COVID-19 Updates for Child Care Providers | September 10, 2021
Since March 2020, under Oregon’s declared COVID-19 state of emergency, the Early Learning Division (ELD) has provided an expedited Emergency Background Check (EBC) process and an expedited Emergency Child Care (ECC) licensing process. ELD stopped accepting applications for both ECCs and EBCs in June 2021.
On September 1, 2021, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 21-31, “extending emergency regulatory flexibility for childcare licensing” noting that “Oregon is currently in the midst of a surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19” which “has placed an extreme strain on our healthcare system.” The Executive Order allows ELD to authorize and approve through December 31, 2021 new Temporary Unlicensed ECCs and an extension of the EBC. To implement the Executive Order, ELD issued an updated temporary order. This order authorizes the establishment of new Temporary Unlicensed ECCs for hospitals and hospital staff, extends the effective period of the EBC, and allows for new EBC applications in certain circumstances.
ELD will continue to notify child care providers of any updates. If you have any questions, please contact your licensing specialist, email ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov, or call 503-947-1400 or 1-800-556-6616.
EMERGENCY BACKGROUND CHECKS (EBC)
EBC approvals are effective until September 30, 2021. EBC approvals may be extended to remain effective through December 31, 2021 if the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Child Care approves a new waiver of federal background check requirements. Individuals who currently have an EBC approval may work in licensed child care, subject to all applicable requirements and limitations, until the EBC approvals are no longer effective. ELD will update individuals with EBC approvals and providers when additional information is available.
Applications for new EBC approvals will be accepted only from individuals currently volunteering, employed, or associated with a Temporary Unlicensed ECC or individuals seeking to volunteer or be employed or associated with a Temporary Unlicensed ECC. The EBC application is available here.
EMERGENCY CHILD CARE (ECC)
ELD is now accepting applications for new Temporary Unlicensed ECCs only from the following:
- Programs where care is occurring on the premises of hospitals and other health care facilities providing inpatient treatment for COVID-19, or
- Programs that would serve only employees of hospitals and impatient COVID-19 treatment facilities, if there a demonstrated lack of child care capacity in the proposed service area.
The ECC application is available here. Please contact Kelly Scales at Kelly.Scales@ode.oregon.gov if you have questions.
Emergency Child Care Dashboard
This Emergency Child Care Dashboard provides a valuable overview of the status of Emergency Child Care (ECC) in the state of Oregon, specifically around vacancy and capacity. NOTE: The Dashboard has not been updated since June 30, 2021, when ECC operations ended.
The Early Learning Division (ELD) partnered with the Center on Early Learning and Youth Development (CELYD) at The Research Institute at Western Oregon University to collect data on Emergency Child Care operations in Oregon. The ECC dashboard was created to ensure there was an adequate supply of child care for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and to understand more about the supply of child care to support ECC providers and those who closed.
During the state of emergency, the ECC Dashboard helped determine:
- The demand for and availability of ECC, statewide and by county.
- The demand for and availability of ECC by age group.
- The overall impact and role of Emergency Child Care.
In addition, the ELD and CELYD gathered data on trends since Emergency Child Care operations began.