The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Family center continues service for children


“St. James Family Center continues to provide services to children and families in our community,” Director Beth Hansen wrote in an email recently. “We have been working with our state partners to modify services and how we provide them. At this time our childcare program remains open to provide services for first responders, healthcare workers and essential workers in our community. Attendance is low, but we will do our best to continue to have childcare available.”

Hours have changed. St. James is currently open from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

St James is following Washington State Department of Health guidelines for early education and childcare programs.

They are not providing drop-in childcare and so anyone in need of childcare will need to call for more information. While some of the staff are working remotely, others who must come in for work are on a rotating schedule. Access to the building is limited to staff and parents who come in with a child. Temperatures are taken, and St. James is continuing to make social distancing and sanitization a priority. Everyone, including the children, are wearing protective face coverings.

“Our ECEAP/Preschool program is providing modified services and keeping in contact with all children and families on at least a weekly basis,” Hansen wrote. “Educational packets are being created for children, online resources are being accessed and our teachers have started a YouTube station for story time and literacy work. Our families have been able to access the food services that the Wahkiakum School District has been providing for our community and that partnership has been essential in continued support for our families. We have also received support from our community with the purchase of gift cards to distribute to our families. This is a wonderful way to support local businesses as well.”

“Our Parents as Teachers staff have been providing virtual home visits for their families and accessing online professional development opportunities,” Hansen wrote. “All victim services continue to be offered remotely and The Charlotte House has worked with the Wahkiakum County Health Department to implement specific protocols and safety measures for those seeking shelter. We continue to provide 24/7 on call access for anyone who is looking for services.”

“The state agencies that fund our programs have been distributing a lot of information and opportunities for online communication for all programs,” Hansen said. “They have been very supportive in encouraging programs to provide services for their communities in a way that makes the most sense for them. Programs across the state are doing the same thing that we are, trying to figure it all out and do the best that we can. It has been a challenge to take in all of this information and put it into practice, but my staff have been amazing. The community continues to be supportive.”

“Chris Bischoff and the health department team has been great,” Hansen added. “They have supplied us with PPE and we have been involved in the collaboration of community agencies that he has kept informed through daily briefings. Their support has been instrumental in our ability to continue to provide our services to families safely.”

“It is a new adventure every day!”


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