Parent News

April 2022

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Dear Early Childhood CARES Families:

We have been closely monitoring COVID -19 masking guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority, Early Learning Division, Oregon Department of Education and the University of Oregon. Based on the recommendations of these sources, masks will be optional beginning Saturday, March 19th, with some exceptions. Wearing a mask continues to be an effective strategy to protect yourself and others. We encourage our staff and the families we serve to respect each individual’s choice to wear a mask and we strongly encourage individuals who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines to follow the CDC recommendations to continue wearing a mask.

Home visits: To continue to ensure your child/family safety and that of our staff, we will ask our providers to observe your preferences regarding wearing a mask in your home. Our provider may elect to continue to wear a mask for their own personal/family safety if they wish. Our staff will continue to do a self-check for COVID symptoms prior to the visit at your home.

Community Preschools (including Head Start): Our staff will observe and follow the requirements of individual sites regarding wearing a mask when they visit your child’s preschool. Our provider may elect to continue to wear a mask for their own personal/family safety if they wish. Our staff will continue to do a self-check for COVID symptoms prior to the visit. Currently Head Start is requiring all staff and children wear a mask indoors.

Early Childhood CARES Classrooms:

Our teaching staff will continue to wear masks while indoors with your child present until guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is changed from the current policy. This guidance recommends universal indoor masking in early childhood programs. Most children who attend our classrooms are not eligible for a vaccination and many are not able to wear a mask. Your child’s teacher will be in touch about changes to rules regarding COVID exposures and need to quarantine.

Thank you for your patience through these very unpredictable times. We continue to strive to provide high quality Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education services and value the partnerships we’ve developed with you. If you have questions about your child’s services, please contact your child’s Service Provider. If you are unsure of that person’s contact information, please call our main line: 541-346-2578.

In appreciation,

LaWanda Potter & Kim Giansante


Early Childhood CARES

Estimadas familias de Early Childhood CARES:

Seguimos observamos de cerca la guía de COVID -19 para el uso de tapa bocas de la Autoridad de Salud de Oregón, la División de Aprendizaje Oportuno, el Departamento de Educación de Oregón y la Universidad de Oregón. Según las recomendaciones de estas fuentes, el cubre bocas empezó a ser opcional a partir del sábado 19 de marzo, con algunas excepciones. El uso de un cubre bocas sigue siendo una estrategia eficaz para protegerse a uno mismo y a los demás. Motivamos a nuestro personal y a las familias a las que servimos a respetar la elección de cada individuo de usar un cubre bocas y firmemente recomendamos a las personas que no están al día con las vacunas contra el COVID-19 a seguir las sugerencias de CDC (por sus siglas en inglés) para continuar usando un cubre bocas.

Visitas domiciliarias: para continuar garantizando la seguridad de su niño/familia y la de nuestro personal, les pediremos a nuestros proveedores que observen sus preferencias con respecto al uso de un cubre bocas en su hogar. Nuestro proveedor puede optar por continuar usándolo para su propia seguridad personal/familiar si así lo desea. Nuestro personal continuará realizando una autocomprobación de los síntomas de COVID antes de la visita a su hogar.

Pre-escolares comunitarios (incluido Head Start): nuestro personal observará y seguirá los requisitos de los sitios individuales con respecto al uso de un cubre boca cuando visiten el pre-escolar de su niño. Nuestro proveedor puede optar por continuar usando un cubre bocas para su propia seguridad personal/familiar si así lo desea. Nuestro personal continuará realizando una autocomprobación de los síntomas de COVID antes de la visita. Actualmente, Head Start requiere que todo el personal y los niños usen un cubre bocas en el interior del recinto.

Aulas para la Primera Infancia de CARES: Nuestro personal docente continuará usando cubre bocas mientras esté en el interior con su niño presente hasta que se cambie la orientación de la política actual del Centros para el Control de Enfermedades (CDC). Esta guía recomienda el uso universal de cubre bocas en interior de los recintos en los programas para la primera infancia. La mayoría de los niños que asisten a nuestras aulas no son elegibles para vacunarse y muchos no pueden usar un cubre bocas. El maestro de su niño se pondrá en contacto con los cambios en las reglas con respecto a las exposiciones a COVID y la necesidad de cuarentena.

Gracias por su paciencia durante estos tiempos tan impredecibles. Continuamos esforzándonos por brindar servicios de Intervención Oportuna y Educación Especial para la Primera Infancia de alta calidad y valoramos la relación que hemos desarrollado con usted. Si tiene preguntas sobre los servicios de su niño, comuníquese con el proveedor de servicios de su él/ella. Si no está seguro de la información de contacto de esa persona, llame a nuestra línea principal: 541-346-2578.


LaWanda Potter & Kim Giansante


Early Childhood CARES

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About Raising Luminaries

The Raising Luminaries (RL) movement brings families together to smash the kyriarchy (A system of ruling and oppression in which many people may interact and act as oppressor or oppressed).

Raising Luminaries is an Asian American & Autistic-run community inclusive for *all* families raising the next generation of kind & courageous leaders. Our resources are screened, tested, and curated by *actual* kids with a focus on anti-childism, transformative justice, decolonizing, anti-oppression, boosting #OwnVoices, and smashing the whole kyriarchy. Parenting is praxis, and we need more than book clubs to create change. Here, you can find guides on unpacking misrepresentation and problematic tropes in kidlit, advocacy lesson plans, calls to action, and guided family discussions to navigate hard conversations.

Go here for more information about what the site represents and what this family is working towards.

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Let’s Talk About Safety!

One of Early Childhood CARES' program wide expectations is to focus attention on child safety. As the weather warms and you start thinking about spending time in neighborhood parks and around water, it’s a good time to consider children’s needs related to safety. Children can easily become distracted and curious about all the interesting and new things in these places, and they rely on adults to keep them safe. It’s also easy for adults to get distracted so a few tips and resources can support you with your child’s safety when getting out and about.

1. Know Before you Go. Do your homework so you know if the playground is fenced or not, water is nearby, toys/equipment match your child’s size and developmental level, dogs are on or off leash etc.…

2. Prepare Yourself for Being in the Role of Supervisor. Your child(ren) will need constant supervision and your close presence to stay safe. If you go with friends, identify who will watch the children. With multiple adults present, rotate watching children and/or space out to monitor them in different areas.

3. Set Rules In Advance & Review with your Child. Example: Hold hands from car to park. Stay near me, where you can see me. Sit on your bottom to slide down. Wait for turn on slide/swing. Ask before you push someone on a swing. Etc.. You can look at dogs with your eyes, but we don’t touch dogs that belong to someone else. After reviewing rules. Catch them following rules at the park and give them positive feedback. Example: You remembered to sit when sliding, great job being safe! Or, thank you for holding my hand. Holding hands is being safe.


1. Park Activities Calendar. Want to go on a Story Walk at Crescent Park or egg hunt with your child(ren)? If so, check out this link at Lane Kids.

2. Playgrounds & Play Areas in Lane County - Want to explore some new play areas? Take a look at Eugene Cascades and Coast website

3. Free life vests for children: Lane County Sheriff’s Office accepts and donates life jackets. In the past, they have offered the life vests at Cabela’s in the first part of June. lists their Life Jacket Loaner Stations so you can check before you go to see if life jackets are available at.

4. Safety Town - Eugene Police Department provides a summer experience focused on safety for children getting ready to transition into kindergarten in the fall. They haven’t announced their plans for the summer of 2022 yet, but here is the link to check in and sign up when it is available.

Join Tech Balance!

Run Wild by David Covell (Ages 3-5)

This book starts out gray and dreary, with a boy hunched over a screen. But a girl runs by
his window and shouts, “Hey, you! Sky’s blue!” and changes everything. The boy runs out
after her, leaving his shoes (and screen) behind, and into a world of sunshine and
adventure. They chase rabbits, stomp in mud puddles, float in water, and run with the
wind. It’s a wonderful reminder that there are so many adventures to be found when you
put down the screen

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Greetings and Happy Spring!

This letter is being sent to families with children in an Early Childhood CARES classroom to update you on some changes to the policies and protocols around COVID-19 we are making in response to Oregon Health Authority and Early Learning Division guidance. This letter will serve as an addendum to the letter sent out by our Directors, LaWanda Potter and Kim Giansante.

Changes to COVID-19 Daily Health Screening:

We are asking families to monitor children for symptoms of illness, and to keep children home if they are ill. Staff will no longer ask health screening questions about COVID-19 exposure or symptoms at drop-off.

COVID-19 Exclusion Policy Changes:

The following symptoms are considered “Primary COVID symptoms” and require that children be excluded from the classroom:

· New cough (unusual to the person and not due to allergies/asthma)

· Temperature of 100.4 or higher

· Chills

· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

· New loss of smell or taste

It is recommended to obtain COVID-19 testing if your child has primary symptoms of COVID: a negative PCR test (not home testing) may shorten your child’s exclusion period.

Children who test positive for COVID-19 will be excluded for 10 days and may return after this isolation period if they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of medication) and any cough is resolving. If parents prefer to avoid testing (or if the child won’t tolerate specimen collection for testing), the exclusion period will be a minimum of 5 days and up to 10 days depending on the individual situation. Please consult with nurse Cathy about your individual situation.

Other symptoms of illness are considered “Non-primary COVID symptoms”, including congestion, green/yellow nasal drainage, sore throat, or unusual fatigue. Our pre-COVID general classroom guidelines have required that we exclude children with these symptoms, but only until symptoms are gone. For vomiting and diarrhea the child must stay home at least 24 hours after the last occurrence, without the use of medication.

Elimination of Quarantines:

Probably the biggest change is that quarantine for both individual students and classrooms is no longer required. For example, if someone within your household becomes ill with COVID-19, your preschool student can now continue to attend school unless they develop symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19 themselves. Likewise, if there is a student exposure in the classroom, our class will continue to meet instead of closing for a 10-day quarantine. We will continue to notify families if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the classroom, but the classroom will not close due to the exposure.


Mandatory masking and other COVID-19 prevention strategies been lifted in most settings over the past several weeks. Because many people have been travelling over the break and because there are a lot of viruses circulating, we have decided *for now* to continue to require masking while indoor in classroom settings. This is for everyone’s protection and will help us to keep our classrooms open and fully staffed. We anticipate this being in effect for a limited time in April. We will review the masking policy in mid-April.

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PRISM (free intervention study for families with young children with autism)

    1. Flyer attached and family consent
    2. 20 weeks of free intervention
    3. For children 3.0-5.0, limited language (fewer than 20 spontaneous productive words in a 20 minute play based assessment), who have characteristics of autism (formal diagnosis not required)
    4. Sessions can take place at the HEDCO clinic, family home, or child’s school

Paid Research Opportunity for Families

Hello Parents!

Researchers at the University of Oregon are looking for more families to participate in a paid research study to test a new web-based training program for caregivers of young children with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). They have asked us to forward information about the study. Please refer any questions about the study to

Are you a family caregiver of a child age 2 -6 with Intellectual or Developmental Disability (IDD)?

Would you like to help test a new web-based resource designed for family caregivers of children with IDD?

What you will be asked to do:

Over a 3-month period, you’ll be asked to complete 3 questionnaires, each taking less than two hours, and spend about 5-10 hours going through the web-based Tiered Online Training and Support (TOTS) program. You and your child might also be invited to receive additional training and supports. We can also provide an internet enabled device for those who need.

How we will pay you:

• $25 After you complete the first questionnaire

• $25 After you complete the TOTS program and the second questionnaire

• $50 after you complete the third questionnaire

All payments will be your choice of check by mail or electronic gift card sent by email.

Who we are:

CBIRT (Center on Brain Injury Research and Training) is a center under the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon. CBIRT creates web-based training and informational programs for persons with traumatic brain injury, families, educators, and health professionals.

What this study is about:

We are evaluating a web-based resource for family caregivers of children with IDD. This study is funded by: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research and conducted by CBIRT.

Find out more at

Click here to see if you are eligible:

Or contact us at for more information.

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We are looking for people who are patient with young children and knowledgeable in the field of Early Childhood Education. Please include a current resume with your online application:

Permanent Substitute Teaching Assistant - apply here.

This position will interact with children in a variety of situations including small and large group settings and one-on-one support. The substitute will communicate with program staff, consultants, related service providers, and parents

Early Childhood CARES provides early intervention and early childhood special education to infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children in Lane County. Services are individually designed to address the needs of the young child with developmental delays or disabilities. All services are free of charge to eligible childre

Early Childhood CARES



1500 West 12th Ave Eugene OR 97402