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Emergency Child Care

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This page contains interim guidance based on what is known about COVID-19.
The ELD will update its guidance as additional information becomes available.

Child care is an essential service to communities. In response to COVID-19 and the governor’s Executive Orders 20-08 and 20-12, the Office of Child Care (OCC) created a process for licensed child care providers, public schools, and employers or other entities to launch new, emergency child care facilities.

Essential Workers are prioritized to receive Emergency Child Care. This includes first responders, emergency workers, health care professionals, critical operations staff and essential personnel, and other individuals working outside of the home.

To receive a customized referral to emergency child care programs contact 211info by:

  • Calling 211. Listen to the prompt for Child Care and press the specified number.
  • Texting the keyword “children” or “niños” to 898211 (TXT211).
  • Emailing
  • Click here to visit the website.HOURS: Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Families for whom child care is not absolutely necessary should keep their children at home to ensure caregivers who remain open can serve those most in need, such as health care workers and other first responders.

The following groups may provide emergency child care for families during this public health crisis:

  • Licensed Child Care Providers – Many current licensed providers are reserving slots for children of Essential Workers. Families can contact 211info to access this child care. For more information, check out the “Emergency Child Care Toolkit for Currently Licensed Providers” below.
  • Public Schools – Public schools are currently working to provide child care to Essential Health Workers. Workers will receive a referral from their employer to access this care. For more information, check out the “Emergency Child Care Toolkit for School Districts” below.
  • Emergency Child Care Sponsored by Employers or Other Entities – With approval from the Office of Child Care, experienced providers may open additional sites for emergency child care. For more information, check out the “Emergency Child Care Toolkit for Currently Unlicensed Providers” below.

Existing child care providers and public schools will be staffed by current employees and/or temporary staff and substitutes who have been vetted through a background check process and child care training. For emergency child care sites sponsored by employers or other entities, we are prioritizing staff structures with experienced child care staff from licensed providers that are currently closed, along with new or additional staff who are required to pass background checks and participate in training.

The Early Learning Division is actively recruiting child care substitutes. These caregivers would provide care in a child’s home or emergency child care facility to support Oregon’s medical personnel, emergency responders and other essential staff needed to work during this public health crisis.

If you are not currently working in child care, but are willing to be mobilized to serve your community during this time, you can apply to be a substitute. The ELD will work closely to match you with the location, setting and schedule that most aligns with your preferences.

Emergency child care will be provided in the following settings:

  • In a licensed home or child care center that is open for business during this emergency
  • In a school that is providing emergency child care and is registered with the Office of Child Care in the ELD
  • If you indicate it is allowable, we will also provide your name to medical personnel, emergency responders or other essential staff that are interested in someone providing care in their home

The program or individual you are matched with will be responsible for paying you. If you have questions, please contact the CCR&R helpline by email at or call 1-800-342-6712 for assistance.

At this time, many of the programs offering emergency child care slots are licensed child care providers. Public schools do not require child care licensure. Providers opening new emergency child care sponsored by employers or other entities must be experienced and participate in an expedited licensure process with the Office of Child Care.

The resources and toolkits below support emergency child care providers with:

  • Setting up healthy and safe child care environments for children of all ages (0-12)
  • Special considerations for set-up and operation related to COVID-19
  • Staffing suggestions and structures

As with all resources related to COVID-19, guidance will be updated as new information becomes available.

Emergency Child Care Toolkit: For School Districts

Emergency Child Care Toolkit: For Currently Licensed Providers

Emergency Child Care Toolkit: For Temporary Child Care Facilities

  • Emergency Child Care Guide for Temporary Child Care Facilities

*Temporary Child Care Facilities are new Emergency Child Care facilities established by experienced child care operators. The “Emergency Child Care Guide for Temporary Child Care Facilities” is not for currently licensed facilities operating in their existing space and converting to Emergency Child Care.

General Resources