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COVID-19 Resources: For Families

The latest resources on Coronavirus Image

UPDATE: Emergency Child Care is available for families in Oregon. 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.

Coming soon – a guide for families following ELD’s “Health and Safety Guidelines” recently issued to providers on August 14, 2020. This resource will help Oregon families learn, plan, and engage with their child’s care and early education during COVID-19.

How has COVID-19 impacted your child care needs? Take the Survey!

The Early Learning Division is asking for feedback on your family’s experience searching for and using child care during the pandemic. Take the survey and help make a difference! Your input will help the state understand family needs and increase support for child care providers.

All parents and caregivers who complete the 15-minute survey will receive a $20 Amazon gift card! Survey closes October 31, 2020.

English Survey: http://bit.ly/ORHouseholdSurvey
Spanish Survey: http://bit.ly/OREncuestaFamiliar

Questions? Contact Denise Ford with ODI at (916) 205-6851 (English) or Laura Wilson with ODI at (541) 606-8350 (Spanish).

  • FLYER: How has COVID-19 impacted your child care needs? Take the Survey
Employment Related Daycare (ERDC) Assistance

The Employment-Related Day Care (ERDC) program helps eligible low-income families pay for child care while they are working. ERDC is a subsidy program, meaning eligible families still pay part of the child care cost. This amount depends on the family’s income, size, and the a​mount the child care provider charges.

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.

STEP 1: Check for eligibility to Employment-Related Day Care (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:
Apply for Employment-Related Day Care (ERDC) assistance. There are multiple ways to apply. Due to public health concerns during COVID-19, the Department of Human Services (DHS) encourages you to:

  1. Call 211 and connect with an operator for application information.
  2. Apply online
  3. To apply in person, call your local office or contact us by email at SSP.StatewideWorkshare@dhsoha.state.or.us to schedule a visit.
  4. Complete an application and mail to your local DHS Self Sufficiency office:
    English ERDC Application
    Spanish ERDC ApplicationIf you need assistance in a language other than English, please call 1-833-604-0877.PLEASE NOTE: Families are able to apply in a variety of languages with a 7476 application or 415F application.

Interviews for ERDC are conducted using “Language Link” if a bilingual worker is not available.

For those who do not qualify for ERDC assistance, your Emergency Child Care provider will determine the cost of tuition.

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

Child Care During COVID-19

Check out the Fact Sheet on Child Care Options – Overview for information on legal regulated and non-regulated 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?

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.

Families who need financial assistance should refer to the Employment Related Daycare (ERDC) program.

 

Routines will be different
  • To remain open, each Emergency Child Care (ECC) provider is required to complete, submit, and share with families a “COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan.” This plan follows the “Health and Safety Guidelines” and covers how routines will be different in your specific program.
  • 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.
    • If you provider is “Registered Family (RF)” or “Certified Family (CF)” and has only one staff member on site, parents or caregivers are allowed to enter but must wait for previous family to exit home before entering.
    • If you have any concerns for the health and safety of your child, your provider must allow you to enter the facility. If you are breastfeeding or have a child with special feeding needs, your provider will offer you an appropriate space where other children are not present. This space will be cleaned and sanitized between visits.
  • All adults and children entering the facility will receive daily health checks. Following the latest guidelines issued on August 14, this includes a temperature check. If an adult or child has a temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit or over, they must be excluded from the program.
  • Programs are required to follow the cleaning schedule included in the latest guidance issued on August 14, “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19.”
  • Programs will provide more space or physical distance between children.
  • Fully outdoor field trips are allowed. Field trips to indoor venues are not permitted.
  • To promote physical distancing, providers may adjust program activities and environment while maintaining stable groups.
  • 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. All adults and children entering the child care program will be asked:

  1. Has the adult or child been exposed to a person with a positive case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  2. Has the adult or child been exposed to a person with a presumptive case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  3. Is the adult or child experiencing unusual cough, shortness of breath, or fever? “Unusual cough” means something not normal for this person (e.g., allergies, asthma).
  4. Does the child or adult have symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, headache, sore throat, or rash?

As part of Recordkeeping, Daily Logs are also required. This information may help support potential contact tracing.

NOTE: To maintain privacy, providers will not record symptoms or temperature. Providers will simply write “pass” or “fail.”

Exclusion Policy

Following guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, ECC providers are informed and aware of when to exclude children and staff from the program. See “Exclusion Summary” below.

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.
  • Following the latest guidelines issued on August 14, all staff, contractors, other service providers, or visitors or volunteers who are in the facility or in the designated child care section of the child care provider’s home must wear a face covering or shield.
  • While in the child care facility or designated child care section of a home, all children who are in grades Kindergarten must wear a face shield or face covering. Face coverings or face shields must follow CDC guidelines: https:// cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html. If your child is in grades Kindergarten or up and has a medical condition or they experience a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering, they should not be required to do so.
  • If your child has particular health needs or susceptibility to disease, including COVID-19, work with your ECC provider to develop a care plan for your child. Care plans are a requirement and covered in the “COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan.”
  • Infants and sleeping children should NEVER wear a face covering.
  • If a parent requests, children ages two to four years may wear a face covering or shield if:
    • the face covering or shield fits the child’s face measurements, and
    • the child is able to remove the face covering or face shield themselves without assistance.

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 face covering or shield 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.
  • During naptime and overnight care, programs will have children sleep head-to-toe (children are arranged so that the head of a person in one bed is at the other end as the head of the person in the next bed) and have at least 36 between mats, beds, or cots.
  • Programs will also limit and prevent the sharing of materials, toys, and equipment. Programs will no longer use shared sand and water tables, or outdoor sandboxes.
Group Sizes
  • Programs must maintain stable groups. “Stable” means the same group of children, and teacher and staff, are in the same group each day.
  • The guidelines issued on August 14 allow for an increase in group sizes based on the program’s county phase – developed as part of Governor Brown’s Reopening Oregon plan. In baseline counties, programs must maintain stable group sizes of up to 10 children. In Phase 1 or 2 counties, stable groups sizes depend on your provider type:
    • Registered Family (RF): Maximum stable group size is 10.
    • Certified Family (CF): Maximum stable group size is 16.
    • Certified Center (CC): Maximum stable group size is 20
  • Each stable group will use common areas (bathrooms, play areas, etc.) separately.
  • Group Size and Stable Groups Infographic – Updated Version COMING SOON
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
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.