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Child Care and ECEAP During School Closures

Child care centers and most Early Childhood Education & Assistance (ECEAP) classrooms will remain open

Child care and early learning services are critical to allowing parents to continue to work, which has significant public health and social benefits. Additionally, these programs provide necessary supports to families most in need of services.

Compared to schools, child care and early learning settings have lower risks for exposure and spread of COVID-19 because there are typically fewer children in the setting. According to our public health agencies and medical experts, the available evidence from the COVID-19 outbreak has shown that the risk of serious illness to young children is low.

Frequently Asked Questions

The safety and wellbeing of children and staff are our top priorities. Below are a few of the reasons we will continue to stay open.

  • School closures were based, in part, on limiting gatherings of 250 people or more and child care centers have far fewer people than schools. Additionally, we will take additional precautions to reduce close contact and will enforce social distancing by limiting our child care group sizes to 10 or fewer people, including staff. g., one adult and nine children, two adults and eight children, etc.
  • Children who do not have compromised immune systems have a low risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
  • We will continue to enforce policies related to keeping sick and symptomatic children and staff away from child care (i.e. children and staff must remain fever-free without the use of medication for 72 hours before returning to child care).
  • Our Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), which is the lead agency for state-funded services that support children and families, is encouraging child care and early learning programs to stay open as long as possible to allow families, especially medical personnel and first responders, to work. If guidance changes we will reevaluate and communicate any changes.
  • If child care is closed, many children may need to be cared for by grandparents who are more at risk for complications related to COVID-19. Keeping centers open helps to reduce that risk to vulnerable populations.
  • We are taking extra precautions to protect children and employees by:
    • Regularly cleaning and sanitizing surfaces and objects at our facilities.
    • Encouraging staff who are not well, those who have compromised immune systems or who are caring for family members with compromised immune systems to stay home.
    • Taking the temperature and checking for symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) in staff and children upon entry each day and asking if medications were used to lower the child’s temperature and if there are any household members with COVID-19.  Staff and children will be excluded from care if they do not pass the health screening.

This situation is evolving and open centers may change from week to week. The list of centers that will be open starting Tuesday, March 24 is below, categorized by school district. New operating hours for all of our centers will be 7:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. We cannot guarantee that we have space available at our consolidated sites so please call our main office to see if we have capacity to serve you – 360-952-3466.

Evergreen School District

  • Hearthwood Elementary (school age child care)
  • Orchards Elementary (school age child care)
  • Park Crest Early Learning Center (EHS infant, toddler, preschool child care)

Vancouver School District

  • Ben Franklin Elementary (school age child care)
  • Hough Elementary- anticipated open date 4/1  (school age child care)
  • Minnehaha Early Learning Center (ECEAP, preschool child care)
  • Patricia Nierenberg Early Learning Center (toddler and preschool child care)

Please contact our enrollment team so they can update your contract and ensure we have space available for your child: 360-952-3466 or

The rate for full-day, school-age child care is $43 per day.

  • To suspend care until school resumes, send an email to our billing team so they can make a note in your account. Their email is:
  • In your email, you must specify a start date (no earlier than March 16th) and an end date for the temporary contract suspension.
  • Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that we will have space for your child if you choose to return to care prior to your specified end date because we will likely fill your slot with other community members looking for child care while your contract is temporary suspended.

We are in unprecedented times and are committed to doing all we can to work with families. We have made the decision that we will not charge families who choose to temporarily suspend their contract during this time.

  • We are in unprecedented times and are committed to doing all we can to work with families. We have made the decision that we will hold your child care slot if you choose to temporarily suspend your contract during this time.
  • This means that your child can resume their normal schedule when school resumes.
  • We cannot guarantee that we will be able to add additional days upon your return to care as this will depend on our capacity and availability at the time.

To terminate your contract, send an email to our billing team at

  • In light of the uncertainty of this situation, we will waive the two-week notice of termination requirement during this time.
  • The earliest you can terminate your contract is March 16th.
  • If you need care again in the future, you will need to work with our enrollment team to determine if we have space and complete any necessary paperwork.

Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided at all of our centers.

School Age Contract: Your contract will be frozen effective March 16th if you do not indicate the need for child care during the closure. Your slot will be held until normal operations resume.

Full Day Contract: Once you notify the billing team that you do not need care, they will refund you the remaining days you are not using in the month of March effective the day of your email. We cannot back date for days not utilized. Your account will be frozen and your slot held until normal operations resume. The contact email for the billing team is:

Please note that it could take up to two weeks for the refund to be reflected in your account.

Yes. If your center is not located in Vancouver and is not a consolidated site then your center will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 24.

Our new hours of operation beginning March 24th are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

With additional health guidelines currently being implemented in our centers, please allow additional time during drop off for our staff to conduct health screenings.

Yes. All of our centers accept state subsidy. When we notify families of the consolidated locations, we will work with families to fill out a form allowing our agency to temporarily change your location during the consolidation.

Yes. However, please be advised that it may take our staff additional time to ensure we have the necessary documentation (Individual Health Care Plan, physician’s orders) to safely care for your child. Our ECE nurse will need to review documentation and provide necessary training for staff. This may require extra time so you may not be able to attend child care on Tuesday. If you have questions, please contact our nurse, Luz Franco, at

Yes, staff is taking the temperature and checking staff and children for symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever) upon entry into care each day. We are also asking if medications were used to lower the child’s temperature and if there are any household members with COVID-19.

If a child or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath) while at child care, the health department recommends that the individual be immediately separated from others until the ill person can leave the facility. If symptoms persist or worsen, they should call their health care provider for further guidance. An employee or child’s parent or caregiver should inform our staff immediately if the person is diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Individuals who are exhibiting respiratory symptoms can return to program once they are symptom free.
  • Individuals who have a fever can return to program 72 hours after they fever free, without fever reducing medication.
  • Individuals who have been in contact with some one that is confirmed with COVID-19 can return to program after the quartered period (14 days) as long as they are symptom free.
  • We are not requiring a medical note to return to program after individuals are symptom free

We are in unusual times and want to be flexible to the changing circumstances our families face. We will not be charging families for care if their child is sent home because he/she did not pass the health screen. If you would like to request a refund for these days, please email our Billing Department at 

Child Care Centers

This situation is evolving and open centers may change from week to week. The list of centers that will be open the week of March 24-27th are below.  Hours for all of our centers will be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Evergreen School District

Center Services
Hearthwood Elementary School age child care
Orchards Elementary School age child care
Park Crest Early Learning Center EHS Infant, toddler, preschool child care

Vancouver School District

Center Services
Ben Franklin Elementary School age child care
Hough Elementary (Anticipated open date 4/1) School age child care
Minnehaha Early Learning Center ECEAP and preschool child care
Patricia Nierenberg Early Learning Center Toddler and preschool child care
Southwest Washington Child Care Consortium

Contact us for more information:

If you have a question that is not answered here, please email or call 360-952-3466.

Learn More about ECE Centers