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COVID-19 Resources: For Providers

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UPDATE: Emergency Child Care is available for families in Oregon. For more information, click here.

ELD created the resource “What’s New: Child Care Updates” for providers to track important updates. Click below.

Coming Soon: Health and Safety Guidelines Version 2.0

In May 2021, the Oregon Early Learning Division will publish updates to the “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19.” These updates follow the latest guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and respond to feedback from child care providers, early learning partners, and families.
Health and Safety Guidelines Version 2.0 will take effect June 1, 2021; however, providers may begin operating under Version 2.0 when released in mid-May. Listed below are some highlights of the updates:

  • Greater flexibility for parents and caregivers to access to the program, including guidelines for in-person family engagement activities.
  • Guidance regarding vaccinated individuals.
  • Flexibility for summer programming, specifically in stable groups and child activities (e.g., removing restrictions on sensory tables and sand boxes).
  • Flexibility in Aide 2 qualifications and supervisory duties.

Webinars for Health and Safety Guidelines Version 2.0

ELD invites you to attend a webinar to review the Version 2.0 updates on the dates listed below. You must register to attend these webinars. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Registered Family (RF) and Certified Family (CF) Providers:
May 26, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9128486796876515851

Certified Center (CC) Providers:
May 27, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7960682302876105995

Spanish-speaking Providers:
June 5, 2021 | 9 to 10 a.m.
Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9073589280791625231

Child Care Guidelines, Version 1.1

As information evolves about the virus, we are making minor updates to the “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19.” You will also find Amendments to the guidelines in the document “Amendment to Health and Safety Guidelines” below.

The updates take effect immediately and some are already in practice. The majority of the guidelines are unchanged. These changes help clarify some questions we have received from providers and best align with the latest safety and health information from the Oregon Health Authority.

  • Temporary Changes to Child Care Rules in Response to COVID-19, Amended March 8, 2021

For mobile users:

English Guidelines 1.1, Spanish Guidelines 1.1, Russian Guidelines 1.1Chinese Guidelines 1.1, Vietnamese Guidelines 1.1

English Amendment, Spanish Amendment, Russian Amendment, Chinese Amendment, Vietnamese Amendment

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.

Visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/Archive-Guidelines-Temp-Memos for an archive of all the COVID-19 guidelines and temporary memos.

Visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/Archive-COVID-19-Provider-Calls for an archive of all the COVID-19 provider calls and presentations.

COVID-19 Vaccine

The below resource is designed to offer Oregon child care providers an overview of information about COVID-19 vaccines. For more information on vaccines, go to covidvaccine.oregon.gov, text ORCOVID to 898211 to get text/SMS updates (English and Spanish only) or email ORCOVID@211info.org.

If you can’t get your COVID-19 vaccine question answered on the website, by text, or by email, call the call center at 211 or 1-866-698-6155–open 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. Please be aware that wait times may be long due to high call volumes. There is an option to get a call back rather than wait on hold (English and Spanish). Free interpretation is available for all other languages. TTY: Dial 711 or call 1-866-698-6155.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I get vaccinated?

You can help stop the pandemic by getting a COVID-19 vaccine. To stop this pandemic, we need to use all our prevention tools. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to protect your health and prevent disease. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed (also called “immunity”).

Q: Is the vaccine safe?

Vaccination is the safest, most effective and most reliable way to keep yourself, your family and your community healthy and safe from COVID-19. The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you the virus.

Q: Who can get vaccinated as of January 25, 2021?

As of January 25, the following are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine:

Early Childhood Educators and Staff, Child Care Providers and Staff

  • All individuals in Emergency Child Care (ECC) facilities, including young adults (ages 16 to 18 years old)
  • License-exempt caregivers providing the Oregon Department of Human Services subsidized child care in their own home or in the child’s home
  • Licensed and recorded non-ECC facilities (home-based or center-based)
  • Individuals in the substitute provider pool

Click here for a full list of eligible educators.

Q: How much will it cost to get the COVID-19 vaccination and do I need insurance?

The COVID-19 vaccine will be free for you and you do not need health insurance. For now, vaccine doses will be given to everyone at no cost and you do not need to provide proof of health insurance. Vaccine providers cannot charge individuals for giving a vaccine. If you have health insurance, the vaccine provider may charge a vaccine administration fee to your insurance. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company, or for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

*UPDATED* Q: What is the timeline for child care providers to receive the vaccine?

Child care providers, early learning providers, K-12 educators and school staff in Oregon are eligible to be vaccinated now. This group is included in the “1b” phase of the prioritization plan, which began on Monday, January 25, 2021.

*UPDATED* Q: How do child care providers get a vaccine?

The ELD has provided counties across Oregon with contact information for eligible early learning providers. You may be contacted directly by local health officials, your regional CCR&R or county to schedule a vaccine. Providers in the tri-county area (Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington counties) will need to schedule appointments through the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) vaccine webpage.

Providers will be responsible for sharing this information with all individuals associated with a program. Timelines for getting the vaccine vary by county. You can find more information posted on the OHA vaccine webpage about educator and child care provider events, along with Frequently Asked Questions.

You should only attend events or go to vaccination sites that are clearly designated for educators and providers. Visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov or email ORCOVID@211info.org, text ORCOVID to 898211 or call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 for the most up-to-date information.

Q: Should I contact my doctor, local hospital or healthcare provider?

Please be patient and allow health care providers to focus on patient care. Resist the temptation to contact your doctor, local hospital or healthcare provider.

Vaccination partners are asking educators to wait their turn and be patient with your local public health authority, local health systems and hospitals, school districts and superintendents as they work together to provide vaccination opportunities for educators. This is going to take time and may not go as quickly as we’d all like.

You should only attend events or go to vaccination sites that are clearly designated for educators and providers. Visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov or email ORCOVID@211info.org, text ORCOVID to 898211 or call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 for the most up-to-date information.

*UPDATED* Q: What should I know BEFORE getting vaccinated?

  • You do not have to show proof that you’re an educator. Vaccine providers may ask you to declare in some way that you are an  early childhood educator or a child care provider or staff. For a smoother process, complete ELD’s attestation form to help plan your communications for staff and all individuals associated with your program.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Stay six feet away from others while inside and when you’re standing in line outside.
  • You should receive a vaccination card or printout out that instructs you on getting your second dose.
  • You will be observed for 15-30 minutes after you are vaccinated.

Q: What happens AFTER I get a vaccine?

You will still need to wear a mask and physically distance even after you are fully vaccinated, at least for now. The currently available vaccines require two doses. You should talk to your vaccine provider to learn how you can get notifications about when you are eligible to receive your second dose. Download the V-safe app, which provides personalized health check-ins after you receive the vaccination. V-safe can also remind you to get your second dose. We encourage you to continue visiting the CDC website for updated guidance.

Q: What are the common/immediate COVID-19 vaccine side effects?

According to the FDA, the most common side effects found in the COVID-19 vaccine trials included pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain and joint pain.

Q: Who should I call if I have side effects-the vaccination site or my provider?

Side effects are common after COVID vaccination. If you have concerns about any side effects after you leave the vaccination site, you should contact your primary care provider or go to an urgent care or emergency facility. We encourage you to continue visiting the CDC website for updated guidance on what to expect after vaccination.

*UPDATED* Q: What if I get exposed to COVID-19 after my first dose of the vaccine?

Individuals should continue to follow existing exclusion guidance even after individuals receive the first dose. The Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD) are updating guidance on how to address a COVID exposure once individuals are fully vaccinated.

Q: Do individuals who have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine still need to quarantine if they are exposed to a confirmed case?

If two weeks or more have passed since the individual received their second dose of vaccine, they do not have to quarantine. They do need to monitor themselves for symptoms daily for 14 days, and if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath, or loss of sense of taste or smell), they need to be excluded and treated as if they have COVID-19.

Q: Will I need to keep wearing a mask and being physically distant?

Yes. You will still need to continue to wear a mask, wash your hand frequently and physically distance even after you are fully vaccinated, at least for now. Things can’t go back to normal until enough people are vaccinated. If we all work together, we’ll get to that point faster and save lives in the process. We encourage you to continue visiting the CDC website for updated guidance.

Q: If experiencing COVID-like symptoms, do individuals who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine need to follow the same exclusion timelines as those unvaccinated?

Yes, they should be excluded if they have COVID-like symptoms. Similar to unvaccinated individuals, programs should recommend a COVID-19 test.  If the test is negative, they can return 24 hours after symptoms resolve. If they test positive or do not get tested, they need to be in isolation for the full 10 days.

Q: If vaccinated, and exposed to a positive or presumptive COVID-19 case , do individuals need a note from a medical professional stating they’ve received the vaccine in order to return to care?

As long as the vaccination can be documented (for example, if the vaccinated person has their vaccination record showing that they have received two doses and two weeks has passed since their last dose), they do not need to have a note.  Also, if they have been exposed, they do not need to quarantine as long as they have some proof of vaccination.

Q: Can I require my staff to get a vaccination?

At this time, the Oregon Health Authority does not require COVID-19 vaccinations for any group of people or in any workplace setting. Employment requirements fall under the Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) oversight. For questions related to COVID-19 visit the BOLI website at https://www.oregon.gov/boli/employers/Pages/COVID-19-resources.aspx.

Q: Will in-home providers be able to get a vaccine for other members of their household or a spouse?

Child care workers are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1b, which includes household members and staff who are linked to your program.

Q: Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for children and youth?

Under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization, the following age groups are authorized to receive vaccination:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech: ages 16 years and older
  • Moderna: ages18 years and older

Children and adolescents outside of these authorized age groups should not receive a COVID-19 vaccination at this time.

Visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html for more information.

Q: How do youth (ages 16 to 18) in priority group 1B get a vaccine?

Youth (ages 16 to 18) are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine only. Parents or legal guardians should accompany youth to vaccine events to ensure that the youth is receiving the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine, and not the Moderna vaccine. Currently, there is no way to schedule for a specific vaccine.

Visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html for more information.

Q: Can I require a parent to vaccinate their child (ages 16 to 18)?

No, the Oregon Health Authority does not currently require COVID-19 vaccines for anyone.

*NEW* Q: Can we ask our staff for their vaccination records?

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) applies to personally identifiable health information received directly from a “covered entity,” such as a health care provider, the Oregon Health Authority, etc. It does not apply to information provided directly by the individual to an employer. While staff may voluntarily provide their employer with health information (i.e. vaccination records), an employer may not require that staff do so or obtain the records from their health care provider without the staff person’s authorization. However, in determining whether a staff person is exempted from quarantine requirements due to exposure to COVID-19, an employer may accept and rely on a staff member to provide this information. Providers must follow health and safety guidelines for exclusion if they are unable to determine if staff are vaccinated. Consult with a legal professional if you have further questions.

*NEW* Q: Is it against HIPAA rules to ask staff if they have received both doses of the vaccine?

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) applies to personally identifiable health information received directly from a “covered entity,” such as a health care provider, the Oregon Health Authority, etc. It does not apply to information provided directly by the individual to an employer. While staff may voluntarily provide their employer with vaccination records, including whether they have received all doses of a particular vaccine, an employer may not require that staff do so or obtain the records from their health care provider without the staff person’s authorization. However, in determining whether a staff person is exempted from quarantine requirements due to exposure to COVID-19, an employer may accept and rely on documentation from a staff member indicating they are fully vaccinated. Providers must follow health and safety guidelines for exclusion if they are unable to determine if staff are vaccinated. Consult with a legal professional if you have further questions.

*NEW* Q: If getting the vaccine is supposed to be confidential, how do we exclude staff if they don’t want to disclose that information?

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) applies to personally identifiable health information received directly from a “covered entity,” such as a health care provider, the Oregon Health Authority, etc. It does not apply to information provided directly by the individual to an employer. Providers must follow health and safety guidelines for exclusion if they are unable to determine if staff are vaccinated.

Consult with a legal professional if you have further questions.

Child Care Nurse Hotline

The Early Learning Division is partnering with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to support child care providers in Oregon with a COVID-19 nurse hotline at no cost. The number, 1-833-647-8222, is now available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Child care providers can access the toll-free hotline for assistance with:

  • Symptoms or health concerns that are concerning to them or staff
  • Questions about excluding children and staff
  • Steps to take if someone is positive for COVID-19

The hotline is a resource reserved for child care providers and staff. It is not intended for families. Language assistance is also available. See the below flyer for details on this service.

Click here to view the news release.

Guidance and Resources for Child Care Providers

COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan Template: Updated February 9, 2021

A COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan template is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Chinese for programs to complete. Click below to download.

Word documents: English Template | Spanish Template | Russian Template | Vietnamese Template | Chinese Template

Printable PDFs: English Template | Spanish Template | Russian Template | Vietnamese Template | Chinese Template

If you choose not to use ELD’s template, your plan must include all of the required elements that are identified in ELD’s template.

The plan must be provided to families in a manner they can understand. You do not need to send the plan to ELD unless requested.

  • Local Public Health Authority Numbers in Oregon
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  • Online CPR and First Aid Courses during COVID-19 – Updated November 2, 2020
  • Oregon Child Care Provider Relief Guide

Exclusion Rule

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs listed below reflect the amendment to guidelines issued January 12, 2021.

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 a provider has 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 providers in receiving up-to-date information as quickly as possible. If you have not previously provided an email, please send your licensing specialist the best email address to contact you.

General Questions

Q: How is ELD working with Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Local Public Health Authority, and other agencies when there are COVID-19 cases in child care?

With the participation of OHA and other agencies, ELD has developed a “Playbook” that guides agencies on how to work together to respond when COVID-19 cases occur in child care. The Playbook describes the roles and responsibilities of each agency that should be involved in stabilizing an outbreak. Other business sectors have similar plans in place. You can find the Playbook here:  https://www.oregon.gov/oha/covid19/Pages/Healthcare-Partners.aspx

*UPDATED* Q: With the Governor’s travel advisory strongly encouraging quarantine for 14 days after travel, what is my responsibility as a child care provider?

The Governor’s advisory is for the protection and health of Oregonians. With the Governor’s executive order issued on February 23, 2021, child care providers must continue to follow the Early Learning Division’s Health & Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19. The decision on whether to enforce a travel quarantine with your families is a business decision. When making this decision, the ELD encourages you to have clear and open communication with your families. Let them know ahead of time what your policies are regarding enforcement of the travel quarantine, as families may still travel for the upcoming holidays. When working with your families, we suggest:

    • Making families and staff aware of the advisory if they are planning to travel
    • Supporting the 14-day travel quarantine by communicating about it with your families and staff
    • If you are unsure of family travel plans, consider incorporating a question about travel into your daily health check

We know that you will put the health and safety of your child care families, staff, and your own family at the forefront of your decision making, and encourage it.

More resources about holiday celebrations are available on the Oregon Health Authority website.

Q: Do COVID-19 guidelines apply to Regulated Subsidy providers operating within public schools?

Yes. If a program is located in a public school, regardless of who operates it, the guidelines apply.

Q: Are 5-year-olds in a blended learning community of 3- to 5-year-olds under ELD guidelines or ODE’s “Ready Schools, Safe Learners”?

As kindergarten is not required in Oregon (i.e., it is not mandatory to attend), any licensed or recorded child care setting serving kindergarten-age children should follow ELD’s guidelines.

Q: Are recorded programs, both school-age and preschool, required to follow the ELD guidance?

Yes, recorded programs must follow the ELD “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19” issued on August 14, 2020. They must submit an application attesting that they will follow all ELD guidance and have all staff be approved through the Emergency Background Check (see “Emergency Child Care Toolkit: For Recorded Programs” tab).

Q: Can pre-kindergarten programs under schools open?

All school age and pre-kindergarten programs operated by schools must follow ELD guidelines. However, they are not required to be approved through the Emergency Child Care (ECC) process. If the school contracts with an outside group (e.g., Champions, YMCA), then it must be ECC approved.

Q: Do the ELD guidelines apply to Preschool Promise programs?

Yes, these guidelines apply to Preschool Promise and Baby Promise programs.

Q: How will the new (K-12) metrics be taken into account for licensed child care?

The K-12 metrics do not apply to child care unless there is a school classroom, such as a kindergarten class.

Q: When are programs required to be in compliance with ELD Guidelines issued on August 14?

The guidelines are effective September 1, 2020.

Q: Will we receive a new Emergency Child Care (ECC) license with the new group sizes?

In most cases, the Office of Child Care did not issue “licenses” with the reduced capacity unless there were special conditions attached to Emergency Child Care (ECC) approval. If a program has a license or certificate that needs adjusting, please contact your licensing specialist.

Q: Why are in-person trainings still not allowed with face coverings if child care is allowed with face coverings?

Oregonians are being asked to do the best we can to minimize spread of COVID-19. While we appreciate the desire to attend trainings in-person, staff trainings are not foundational to parents being able to support their families by working and children needing care.

Q: Is ELD advocating for state funding to provide additional financial support for early childhood educators?

ELD has proposed multiple funding ideas since the start of the pandemic, when federal funding was also made available. All ideas or plans must be approved through several entities, up to the Governor’s office. The Governor’s Office is where most funding decisions are made.

Q: What is the responsibility of the provider to ensure school-aged children attend school?

Child care providers do not have a regulatory requirement to ensure children are completing their distance learning. They are not required to provide computers or internet access. This should be agreed upon with parents ahead of time so there is a common understanding.

Emergency Child Care

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 providing Emergency Child Care. Click here to learn more and apply.

Q: Can a licensed provider who has NOT applied and been approved by Office of Child Care (OCC) to conduct Emergency Child Care (ECC) 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 OCC. 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 OCC to close the license.

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

“Normal” child care operations are not permitted at this time. Only programs approved to operate Emergency Child Care (ECC) by the Office of Child Care and adhere to the “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19,” issued on August 14, 2020, are open.

Providers can visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/Emergency-Child-Care to apply to become an approved ECC provider.

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.

The best way to protect yourself is to wash your 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 COVID-like symptoms, they should be separated from others in the child care setting and be sent home. Transmission of the virus is most likely to occur two days before symptoms occur and while people are symptomatic.

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 or have been exposed. Daily health checks, which should include questions regarding exposure to other individuals with COVID-19, should be sufficient.

Q: What supports are available to me to provide Emergency Child Care?

ELD has been able to provide emergency supplies to providers operating as Emergency Child Care. Emergency Child Care providers can receive a free order of supplies (gloves, face coverings, disinfecting wipes, etc.) by applying through the state’s website. See the “Emergency Supplies for Providers” tab to learn more.

In addition, providers who are not an Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) listed provider can contact the Department of Human Services. 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 DHS at 1-800-699-9074.

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. If your facility must close due to COVID outbreak, you must also immediately notify your local public health department.

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 (CBR) more quickly?

The Office of Child Care (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 website 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/ .

Passing an emergency background check does NOT enroll you in the CBR. Individuals who only have an emergency background check are not permitted unsupervised access to children. To get full enrollment in the CBR, you must submit a paper CBR application  to the Office of Child Care.

Vaccines

Please see above section “COVID-19 Vaccine” for FAQs and resources.

Applying to Be Emergency Child Care

Q: Who can apply for Emergency Child Care?

All licensed child care providers and recorded preschool and school-age programs may apply to operate as Emergency Child Care, and are required to be approved in order to operate.. 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?

Yes, providers can submit an application to operate as an Emergency Child Care, which requires following the “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating in COVID-19” issued by the ELD on August 14, 2020 and “Amendment to Health and Safety Guidelines” version 1.1 issued by the ELD January 2021.

You will need to remain closed 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 questions or need assistance with the application, contact your licensing specialist, call 1-800-556-6616, 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.

Q: How long will Emergency Child Care last?

We don’t know. The requirements for Emergency Child Care may change as guidance from Oregon Health Authority and Governor changes. The ELD will continue to send regular communication by email to licensed providers and will post information 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.

Operating Emergency Child Care

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?

Guidelines require that parents or caregivers drop-off and pick-up children from program staff outside the facility.

All providers have the option to conduct drop-off and pick-up inside the program if there is inclement weather (hail, lightning, strong winds, sleet, snow, ice, freezing rain, or temperature 32° Fahrenheit and below.)  Follow all procedures in the “Amendment to Health and Safety Guidelines” Version 1.1 here: https://oregonearlylearning.com/form_sets/amendment-to-health-and-safety-guidelines/

Registered Family (RF) and Certified Family (CF) providers only: When only one staff member is on site, parents or caregivers are allowed to enter but must wait for previous family to exit the home before entering. See https://oregonearlylearning.com/form_sets/health-and-safety-guidelines-for-child-care-and-early-education-operating-during-covid-19/ for more information.

Parents must always be permitted entry if they have health or safety concerns.

Q: With inclement weather, are there any considerations for drop-off and pick-up?

All providers  have the option to conduct drop-off and pick-up inside the facility if inclement weather conditions exist (hail, lightning, strong winds, sleet, snow, ice, freezing rain, or temperatures 32° Fahrenheit and below). However, you must follow the requirements below:

  • Every parent/adult entering the facility must wear a face covering.
  • Every parent/adult must practice social distancing (6 feet apart) with everyone except the child, and remain in the main entry area of the facility.
  • Do not use fans, which can spread the virus, in the drop-off and pick-up area.
  • Programs must follow all of the other requirements in the “Drop-Off and Pick-Up” section of the “Amendment to Health and Safety Guidelines” Version 1.1 and the “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19.”

Q: Are parents ever allowed to come inside?

If a parent has concerns for their child’s safety, they are allowed to enter. Additionally, for RF and CF if there is only one staff person working, drop-off and pick-up may occur inside the home. All providers have the option to conduct drop-off and pick-up inside the program if there is inclement weather. Parents who are breastfeeding, or need to take care of their child’s special feeding needs, may also come in for those purposes.

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

Yes. They must be logged on a visitor log. In addition, a health check must be completed, they must wear a face covering, and they are not allowed unsupervised access to children in care.

Q: What if a parent is late or comes in the middle of the day and no one is at the entrance to receive the child?

The best practice is for the program to set up a phone number for a parent to call and meet at the door.

Q: What happens if a center is too short-staffed to have program staff meet children at the door?

Programs need to plan ahead to have enough staff to meet this requirement.

Q: What if a parent refuses to wear a face covering at drop-off/pick-up?

Families should be informed of the requirements of operating during COVID-19. Providers should communicate directly with the parent, and address any barriers. Emergency Child Care may not be the best option for all families if they are unwilling to comply with safety measures meant to protect them and other families.

Q: Outdoor drop-off and pick-up for many centers is not possible due to hazards and busy streets. What accommodations are there to address this?

The guidelines around outdoor drop-off and pick-up are in place to minimize the possible spread of the disease and prevent it from entering the ventilation system. If you have a situation that is extraordinary, please consult with your licensing specialist.

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

Check for fever for all entering children and other individuals coming into contact with a stable group. Staff can ask for verbal certification from the parent, a child who is old enough to answer the questions, or note in the health log that it has already been verified through the school or other provider who cared for the child earlier in the day. Staff can also check using a thermometer. Providers may have a policy that requires the use of a thermometer.

Q: With cold temperatures upon us, taking temperature outdoors is producing inaccurate results. Do providers have other options?

Yes. Staff can ask for a verbal certification from the parent or can continue to check using a thermometer. Future updates to the Health and Safety Guidelines will reflect this option.

Q: If a parent prefers an alternate temperature-taking device than what the program uses, can the temperature be taken by the parent once they arrive?

Yes. Staff can ask for verbal certification from the parent or can continue to check using a thermometer.

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, unusual cough, or shortness of breath.” Unusual cough means out of the ordinary for this person (e.g., not usual asthma or allergies).

Q: What if the adult dropping off doesn’t know if the child has been exposed to a known positive or presumptive case?

A facility must ensure that this question can be answered prior to allowing entry. This may require a phone call to another adult who acts as the primary caregiver of the child.

Q: What constitutes enough contact to require being logged for contact tracing purposes? The director who walks in but stays six feet away from all children and staff? The cook who drops off food?

“Close contact” for the purposes of contact tracing is defined as being within six feet for longer than 15 minutes combined over a 24-hour period.

If a person briefly enters the room and:

  • Does not come within six feet of any staff or children OR,
  • Is not present in the room for more than 15 minutes combined over a 24-hour period

They would not be considered as having contact with the stable group and do not need to be logged.

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: How do child care children and staff access testing?

Guidance from the Oregon Health Authority indicates child care children and staff can be prioritized for COVID-19 tests if supply is limited, and recommends testing for child care staff and children who have had exposure regardless of if they have symptoms. OHA also recommends that any person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 be tested for COVID-19.  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 insurance, they should apply for the Oregon Health Plan, which 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: How is the daily health check completed for children who arrive from school by bus (not provided by the program)?

If a child is coming to the child care from school or another provider and had a health check completed earlier that day, the child care can note in the health log that it had been verified by the other program.

Q: How do I 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: Is providing a copy of the ELD Guidelines to families sufficient for informing them of the requirements? Will providers be required to document that this information has been provided to families?

A facility may provide a copy of the ELD Guidelines to families in order to inform them but they must also supply specific information to their program. Programs will also be able to use their COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan to support this requirement. They can provide the specific program information as a printed copy, verbal explanation or by email. Documentation of meeting this requirement is not necessary, but OCC staff may request when or how the information was provided if there is a complaint. Simply posting the ELD guidelines does not meet the intent of informing families.

Q: What does it mean to provide information to families in a manner they can understand?

Facilities should provide the information in a family’s home language, and may utilize translated versions of the guidance available from OCC. For some families, verbal communication may be better than written. Guidance should be reviewed with families to support their understanding. Programs are also encouraged to use the translated resources provided by ELD and utilize the CCR&R for assistance.

Q: How does a program provide a space for breastfeeding if it is a small apartment with limited space?

Programs can create a barrier to offset the area (offer a seat in a dining room or clear a space in a bedroom). The intent of this requirement is to support breastfeeding parents while still limiting the number of outside people interacting with the stable group.

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

Registered Family (RF) 16 children can be enrolled in a stable group with only 10 (or less, in the case of infants and in some family child care homes) in attendance or on site at the same time.

Certified Family (CF) 20 children in a stable group but only 16 (or less in the case of infants or some family child care homes) can be in attendance at the same time. Optionally, a CF provider may split children into two stable groups in different classrooms. No more than 10 children per group in attendance at the same time (still no more than 16 total children on site, or less in the case of some family child care homes) Each separated, stable group may have no more than 12 children enrolled.

Certified Centers (CC), Recorded Programs, and Schools – must meet the ratios in Table 1 below, unless licensed to operate under Table 2.

Table 1: Child Care Regulations, Ratio, and Group Size

Age of Children Minimum Number of Caregivers to Children Maximum Number of Children in Group
Six Weeks of Age and Under 30 Months 1:4 8
24 Months of Age to 35 Months of Age 1:5 10
36 Months of Age to Attending Kindergarten 1:10 20
Attending Kindergarten and Older 1:15 30

 

Table 2: Child Care Regulations, Ratio, and Group Size

Age of Children Minimum Number of Caregivers to Children Maximum Number of Children in Group
Six Weeks of Age through 23 Months 1:4 8
30 Months of Age to Attending Kindergarten 1:10 20
Attending Kindergarten and Older 1:15 30

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 required by your license type.

Q: May I have two teachers or staff with a group of 10 kids even though it is not required by ratio?

Yes, you may have more staff/teachers than the minimum required by ratio to provide higher quality care. Staff should be assigned to stable groups.

Q: Can providers continue to allow children to share part-time slots?

Yes, the number of children who can share a part-time slot depends on the license type as well as the phase of the program’s county.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of groups allowed to share a large space (gym/cafeteria)? If allowed, what will the barrier need to look like for programs?

As of March 2, 2021, gymnasiums and cafeterias can divided into two groups with no more than 45 children total. There must be sufficient square footage to accommodate the number of children using that space at one time and a barrier must be approved by a licensing specialist if more than 30 children are in attendance.

Q: Are we still allowing shared bathrooms, walkways, and entrances if space requires it in order to have more than one separate group?

Yes, if there are separate groups, they can continue to share bathrooms, walkways, and entrances as long as groups don’t mix and there is cleaning between uses.

Q: Can children be combined at the beginning and end of the day?

Only siblings can be combined at the end of the day because they are exposed to each other at home. Groups must otherwise remain stable and cannot be combined.

Q: If we know physical distancing helps prevent the spread of viruses, and we don't have conclusive scientific evidence regarding child transmission, why would we not make a requirement, or at the very least, recommend to encourage social distancing within a cohort?

The guidelines do require physical distancing when it is feasible, such as during drop-off and pick-up, and encourage it elsewhere, such as in the daily activities section, where it is recommended that programs have children work independently or outside when possible. With young children especially, physical distancing is not practical and, for developmental reasons, not always desirable. We attempt to strike the right balance within the guidelines.

Q: Does the square footage requirement include square footage for staff working in the room?

No, the square footage determines the number of children allowed in a space. Staff are not part of that calculation.

Q: What is the outdoor square footage requirement?

For Certified Center (CC) and Certified Family (CF), it is 75 square feet for the children using it at one time.

Q: Are we allowed to have more than one group outside at one time?

Yes, as long as the groups are separate, each group has their own space that meets the square footage requirements, and groups are supervised to ensure separation. A visual reminder, such as cones, is helpful for children.

*UPDATED* Q: Once children return to school, they will have a stable group at school and a different stable group at child care. Is this allowed and is this safe?

Yes, it is not expected for child care to mimic the school’s cohorts. Outbreaks in the child care setting are rare. As this is the current practice, ELD allows children to be in different cohorts in school and in child care.

Q. Are providers required to assign the same staff to groups as much as possible?

The same staff should be with the group of children daily, allowing for breaks and meal periods. If a staff person has to be out e.g. illness or vacation, the program must do its best to use staff who have already been exposed to that group of children.

Q: For a center-based, school-age group, what is the maximum number of children in a group?

Effective March 2, 2021, for children in grades kindergarten and up, the maximum number of children in a group follows licensing rules that allow for a group size of 30 in the program at the same time. There can be a total of 34 enrolled in the stable group.

Q: Are school-age children allowed to “share” part-time spots?

Yes, children are allowed to share part-time spots, as long as the total number of children in attendance at any given time does not exceed 30, and the total number of children enrolled in the stable group does not exceed 34 children.

*UPDATED* Q: Can stable groups be combined in school-age programs?

During hybrid learning ONLY, a stable group may be combined with another stable group, with a maximum group size of 30 children. This option is only good through the 2021 school year or into the summer if a school district is continuing hybrid learning. If a school district is not doing a hybrid learning model, stable groups may not be combined.

Q: For school-age programs, can gyms and cafeterias be split to accommodate more than one stable group?

Gyms and cafeterias can be divided into two groups with no more than 45 children total. There must be sufficient square footage to accommodate the number of children using that space at one time, and a barrier must be approved by a licensing specialist if more than 30 children are in attendance.

*UPDATED* Q: What is the maximum number of school-age children allowed in a gym or cafeteria?

No more than 45 school-age children are allowed to be cared for in a gym or cafeteria. There must be sufficient square footage to accommodate the number of children using that space at one time, and a barrier must be approved by a licensing specialist if more than 30 children are in attendance.

Q: During spring vacation, our program anticipates lower than normal attendance. Am I permitted to combine stable groups?

During the week of spring vacation, a program is allowed to combine stable groups or form a new group for the week. Group size maximums as stated in the licensing rules must be maintained. When spring break is over, the children may return to their previous stable group, or stay in their newly formed one. This applies to ALL license types and age groups for approved Emergency Child Care.

*UPDATED* Q: Am I required to increase the school-age group size to 30 to meet the maximum numbers allowable?

You are not required to increase the group size in your program, but you are allowed to do so if it best meets the needs of your facility. Please note that larger groups and mixing stable groups may result in a higher risk of transmission of COVID-19. This also increases the likelihood of staff and families being required to quarantine if there is a confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19.

*NEW* Q: For school-based programs, can school staff (i.e., food service employees) enter the child care area?

Yes, but minimize the risk of exposure by physically distancing children from school staff when walking through the area. When possible, coordinate with school administration to limit other adults entering the child care area.

Q: Are residents of a Registered Family (RF) / Certified Family (CF) home required to wear face coverings?

Any adult or child kindergarten age or older in the designated child care portion of the home during child care operation hours must wear a face covering.

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

No. At one time this was a requirement. As we learn more about Covid-19, we are able to update the health and safety guidelines. This requirement has been eliminated.

Q: Can you specify the PPE requirements specifically for floating staff and non-floating staff?

All staff must wear face coverings. Floating staff may use the same face covering for multiple groups. Face coverings must be changed after a daily health check if the adult interacted with a sick child.

Q: Does everyone in an entire building/facility have to wear a face covering while child care children are in the building/facility or does the rule only apply to the child care space and shared space such as entrances, hallways, and food prep areas?

This should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In a facility with multiple uses (e.g., church or school), only the child care areas require a face covering in accordance with the ELD guidelines. The remainder of the facility may have face covering requirements based on the Governor’s executive orders.

Q: Are children allowed to wear face shields?

While face masks and cloth face coverings are recommended, plastic face shields are not prohibited. Children two years and younger should not wear a face covering.

Q: Are outer layers changed between each child’s daily health check, or after all daily health checks are complete?

An additional outer layer of clothing is no longer a requirement in child care settings.

Q: Are there exceptions to wearing face coverings for adults and children experiencing medical conditions or disabilities? What would be required for documentation?

Adults and children can get an exception to the face covering requirement with a doctor’s or other medical or mental health professional’s noteiorder indicating that they have a medical condition or disability preventing them from using the face covering. The note does not have to specify the reason why they cannot wear a mask, but it must indicate that they are unable to do so.

Q. Is a new outer covering required every time a baby is fed?

No, this is no longer a requirement in child care settings.

Q: What if a child is very upset and refuses to wear a face covering? Do they need to be sent home?

The Office of Child Care suggests having parents support wearing face coverings at home prior to coming into care. Have conversations with the child to explain how wearing a face covering helps keep our friends safe. Parents could supply fun or silly masks and have them look at themselves in the mirror. Do the best you can to work with parents and help the child feel comfortable.

Q: Does the clean layer for feeding an infant apply only to bottle feeding?

This is no longer a requirement in child care settings.

Q: Are floaters required to change their face covering every time they enter a new room?

The guidelines do not require a change of face covering when you enter a new classroom – only when the face covering gets soiled. The requirement for an outer layer has been adjusted in response to comments during input sessions to clarify that you must wear a unique layer (e.g., the same smock in classroom A throughout the day and switch out for a different smock in classroom B when the classroom is switched).

Q: How do we properly dispose of soiled masks?

After removal of a soiled face covering, the face covering should be put away into a secure place that is not accessible to others. For example, it could be placed into a plastic bag or plastic container that is inaccessible to children prior to being cleaned.

Q: What happens if we cannot get a parent to provide a mask?

We suggest having a supply of washable masks on hand for children who do not bring one. Families should be informed of the requirements of operating during COVID-19. Providers should communicate directly with the parent and address any barriers they are having to providing a mask. Providers may also request PPE supplies from the state.

Q: Are face coverings required while eating and drinking?

No.

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 Center (CC) 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. Programs should also ensure the minimum 75 square feet per child is met. If temporary fencing is used, the program must get approval from their licensing specialist and ensure the exit path 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: 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?

Water tables are not permitted at this time. 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 and if allowed by the Governor’s orders. 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. Walking field trips to fully outdoor locations are permitted. Transportation for field trips is not.

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

Fully outdoor field trips are permitted provided they are within walking distance. Transportation for field trips is not allowed unless the program does not have outdoor space available on site or within walking distance. Note: Parents are allowed to transport their own children to a field trip location.

Q: Are programs allowed to bring in a contracted service, such as a gymnastics teacher?

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

Q: Is it required that providers discontinue the use of all areas and materials that require interaction between children?

Activities or areas that inherently require children to interact or come into contact with common materials should be discontinued or modified in order to reduce the potential spread of the virus. Some examples include water, sand, and sensory tables, sandboxes, and dress up clothes. Dress up clothes could be used if washed after each child’s use. Sensory activities could be divided into individual bins for each child to play with independently. Sprinkler play is still allowed because the water is continuously flowing.

Q: Does distance learning count as screen time?

No, distance learning is separate from the screen time allowance.

Q: Are we asking providers to not allow children to play with each other?

No, we are asking for providers to limit the sharing of materials as much as possible. This can be done by dividing up materials among the children, then cleaning the materials after use. If children do share materials, wash hands or use hand sanitizer after.

Q: What does a program do if they don’t have enough space to allow for 36 inches between mats/cots/cribs at naptime?

The program will need to rearrange space or remove items to meet the 36-inch requirement. If they cannot meet that requirement, they may need to reduce the number of children in care.

Q: How close can children get to each other?

The guidance does not specify how close children can be with each other. It is recommended that large group activities are limited, as well as limiting the number of children in an area, but no specific limits are given. It is understood that with very young children it is essentially impossible to keep them physically distanced.

Q: Is hand sanitizer allowed in child care?

Hand sanitizer is allowed as an alternative to handwashing except:
• Before and after eating, preparing food, and bottle preparation
• Before and after administering medication
• After toileting or assisting with toileting
• Before and after diapering
• After removing gloves

Q: Can hand sanitizer be used on infants?

Hand sanitizer is not considered safe for infants.

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: Can you provide more guidance around the use of hand sanitizer on children?

  • No hand sanitizer for infants (under 2 years).
  • For children 2 years and older, soap and water should be used but hand sanitizer can be used with supervision. Caregivers should ensure there is no ingestion and proper drying of the hands takes place so that hand to mouth behavior does not result in exposure to alcohol.
  • Sanitizer could be ingested intentionally or unintentionally, and that could result in mild to serious health consequences, depending on the child and amount ingested.
  • Hand sanitizer use should be supervised by the adult. It can be a closely monitored dispensing station or a container that is brought out and stored away safely when needed.

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: Are special cleaning supplies needed to kill the virus?

The Office of Child Care rules require regular cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of toys and materials (see section 10 of “Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19”). 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.

Q: What should providers do if they cannot get disposable gloves for cleaning? Is it okay to sanitize gloves and reuse them? Is it okay to use household rubber gloves, as is allowed for sanitizing toys?

Programs may use household reusable rubber gloves for cleaning, and sanitize between uses, except when cleaning and disinfecting areas around a sick person or when in contact with diapers or bodily fluids which requires the use of disposable gloves. Disposable gloves are not designed to be reused and may become less effective protection as the material is weakened by reuse. If supplies necessary to ensure health and safety are not available, a program must not operate. Programs may request supplies from ELD.

Q: What precautions should we take in using car seats?

In order to prevent car seat parts from deteriorating with exposure to strong chemicals, car seats should be cleaned with warm water and mild soap–but not disinfected. Providers should attempt to pair one child with one seat to prevent potential transmission. If there is potential contamination from an exposed, symptomatic, or COVID-positive child, the car seat should be cleaned and removed from use for 72 hours. Please see further guidance on COVID-19 car seat safety from American Academy of Pediatrics: https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-and-safe-transportation-in-motor-vehicles/

*NEW* Q: Do I need to disinfect the bathroom if child care children are sharing it with school-age children who are present in the facility for in-person learning?

Yes, to every extent possible the bathroom must be disinfected between use by child care children and school-age children. If available, the best scenario is to have a dedicated bathroom for use by child care children. If this is not possible, child care staff should check the bathroom prior to child care children using it and disinfect high touch surfaces. Schools and child care programs may need to develop a shared schedule to limit exposure between stable groups/cohorts.

*NEW* Q: My school has dedicated one stall in a shared bathroom for child care use. Do I still need to disinfect the stall/bathroom between children of child care and school-age children?

Even with a designated stall, there are many surfaces in the bathroom that would still require disinfecting: sinks, door handles, high touch surfaces, etc. A dedicated stall for use by child care children may minimize disinfecting, but it does not eliminate the need for it.

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

If exposed to a presumptive or confirmed case during their infectious period, you must notify the Office of Child Care and local public health authority in accordance with the ELD COVID-19 Guidelines. The individual(s) must quarantine for 14 days. The 14 days starts from the last time they had contact with the person with a presumptive or positive case. Consult with your local public health authority for further guidance.

Q: Are child care workers being prioritized for COVID-19 tests?

Yes, the Oregon Health Authority recommends that certain groups, including people exposed in a child care facility, be tested regardless of whether they have symptoms. The optimal time for testing of asymptomatic contacts is unknown, but 3–14 days after exposure is recommended based on current data. Note that a negative test does not change the need for 14 days of quarantine for all contacts. Child care workers should work with their health care provider to obtain a test. For more information, visit https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2267.pdf

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. The Office of Child Care 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, 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 be 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 after onset of symptoms, and until 24 hours after both fever and cough has have resolved without the use of fever reducing medication., and other symptoms must be improving.
If the COVID-19 test is negative, the person may return 24 hours after resolution of cough and fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.

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) during their infectious period (2 days before to 10 days after symptoms began or positive test) 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, nor is confirmed positive, does not require exclusion.

If the program has a staff or child with a confirmed or presumptive case, the program must notify the local public health authority and the Office of Child Care.

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 the person with symptoms is not confirmed presumptive or positive, then the child/staff who was exposed does not need to be excluded.
Consult your local public health authority with any questions.

Q: Should we monitor or exclude child/staff who have been exposed to someone untested, with COVID-19 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 be 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. An exposure is defined as an individual who has close contact (less than six feet) for longer than 15 minutes (total in a 24-hour period) with a COVID-19 case who is infectious. Infectious means from two days before until 10 days after their symptoms started or when they were tested.
Quarantine is required 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.
Consult your local public health authority with additional questions on exposure.

Q: Who are we required to report to if there is a positive case?

Programs are required to report to the Office of Child Care AND their local public health authority. Additionally, if you are participating in Employment Related Day Care, Preschool Promise or Oregon Pre-Kindergarten, you must notify the appropriate program staff.

Q: Can programs make their own policy on temporary exclusion for travel?

Yes, this is a business decision.

Q: What if a child has a fever or cough. This child is tested for COVID-19 and has a doctor’s note saying that COVID-19 is negative. How long do they need to be out if they are symptom-free?

They may return to care 24 hours after resolution of the cough and fever without fever-reducing medicine.

*UPDATED* Q: My local public health authority says I must quarantine for 14 days but the ELD guidelines only require 10 days. Which must I follow?

The Early Learning Division developed the quarantine guidelines in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, and in response to information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Oregon, the local public health authority has the option to recommend a 14-day quarantine. If the local public health authority advises to quarantine for 14 days, you must follow that guideline.

*UPDATED* Q: My local public health authority does not allow ending quarantine after 7 days with a negative COVID-19 test, but the ELD guidelines allow it. Which must I follow?

The Early Learning Division made the quarantine guidelines in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority and follow recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Oregon, local counties have the option to continue to recommend a full quarantine period and not accept a negative COVID-19 test. If your local public health authority advises you to continue to quarantine, then you may not return to the child care until the full quarantine period is complete.

Q: Do children have to wear a face covering while being transported?

Children age kindergarten and older must wear a face covering during transportation.

Q: What precautions should we take in using car seats?

In order to prevent car seat parts from deteriorating with exposure to strong chemicals, car seats should be cleaned with warm water and mild soap–but not disinfected. Providers should attempt to pair one child with one seat to prevent potential transmission. If there is potential contamination from an exposed, symptomatic, or COVID-positive child, the car seat should be cleaned and removed from use for 72 hours. Please see further guidance on COVID-19 car seat safety from American Academy of Pediatrics: https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-and-safe-transportation-in-motor-vehicles/

Q: Will ELD create a training that providers can use to require their staff to complete?

The ELD has developed a training resource programs can use when instructing staff on the Covid-19 Health and Safety Guidelines. This guide can be submitted to ORO for two hours of training in the Core Knowledge Category of Health Safety and Nutrition and Program Management.

Q: Are Registered Family (RF) providers included in the professional development requirements?

Registered Family (RF) providers are required to complete their own ongoing training.

Q: Do providers have to submit their plan to the Office of Child Care?

You do not need to send the plan to ELD unless requested. The plan should be completed within 45 days of ELD’s issuance of the template on September 25, 2020. It must be provided to families in a manner they can understand (by Monday, November 9, 2020.) Additionally, new programs must have their Covid-19 Health and Safety Plan completed prior to receiving their child care license or approval to operate as an unlicensed emergency child care.

Funding & Supports

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

The Early Learning Division (ELD) has provided grant funding to Emergency Child Care providers during the COVID-19 crisis. The grant program uses resources allocated to Oregon through the federal Coronavirus Relief Act and other Child Care and Development Block Grant funds. All applicants who meet the criteria will receive a grant. Grant amounts vary by provider type. The grants were available for both licensed and license-exempt child care providers, as well as temporary emergency child care programs. 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.

Licensing Visits & Renewals

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 Oregon 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 Office of Child Care (OCC) rules address when to keep children out of care. These rules are in the COVID-19 section of the ELD’s website. 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.
Updates to Providers
Health and Safety Guidelines Video Series

The video series below reflects the latest updates to the Health and Safety Guidelines, Version 1.1.

Amendment to Health and Safety Guidelines, Version 1.1 (ENGLISH)

Amendment to Health and Safety Guidelines, Version 1.1 (SPANISH)

Guidance for License Exempt Providers

ELD and ODHS Conversation with Family, Friends, and Neighbor Providers

English Recording, Tuesday, March 2: https://youtu.be/BYGjbdEjPwg
Spanish Recording, Wednesday, March 3: https://youtu.be/1yiUqZxD_pM
Emergency Supplies For Providers

The Early Learning Division (ELD) wants to help ensure child care providers have personal protective equipment (PPE) for safe operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can now receive a free order of supplies by applying through the state’s website.

These supplies are designed to assist providers meet the new Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care and Early Education Operating During COVID-19 outlined by the Office of Child Care to ensure your safety and the safety of children and families in your care. Child care providers should follow proper PPE use and avoid unnecessary stockpiling of supplies.

Emergency Supplies Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who qualifies for a care package?

Any provider approved by the Early Learning Division to provide Emergency Child Care is eligible to receive a care package.

Q: How do I order supplies?

Go to the website (https://supplyconnector.org/states/oregon/free-ppe/) and complete the order form. Please have your license/provider number and the shipping address for supplies ready.

Q: If I need help filling out my form, who should I contact?

Contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) or licensing specialist.

Q: What if I cannot apply online?

If you cannot fill out the online form, do not have internet access, or believe you are eligible for emergency supplies but cannot apply online, please contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) program or your Licensing Specialist.

Q: How does it work?

Each order is per license number/provider number. If your business has multiple locations and multiple licenses, fulfill one order per license number.

Based on your provider type, the portal will present you with different care package options. Care packages include masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, baby wipes (for all-age care packages), and a thermometer. Some care packages are suited for school-age child care and others accommodate the care of young children and infants. Providers can choose ONE option. For larger facilities, you are welcome to select a smaller care package if you do not need as many supplies.

ELD is fulfilling orders at no charge until resources are depleted. Providers can order one care package for each child care site/location. Supplies ordered from the website are not for resale, which is prohibited under any circumstances. Unneeded supplies can be donated to other child care providers, small businesses, nonprofits, restaurants or other eligible businesses in your community.

Q: What factors determine the care package options and quantity of items?

Care package options and quantity of items are based on both provider type and number of employees. The quantity of items is also based on what is available in the warehouse.

Q: Is it possible to make more than one order?

At this time, you can only place one order for each child care site/location.

Q: What if I have extra supplies?

You can donate these supplies to other child care providers or businesses in your community. These items are not for resale.

Q: I have multiple program sites. Which address should I include on the form?

You may add the address that is the best option for you. However, if possible, we would prefer that the address for delivery of your care package be the same address listed with your license number. Contact your licensing specialist if you need assistance with the form.

Q: When will I receive my care package after placing my order?

Expect your care package in approximately 2 weeks after placing the order.

Q: Can I get supplies from my county?

At this time, counties are focused on providing supplies to medical professionals.

Q: Where can I find supplies while I wait for my care package?

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.

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.

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.

Wildfire Resources for Providers

Emergency Child Care providers: Stay informed and stay safe

This section includes regularly updated information about wildfires in Oregon.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wildfires

Q: If my child care site is located in a level 1 or level 2 evacuation area, do I need to close?

This decision should be made by the provider. Providers should refer to their emergency plan, which is required for all licensed programs. If you are in a level 1 or level 2 area and have concerns about your plan for evacuating children/staff and communicating with families, you should strongly consider closing.

You can find plan templates online at:

https://oregonearlylearning.com/form_sets/certified-child-care-center-emergency-plan/

https://oregonearlylearning.com/form_sets/family-child-care-written-evacuation-plan/

Q: Can providers give temporary shelter to a family? If so, do they need to get a Central Background Registry (CBR) check on family members?

Under existing rules, you can have houseguests for 14 consecutive days without going through the CBR process. The guests cannot have unsupervised access to children, and you must have a written plan in place to ensure no unsupervised access occurs.

If you anticipate a shelter time of more than 14 days, you can have the guests apply for an Emergency Background Check (EBC), which is much faster than CBR. They can stay in your home for 90 days with the EBC.

If your guest(s) need to be with you long term, they must immediately apply for CBR. Providers can work with their licensing specialist on the process.

Q: Is there a way to fast track the process for a new license application?

Yes, for existing Registered Family and Certified Family providers who need to reopen in a new location due to fire, there is an expedited process. You should talk with your licensing specialist for more information.

For center-based child care to open a new child care location, the Temporary Emergency Child Care process may be used to help expedite the process in fire-impacted areas. Contact dawn.taylor@ode.state.or.us or 503-947-1418.

Q: What will happen if a license renewal is due, but a provider’s home was damaged by fire?

You should talk with your licensing specialist. If the application for renewal was timely (more than 30 days prior), the Office of Child Care (OCC) will work with you to determine if it’s safe enough to resume care, hold the application until repairs are done, or process the application withdrawal and fee waiver when you are ready to re-apply.

If application for renewal was not timely, OCC will act on the submitted renewal application when you are ready to operate.

Q: Can I allow parents to come inside for drop-off or pick-up when the air quality is poor?

With wildfires making air quality unhealthy in parts of Oregon, providers can modify drop-off and pick-up procedures under the following conditions:

Air quality index 101 and above, unhealthy for sensitive populations (this includes children): For sensitive populations, dropoff and pickup immediately inside the entrance with proper social distancing.

Check air quality in your area on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website: www.airnow.gov.

Q: Is there an exception to the exclusion for cough if a child is coughing due to smoke and has no other symptoms?

Yes, if a child is coughing, has no other symptoms, and it can be explained by the air quality, exclusion is not required. If there are any concerns or questions as to the reason for the cough, request a doctor’s note.

Q: Should children and staff avoid being outdoors?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends modifying outdoor physical activity based on the Air Quality Index. You can reference the table on their website www.airnow.gov and check air quality in your area. Other resources include the Oregon Smoke Blog: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/ and this activity chart.

Q: When outdoor air quality is poor, what precautions do I take indoors?

This fact sheet from the Environmental Protection Agency and American Academy of Pediatrics offers some suggestions on protecting children from wildfire smoke and ash. In addition to keeping windows and doors closed, recommendations include running an air conditioner with the fresh air intake closed to keep outdoor smoke from getting indoors and avoiding strenuous activities.

Q: If I need to keep windows and doors sealed, how will this impact conditions indoors and the spread of COVID-19?

The most pressing and immediate health concern is protecting children and staff against bad air quality from the fire smoke. Check air quality in your area on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.

At certain air quality levels, children should be kept inside and with windows closed. This table shows the different levels, and children are considered a “sensitive group.”

As this is counter to recommendations on COVID-19, it’s even more important to follow other precautions to reduce the spread of the virus: wear a face covering, wash hands frequently, keep physically distanced to the extent possible, and clean/sanitize/disinfect surfaces frequently. As soon as the air quality is back to a level where fresh air is safe for children in your care, return to the COVID-19 advice.

Q: If I have to close my facility due to emergency evacuations, will this impact my eligibility to receive my Emergency Child Care grants?

Emergency Child Care grant eligibility will not be impacted by wildfire emergency evacuations or temporary closures due to fires. Providers do not have to repay funds if a loss occurs and this will not affect additional payments.

Q: Will I still receive the grant funds from ELD at a different address?

ELD knows how important grant money is to providers during this emergency period. The most efficient and effective way to ensure grant money is delivered to a provider is by using the United States Postal Service (USPS). All grant checks will be mailed to a provider’s address. The USPS has worked through multiple national emergencies and has a well-tested process to reunite people with their mail in the event of an emergency or address disruption. To learn more about USPS Emergency protocols, please click here. Please work with the USPS to receive your check. If you encounter difficulties, contact us at ECCGrants@state.or.us or call at 971-707-2029.

Q: As a small business, what supports are available to me if I experienced a loss in the fire?

If you experienced uninsured losses or damage due to wildfires, you may qualify for disaster aid. Federal funds are available to help eligible individuals recover from wildfires in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion Counties.

Oregon received federal emergency aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas wildfires and straight-line winds affected beginning on Sept. 7, 2020.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Oregon Employment Department is accepting applications from people whose employment was directly affected by the fires at wildfire-related Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA applications must be received by October 23, 2020.

You can also visit this FEMA assistance site for Oregonians.

Q: This has been an emotionally tough time. Are there any resources for support?

As many Oregonians deal with the devastating effects of wildfires and the COVID-19 public health crisis, help is available. Find a list of emotional support resources in this My Oregon News article.