Forward Arrow Backward Arrow

COVID-19 Resources: For Families

The latest resources on Coronavirus Image

UPDATE: Child care in Oregon is closed unless operating as Emergency Child Care. For more information, click here.

Call 211 in Oregon if you can’t find the answer you need online. They can give you general COVID-19 information.

Parents or caregivers of children ages birth to five years old can also submit questions, comments, or concerns related to COVID-19 by emailing early.learning@state.or.us.

The Early Learning Division created a new handout for families with key information on child care during the coronavirus pandemic. Click below to view the handout.

The Early Learning Division gathered feedback from families on this handout through a survey, from July 23 to 31.

Thank you to all who participated!

Summary of Parent Survey Results: Child Care Guidance for COVID-19

Following the evolving pandemic and as Oregon reopens, ELD gathered input through a survey for parents and caregivers. This short survey included a series of questions on the health and safety precautions in child care needed to help families feel comfortable during COVID-19. Click below for a summary of the survey results.

  • Summary of Parent Survey Results: Child Care Guidance for COVID-19
FINDING CHILD CARE

Q: Can my child receive care from an Emergency Child Care (ECC) facility?
Yes, essential workers should still be given priority but as Oregon reopens other families will need care to return to work. Providers have flexibility to serve more families with the phased reopening.

Q: Who is considered an “Essential Worker”?
Click here for guidance on how to determine if you are an Essential Worker. 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.

Q: How do I sign up for Emergency Child Care?

STEP 1: Check for eligibility to Employment Related Daycare (ERDC) assistance. ERDC assistance is available to all families at or below 85% of State Median Income (See table below). Click here to read the latest press release on the changes and here to view temporary changes.

ERDC Ongoing and Exit Income Limits

Number in ERDC Group Gross Income Limit
2 $4,012
3 $4,956
4 $5,899
5 $6,843
6 $7,787
7 $8,259
8 or more $9,192


STEP 2:
If you qualify for ERDC assistance, enroll by contacting your local DHS field office or visiting the DHS website to fill out their form. For those who qualify, there is no cost for Emergency Child Care. For those you do not qualify for ERDC assistance, your Emergency Child Care provider will determine the cost of tuition.

STEP 3: 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 children@211info.org.
  • 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.

From the referral list, you can choose the Emergency Child Care program that best suits your needs.

 

ROUTINES WILL BE DIFFERENT
  • To minimize contact during drop-off and pick-up, parents or caregivers should remain outside of the building for sign-in and -out of their children and stagger times when possible.
  • All adults and children entering the facility will receive daily health checks.
  • Programs are required to follow guidance for increased frequency of cleaning and sanitation.
  • Programs will provide more space or physical distance between children.
  • All field trips will be canceled or postponed. However, going to a public park is allowed if the park is open by the county/city.
  • Water play activities are allowed if water is continually in motion and not able to stagnate. Activities that contain water in one place, such as a water table, should be discontinued.
  • To promote physical distancing, providers may adjust program activities and environment while maintaining stable groups of up to 10 children.
  • As long as partner agencies are open and operating, children may still have access to support services.
DAILY HEALTH CHECKS

This check directly asks about symptoms and exposure to COVID-19. Symptoms include “being ill with fever, cough, or shortness of breath.” Staff will ask for a verbal verification by an adult that they and/or their child do not have a fever. If they cannot verify, then they will receive a temperature check.

EXCLUSION POLICY
  • If a child or staff member is sick with an illness that includes cough, shortness of breath, or fever, this person should be sent home and get tested for the coronavirus.
  • If a child or staff member is exposed to a person who tests positive for coronavirus, or has a presumptive case of COVID-19, this person must be excluded and should quarantine for 14 days with no symptoms.
  • If a child or staff member is exposed to a person who is in or enters quarantine for COVID-19, but the child or staff member does not have any symptoms, exclusion from child care is NOT required.
  • Click below to learn more.
SAFETY AND SANITATION
  • Hands should be washed frequently–before and after meals, after coming inside, after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing–with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Program staff fully sanitize classrooms or other common areas at the end of the day and in between stable groups.
  • Wearing a cloth, paper, or disposable face covering is required for all staff who interact with multiple stable groups of children, specifically while conducting health checks and performing floater duties.
  • Infants and sleeping children should NEVER wear a face covering. Children in child care may wear a face covering if the child:
    • Is over 2 years old,
    • Able to remove the face covering themselves without assistance, and
    • Able to avoid touching the face covering.

If the cloth face covering is creating discomfort or resulting in the child touching their face frequently, reconsider whether a cloth face covering is appropriate for your child. PLEASE NOTE: A cloth face covering is not a replacement for frequent hand hygiene.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING
  • Staff members who work with different stable groups, family members, and others should practice physical distancing of six feet.
  • Young children are likely unable to practice physical distancing. Therefore, limiting the size of and maintaining stable groups is important.
  • However, activities and curriculum should support physical distancing when possible. This includes more outside time, less standing in lines, less sharing of items or equipment, not using sensory tables, water tables, or sandboxes, staggered mealtimes, no family-style meals, etc.
GROUP SIZES
  • Programs must maintain stable groups of up to 10 children. “Stable” means the same group of children, and teacher and staff, are in the same group each day.
  • Each stable group will use common areas (bathrooms, play areas, etc.) separately.
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD DURING COVID-19

Q: How can I talk to my child about the coronavirus (COVID-19) in a developmentally appropriate way?

Children are likely curious as they hear increased public dialogue and experience changes to their daily life regarding COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control has resources for families to talk with their children about the virus.

  • Keep answers to questions simple and developmentally appropriate.
  • Supportive relationships are key during emergencies and will go a long way with children. Children need to know they are safe. Remind them that you are here to keep them safe.
  • Watch for signs of anxiety. Young children may not have the words to express their worry, but you may see signs of it. They may get cranky, be more clingy, have trouble sleeping, or seem distracted. Continue providing reassuring words and try to maintain a normal routine.

Experts at the Early Learning Division also assembled the below tips and resources for supporting children during the emergency.

On Cleaning and Exposure:

  • When taking steps to prevent the spread, you can talk about not sharing germs and that is why we wash our hands, use tissues to blow our noses, give people space, etc.
  • Children may ask if they will get sick. Answer them honestly. Everyone gets sick. Ask them about the time they had the sniffles or a tummy ache. Remind them that if they get sick, their family will be there to take care of them.
  • Give them control. It is also a great time to remind your children of what they can do to help – washing their hands often, coughing into a tissue or their sleeves, cleaning tables or toys, etc.

On Cloth Face Coverings:

  • It might be scary for children to wear face coverings, or see the adults around them wearing cloth face coverings.
  • If children ask about people wearing face coverings, you can explain:
    • Sometimes people wear face coverings to stay safe.
    • Sometimes people wear face coverings to be a germ buster.
    • Sometimes people wear face coverings when they are sick.
  • Allow children to role-play with face coverings. Be creative and use art materials to design face coverings that are for the individual child.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

How to Support Children (and Yourself) During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Center on the Development Child

Answering Your Young Child’s Questions About Coronavirus, ZERO TO THREE

Vroom Tips for Families at Home!, VROOM

How Play Helps Kids Navigate Difficult Times, PBS for Parents

How to Support Your Kids through COVID-19, My Oregon News

Parenting Resources, Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative

Children May Be Afraid of Masks. Here’s How to Help., The New York Times

How Will Social Isolation During COVID-19 Affect Our Kids? KQED

Dear Therapist: What’s Your Advice to Parents Whose Kids Are Stuck at Home During the Coronavirus Lockdowns? The Atlantic

Children’s story book released to help children and young people cope with COVID-19, World Health Organization

The ELD joins ECC providers, families, and members of the community in taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Together, we can ensure healthy and safe care for our children.