Parent Resource Center
Bastyr University's drop-in care center provides professional care for children ages 3 months to 5 years whose parents are current students or staff.
The Parents Resource Center fosters a holistic, health lifestyle and a comfortable, relaxed, loving environment. We believe in education through play, and we invite parents to visit and participate with their children at any time. We strive to provide children with the same level of care and attention they receive at home.
How We Care for Children
Children at the PRC span a range of developmental stages. We separate the children only when specific activities are not age-appropriate. Most of the time children play independently and are free to move around the play areas. Children at these ages learn all day long through play and exploration, at their own pace, with our encouragement and support. Each day we offer 1-2 hours of structured time dedicated to our curriculum, although this is suggested, not required. All play activities and curriculum fit into a daily routine of meals, snacks and naps.
Our colorful center includes play areas, a nap room and an outdoor playground. We welcome specific instructions from parents on things like food, nap times and diapers (cloth and disposable are both OK).
Standards of Care
We teach children to respect each other and the adults around them. We encourage children to share toys, take turns and resolve disputes verbally. We prevent children from hurting or endangering themselves or each other.
- Positive Reinforcement: We believe it's better to congratulate a child for doing something well (and encourage her to repeat the behavior) than to wait for her to err and then punish her for doing something wrong.
- Creative Interaction: Our goal is to stop quarrels before they begin by providing a variety of interesting activities at suitable intervals to keep boredom from erupting.
- Physical Affection: Hugs and kisses help children thrive emotionally and developmentally, and they encourage a positive atmosphere between adult and child. Providers are trained on what is and is not appropriate touch.
- Individual Attention: We let each child know that they are special every day.
- Kind, Firm, Quiet Discipline: Absolutely no corporal punishment is tolerated or used at the PRC. Children are asked to apologize for inappropriate behavior. If the behavior persists, “time outs” are used when necessary and are 1 minute per year of age.
- Responsibility: Even at an early age, children can begin to learn responsibility. We teach them to pick up after themselves and to share in the general cleaning. We teach the older children how to help take care of the younger ones. The children often take pride in simple accomplishments such as putting something in the trash or carrying their own plate to the kitchen.
We have a different theme each week and offer a "circle time" during our busiest hour each day. Circle times include: two or three related words in Spanish and American Sign Language, a letter and number of the week, the weather, the calendar, counting, colors, shapes, stories, music, rhythms, dance, yoga and art. In addition to our structured curriculum, we also reserve the campus movement room for several hours week, play outside on the playground, and take nature walks or swim in the wading pool when the weather permits. We also offer several holiday “parties” each quarter open to all Bastyr community children.
Rates and Ratios
Rates and provider-child ratios at the PRC are lower than most centers in the area. Rates are for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Children 3 to 12 months (2:1 provider-child ratio)
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Children 12 months to 24 months (3:1 ratio)
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Children 2 years to 5 years (5:1 ratio)
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* For multiple-child households, we use the full hourly price for the youngest child. Each additional child is half off the hourly price.
Quarterly Activity Fee: $20
Head provider Michele Tobias welcomes questions at prc[at]bastyr[dot]edu.
- The PRC employs professional, caring, experienced childcare providers.
- A parent must remain on campus at all times a child is at the PRC.
- All providers undergo a national criminal background check and are first aid and CPR certified.
- Hours are reserved on a quarterly basis, with no minimum weekly requirement. Extra drop-off hours are also offered on a space-available basis.
- The PRC offers many different napping options. Nap times and frequency are flexible, and times may be different for each child.
- The PRC has no vaccination requirements.
- PRC staff keeps in touch with parents through regular conversations, email, and a monthly newsletter.
For questions about parent resources at Bastyr, contact Michele Tobias (prc[at]bastyr[dot]edu, (425) 602-3302).
Resources for Bastyr Parents
More than a tenth of Bastyr students are parents. They find support in the campus drop-in center, a child-friendly campus and other sources of help.
This student club hosts educational talks and lunchtime discussion. Parents welcome!
Family Resource Outreach Group (FROG)
This group hosts monthly meals and connects Bastyr families new to the area with students who can mentor them and help find child care resources. Contact Sandra Duncan at Duncan_sandra[at]yahoo[dot]com or 832.585.4502.
Studying at Bastyr means learning about child health and development. Nutrition courses teach how diet needs change during development, for example.
"After Hours" Forum
Bastyr's online message board is a popular place for students, staff, faculty and alumni to find used items, babysitters or advice from a health-minded community. Users often give away or sell items like baby-food jars, clothes and strollers.
Remote Classroom Viewing
Several of the larger classrooms include video feeds that allow parents to view their classes from private campus rooms with TVs. That helps them spend time with their children during the day or be available for nursing/feeding.
The Kenmore campus and the Seattle teaching clinic, Bastyr Center for Natural Health offer quiet, private lactation rooms with hospital-grade breast pumps.
St. Edward State Park Playground, Fields and Trails
Our next-door neighbor offers forested trails, a small beach on Lake Washington and a free summer concert series popular with young families. The park's extensive Northwest-themed playground (check it out) includes a tree house, ferry-boat sandbox, light house, back-hoe digger, hollow cedar-tree tower and climbing net. Our campus has its own gardens and ball fields for young ones to burn off energy as well.
Supportive Campus Atmosphere
Most of all, parents appreciate the many small signs that the campus welcomes parents and children, such as changing tables in both women's and men's restrooms. Academic advisors help students plan for births and family needs.