Q: How do I make changes to my child’s Before & After School registration?
A: Contact the Before & After School Registrar in writing at least 2 weeks before the desired change. A transfer fee of $20 will be applied to your account when making package changes. There is no additional fee when shifting the days of the week your child regularly attends, (i.e., from Monday and Tuesday to Tuesday and Wednesday) but the Registrar must approve this change in order to keep accurate attendance records.
Q: Do I need to register for Full Day programs/In-Service days separately?
A: Yes. Full Day programs/In-Service registration is separate from all BAS packages. This also allows families to register for just what they need. Please see the rate sheet for information about In-Service registration rates, dates, and more specific information on how to register for our In-Service and Break days.
Q: When can my Kindergartener start attending Camp Fire Columbia’s Before & After School Program?
A: On their official first day of Kindergarten (see your school schedule) and AFTER they turn five years old. Often, districts have Kindergarteners attend a “half-day” on their first day of school. Camp Fire can offer AM care for youth who attend a half-day in the morning, and we can offer PM care for youth who attend a half-day in the afternoon. Because the protocol differs by school site, please contact your program’s Site Supervisor in late August for further clarification. Our Oregon Office of Child Care license prohibits us from having youth attend program before their 5th birthday.
Q: What happens when I’m waitlisted for a program?
A: Demand for child care options has increased in the last few years, and some of our school sites will experience waitlist situations as early as the first day that registration opens. We understand that this can be frustrating for parents. We set program capacities based on a number of factors: state licensing rules, staffing, available program space, and program quality. As we experience waitlists for programs, we do our best to assess the situation and add capacity where possible. When space becomes available, our registrar will contact you and begin the process of helping get your child registered for program. We approach waitlists in a “first-come-first-served” manner, and work through them over the school year as we are able. There are occasionally times where we cannot accommodate everyone who wants to be in our program. We recommend that you use 211 or your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency for additional resources if you need immediate support.
Drop-In Care and Early Release
Q: When can I register for drop-in care?
A: We usually open registration for drop-in only care in October each school year. All drop-in care requires an initial online registration to collect pertinent information and an annual, non-refundable registration fee. Drop-In days must be pre-scheduled and approved by the Site Supervisor after the Registrar has approved your registration is complete. Due to space limitations drop-in care cannot be guaranteed.
Q: Am I registered for Early Release days (WLWV Schools)?
A: Early Release days are included in monthly fee for package members that are scheduled to attend the PM program on Wednesdays. PM drop-in rates and procedures apply for all non-scheduled participants.
Supplies, Dietary Needs, Drop-Off & Pick-Up
Q: How do I sign my child in/out of program?
A: Be prepared to show photo I.D. when picking-up your child. This is for your child’s safety, and you may get asked multiple times while our staff get to know you. An authorized adult must be present to sign-out a youth. Be sure to sign-in/out with the time you are dropping-off or picking-up. Youth cannot sign themselves into or out of program without special written permission from parents/guardians and an agreement with the Site Supervisor.
Q: What should my child bring to program?
A: Your child should be equipped with weather appropriate clothing (jackets, raincoats, appropriate shoes) for outside daily recess whenever possible, and their homework packet/folder to utilize the dedicated homework time.
Q: My child has food restrictions/allergies; do I need to send them with their own snacks?
A: When you register your child, include food restrictions and/or allergies and we will be sure to have an inclusive snack menu with alternatives for students who have special diets.
Q: My child has an Epi Pen, Inhaler, or other medication that they need periodically. What steps do I need to take?
A: Please fill in the medication questions when registering your child, but also please follow-up with your Site Supervisor before your child starts program. You will need to fill out a medication dispense form before any medication can be stored at site or administered to your child. Please see our Parent Handbook for more information on medications.
Q: When can I drop-off my child at morning program?
A: Check with your Site Supervisor to see when your program opens, you can arrive any time after opening. Do not arrive prior to opening as staff members need time to set up the space for morning program. In general, most programs in PPS open at 7:00am while programs in West Linn-Wilsonville, Peninsula Elementary, James John Elementary and Rose City Park will open at 6:30am.
Q: When can I pick-up my child from after school programming?
A: You are able to pick-up your child at any point between when program starts and 6:00pm. Please check with your Site Supervisor to confirm the afternoon schedule at your site so they can help you decide on the best time to pick-up your child in order for them to enjoy the full benefits of program time. If you decide to pick-up early from school on a regularly scheduled Camp Fire day, please let your Site Supervisor know by phone or email.
Cost of Care, Fee Schedules, and Financial Assistance
Q: I have no payment due in August or June. Why is that?
A: Our registration system spreads payments for the school year evenly over a nine month payment schedule. This means that although you will be registered for program starting in August and also in June for the school year, you will not be making a full payment in those months. When you register early for September program, you will be asked to pay our annual non-refundable registration fee, and a partial September payment. The remainder of the September payment will be due on September 1st. In the Spring, if you are registered and pay in full for May, June will be included.
Q: Why do I still have to pay a full monthly payment in November, December, and March?
A: Our total fees for the school year are divided into nine equal payments, September – May. There are no payments due for August and June. Some months have significantly more or less school days than other months so by dividing the payments equally rather than by days per month, parents can have a clear expectation of what their payment will be each month.
Q: Fees are higher than in the past – and I’ve noticed that some other after school programs in the region are cheaper, why is that?
A: Camp Fire Columbia is a non-profit organization that works every year to provide the best value to families with the highest level of quality possible. We aspire to be the best child care provider in the region, and we evaluate cost every year to make sure we are making our programs as accessible as possible. Recruiting and retaining the best staff to work with your kids is important to us. We work hard to provide a livable wage and benefits including health care, retirement, and sick time. In addition to wages, our staff members receive significant paid training to ensure your child is safe, engaged, and active. Some programs ask that employees train on their own time. In addition to staffing costs, your registration fees help us pay for rent of space, program supplies, food, field trip costs, and special visitors among other things. We know the cost of childcare is stressful for families and we do everything possible to contain these costs while protecting the quality of experience your child is having.
Q: How can I set up my payments to come from my checking account, instead of a credit card?
A: Thank you for thinking about this! One area of cost we have no control over is credit card fees, and it can be a significant amount. It would help us tremendously if you would consider setting up Electronic Funds Transfer using your checking account information, and your account will be automatically debited. To find out more about how to set this up, give us a call at (971) 340-1613.
Q: Do you offer financial assistance?
A: Yes! We offer partial financial aid as a discount ranging from 20-70% of fees depending on household size, income, and special circumstances. Please see the link to the Financial Aid Application on our website. We will begin accepting applications after registration opens in May 2019.