issue. All general program concerns over classroom administrative procedures can be presented to Becky Lamoureux, center director; she can be reached at 1685 Moss Street, or at 541-346-4384. Billing concerns should be directed to Robynn Medew, account technician, in the main office. Problems unique to one classroom are best directed initially to the lead teacher.