Children are so very welcome at IPEC courses! After all, the children are the reason why we are all gathering together in the name of the future. It is a very modern phenomenon to identify education as an institution that is separate from the rest of life. Since the beginning of humanity, the education of children has been woven inextricably with the lives of adults who model behavior, skills and the kind of human striving that makes a person worthy of imitation. In return, the children infuse the adults with the very joy and wonder that brings the necessary balance to adult responsibilities. The design of the village creates constant accountability from extended family and community members, and sets a consistent standard of mutual respect, productivity and mentorship.
Our childcare is provided at the same site as our training courses. IPEC's Childcare Program Director in Portland is Sara Eisenfeld (childcare information for other locations will be linked to the course-specific registration page). Her work with children is extensive and is a delicious mix of flavors influenced by permaculture, Waldorf education, social justice, Jon Young's work with nature connection and mentorship, as well as her relationship with her Jewish roots and traditions. She relates beautifully with children of all ages, and designs programming that artfully integrates the needs of all. Our teacher:child ratio is 1:7 for ages 3+ and 1:3 for children under age 3. The childcare offering is specific to our course participants, although in order to fill the student ratio, we may open extra spaces to the broader community for morning summer camp activities. We do not always offer childcare during the optional weekend Intro to Permaculture courses, so please contact us in advance if this service is necessary for your enrollment.
Each morning, activities will include a nature craft activity, story, forest free-play, farm chores and snack time. The children spend lunch break with their parents, and when afternoon coursework resumes, the first lesson block after lunch are activities that include the children. Afterwards, they will enjoy a mix of adventure time, rest time, free play, games and informal activities.
The cost of childcare (includes 1 meal/day) is $275 for children ages 3+. For children under 3, the cost is $525 to account for our small child:teacher ratio. (This can be prorated if you do not need childcare throughout the entirety of the course. Your total will amount to $5/hour/child (ages 3+) or $10 per hour (children under 3 yrs old) plus $5 for each meal.) Please plan to bring a backpack for each child containing snacks, water bottle, fully waterproof rain gear (pants and coat), sun hat, sunscreen, change of clothes, rain boots, warm socks, warm hat and sweater/sweatshirt. Please label all of these items with your child's name. Children should arrive each day with sunscreen already applied and wearing pants (there are lots of plants that poke and sting at the farm, so bare legs are not a good idea) and sturdy sandals that can get wet.
Payment for childcare is due in full along with your registration for the course. We are sometimes able to arrange payment plans that require regular payments made reliably according to a pre-arranged schedule. The total will always be due in full by 30 days prior to the beginning of the course. After that no childcare money is refundable, but like course registration, can be applied toward future trainings.