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COVID-19 Resources: For Providers

The latest resources on Coronavirus Image

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

For questions regarding COVID-19, providers can call 1-800-342-6712 or their local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R).

Providers can also submit questions by emailing ProviderContact@state.or.us.

Discussion Draft of Health & Safety Guidelines During COVID-19

The following proposed revisions to the Early Learning Division’s Safety Procedures and Guidance for Child Care Facilities and Other Early Care and Education Programs Operating during COVID-19 have been informed by a robust stakeholder engagement effort, which included:

  • Provider and parent surveys that yielded over 400 and 3,000 responses, respectively;
  • Multiple input sessions with large groups of child care providers; and
  • Small group sessions with culturally specific providers, parents, school districts, and other key stakeholder groups.

The document is organized into 14 sections. Each section includes a summary of key changes from the current version and a summary of stakeholder input and rationale along with the requirements and recommendations for each section.

For mobile users, click here to access the Discussion Draft – English and here for the Discussion Draft – Spanish.

  • Discussion Draft of Health & Safety Guidelines for ECE Providers Operating During COVID-19

The Early Learning Division gathered input on sections of the drafted COVID-19 Guidance through a survey, from July 23 to 26.

Thank you to all who participated!

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: The FAQs listed below reflect current guidance. This content will be updated following the release of the revised guidance on August 14.

Q: How is ELD communicating with licensed providers?

With the coronavirus situation developing quickly, ELD has been sending regular communication by email to licensed providers and posting the letters to the COVID-19 page. Providers should check their spam folder to make sure they are receiving these updates. If you have questions regarding regulations and licensing, please call 1-800-556-6616. Providers can also submit questions by emailing ProviderContact@state.or.us. ELD wants to support you getting up-to-date information as quickly as possible. If you have not previously provided us your email, please email your licensing specialist with the best email address for you.

General Office of Child Care

Q: Are child care facilities (home-based or center-based) required to close?

Yes, Oregon Governor’s Executive Order 20-19 issued on April 23, 2020, maintains that all licensed child care facilities are required to close unless approved to provide Emergency Child Care by the Office of Child Care. The order remains in effect until lifted by the Governor and requires providers to operate under conditions outlined in the order and ELD’s updated temporary order memo, which include:

  • Prioritizing child care for individuals in the essential workforce.
  • Limiting the number of children to “stable” groups of 10 in a home or classroom (Emergency Child Care providers may serve new children and accept referrals up to the limit of 10).
  • Adhering to health and safety guidelines developed in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority.

As part of the statewide plan to reopen Oregon, Governor Brown released new guidance for child care providers. The Statewide Standards for Child Care Operations will take effect Friday, May 15, 2020. The guidance maintains the requirement that all licensed child care and recorded programs must be approved by the Office of Child Care to operate as Emergency Child Care. By taking gradual steps, backed by science and data, Oregon will begin to reopen safely and control new coronavirus cases.

Q: Are publicly funded programs such as Preschool Promise, Oregon Pre-Kindergarten and Relief Nurseries required to close?

These programs should be closed unless they are converting to emergency child care. Click here to learn more and apply.

Q: Can a licensed provider who has NOT applied and been approved by OCC to conduct Emergency Child Care operate instead as a license-exempt provider and care for three or fewer children?

No, licensed providers must follow Executive Order 20-12 and Executive Order 20-19. Oregon Governor’s Executive Order 20-19 issued on April 23, 2020, maintains that all licensed child care facilities are required to close unless approved to provide Emergency Child Care by the Office of Child Care. The order remains in effect until lifted by the Governor.

There is not an option to continue child care services as an exempt provider unless the provider asks the Office of Child Care to close the license.

Q: When can I reopen my child care facility for normal business?

ELD will notify providers with any updates.

As part of the statewide plan to reopen Oregon, Governor Brown released new guidance for child care providers. The Statewide Standards for Child Care Operations will take effect Friday, May 15, 2020. The guidance maintains the requirement that all licensed child care and recorded programs must be approved by the Office of Child Care to operate as Emergency Child Care. By taking gradual steps, backed by science and data, Oregon will begin to reopen safely and control new coronavirus cases.

NOTE: Only approved Emergency Child Care (ECC) providers are permitted to continue operating.

Visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/Emergency-Child-Care to become an approved Emergency Child Care (ECC) provider.

Q: Will the guidance be different county by county?

The child care guidance is statewide and does not differ by county.

Q: Now that guidance has been release for schools reopening in the fall, when can we expect an update for child care?

The ELD is working on new guidelines that will be released by Friday, August 14, 2020. There will be opportunities for provider engagement and input leading up to the release of the new guidance.

Applying to Be Emergency Child Care

Q: Who can apply for Emergency Child Care?

Emergency Child Care is now limited to licensed child care programs who previously elected to close, and now want to reopen. Temporary child care facilities (“pop-ups”) may only apply to operate Emergency Child Care if they can demonstrate a community need.

Q: Can I still submit an application to operate Emergency Child Care even though I missed the deadline?

If you missed the March 31, 2020 deadline, you should already be closed.  You may submit an application to re-open as an Emergency Child Care, which requires you to:

  • Prioritize child care for Essential Workers, and you may also welcome back your former families.
  • Provide care to “stable” groups of 10 or fewer children. “Stable” means 12 children can be enrolled in a classroom or group but only 10 can be in a classroom in attendance/on site at the same time.
  • Follow the Safety Procedures and Guidance for Child Care Facilities Operating During COVID-19 developed by the Early Learning Division and Oregon Health Authority.

You will need to remain closed unless/until approved. Applications are being processing within a few days.

Q: I need assistance with the emergency child care site application, who can I contact?

If you have any questions or need assistance with the application, you can contact your licensing specialist, call 1-800-556-6166, or email ProviderContact@state.or.us.

Q: What if I don't have access to a computer, printer, or scanner for filling out and submitting the Emergency Child Care facility application?

Please contact your licensing specialist for assistance. They can help you troubleshoot. Your licensing specialist may opt to mail you a form with return postage or assist you by filling out the form over the phone.

Operating Emergency Child Care

Q: Is it safe for me to provide child care?

COVID-19 is in the community. We all need to take the same basic steps to protect ourselves and our families from becoming ill. There is no evidence that children of an essential worker are any more likely to have or to transmit COVID-19 than other children.

The best way to protect yourself is to clean hands regularly and, to the extent possible, limit close contact with others, including children. Cleaning hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer after close contact with kids or others is a good strategy to prevent infection. If children you are caring for develop symptoms of respiratory illness, they should be separated from others in the child care setting and be sent home. When people with COVID-10 are symptomatic, there is the highest likelihood of spreading illness.

Q: What supports are available to me to provide emergency child care?

If you apply to offer Emergency Child Care, the ELD will provide emergency supplies and deliver them to your home or center. In addition, providers who are not an ERDC listed provider can contact DHS. ERDC assistance is available to all families at or below 85% of State Median Income during this time. For more information on this change, contact the Direct Payment Unit at the Department of Human Services – 1-(800)-699-9074. The ELD is continuing to work with the Governor’s office to identify additional supports for providers.

Q: When will school-based Emergency Child Care providers end operations?

Corresponding to the end of the school year, school-based Emergency Child Care must end no later than June 30, 2020, unless the school provided child care prior to the state of emergency. This requirement was established in ELD’s temporary order memo released on Friday, April 24 and based on Executive Order 20-19.

If a district has not opened or supported a school-based Emergency Child Care program, it is not anticipated districts will be asked to open one before the school year ends.

For schools that normally operate child care programs, and will continue in operation past June 30, 2020. These programs are required to operate under conditions outlined in the Governor’s original Executive Order 20-12 and an updated temporary order memo issued by ELD, which include:

  • Prioritizing child care for individuals in the essential workforce.
  • Limiting the number of children to  “stable” groups of 10 or fewer children. “Stable” means 12 children can be enrolled in a classroom or group but only 10 can be in a classroom in attendance/on site at the same time.
  • Adhering to health and safety guidelines developed in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority.

Q: What if my emergency child care facility has to close?

Please reach out to your licensing specialist to notify them of closure. Contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) by calling 1-800-342-6712.

Q: Are there any modifications to rules regarding screen time for Emergency Child Care settings?

Screen time is defined as time spent using a device such as a computer, television, or games console. For family child care, the rule stands that children in Emergency Child Care shall not be exposed to more than two hours of screen time per day. However, online school activities, including completing any homework, should not be counted as screen time. All media exposure must be developmentally and age appropriate. Certified centers rules do not currently address screen time.

Q: Does ELD have guidance on separating outdoor space? If there’s a large outdoor area, can temporary fencing be used to separate groups outside?

A facility may delineate separate spaces for children as long as they can ensure that children know the boundaries for their group and are following them. If temporary fencing is used the program must get approval from the LS and ensure the path of egress is not impeded. A visual barrier such as cones, would not require fire marshal approval, but would require close supervision to ensure children are complying.

Q: Are there certain foods that we should not be feeding children? Are there foods or diets that make children more likely to get the virus?

Providers should follow the typical nutritional guidelines from the USDA, per child care rules. There are not any recommendations to avoid foods or follow certain diets.

Q: How long will Emergency Child Care last?

We don’t know. With each phase, the requirements for Emergency Child Care may change. The ELD will continue to send regular communication by email to licensed providers and will post the letters on the ELD website. Throughout this state of emergency, ELD is committed to supporting child care providers while also increasing the availability of healthy and safe care for children.

Q: If we need to have a technician, contractor, plumber, etc. enter our child care facility when children are present, is that allowed?

Yes. You must have visitors use the visitor’s log and do not allow interactions with the children.

*UPDATED* Q: With summer’s arrival, what is recommended for applying sunscreen?

Caregivers should wear gloves and wash hands between different applications. Encourage the children that are able to apply their own sunscreen. Aerosol sunscreen is not permitted since it still needs to be rubbed to be effective. Using aerosol over lotion does not achieve the desired result of minimizing contact. Because of the continued concern of children inhaling it, it is not allowed to be used in accordance with the rules.

Q: What water play activities are permitted?

The Safety Procedures and Guidance During COVID-19 (see “Guidance for Child Care Providers During COVID-19” tab) indicates that water tables are not permitted. Allowing children to water plants and play in a sprinkler are allowed as 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.

Q: Are sandboxes allowed at this time?

No. Sandboxes, like sensory tables, are not currently permitted.

Q: Are programs permitted to take children to public parks?

Going to a public park is allowed if the park is open by the county/city. The Oregon Health Authority has provided guidance that children spending time outside is helpful in limiting the spread of the disease. Programs should keep stable groups separated from each other and away from other kids at the park as much as possible. Using park equipment is allowed if it’s available for use through the park. Many parks still have equipment that is off limits to the public. Note: Field trips are currently not permitted.

*NEW* Are trips to farms, forests, parks or similar outdoor locations permitted? If so, what would be required to do so?

These type of outdoor visits are allowed with limits. Transportation to the location must be done with a single stable group of 10 children. Children must remain in stable groups, practice meticulous hand washing before and after activities. All participants who are able to reliably wear a mask are encouraged to do so. Children should be distanced from other children and should not mix with children in other groups. Avoid any areas (e.g., a farm) that are crowded with other visitors, because it will be difficult to maintain distance from those visitors. Large busloads of children are not allowed.

*NEW* Can children use water fountains or fill their water bottle from the water fountain?

In accordance with guidance provided to gyms/fitness centers, water fountains should be closed, except for those designed to refill water bottles in a contact-free manner.

Q: Do I need to keep prioritizing essential families?

Yes, essential workers should still be given priority but as Oregon reopens other families will need care to return to work. Prioritizing other families is a program decision. Providers have flexibility and can talk with their CCR&R to help navigate this.

Q: How do I determine if someone is an essential worker?

The ELD has provided an overview and the full list from the federal Department of Homeland Security, which helps to define “essential.” This list provides an expansive view of who is essential during Oregon’s COVID-19 emergency.

Q: What if someone wants to use child care and is not an essential worker?

Child care providers must continue to prioritize care for essential workers and may also serve all families who return to work in Oregon’s phased reopening. This requirement is included in the Statewide Standards for Child Care Operations released on May 13, 2020.

Q: What is the requirement for a stable group size?

Twelve children can be enrolled in a classroom or group but only 10 (or less, in the case of infants and in some family child care homes) can be in a classroom in attendance/on site at the same time. Think of it like a sports team – 12 people are on the team but only 10 can play at once.

Q: What is the required height for a barrier or divider between stable groups of children? Is this requirement for school-aged children the same? What materials make a good barrier or divider? What is the maximum number of groups that can be in a large room?

*UPDATED 6/15/20* Certified Family (CF) are required to have stable groups in separate rooms. If the rooms are separated by a doorway (or an opening of a similar size e.g. hallway) there must be a barrier that would prevent children from touching each other.

For Certified Centers (CC), the barrier should be at least 4 feet high, in order to properly divide active children. This requirement is the same for children of all ages. Materials must be sufficient and heavy enough that kids cannot move or crawl over the barrier (i.e. not cones, or chairs). There should be no more than two stable groups of children in a large room.

Please note: all barriers must be secured so there is no concern of the barrier tipping over on children. Consult with your licensing specialist for assistance.

Q: Does the stable group requirement impact my ratios?

They are two completely separate things. You need to comply with ratios in the guidance depending on your type of facility (i.e., Registered Family, Certified Family, Certified Center).

Q: As new classrooms open, can children be split off from a stable group to form a new stable group?

Yes, they can do this as long as it is a permanent change, and they will not be going back and forth between classrooms.

*UPDATED*Q: May I have two teachers or staff with a group of 10 kids even though that’s not required by ratio?

Yes, you may have more staff/teachers than the minimum required by ratio to provide higher quality care.

Q: Can I have my own children home together with the child care children while schools are closed?

If your children are under the age of 13 they count as child care children. They must be factored into your overall group size of 10 if you are offering emergency child care.

Q: Can school-aged children have week to week enrollment?

With school-aged children more capable of practicing physical distancing, the ELD has established that licensed Emergency Child Care (ECC) facilities may offer week-to-week enrollment for school-aged children during the summer. The stable group may change no more frequently than once per week.

NOTE: Week-to-week enrollment is still NOT allowed for preschool-aged children.

Q: Do household members need to be logged as in attendance?

As is always the case, providers’ children under age 13 must be on the attendance log if they are in the home. Other household members are assumed to be in the home and would be part of contact tracing.

Q: Do I have to take children and staff temperatures as they enter?

No, provided the adult dropping off the child or the staff member doesn’t believe they have a fever. Ask, and document the health check. If there is a concern, then a temperature check is required.

Q: Can I tell parents or caregivers they are not allowed in the center and they must drop off and pick up at the door?

To minimize contact during drop-off/pick-up, allow parents or caregivers to remain outside of the building for sign-in and -out of their children.

This procedure is outlined as part of the social distancing guidance for child care released by the Early Learning Division in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority.

Q: How can providers find a substitute to support Emergency Child Care operations?

If you need additional staff in order to continue services to children of Essential Workers please contact Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) at ccrr@wou.edu or 1-800-342-6712.

You can also fill out the “Emergency Child Care Providers Substitute Referral Request” form provided by the Center on Early Learning and Youth Development (CELYD) in partnership with the Early Learning Division (ELD).

Emergency Child Care substitutes are individuals who have worked in early learning and have signed up to provide care in approved Emergency Child Care Facilities through an online process. Substitutes have been screened for the following:

  • Current Central Background Registry clearance or Emergency Background Check clearance
  • Current CPR/First Aid or the online CPR/First Aid
  • Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Introduction to Child Care Health and Safety
  • Safe Sleep for Oregon’s Infants (if applicable)

If you would like to receive referrals to Emergency Child Care Substitutes, please complete the form below.

English Form Linkhttps://fs22.formsite.com/QRIS/sdq2buinj7/index.html?1588107620795

Spanish Form Linkhttps://fs22.formsite.com/QRIS/nfpojg57bs/index.html?1588107635721

Russian Form Link https://fs22.formsite.com/QRIS/bvysgxan67/index.html?1588107658517

Each Emergency Child Care provider will be responsible for working with substitutes to determine their compensation during this time. NOTE: This is not a recommendation. It is a referral to available people. It is your responsibility to decide if they are an appropriate match for your facility and Emergency Child Care services.

Q: I’m currently out of work and willing to be a substitute caregiver in Emergency Child Care. How can I get involved?

If you are currently not working in child care, but are willing to serve your community during this time, you can apply to be a substitute. The ELD will work closely to match you with a provider, setting, and schedule that most aligns with your preferences. The program or individual you are matched with will be responsible for paying you.

Q: Is there any way to enroll in the Central Background Registry more quickly?

OCC established an emergency background check process for those not already enrolled in the CBR. Applicants will be subject to LEDS (Law Enforcement Data System) check for Oregon criminal and sex offender registry, Child and Protective Services check for child abuse, National Sex Offender Registry Public web site check, and run against the CBR. To start this process, fill out and submit this form: https://oregonearlylearning.com/form_sets/emergency-background-check-application/ 

Q: I run a family child care in my home and I may be at higher risk due to my age or medical condition. What should I do?

Per this guidance, the ELD recommends exclusion of staff who are considered part of a higher risk population. Please consult with your licensing specialist if you have any questions.

*UPDATED* Q: May I have two teachers or staff with a group of 10 kids even though that’s not required by ratio?

Yes, you may have more staff/teachers than the minimum required by ratio to provide higher quality care.

*UPDATED* Q: Are programs allowed to bring in a contracted service during the summer, such as a summer gymnastics teacher?

No, these special events with additional people in child care are not allowed. These are extraordinary times.

*NEW* Q: Do child care facilities need to follow the public face covering guidance in the Governor’s Executive Order?

Schools and child care facilities are not required to follow the public face covering guidance and should continue referring to the guidance developed for child care operations by the Early Learning Division and Oregon Health Authority.

Q: Do children in Emergency Child Care settings need to use cloth face coverings?

Infants and sleeping children should NEVER wear a cloth face covering. If requested and provided by a parent/guardian, children in child care may wear a cloth face covering if the child:

  • Is over 2 years old,
  • Able to remove the cloth face covering themselves without assistance, and
  • Able to avoid touching the cloth face covering.

Children over two years of age and up to five years of age should be supervised if they are wearing a cloth 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 that child. If children are constantly touching or adjusting the cloth face covering, it will not be effective and potentially could result in increased transmission. PLEASE NOTE: A cloth face covering is not a replacement for frequent hand hygiene.

Q: Should staff members who perform health checks on children wear a face covering?

Anyone who is doing health check on children should wear a face covering. 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. Wearing a face covering during a health check will help protect staff members if a child displays any symptoms during the check. Once the checks are complete, the staff member may remove the face covering.

Q: Are staff required to wear additional layers of clothes and add/remove them as we move between groups of children?

It is encouraged, but not required.

Q: Are special cleaning supplies needed to kill the virus?

OCC rules require regular cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting of toys and materials. Click here to read the latest safety procedures and guidance. The American Chemical Council has compiled a list of products – solutions, concentrates, and wipes – that have been pre-approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the COVID-19 outbreak. Use all cleaning products according to directions on the label. You can also find more information at the CDC disinfecting page.

*NEW* Q: Is hand sanitizer allowed in child care?

Except for diapering or when eating, preparing, or serving food, hand-sanitizing products with 60-95% alcohol content may be used as an alternative method to handwashing. Hand sanitizer must be stored out of reach of children when not in use.

*NEW* Q: Are all hand sanitizers safe?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tested hand sanitizers labeled as containing ethanol (or ethyl alcohol) and found some contaminated with methanol, which is toxic.

Check the specific list of hand sanitizer products, updated on an ongoing basis: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-methanol.

If your hand sanitizer is on the list, throw it out immediately! Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms (listed on the link above) should seek immediate treatment.

Q: What should I do if I think a child, their family, my staff, or I have been exposed to this virus?

Tell that person to watch for fever, cough or trouble breathing. If these symptoms develop, that person should stay away from others, and not go to work or school until 72 hours after both resolution of fever (off medicine) and the resolution of cough. COVID-19, like the flu, often causes mild illness. Not everyone who gets sick needs to visit a healthcare provider. People who become ill can call their healthcare provider to decide together if symptoms are severe enough that a medical visit is needed. It’s very important that you call ahead before going to a clinic. That way the ill person and the clinic can put together a plan for the ill person to be seen in a way that avoids exposing others.

Q: A child in my program has family members in the health care field or other higher risk job;. I am worried this is creating situations where the child is more at risk of contracting the virus and putting other children and staff at risk. Can I disenroll this child?

Children cannot be denied care because of the fear of transmission of COVID-19. Emergency Child Care providers play a crucial role in serving children and families of essential workers. At this time, there is no evidence that children of an essential worker are any more likely to have or to transmit COVID-19 than other children. OCC does understand that programs are needing to make difficult enrollment choices that protect themselves, their families, and the children they serve. If you need further guidance, you should consult with an attorney.

Q: If a child in care or a staff member has symptoms associated with COVID-19, should they be excluded from the program?

A child or staff member who is or has been sick with an illness that includes cough, shortness of breath or fever should be sent home and should go get tested for COVID-19.

If the test is positive or if the person is not tested, the child or staff member must stay home for at least 10 days, and until 72 hours after fever has resolved, and other symptoms must be improving.

If the COVID-19 test is negative, the person may return 72 hours after fever has resolved, if other symptoms are also improving.

Children and staff who have been exposed to someone with confirmed case of COVID-19 or presumptive case of COVID-19 (i.e., they are sick and have been exposed to someone with a positive test), they must be excluded and should quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure. Exposure to a person in quarantine who does not have symptoms of COVID-19 does not require exclusion.

Questions as to whether a facility or program must close should be made only after consulting with the local public health authority.

Q: If a child or staff has been exposed to someone who has symptoms typical of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, coughing, shortness of breath), should they be excluded?

If a person does not have any symptoms and has been exposed to a confirmed or presumptive case, they should be excluded from the program and a 14-day quarantine is recommended.

If someone is exposed to a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 and gets sick, they are considered a “presumptive case.”

A person who does not have any symptoms and has not been exposed to someone with a lab-confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19 does not need to stay home. This means, for example, that staff do not need to be excluded if they came into contact with a child with a fever if the staff person is not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.

Consult your local public health authority with any questions.

Q: How do you classify a “cough” and when does it require exclusion?

Guidelines require providers to perform a daily health check on each child upon arrival, and send home a child who has symptoms of “being ill with fever, cough, or shortness of breath.” A normal cough, with no other signs of illness, does not require exclusion.

Q: Should we monitor or exclude child/staff who have been exposed to someone untested, with COVID-like symptoms? And, at what point? If a child shows up with enough of a cough/fever to send them home and exclude them, does the staff that greeted that child now need to be excluded for the 10 days also?

A child or staff member who is or has been sick with an illness that includes cough, shortness of breath or fever should be sent home and should go get tested for COVID-19.

In a sense, everyone should be monitoring themselves, and parents and staff should be monitoring children for symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, and fever. However, we are not recommending that everyone’s temperature be taken regularly.

Quarantine is recommended after exposure to someone with lab-confirmed or “presumptive” COVID-19. “Presumptive” COVID-19 means you are having symptoms after exposure to someone else with lab-confirmed COVID-19. Consult your local public health authority with any questions.

Q: What do I do if I want to learn more about COVID-19 symptoms and children - I'm hearing things about "COVID toes" or Kawasaki Syndrome-like symptoms?

The CDC provides regularly updated resources on how COVID-19 affects children. Per the CDC, children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported in some children. For more information on COVID-19 and children, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html.

Q: How do child care children and staff access testing?

New guidance from the Oregon Health Authority indicates child care children and staff can be referred for COVID-19 tests if they have fever, cough, or dyspnea (difficult or labored breathing). Child care children and staff can also be tested at Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) if they have any of those symptoms; OSPHL may consider testing even if they are not showing any symptoms.

Q: What happens if a child has COVID-19 symptoms but the family cannot pay for a COVID-19 test. Where do we refer families?

If the family cannot afford a test because they don’t have health insurance, they should , which fully covers the cost of getting tested for COVID-19 if needed. For more information about OHP, go to www.OHP.Oregon.gov or call 1-800-699-9075 (TTY 711). The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) is open to all children and teens younger than 19, regardless of immigration status who meet income and other criteria. This includes Oregon children and teens with undocumented status or who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Otherwise, the family can see a clinician through their county health clinic or a ​federally qualified health center (FQHC).

If the family does have health insurance, they should contact their health insurance provider to get more information on coverage for testing or visit the  Services website.

Most health insurers in Oregon have agreed to waive co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles for:

  • COVID-19 testing
  • An in-network provider office visit or a visit to an in-network urgent care center to be tested for COVID-19
  • An emergency room visit to be tested for COVID-19
  • Immunization for COVID-19, should it become available

Regular terms of insurance such as co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles will still apply for other parts of a visit to a healthcare provider.

Q: It is possible to be infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms. Does this mean I should require all staff and children to take a COVID-19 test before entering the program?

No, we do not recommend requiring all staff and children to be tested for COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. Daily health checks, which should include questions regarding exposure to other individuals with COVID-19 should be sufficient.

Funding & Supports

*UPDATED* Q: What financial assistance is available to support my small business?

  • The Early Learning Division (ELD) accepted applications for the Emergency Child Care Grant Program (Phase 1 and 2) to assist open child care providers during the COVID-19 crisis. The grant program uses resources allocated to Oregon through the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act and other Child Care and Development Block Grant funds. This was a limited, one-time grant. All applicants who met the criteria received a grant. Grant amounts varied by provider type and ranged from roughly $900 to $18,000. Applications are now closed. The grants were available for both licensed and license-exempt child care providers. For more information about grant criteria and details, visit oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/Grants.

For other support and resources, visit orproviderrelief.org. Providers can also contact Oregon Small Business Development Center advisors.

Q: Oregon was awarded over $38 million from the CARES Act. The Emergency Child Care Grant Program (Phase 1) is for $8 million. How is the other funding being spent?

Of the $38.6 million, $7 million is being used for changes to support Employment Related Day Care benefits and $8 million for this Emergency Child Care Grant (Phase 1). Plans for the remaining $23.6 million are still being developed to ensure maximum impact for Oregon families. For more information, visit oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/Grants.

Q: How will the COVID-19 outbreak affect the Request For Application process underway for Preschool Promise and Oregon Pre-Kindergarten?

At this point in time, the economic impact of COVID-19 is unknown. Until the ELD is instructed otherwise, the agency is following through with the legislative requirements associated with the Student Success Act and the Early Learning Account.

Licensing Visits & Renewals

Q: Will there be an extension on completing the required training and CPR renewals for licensing renewal?

If the renewal application is not timely, for Certified Family/Certified Center, a temporary license will be issued and you will be provided additional time to complete the training. For Registered Family, the license will be issued with additional time to complete the training. If CPR certifications are expired, online CPR certification is allowed. OCC suggests that you reach out to your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. They may have hybrid courses available. This can help you avoid paying fees twice. Completing the online portion is sufficient for your renewal. If the CCR&R does not have a hybrid option, you and your staff can select another online option. You will have 60 days from when the state of emergency is lifted to complete the in person skills testing.

Q: How are renewal appointments and other licensing visits processed during this time?

If the renewal application was submitted timely, your program will not expire and you may request the appointment be rescheduled. If the application was not submitted timely, the licensing specialist will work to conduct the visit virtually and renew the license.

Liability, Insurance, Employment & Benefits

Q: Does business interruption insurance ensure coverage for me because of COVID-19?

According to this memo issued by the Department of Consumer and Business, most business interruption policies only cover loss of income that results from physical damage to your property. These policies typically exclude coverage for a pandemic or epidemic. A State of Emergency declaration does not change the terms of your business interruption policy and is unlikely to lead to business interruption coverage. Some policies may cover loss of income due to a pandemic or epidemic, but only for a limited amount of time. Contact you insurance company or agent to see if you policy covers a pandemic or epidemic.

Q: Will operating emergency child care impact my insurance liability?

No, insurance companies will be prohibited from withdrawing, failing to renew or cancelling any commercial liability line of insurance for providers operating an approved emergency child care program by the Office of Child Care. The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Division of Financial Regulation issued a memo outlining this policy.

Q: In the event that a child(ren) gets the virus, am I held responsible/liable for that?

First, follow all suggested Oregon Health Authority guidelines including not allowing sick children or staff to be in attendance. Existing OCC rules address when to keep children out of care. These rules are in the COVID-19 section of the ELD’s website, organized by facility type for reference. You can download the information to post or share with families. Seek legal advice or consult your insurance company if you have liability concerns. However, this is not an area the ELD regulates, and we cannot give you legal advice.

Q: If my child care center/workplace has closed or I have been laid off, what benefits are available to me?

  1. You may be eligible to use paid or unpaid sick leave provided by your employer. Please see the sick leave FAQ below for more information.
  2. You may be eligible for unemployment insurance. Governor Brown has ordered an expansion of unemployment benefits to include Oregonians whose employment status has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. This order is retroactively effective to March 8.Visit Employment Department Temporary Rules for Unemployment Insurance Benefits Flexibility on the Employment Department website to learn more about eligibility.

Q: Is my center or home required to offer me sick leave?

Since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, many employees have been required to remain at home because they may have contracted the virus, are caring for a family member who may have the virus or have to remain home because schools are closed and they have no access to child care. The Oregon legislature passed SB 454 in 2015, requiring all employers to allow employees to earn and use up to 40 hours of protected sick time each year. Nearly every employer in Oregon must comply with the law.

There are a couple of important factors that determine whether an employee is eligible for paid or unpaid sick leave.

  1. All employers must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid protected sick time per year.
  2. Employers that employ at least 10 employees in Oregon (and 6 if the employer has operations in Portland) must provide that protected sick time with pay. An employee may not be disciplined or terminated for taking protected sick time.For more information on sick leave as it applies to recent events, please visit Bureau of Labor and Industries Facts about Sick Time.
Summer School & School-Aged Summer Camps

Q: Is this guidance also for summer camps?

Summer camp guidance for school-aged children will be coming from Oregon Health Authority. Camps that serve children five and under must follow the Statewide Child Care Guidance.

Meetings and Presentations
ELD and Provider Conversations: Informational Call to Review Guidance Changes

ELD will host an informational call to review guidance changes with providers. Registration is not required.

Each meeting is limited to 500 participants and will be streamed on Facebook for additional capacity.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 6 – 7 p.m.: All providers
https://zoom.us/j/97035231759

Thursday, August , 6, 2020, 6 – 7 p.m.: Spanish language providers
https://zoom.us/j/94186855012

ELD and Provider Conversations: Small Group Input Sessions on Guidance

From July 7 to 11, ELD hosted virtual, small group input sessions by provider type. See below invitation for more information.

Presentation Slides and Recordings 
ECC Substitute Referral Request

The Center on Early Learning and Youth Development (CELYD) in partnership with the Early Learning Division (ELD) is committed to supporting our Emergency Child Care Facilities that have chosen to remain open by providing referrals for Emergency Child Care substitutes.

Emergency Child Care substitutes are individuals who have worked in early learning and have signed up to provide care in approved Emergency Child Care Facilities through an online process. Substitutes have been screened for the following:

  • Current Central Background Registry clearance or Emergency Background Check clearance
  • Current CPR/First Aid or the online CPR/First Aid
  • Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Introduction to Child Care Health and Safety
  • Safe Sleep for Oregon’s Infants (if applicable)

If you would like to receive referrals to Emergency Child Care Substitutes, please complete the form below.

You can also contact Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) at ccrr@wou.edu or 1-800-342-6712. NOTE: This is not a recommendation. It is a referral to available people. It is your responsibility to decide if they are an appropriate match for your facility and Emergency Child Care services.

Guidance and Resources for Child Care Providers
  • Oregon Child Care Provider Relief Guide
  • Temporary Changes to Child Care Rules in Response to COVID-19 State of Emergency – Amended June 2, 2020
  • Temporary Changes to Child Care Rules in Response to COVID-19 State of Emergency – Amended April 24, 2020

Exclusion Rule

Supplies

The ELD gathered the below list for providers to access supplies and resources during the state of emergency. These supplies can be purchased using Emergency Child Care (ECC) grant funds.


*The ELD has not independently verified company capabilities or inventories.*

Spraying over kids furniture with cleaning solution

Oregon QRIS Resources – http://www.oregonqrisresources.org/
Oregon QRIS Resources is a one-stop location for early care and education policies, forms, regulations, guidance, bulk purchasing discounts, and more to save time, reduce costs, and improve quality.  On the “Saving Money” tab, you will find exclusive costs savings programs for child care businesses. Every vendor program provides discounts on products, including sanitation and cleaning supplies.

Supply Connector – https://supplyconnector.org/states/oregon/
This Supply Connector resource is Business Oregon’s collaborative project to connect businesses and communities with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturers and suppliers to fight the spread of COVID-19 and keep employees safe. This tool provides a searchable database of businesses that can help provide PPE. The system also serves to connect businesses up and down the supply chain from raw materials, manufacturing needs, packaging, distribution, etc. For a smaller list of direct PPE suppliers, click here.

Discount School Supply – https://www.discountschoolsupply.com/
The Discount School Supply website offers a wide variety of products and content resources at the lowest possible prices for teachers and parents.

Kaplan Early Learning Company – https://www.kaplanco.com/ppe
Kaplan Early Learning Company considers the health and wellness of their partners and customers a top priority. All items specified as protective gear support COVID-19 CDC health and safety guidelines.