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DEPARTMENT OF EARLY LEARNING AND CARE

HOUSE BILL 3073:

Creating the NEW DEPARTMENT OF EARLY LEARNING AND CARE (DELC)

The Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3073, which provides for the next evolution in early learning and child care in our state.

House Bill 3073 establishes a new early learning agency – called the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) – that consolidates all child care programs and early care and education programs in one place beginning January 1, 2023, with a final implementation date of July 1, 2023.

The goals of the new agency are to create a child care and early learning system that is more responsive to the needs of children, families and providers, particularly our most vulnerable families. A single agency positions Oregon to best support funding and expansion opportunities, grow the supply of child care and ensure equitable access in support of families, children, and providers.

The Employment Related Day Care program (ERDC), a child care subsidy program housed in the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), will move into the new agency. The program has a dual generational goal to help parents maintain stable employment on their path to self-sufficiency and to help children access high-quality child care, which increase their likelihood of success in school and beyond.

The Early Learning Division will work closely with ODHS in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition of ERDC that is seamless to families and providers. The bill provides time for the agencies to make changes carefully and thoughtfully, with opportunities for families, providers, and staff to help us create this new Department. We will provide regular updates to the Legislature on our progress, as we work toward the July 1, 2023 implementation date.

  • Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) Info Fliers
    Building an early learning system:
    The DELC Story:
    Building DELC Together:

Frequently Asked Questions:
New Department of Early Learning and Care

Q: What are the steps for creating a new Department of Early Learning and Care?

Creating the Department of Early Learning and Care includes several major milestones:

  1. The legislature passed HB 3073 in June 2021, establishing legislative intent and timelines to create a new Department of Early Learning and Care.
  2. The Early Learning Division, Oregon Department of Education, and Oregon Department of Human Services reported to the Oregon Legislature on September 15, 2021 with a plan for organizing early learning programs under a new, independent agency.
  3. In January 2022, the Early Learning Division, Oregon Department of Education, and Oregon Department of Human Services submitted two reports that include plans to transition the Employment Related Day Care program to the new Department of Early Learning and Care by July 1, 2023.
  4. The legislature approved funding to support new positions during the February 2022 Legislative Short Session. In addition to the funding requests, the legislature approved HB 4005, which moves the date to launch the Department of Early Learning and Care to July 1, 2023.
  5. By July 1, 2023, the Department of Early Learning and Care will be a fully independent agency, administering child care and early learning programs and with the authority to make policies for those programs.

Q: How will this impact children and families?

The Department of Early Learning and Care will connect ways of accessing early learning and child care services and give families the tools to make child care choices that best meet their needs. By organizing early learning and child care services under one agency, it will be easier for families to search for and find high-quality and affordable early care and education.

Q: How will this impact child care providers?

The Department of Early Learning and Care will provide additional opportunities to better serve all types of providers, including license-exempt providers. Oregon currently separates licensed and license-exempt providers in program monitoring and in the way it supports high-quality programs. Bringing together all child care program types under the new agency will increase professional learning opportunities for license-exempt providers who may be less involved with the Early Learning Division at this time.

License-exempt providers will have access to a variety of supports that are available to licensed providers. These changes will build on the diversity of providers and program types. The new system will continue to value and prioritize the mixed-delivery system in early care and education.

Q: How will the creation of the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) impact child care programs, including publicly funded programs such as Preschool Promise and Oregon Pre-Kindergarten? How will HB 3073 impact licensing or the background check process?

Establishing the DELC does not change the way publicly funded early care and education programs such as Preschool Promise or Oregon Pre-Kindergarten are administered. House BIll 3073 (2021) does not impact the licensing or background check process. House Bill 4005 (2022) transfers the background check process for license exempt Employment Related Day Care providers to DELC.

Q: Why is the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program moving to the Department of Early Learning and Care?

Currently, Oregon does not have a central agency for early care and education policy and program administration. The Oregon Department of Human Services has administered ERDC even though the Office of Child Care at the Early Learning Division is the lead agency for early learning and child care policy. Children, families and providers deserve a more simple and organized system for early care and education services.

Q: How will the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program change?

Besides moving the ERDC program to the new Department of Early Learning and Care, HB 3073 (2021) made the following changes to the ERDC program:

  • Expands basic eligibility requirements and guarantees 12-month program eligibility;
  • Limits family copayments at 7% of family income;
  • Provides child care providers reimbursement based on enrollment and not attendance;
  • Allows the new agency to use the “true cost of care” rate methodology to determine provider reimbursement rate instead of the market rate; and
  • Provides for a variety of financial incentives for special services.

The reduced copayment plan went into effect on October 1, 2022, alongside the policy to reimburse for enrollment, rather than attendance. The Early Learning Division and Oregon Department of Human Services are working to implement the remaining policies.

Q: What will happen to my payments for families who receive Employment Related Day Care (ERDC)?

The Early Learning Division and Oregon Department of Human Services is required by HB 3073 to create a process for setting provider reimbursement rates based on the true cost of care instead of the market rate. Providers should already see a change in their payments based on enrollment and not attendance, so providers can count on a consistent income despite a child’s absence. Also, the bill expands opportunities for higher reimbursements and financial incentives for child care providers.

Q: Will I need to go through another process to become approved for Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) with the new agency?

Currently, there are no changes to provider eligibility to participate in the ERDC program. However, HB 4005, which passed in the 2022 legislative session, requires license exempt child care providers to enroll in the Central Background Registry upon provider recertification.

Q: Does HB 3073 change who needs to be licensed to provide early care and education services?

No, the bill does not change which programs need to be licensed.

Q: What does this bill mean for programs serving children with intellectual or developmental disabilities and/or long-term special health care needs?

HB 3073 strengthens coordination between Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education and the Early Learning Division along with the State Board of Education and Oregon Department of Education. The bill does not move these programs, but ensures that the Early Learning System Director collaborates with the department that administers the program.

Questions? Please contact us at: DELC.Info@ode.oregon.gov

Previous Video Presentations and Webinars

Feb. 2, 2022 | Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee presentation about DELC to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education

Click here to watch a recording of the presentation.

JAN. 12, 2022 | Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee presentation to the Joint Interim Committee On Ways and Means Interim Subcommittee on Education

Click here to watch a recording of the presentation.

Nov. 15, 2021 | Early Learning Systems Director Alyssa Chatterjee’s presentation to the House Interim Committee on Early Child Hood

Click here to watch a recording of the presentation.

May 11, 2021 | ELD and ODHS Webinar Hosted by the Governor’s Office

Staff shared information and offered resources, such as FAQs, bill summaries, and opportunities for continued discussion on HB 3073.

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.

DELC Legislative Report/Progress Updates

  • Jan. 15, 2022 | Fiscal Impact Report to the Interim Committees of the Legislative Assembly
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
    FULL REPORT:
  • Jan. 12, 2022 | Legislative Report to the Joint Interim Committee on Ways and Means Interim Subcommittee on Education
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
    FULL REPORT:
  • Jan. 12, 2022 | Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education
    FULL REPORT:
  • Employment Related Day Care Summary Reports
    ERDC Current State Report Short Summary:
    ERDC Current State Report:
    ERDC Program Summary for Transition:

Archive

  • Previous Legislative Reports

September 30, 2021 Progress Report HB 3073
Progress Report on HB 3073:

  • Previous Letters and Announcements

April 29, 2021 New Department of Early Learning and Care, House Bill 3073

Contact us

If you have any questions or feedback about the Department of Early Learning and Care, email: DELC.Info@ode.oregon.gov