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DEPARTMENT OF EARLY LEARNING AND CARE

Overview

Why are we creating the department of early learning and care?

Simply put, House Bill 3073 requires this change. But, the real answer is that creation of DELC allows us to expand and strengthen early learning systems to better serve Oregon’s children and families. The agency aims to deliver a unified early education and child care system in diverse settings.

​​​​​​​​​​​What is House Bill 3073?

The Oregon Legislature passed HB 3073 in 2021, which included the establishment of the new early learning agency, named the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). The bill calls for DELC to be established on January 1, 2023 (later moved to July 1, 2023). It also directs movement of the Employment Related Day Care program (ERDC), currently housed in the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), to DELC by July 1, 2023.

Why is DELC the better option?

Bringing these five groups into one agency lets us:

This image says the following: Why is DELC the better option? We are Bringing these five groups into one agency lets us: 1) Maximize state funding for early learning programs 2) Take advantage of more efficient systems to add services 3) Increase the supply of culturally responsive child care and early learning settings 4) Increase the number of families who can get high-quality child care and early learning5) Deliver fairer services for families, children, and providers

How does this affect providers?

DELC will be better for all types of providers, including license-exempt providers. The new agency will mean more training sessions for license-exempt providers as well as access to other supports. Plus, these changes will expand the types of providers and programs under the agency’s umbrella while also prioritizing mixed-delivery of early care and education.

How does this affect programs such as
Preschool Promise and Baby Promise?

The move to DELC does not change the way publicly funded early care and education programs such as Preschool Promise or Oregon Pre-Kindergarten are administered.

How does this affect children and families?

By organizing early learning and child care services under one agency, families will have an easier time searching for and finding high-quality and affordable early care and education.

Oregon will have a central agency for early care and education policy and program administration.

  • Basic eligibility will expand, and 12-month program eligibility would be guaranteed
  • Family copayments will be no more than 7% of family income (in effect 10-1-22)
  • More financial incentives for providers to offer special service
  • DELC will use the “true cost of care” rate to set provider reimbursement
  • Providers will be reimbursed based on enrollment, not attendance (in effect 10-1-22)

To learn more about Oregon’s Department of Early Learning and Care, download the below fact sheet.

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.

Organizational Structure

as of Aug. 1, 2022

In January 2022, the Early Learning Division (ELD) presented an initial plan to create the new Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). The new Organizational Structure for DELC is now available on ELD’s website. This chart shows an overview of the new agency and how roles will be organized. DELC’s structure was created to increase quality and efficiency, bringing Oregon’s early learning and care functions under one agency, and support staff to better serve families, children, and providers. It does this in six key ways:

  1. Unifying Early Learning Programs: With the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program moving to DELC, Oregon will have a central agency for early learning and child care policy and program administration.
  2. Increasing Efficiency of Systems and Administrative Functions: As its own agency, DELC will create new IT, human resources, procurement, budget, and accounting teams. DELC will have flexibility to develop new systems and tailor processes to best meet our specific needs. This will help us to maximize funding opportunities and increase services to children, families, and early learning professionals in the future.
  3. Building Capacity: New positions will support all DELC teams, promoting data-driven and partner-informed decision-making as well as continuous improvement across the agency.
  4. Launching a new Office of Tribal Affairs: DELC is creating a new office to support early learning and child care with the nine federally recognized tribes within Oregon’s borders in government-to-government consultation.
  5. Centering Equity: DELC’s reimagined equity team will implement internal diversity, equity, and inclusion standards and support staff to enable deeper community engagement.
  6. Rearranging Teams to Support the Agency’s Values: Teams will be reorganized to better support DELC values. One example is reorganizing the Community Systems team and creating the Professional Learning team to enhance community partnerships and focus on quality supports for providers.

DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION AS A PDF

Department of Early Learning and Care Organizational Structure Updated: July 2022 Additional questions related to open positions or the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) Organizational structure should be directed to DELC.info@ode.oregon.gov Director of Programs and Agency Deputy Director Serena Stoudamire; Director of Policy & Research David Mandell; Chief of Staff Dr. Nasreen Khan; Director of Human Resources Heather Thomas; Director of Office of Child Care Alicia Gardiner all report directly to Agency Director Alyssa Chatterjee. Currently the Director of Operations and the Director of Tribal Affairs are vacant. The Manager of Program Administration Gwyn Bachtle; the Manager of Community Systems Carmen Ellis; the Manager of Professional Learning Jon Reeves; the Manager of Child Care Assistance (starting in July 2023) all report to Director of Programs and Agency Deputy Director Serena Stoudamire. The Government Affairs Manager position (currently vacant); the Early Learning Council Administrator Remember Watts; and the Research and Evaluation Manager Jenny Mendoza all report to Director of Policy & Research David Mandell. The Budgeting and Accounting Manager position (currently vacant); the Grants Management Administrator Teresa Waite; the Direct Pay Unit (starting in July 2023); the Chief Information Officer Jared Choc; Head of Procurement Brenda Pearson all report to the Director of Operations, which is currently vacant. Equity Strategy Director Melinda Avila; the Director Communications and Outreach Marion Suitor Barnes; DELC PMO Manager (in charge of special projects) Tara Bohren; Quality Assurance Manager in the Office of Child Care Angela Rodriguez; the Data and Analytics Manager Dr. Alicia Miao; and the Director of Organizational Development Dawn Taylor all report to Chief of Staff Dr. Nasreen Khan. Tribal Affairs Manager Valeria Atanacio reports to the Director of Tribal Affairs, which is currently vacant Human Resources Business partner Kristina Stevens and the Lead HR Recruiter both report to the Director of Human Resources Heather Thomas. Field Operation Manger Miriam Cecilia and Legal and Enforcement Manager Jay Messenger both report to Office of Child Care Director Alicia Gardiner. Field Operation Manger Miriam Cecilia manages the regional directors: Tualatin Kristina Christian; Salem Karey Hudspeth; North Portland Abigail Strom; Redmond & La Grande (Vacant); Medford & Eugene Crystal Persi; East Portland Kathryn Miller. Legal and Enforcement Manager Jay Messenger manages: Compliance Katrina Gannon-Peterson; Investigations Mary McCord; Background Check Hope Hicks; Customer Service Sam Garcia; Enforcement Meg Kirschnick; and beginning in July 2023 the Suspensions Team.

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:

Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC):
Mission, Vision, and Values

The Early Learning Division (ELD) began the DELC Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV) work in 2021 with two internal staff engagement sessions with ELD and Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) staff. Following these sessions, ELD formed a team to coordinate an engagement project with external partners, communities we serve, and staff.

The overall goal of the project was to engage with diverse voices in the co-creation of DELC’s mission, vision, and value statements. Through two engagement strategies, MVV Feedback Survey and MVV Community Conversations, the team engaged with Oregonians from across the state to help create mission, vision, and value statements that reflect, represent, and support Oregon communities.

We are so grateful for the time, energy, and input participants shared with us in summer 2022.

Our project team analyzed the valuable and thoughtful feedback participants provided and revised the mission, vision, and value statements for Early Learning Division leadership. The key findings, recommendations, and next steps from the DELC MVV Engagement project are included in the documents below.

Executive Summary

DELC Mission, Vision, and Values Engagement, Full Report

Thank you to MVV Engagement Participants

What’s next?

During fall 2022, ELD Leadership will partner with early learning advocates to plan listening sessions and explore the meaning of the mission, vision, and value statements with families and early care and education professionals. Watch for updates on this page as the mission, vision, and values for DELC is finalized.

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

Mission Vision Values Outreach

For more information on the feedback survey, download the materials below.

  • Mission, Vision, Values Survey Sample Copy in ALL FIVE Languages for Emails and Newsletters

Contact us

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