Frequently Asked Questions

How does the waitlist work? How long is it?
What are your group sizes, and ratios of adults to children?
What will a typical day for my child look like?
Do you follow a certain curriculum?
What are the staff requirements? What is your staff turnover rate?
What do you do about biting/hitting/aggression? What is your discipline policy?
What about potty training?
Building security?
What is your illness policy? What if my child is sick?
Absences/Vacations/Tuition reimbursement?
Menus, special diets and allergies?
Parent responsibilities/opportunities in regards to volunteering and or donating?


How does the waitlist work? How long is it?

We maintain a list of families who are interested in hearing about our openings for a $25 fee that is applied to your registration fee if you choose to enroll. Families give us some basic information including their contact information, age of their child, the date they would like to enroll, gross family income for sliding fee scale scholarship purposes. We contact families on the wait list as spaces become available. If the opening is a good fit for the family, we begin the enrollment process. If the family asks us to do so, we keep them on our list for future openings when the timing might be better.

Currently enrolled children do have priority status when it comes to an opening in a given room. Before we look at the waitlist for candidates for our openings, we look to the group of children in the younger room.

The length of the list varies with the age group. Typically it is more difficult to find a spot for younger children due to the limited availability of Center-based care for Infants, Wobblers and Toddlers. Also, our capacity in these programs is more limited than in our Preschool Rooms.

back to top


What are your group sizes, and ratios of adults to children?

Our basic group sizes range between 8 and 20 children. Our ratios also depend on the age of the children in the group. They look like this:
Infant Room, ages 6-weeks to 12-months-old; capacity: 12; Child-to-teacher ratio: 4:1
Wobbler Room, ages 12-months to 18-months-old; capacity: 8; Child-to-teacher ratio: 4:1
Toddler Rooms, ages 18-months to 2-years-old; capacity: 24; Child-to-teacher ratio: 4:1
Junior Rooms, ages 2 – 3 years old; capacity: 20; Child-to-teacher ratio: 4:1
Preschool Rooms,2, ages 3-4 years old; capacity: 52; Child-to-teacher ratio: 10:1

Before and After School Programs, ages 5 to 12-years-old; capacity: 43 children at Sabin Elementary School, 30 at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary School, 25 at King Elementary. Child-to-Teacher Ratio: 15:1

back to top

What will a typical day for my child look like?

Most of our children are here at the center for 8 to 10 hours each day. It is our goal to provide a relaxed pace, with a balance maintained between indoor and outdoor-time, quiet-time and active-time, individual or small group activity and larger group occasions. We provide two full meals and a snack every day. Each classroom has a schedule which is followed each day in order to provide children with a comforting routine. Teachers plan activities during the day based on the interests of children in their groups, taking care to provide a variety of choices to meet individual needs within the group. Of course, in the Infant room we work very hard to respect each baby’s individual schedule, allowing babies to eat, sleep, and play as their body dictates.

back to top

Do you follow a certain curriculum?

At Peninsula Children’s Learning Center we follow a set of guidelines which were developed by leaders in the field of early childhood education. These standards which we refer to when we have questions or problems to resolve are called “Developmentally Appropriate Practices.” We are a ‘play-based’ program, as opposed to one which centers on academics. It is our strong belief that children learn as they play and interact with their environment. It is our goal to support the development of the whole child. Each day, in each classroom, teachers prepare a supportive environment with a variety of activity choices. Children are free to decide how they will spend their time. Teachers are there to support learning in all of its facets. They are also there to observe, and make note of, the choices which children make. Those observations are the basis for developing ongoing curriculum, from week to week. Thus, activities and environments are a direct reflection of the children and teachers who spend their days in each classroom in the center.

Each classroom contains these interest centers:

  • A dramatic play area which includes a items for pretend play with various items.
  • A book corner with a selection of age-appropriate books.
  • A block area with materials for stacking, building, and arranging.
  • A ‘sensory table’ with something interesting for eager hands to explore.
  • An outdoor area with age appropriate opportunities for running, riding wheeled toys, climbing, sliding, and playing with balls and hoops.

Our children also have daily opportunities to explore art materials, and various items for developing muscle control – from puzzles, legos, and stringing activities for small muscles to beanbag tossing, balance beams, and tumbling activities for larger muscle. Each day, all of our teachers read to their children, and provide them with opportunities to experience music, through singing, playing rhythm instruments and listening.

We do put special emphasis on the social aspects of our program. Peninsula Children’s Learning Center is a great place to learn how to make friends and to learn how to be a friend and how to get individual needs met in a group setting. Each day provides opportunities to participate in large and small group activities. Many of our children establish friendships here, over a period of several years, which they continue to enjoy even after they have moved on to elementary school.

Creativity is another aspect which is given a place of honor in our program. Many of our favorite materials are very open-ended and allow children the chance to explore and interpret as they choose. It is our belief that children learn a great deal by having the ability to make choices and express their individuality through their play. Free expression with art materials, dancing, singing, story telling, and problem solving are all encouraged and nurtured.

back to top

What are the staff requirements? What is your staff turnover rate?

As Early Childhood Education professionals, members of Peninsula’s teaching staff are responsible for advancing their education.  All classroom and supervisory staff are required to complete a minimum of 20 clock hours of training related to their professional responsibilities per year, and it is recommended that all substitute teachers complete a minimum of 20 clock hours of training.  Peninsula sponsors 4 mandatory inservice days per year to help teaches, substitutes, and supervisory staff meet these requirements.

All classroom staff are required to have a current first aid/CPR card and be currently enrolled in the Oregon Criminal Registry.

Per Oregon Department of Early Learning guidelines all regular, full-time staff must fulfill the requirements for their position.

  • Head teachers are to be a step 8.5 completing 40 college credits or 400 hours with 280 hours being set 2 and 3 trainings that are integrated into the 4 core knowledge categories.
  • Teachers are to be a step 7.5 completing 20 college credits or 200 hours of training with 80 hours being set 2 and 3 trainings that are integrated into the 4 core knowledge categories.
  • Aide 2 Assistants are to be a step 3 completing 3 college credits or 35 hours of training with a minimum of 4 hours in human growth and 4 hours in at least 1 other core knowledge area.

The teachers are supported in the classrooms by Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists from Morrison Child & Family Services.

The staff at Peninsula Children’s Learning Center is one of our biggest assets. Several members of our staff have been caring for children here for 15 or 20 years. We also have relatively new members of our staff who have been with us for 1 to 3 years. Our turnover rate reflects the wider industry of which we are a part. We value our staff and make every effort to respect their professionalism by offering a competitive wage scale with full dental, vision and health insurance coverage, and a generous childcare tuition discount.

back to top

What do you do about biting/hitting/aggression? What is your discipline policy?

It is Peninsula Children’s Learning Center’s goal to assist children through adjustment periods, to help them develop social skills, and to learn appropriate behaviors. The following are guidance techniques most commonly used in our programs to help children develop self-control, self-esteem, and respect for others, while promoting a positive environment and personal growth:

* quick response to legitimate needs
* positive response to positive behavior
* focus on behavior that fosters self-confidence, cooperation, and individual expression
* model appropriate behavior, especially mutual respect and problem solving
* set clear limits and expectations for children’s behavior
* redirect “negative” behavior

At no time is physical or verbal punishment used with a child. This means no slapping, hitting or spanking, name calling, embarrassing or shaming of any child in any classroom or at another program activity. Children are not denied food, water, or access to the bathroom. Food is not used as a reward or a punishment.

All adults need to follow the same guidelines when they are visiting or volunteering in the classroom.

Although dismissal for disciplinary reasons is rare, it does happen. Whenever possible we prefer to implement early intervention and to have the parent, child and teacher work cooperatively toward a solution. Staff will closely coordinate with the family to resolve differences and meet each child’s needs.

back to top

What about potty training?

Children usually begin the process of potty training here at around two years of age. Our bathrooms have child-sized toilets, which seem to make the process a bit less threatening. We believe very strongly that this is an area where adults must let each child take the lead as they work toward this milestone of development. Our role is to support and encourage, but to allow the child to be in control. Staff members work with parents to monitor readiness regarding different stages of the process.

back to top

Building security?

Peninsula Children’s Learning Center’s main door is open during business hours. Access to the classrooms is limited by the coded security door for parents, children, teachers and volunteers. All of our doors, of course, may be exited at any time, however parents and staff are asked to enter and exit only through the front door. Our Annex classroom also has a coded security door for parents, children, teachers and volunteers.

back to top

What is your illness policy? What if my child is sick?

Peninsula is not licensed to care for ill children. Although we are allowed to admit children who are mildly ill with perhaps a cold or an ear infection which is being monitored, there are many illnesses which we must exclude in order to protect the health and safety of all. It is important that our parents have a back-up plan for those times when their child is ill. Our illness policy was developed in compliance with county and state regulations.

back to top

Absences/Vacations/Tuition reimbursement?

In order to obtain a stable income with which to pay our staff and operate our program, we must charge parents for care, including absences due to illness or for vacations.

back to top

Menus, special diets and allergies?

Breakfast and snack are are prepared on site by our Cook, and lunches are provided by Fresh n’ Local Foods, Inc. a food catering company from Salem. They furnish 100% natural, locally sourced (when possible), preservative-free food in all of our lunches. Many of the meals provided by Fresh n’ Local are vegetarian, and if the entrée does happen to contain meat, they will provide us with a vegetarian version for those children who do not eat meat. We are happy to work with you to accommodate your child’s dietary needs. Check out our Nutrition and Menus page to see what foods are offered.

back to top

Parent responsibilities/opportunities in regards to volunteering and/or donating?

It is the goal of our Board to encourage all parents to find a way to participate in our community. As a not-for-profit organization, we make use of many donated items, from drawing paper to furniture. Our parents also donate money, time, and expertise.

back to top