Please take a minute to read OPB’s latest article on the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). In 2012, Oregon received $20 million to help rebuild our early learning system, with a particular focus on promoting quality early learning environments in child care settings. As you will read, Oregon’s QRIS is continuing to grown and has given over 27,000 children access to quality programs throughout the state so far.
Thank you for your interest in the federal Early Head Start Child Care Partnership funding opportunity. Alignment and coordination of applications with state early learning systems will ensure that we achieve the best possible outcomes for as many children as possible in Oregon. The document below is designed to support your efforts. Please contact Christa Rude or Dawn Barberis with any questions.
(Portland, OR)- Oregon’s Early Learning Council is moving toward establishing more early learning hubs across Oregon. Today the Early Learning Council announced eight applicants who will begin the process to become full-fledged hubs coordinating early education and family support services help to children and families.
“Our learning hub model will expand across Oregon so that more children and their families have access to a comprehensive set of education and social services,” said Jada Rupley, Early Learning System Director. “Hubs allow communities to tailor resources and collaborate to better prepare our young Oregonians for school success.”
Early learning hubs bring together a community’s childcare, health and education efforts to focus on supporting children and their families. This coordinated approach allows for each of the sectors to be more cohesive in preparing children, particularly the most vulnerable, to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.
The eight early learning hubs and their respective counties are:
Blue Mountain Early Learning Hub (Umatilla, Morrow, Union)
Clackamas County Early Learning Hub
Eastern Oregon Community Services Hub (Malheur, Wallowa, Baker)
Linn Benton Lincoln Early Learning Hub
North West Regional Early Learning Council (Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook)
Southern Oregon Early Learning Services Hub (Jackson, Josephine)
Washington County Early Learning Hub
Wellness and Education Board of Central Oregon (Crook, Jefferson, Deschutes)
The Early Learning Division will provide support to the selected hubs as they finalize their plans and enter into contracts with the state.
The eight new hubs join six existing early learning hubs created to coordinate early learning services for Oregon’s at-risk children and families. The existing hubs serve the communities of Douglas, Harney, Grant, Lake, Lane, Marion, Multnomah and Yamhill counties.
Hubs, which focus on early childhood education, are part of the state’s 40-40-20 goal to build a seamless system of education from birth to college and career. The goal calls for 40 percent of students to receive a bachelor’s degree or higher; 40 percent of students to receive an associate’s degree or certificate; and the remaining 20 percent to earn a high school diploma.
The Oregon Legislature passed a statute to create hubs in July 2013. The first set of hubs were announced in November.
Oregon’s Early Learning Council is charged with improving kindergarten readiness and family stability, while making sure multiple systems are more coordinated and aligned to most effectively support families.
Oh June 2nd, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton announced the upcoming Summer Food Service Program which provides free, nutritious meals to students over the summer months here in Oregon. During the school year, many students rely on the free and reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches that schools provide to supplement what’s available at home. Over the summer, there are free meal sites set up throughout the state to help ensure that students have access to nutritious food even when they aren’t in school. Similar meal programs exist around the country to combat student hunger.
You can read the full press release here: http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/announcements/announcement.aspx?ID=9912&TypeID=5
Want to learn more? Resources on combatting childhood hunger and summer meals include:
Governor Kitzhaber Visits Quality-Rated Preschool to Highlight Statewide Efforts to Improve Early Learning Programs
Governor Kitzhaber today gathered with Representatives Val Hoyle and Nancy Nathanson to visit a Eugene early learning provider certified by the Oregon Early Learning Division’s rating system for qualified early learning and child care facilities. Friendship House Preschool is one of 39 sites statewide that has received a star rating from the Quality Rating and Improvement System based on its offerings to help prepare young Oregonians for kindergarten.
“Children across Oregon have amazing potential. Our job as adults is to meet them where they are and give them opportunities to be successful in school and in life,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Early learning programs are key to meeting our education goals. By supporting programs that offer quality early learning environments for all students, and by helping providers improve their services and programs, we are following through our on our commitment to our youngest citizens.”
The Quality Rating and Improvement System is designed to raise the quality and consistency of child care and early learning programs across the state. It will also provide parents a reliable tool for reviewing child care and early education options. Programs are evaluated in five main areas, including learning and development and health and safety, that influence a child’s growth, health, and well-being.
Oregon’s Early Learning System Director Jada Rupley said child care providers are an important part of redesigning the state’s early learning system. “Many are working with regional Early Learning Hubs to provide quality settings and engaging programs that can help improve outcomes,” Rupley said. “We want to learn about what’s working while providing tools that ensure a solid foundation for lifelong learning in school and beyond.”
Read the full, official press release here.
On April 23, 2014 the Early Learning Division Office of Child Care conducted a webinar around the Focused Child Care Networks grant that is currently open. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here.