HOUSE BILL 3073:
NEW DEPARTMENT OF EARLY LEARNING AND CARE
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, or 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.
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