Early Childhood CARES April 2020 e-News
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Dear Early Childhood CARES Families:

We know these last few weeks have been very challenging for all. Our hearts go out to our families and hope you are staying healthy and well. We understand you may be facing some unique challenges parenting a young child with special needs. As you know by now, our Early Childhood CARES classrooms and in-person home visiting services are suspended until further notice. We are waiting for further guidance from the Oregon Department of Education about when we will resume in-person services. All of our services at this point will be provided remotely. 

Our goal now and in the coming weeks and months is to support you to the best of our ability given the constraints of remote services. You should be hearing from your child’s Service Coordinator for a check-in and a conversation about how best to support your child and stay connected.

Our intention is to provide distance learning to your child and family. This can take many shapes and forms, depending on your family’s needs, interest, and availability. Distance learning can include virtual platforms like Zoom, Skype or Google Hangout, but can also include phone calls, email, texting, mail and possibly delivering information or packets to your door if needed. The plan you create with your Service Coordinator and the educational team will be directed by you and your child’s needs. The focus may align with your child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) goals or it may include other goals or remote services that meet your identified needs. We have maximum flexibility given our social distancing requirements and want you to know we are there for you. We also hope to share community resources with you as you need it.

We are finding some silver linings these days. Our connection as a staff has deepened in some different and unexpected ways in spite of our social distancing requirements. Our staff have rallied and are feeling ready to provide services to assist you. We hope to find that connection with you as well and and that our work together with your family will be meaningful and helpful in ways we hadn’t anticipated given our situation. It’s an opportunity to genuinely connect with each of our families and we look forward to making the most of this trying and difficult time. We continue to hope you all stay healthy and well.  

Take care and we will be in touch,

Kim Giansante & LaWanda Potter
Early Childhood CARES Co-Directors

April-May Calendar

  • April 20, Deadline to register for spring behavior group
  • April 22, Spring Behavior Group via Zoom
  • April 18, Parent Chat: Picky Eaters Part 1, 10-11:30 via Zoom
  • May 2, Parent Chat: Picky Eaters Part 2, 10-11:30 via Zoom

Our 2019-20 calendars are available to download here .
Our 2020 summer calendars are available to download here:
Parent Chats will continue online via Zoom!

On April 18, our occupational therapists will present Picky Eaters Part 1, followed up by Picky Eaters Part 2 on May 2. The occupational therapy team will share strategies for encouraging extremely resistant eaters to try new foods. Families are strongly encouraged to attend both sessions. Families must attend Part 1 in order to attend Part 2 on May 2.

These parent chats will be held from 10-11:30 on Zoom. You must have Internet access and a phone, tablet, or computer that can connect to Zoom. Please register by contacting us by phone at 541-346-2578, by text at 541-393-7200 or email eccares@uoregon.edu. Please provide your email address at time of registration. We will be using email to send information about how to access the class on Zoom.
The group is designed to help parents decrease negative behaviors in preschool-aged children and is based upon The Incredible Years, developed by Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton with the University of Washington.
Leading the group will be Ursula Crawford, the Family Engagement Coordinator with Early Childhood CARES, and Erin Dent, an Early Childhood Special Educator.
Pre-registration is required. Families should provide us with their email address at time of registration. We will be sending information on how to access the Zoom sessions via email. Families must have Internet access and a phone, tablet, or computer that is compatible with Zoom.
To register:
Call 541-346-2578, Text 541-393-7200 or Email eccares@uoregon.edu
Registration deadline: Monday April 20.
Online Activities for Families

Adventure! @ Home
Adventure! Children's Museum is posting fun kids' activities. You can visit them on Facebook or sign up for the email here:

Keep moving! The City of Eugene invites families to complete a physical challenge for the opportunity to win fun prizes, including family swim passes and $35 towards future athletics programs with the City.

Videos with stories and songs can be found on their Facebook page, or sign up for their newsletter.

Eugene Science Center has a page of videos and links to explore science online.

So you can't visit the zoo, but you can let the Oregon Zoo come to you on YouTube. Meet Moshu the Red Panda, Nacho the Penguin, and other animal friends.

Explore the great outdoors from your couch with these online tours through Google Earth.

Videos of astronauts reading children's books in space! So fun!

Great Facebook post with lots of fun links for kids of all ages.
Spotlight on Family Resources

Lane County school districts have all developed their own plans to provide children with free meals while schools are closed. Check with your school district for details or click the link above for links to Lane County district websites.

LaneKids has put together a comprehensive resource page to track family resources that are emerging through the COVID-19 crisis.

Low-income families may qualify for low-cost Internet through Comcast's Internet Essentials program. New customers who apply by May 19 will receive two free months of services.

Questions about renters rights or resources for help with rent costs during this time? Visit the Springfield Eugene Tenant Association online or call their hotline at 541-972-3715.

Click above to apply for Oregon Unemployment benefits.

WellMama is continuing to offer all of their support groups during this time. You can visit them at wellmamaoregon.com/support or on Facebook here.

Womenspace is continuing to provide services to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. English and Spanish-speaking advocates are available day and night through the crisis line. 541-485-6513 or toll free at 800-281-2800.
2020 Census Time

Every census survey completed in Oregon brings our local community $3,400 every year for 10 years. Anyone can go to www.My2020Census.gov after March 12 to fill out a census survey. The census is 10 questions and is very easy to complete. Click here to watch a short video about the 2020 Census.
Tax Reminders

Deadlines to file and pay taxes have been extended to July 15 due to COVID-19.

Oregon tax exemption for a child with a disability

The Oregon Tax Code provides an additional tax exemption for parents of eligible children with disabilities in Oregon. The procedure for claiming an exemption for the 2019 tax year is explained in the Oregon Individual Income Tax Return and Instruction booklets. 

Who qualifies for the exemption?

A child qualifies if he or she meets  all  of the following criteria:
  • Qualifies as a dependent of the parent(s) for tax year 2019;
  • Is eligible for early intervention services (birth to age 3), early childhood special education services (ages 3 to 5) or received special education as defined by the State Board of Education of the state where the child attends school; and,
  • Is considered to have a disability as of December 31, 2019 under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and related Oregon laws.

What documentation must be submitted with the tax return to qualify for this exemption?

As the tax instruction booklet indicates, the child must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), as well as a current eligibility statement as a student with a disability. If you do not have these documents contact your District for a copy of the IEP/IFSP cover sheet, and eligibility statement. Copies of the IEP/IFSP cover sheet and eligibility statement are not required to be submitted with the tax return. However, parents are advised to retain a copy with their 2019 tax records as the Oregon Department of Revenue may ask the parents to provide such documentation. If you have any  Special Education related questions , please contact your local education provider. 

Oregon Department of Revenue Online Instructions and Forms

 For further information and assistance in completing Oregon tax forms, consult a tax professional or contact the  Oregon Department of Revenue at 1-800-356-4222 . Oregon income tax forms/publications are available on the  Department of Revenue website . That process will allow you to claim the additional tax exemption for the 2019 year.
Support our Program with eScrip

Using eScrip is even easier now with the new Benefit Mobile, Inc. app for iPhone and Androids. Click here for more info or to get the app.

Sign up for eScrip to raise money for Early Childhood CARES when you shop at Market of Choice and other partner organizations. You can designate up to three schools to receive funds when you shop. Signing up is quick and easy at escrip.com.
LaneKids has a parent newsletter. Sign up here.

Check out the LaneKids website for events, parenting classes,
and more!
Early Childhood CARES Resource Guide 2019-2020
Our annual Resource Guide lists relevant community resources for young families including library storytimes, play groups, childcare options, and more. If you would like a copy of the 2019-2020 Resource Guide — updated in August 2019 — visit our website  to download it. If you need a paper copy, contact your service coordinator or email eccares@uoregon.edu.

Free Screening for Siblings
Parents of children receiving services from Early Childhood CARES may request a free developmental screening for younger siblings. Simply call 541-346-2578. Spanish speaking families can call 541-346-0742.

To find an emergency food pantry that serves you or more information, please call (541) 343-2822. Click on your neighborhood below to download the flier.

Imagination Library
The Imagination Library is now available throughout most of Lane County. You can sign your child up to receive a free book by mail every month from birth until he or she turns 5. Details available at the LaneKids website here.
About Us:
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 children.

Early Childhood CARES 
1500 West 12th Ave Eugene OR 97402