(Ashland, Ore.) — The Schneider Children’s Center at Southern Oregon University (SOU) will remain open after an agreement was reached between SOU and the Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC).
Through the partnership, an as-yet-to-be-determined number of seats at the center will be reserved for children who meet the age and income eligibility requirements of the Oregon Department of Health and Human Services Early Head Start program and are identified by OCDC. Current SOU students will maintain priority for enrolling their children in the center’s other available spaces, with SOU employees and members of the community having access to any remaining spaces. It is possible that many SOU students may qualify for Early Head Start, making their child care even more affordable.
Under the agreement, the center will provide full-day services Monday-Friday for 48 weeks per calendar year. Staff-to-child ratios must comply with Head Start Performance Standards, which require at least one teacher for every four children and a maximum group size of eight for infants and toddlers. Preschool ratios will remain at one teacher for every 10 children and a maximum group size of 20.
“The primary concern of both SOU and OCDC is that preschool children in our community be given the tools they need to master success in school, and that parents and guardians—including SOU students—have access to support services,” said SOU President Roy Saigo. “This agreement accomplishes both goals.”
“This agreement is possible through our new Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program, the purpose of which is to raise the quality of child care for infants and toddlers in communities throughout the state,” according to OCDC Executive Director Donalda Dodson. “We are thrilled to be a leader in the Early Head Start-Child Care partnership model; innovative solutions like this SOU/OCDC partnership are critical for the future of Oregon’s families and communities.”
With the agreement now finalized, the Schneider Children’s Center is scheduled to reopen Sept. 15. Parents and guardians—both SOU students and members of the community—are encouraged to visit www.souchildcare.com for more information. To enroll children at Schneider Children’s Center, click on “Enroll Now.”
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.
Oregon Child Development Coalition improves the lives of children and families by providing early childhood education, care and advocacy with unique and supportive services to enhance family growth and community success. OCDC is one of the nation’s largest providers of Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, Early Head Start, Pre-Kindergarten programs and the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership model, serving over 4,000 low-income Oregon families.