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Updates For Providers

What’s New: Child Care Updates

A resource for child care providers to track important updates.

A child care provider smiles and laughs with a young girl holding blocks

December Provider Information Sessions 

Join the Early Learning Division (ELD) on Wednesday or Thursday to:  

  • Check-in about COVID-19 and Grants, 
  • Learn more about ELD and how we work, and
  • Meet the ELD Executive Leadership Team. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available)
Click here to register, and to join on Dec. 1. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All types)
Click here to register, and to join on Dec. 2. 

Logo: Preschool Promise

INTEREST SURVEY: WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

In the 2022-2023 program year (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023), the Early Learning Division (ELD) will expand the Preschool Promise (PSP) program. PSP currently serves approximately 3,795 children across Oregon, and the state is planning to serve up to 2,500 more.

To help determine the level of expansion, Oregon early learning and child care providers are invited to take the “Preschool Promise Provider Interest Survey.” This survey will ask questions about your program’s capacity and interest in Preschool Promise. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Thank you, your input makes a difference by supporting access to high-quality preschool opportunities for Oregon’s families. Please note: This survey is not an offer or an application for funding.

Click here for more information.

DEADLINE: Monday, January 10, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. (PST).
Questions? Please contact ode.pspsurvey@ode.state.or.us.

Outdoor Mask Requirements Lifted, New “Test to Stay” Protocol 

On November 23, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced changes to Oregon’s COVID-19 prevention measures. With less COVID-19 outbreaks and progress across the state, state health officials lifted the outdoor mask requirements for large public gatherings (effective immediately). ODE and OHA also announced a new protocol. The Test to Stay protocol “allows students to attend school in person as well as extracurricular activities (with certain restrictions), as long as they test negative.” For more information, read the news release: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORED/bulletins/2fd93cf

Photo of Warm Springs Tribe children with their hands piled on top each other in a circle. They are showing off beaded bracelets they've made.

ELD Blog: Oregon First to Create Tribal Early Learning Hub 

In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2055, creating the first Tribal Early Learning Hub within the current statewide early learning hub system. Valerie Switzler, chair of the Early Learning Division’s Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC), is currently working with appointed TAC members to establish the Tribal Early Learning Hub.  

“I’m so excited by this work,” said Switzler, longtime educator and member of the Warm Springs Tribe. “The new hub will help us build community that will honor our histories, languages, and cultures. It will help us bring our tribal families back to the center of early learning and care.” 

Click here to read the blog story.    

Graphic that says Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month 

In celebration and in honor of Native American Heritage Month, the Early Learning Division (ELD) gathered the resources listed below. The ELD also hosted “Native American Heritage Month Panel: Our Personal and Professional Experiences,” an event for ELD staff to engage in authentic conversations. Alyssa Chatterjee, Early Learning System Director, encouraged ELD staff to take action and support Indigenous communities in our daily work at the Division.  

“It’s going to take all of us to actively reflect and think about how this work shows up every day for us,” said Chatterjee. “As we heard today on this panel, each individual and each Tribal Nation across the country holds unique experiences and brings forth various contributions to the Early Learning Division and to Oregon more broadly. I’m really looking forward to continuing to grow our understanding, our education, and how we can improve our services for the state of Oregon.” 

Together, we can build inclusive and welcoming early learning environments that honor the experiences and cultures of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) children and families. 

A child care provider is painting with two young children

Lead Prevention and Testing  

The harmful impact of lead exposure is well known and documented. Lead is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women because of the impact on growth and brain development. Lead in water is most harmful to formula-fed infants. The most important step you can take is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs. Click below to download a fact sheet that covers the Oregon Administrative Rule for lead testing, requirements for testing and correcting, and helpful resources. For regular updates, visit oregonearlylearning.com/lead‐poisoning‐prevention/. 

Baby girl gets help from mother at a slide on playground in summer

Important Update: COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grants 

We are experiencing delays in sending out grant agreements for the COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grants. These grants require a different process than previous Emergency Child Care grants.  

We recognize child care providers are depending on these funds to serve Oregon’s children and families. We anticipate most of the approved applicants will receive their grant agreements in the next few weeks.  

We appreciate your patience and understanding.  

For information and ongoing updates, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/child-care-stabilization-grants.

Gloved hands of a doctor putting a bandage on the arm of a female after giving coronavirus vaccine in the clinic. Close-up of a healthcare worker placing a bandage on a patient's arm after covid-19 vaccination.

Children Ages 5 and Older Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccines 

On November 3, Governor Kate Brown announced pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine are approved for use in Oregon for children ages 5 through 11. 

“This is great news for Oregon children, parents, and families. Vaccination is the best tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” said Governor Brown. “With today’s review by leading doctors, pediatricians, and health experts, Oregon parents and children can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds.” 

Initially, the supply for pediatric doses will be limited. Please be patient with our health care providers and pharmacies. 

If you have questions, check out Oregon Health Authority’s blog or reach out to your health care provider. 

A female presenting person receives a vaccine shot from a healthcare provider

Vaccine Boosters and Third Doses Available 

All three vaccines are available as a booster dose for early care and education (ECE) employees. If you are an ECE employee and received the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, you are now eligible for a booster dose. The CDC recommends everyone who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine get a booster or second dose of J&J at least two months after the first dose. A third dose of Moderna is recommended for immunocompromised people at least 28 days after the second dose. Click here for more eligibility information and resources.  

Is a COVID Booster Reccomended for me

Save the Date: December Provider Information Sessions 

Join ELD for upcoming provider sessions in December. These are virtual events. Registration and agenda coming soon.  

Wednesday, December 1 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Thursday, December 2 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
Spanish language. (All types) 

Temporary Permanent Rule Change 

The Early Learning Division (ELD) updated some of the rules for Certified Family (CF), Certified Center (CC), and Registered Family (RF) child care providers. These rules, which were temporary during the COVID-19 pandemic, are now permanent under Oregon Administrative Rules. 

Click below to review the updated rule changes. If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email the Office of Child Care at ProviderContact@state.or.us. 

  • Certified Family Child Care Permanent Rule Change (10272021)
  • Certified Child Care Centers Permanent Rule Change (10272021)

State of Oregon Significantly Increases Child Care Assistance for Working Families

The Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program helps eligible, working families pay for child care, including registration and enrollment fees. ERDC is a subsidy program, which means some families, depending on their income, may be required to pay a copay. 

Effective Oct. 1, 2021, families who renew or apply for the ERDC program will see their child care costs significantly decrease, making child care more accessible across the state.  

“We know that access to quality, affordable child care that meets families’ needs continues to be out of reach for many families across the state,” said Alyssa Chatterjee, Early Learning System Director of the Early Learning Division.  “Reducing the copays for eligible families will not only allow more families to find care, but also provide additional stability for our child care providers who accept subsidies.” 

For more details, read the latest joint press release by the Oregon Department of Human Services and Early Learning Division. 

Empowering Oregon’s Youngest Readers for Success: A Virtual Literacy Summit 

On October 21, SMART Reading celebrated the organization’s 30th anniversary by hosting a “Virtual Literacy Summit.” This Summit was an opportunity to engage in conversations with state education leaders, experts in literacy instruction and social-emotional development, and community-based organizations. Alyssa Chatterjee, Oregon’s Early Learning System Director, participated in the Summit as a panelist.  

“Ultimately, we need to be able to stabilize families and get them access to the resources they need to be successful,” said Chatterjee. “How can we really look at those wrap-around supports? How can we look at those other sectors (e.g., human services, housing, health), and the role that they play in supporting these families. And making sure that these programs have connections to those resources. Or have additional funding to make sure we are meeting the children who have disabilities or who are experiencing delays so they can be successful, and get the support they need as they are heading into those early grades going forward.” 

Click here to watch a recording of the Summit. 

SMART Reading is a “children’s literacy nonprofit that serves kids in Oregon’s highest need schools with two ingredients critical for literacy and learning success: one-on-one reading time and access to books.”

Image of a little boy laying on the floor writing in a notebook

REMINDERS: 

Apply now for the following grants:  

COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant
Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021.

A child care provider plays with a cat and two children on a playground.

October Provider Information Sessions

Join the Early Learning Division (ELD) in October to learn more:

  • ELD Check-in on COVID-19 Resources and Current Policies
  • Review Child Care Stabilization Grant Application Process and Resources
  • Learn about Oregon Department of Human Services’ Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) Eligibility, Co-Pay Structure, and Policy Updates

Wednesday, October 27 | 6 – 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available – please make your language request by October 25, 2021 via registration form)
REGISTER HERE

Thursday, October 28 | 6 – 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All provider types)
REGISTER HERE

This is a virtual event. Registration is required. There is a capacity limit for these calls and registration may not guarantee access via Zoom, especially for the October 27 session. If capacity is full, you may need to participate using ELD’s live stream on Facebook. Questions can be shared on the comments section.

SAVE THE DATE: The next provider information sessions will be December 1 and 2, 2021.

Oregon Teacher of the Year Logo

Nominations Open to Honor Education Support Professionals 

Nominations for the 2022 Oregon Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year are open now through January 3, 2022This honor is open to professionals in publicly funded prekindergarten programs (such as Oregon Head Start or Preschool Promise) or programs in public K-12 schools. The educator must meet the definition of an ESP in Oregon.  

Education support professionals work together with teachers and administrators in Oregon public schools to perform a variety of jobs promoting quality education, fostering positive learning environments, offering nutritious meals, providing reliable transportation, maintaining safe and clean schools for all students, and much more. 

“We know ESP’s are essential to the daily rhythms of our schools, and their contributions are deserving of great recognition and gratitude,” said Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill.

A child care provider holds two babies on her lap.

Call for Participation: Baby Promise Rulemaking Advisory Committee 

Apply to join the Baby Promise Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC), a group of community members who will help ELD staff shape and implement rule language for new Baby Promise programming. Baby Promise is a publicly funded program offering free, high-quality early care and education for infants and toddlers from low-income families in Oregon. 

Participants will be reimbursed for their time dedicated to this RAC and will positively impact organizations across Oregon. Applications are due Friday, November 5, 2021. 

An African American couple puts their baby down for a nap.

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month 

Spread the word and help reduce the risk of SIDS in Oregon. Safe to Sleep® created a toolkit to raise awareness about SIDS. Click here to download the toolkit and encourage safe infant sleep in our communities.  

ELD also has number of Safe Sleep resources online, including this handout on what a safe sleep environment looks like and this one offering tips to communicate with families.   

A woman carries a little girl down a park path

Tribal Advisory Committee Members Announced 

The Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) responds to the needs of American Indian/Alaskan Native children and their families, and helps establish the Tribal Early Learning Hub. Click here to learn more and view a list of TAC members.

Image of a little boy laying on the floor writing in a notebook

REMINDERS: 

Apply now for the following grants:  

COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant
Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021.

COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grant
Oregon received approximately $224 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be paid directly to eligible providers struggling during the pandemic. You must complete a brief application online and meet eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant. The application period for this grant is open until December 31, 2021.

In-Person Licensing Visits to Resume in November 

The Early Learning Division (ELD) will be resuming routine, in-person licensing visits starting 
November 1, 2021. The agency suspended most in-person visits in September due to rising COVID-19 cases linked to the Delta variant. This period allowed state employees time to receive vaccines, per Governor Kate Brown’s vaccine requirement. If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email the Office of Child Care at ProviderContact@state.or.us.

A female presenting person receives a vaccine shot from a healthcare provider

Some Child Care Providers are Eligible for the Vaccine Booster 

Governor Brown recently announced the state’s plan for delivering booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this year as part of the vaccine rollout, early care and education (ECE) employees were grouped in “Phase 1b” by the Oregon Health Authority. If you are an ECE employee and received the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago, you are now eligible for a vaccine booster. 

Providers can learn more about vaccine boosters on thOregon Health Authority website:
https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-booster-covid-19-vaccine 

Photo of woos blocks that spell out Join Us

Save the Date: October Provider Information Sessions 

Join ELD for upcoming provider sessions in October. These are virtual events. Registration and agenda coming soon.  

Wednesday, October 27 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Thursday, October 28 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
Spanish language. (All types) 

Photos Clockwise: Oregon Rep. Mark Meek today; Meek on the Head Start float for the Roseville, Calif parade; Meek at 4 years old with his brother and cousin

October is National Head Start Awareness Month 

Launched in 1965, the Head Start model was designed to support families facing difficult circumstances and reduce obstacles to learning in the early years. Today, Head Start continues to provide health, nutrition, and school readiness to families.  

ELD Blog: “A Parade Down Memory Lane: Oregon State Representative Shares Head Start Story” 

In honor of National Head Start Awareness Month, we’re taking a trip down memory lane with Oregon Rep. Mark Meek, who recalls his time as a Head Start student. 

“If I hadn’t had that background and early exposure, I would have struggled much more,” said Meek. “This experience was life changing,” said Meek. “Over the years, as I reflect on the wonderful learning experiences I had, Head Start was the foundation for all my other learning opportunities.” 

Click here to read the blog story.   

Hunt Institute Panel Discussion: “Creating a Shared Vision: Aligning State Early Childhood Systems and Head Start” 

Alyssa Chatterjee, Oregon’s Early Learning Systems Director, recently participated in a panel discussion hosted by Hunt Institute. Chatterjee joined other national, state, and Head Start leaders to discuss ways to connect child care systems, increase investments, and strengthen supports for children and families. A recording of the webinar will be posted on Hunt Institute’s YouTube channel. Watch for updates!  

REMINDERS: 

Apply now for the following grants:  

COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant
Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021.

COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grant
Oregon received approximately $224 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be paid directly to eligible providers struggling during the pandemic. You must complete a brief application online and meet eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant. The application period for this grant is open until December 31, 2021.

Baby girl gets help from mother at a slide on playground in summer

Applications Open: COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grants

Stabilization grant applications are now open for child care providers who faced financial hardship related to COVID-19. Oregon received approximately $224 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be paid directly to eligible providers struggling during the pandemic.

You must complete a brief application online and meet eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant. The application period for this grant is open until December 31, 2021. Child care providers whose applications are approved will receive an award based on the child care type.

“We hope these funds will provide some much needed relief to offset increased expenses, but we know this doesn’t go far enough. Congress must continue to provide the resources needed to sustain our child care system so providers can continue offering quality care to Oregon families,” said Oregon Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee.

Photo of woos blocks that spell out Join Us

You’re invited: September Provider Information Sessions

Join the Early Learning Division (ELD) for our September provider information sessions on September 29 and 30. Submit questions via the registration form—your input will help ELD make this a valuable experience for all participants.

Wednesday, September 29 | 6 – 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Russian and Spanish interpretation available)
Registration form: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lSBuN0OwSEqXi-bDsTNCmA

There is a capacity limit for these calls and registration may not guarantee access via Zoom, especially for the September 29 session. If capacity is full, you may need to participate using ELD’s live stream on Facebook. Questions can be shared on the comments section.

Thursday, September 30 | 6 – 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All types)
Registration form: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5hPWDJ67SYq-aO3IrRvVFw

Following the sessions, recordings will be posted here.

A woman carries a little girl down a park path

Tribal Advisory Committee Nominations

The Early Learning Division is seeking nominees for the Tribal Advisory Committee.

Become a member and help strengthen early care and education services for Tribal communities in Oregon. The application deadline is September 30, 2021.

The Committee responds to the needs of American Indian/Alaskan Native children and their families, and helps establish the Tribal Early Learning Hub.

To apply and for more information, visit oregonearlylearning.com/TAC.

A photo of a notebook laying on a brightly colored background that someone has written National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 to October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15

ELD joins Oregon families in honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. Celebrate with your child care community by exploring the cultures and stories and learning about the history and contributions. In what ways can you grow your understanding and awareness this month and throughout the year? How can you support and celebrate with fellow staff members, children, and families?

Consider the below resources and professional development opportunities:

Image of a little boy laying on the floor writing in a notebook

Reminders:

IMPORTANT RECALL NOTICE: After 8 Infant Deaths, the Boppy Company recalls more than 3 million Original Newborn Loungers from the Boppy Company, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers, and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers. Click here for the full recall notice from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

APPLY NOW for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021. Click here for more information and to apply.

A mask adult female is staking wooden blocks with two preschool aged children. All are wearing masks.

Updated “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations” 

On September 7, Early Learning Division (ELD) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) published an updated version of “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations” with the latest health and safety practices for early care and education (ECE) programs.  

The changes are effective immediately. The update includes statewide protocols that were put in place to address increasing COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. Changes include both the statewide indoor and outdoor mask mandates, along with the school-based vaccine requirement for all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021. This requirement applies to early learning and child care programs located in K-12 school settings.    

Click below to download the updated version (Russian, Vietnamese, and Chinese translations coming soon). 

close up image of a person wearing a mask

Free Supply Bundle for Oregon Child Care Providers 

Due to the recent change in requirements, ELD is again offering Oregon child care providers an opportunity to order a free supply bundle, which includes adult and child face coverings.

To order supplies, complete the form on the ELD website and have your license/provider number ready. If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email the Office of Child Care at ProviderContact@state.or.us. 

Save the Date: September Provider Information Sessions 

Oregon child care providers – you’re invited! Join the Early Learning Division for the first of three provider information sessions. This is a virtual event. Registration and agenda coming soon.

September 29, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Russian and Spanish interpretation available) 

September 30, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
Spanish language. (All types)

Kids laugh and blow bubbles

Introducing ELMO: The Early Learning Map for Oregon 

ELMO (Early Learning Map for Oregon) is an interactive planning tool now available on the ELD website. Use this tool to explore indicators related to: Child and family characteristics; Early care and education program types, quality, capacity, and availability; Early learning workforce characteristics; School readiness and school success indicators; Family participation and availability of other resources; and Community risk and resiliency factors. Consider using data available in ELMO in your local planning and needs assessment processes. 

Visit oregonearlylearning.com/PDGAssessment#ELMO to navigate ELMO and learn more about Oregon communities. Questions? Contact: EarlyLearningMap@state.or.us. ELMO was created in partnership with Portland State University’s Center for the Improvement of Child and Family Services (PSU) and Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC). 

A woman and baby smile at the camera

COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant: Applications Open  

On August 30, the Early Learning Division announced a grant funding opportunity through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.  

Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021. 

Care and Connection Log and Oregon Department of Education Logo

Handle with Care: A New Tool for Early Educators 

Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently added a new tool on their “Care and Connections” webpage. Created by two innovative educators in Missouri, Handle with Care is a template for educators to add their contact information and send to parents and guardians.  

The note reads: “If your family is experiencing difficulties at home, I would like to provide additional support at school…If your child is coming to school after a difficult night, morning or weekend please text me ‘Handle with Care.’ Nothing else will be said or asked. This will let me know that your child may need extra time, patience or help during the day.” 

Click here to download the template in English.  

The template is currently being translated and will be available in several other languages. For updates and additional resources, visit ODE’s “Care and Connections” webpage 

Suspending Most In-Person Licensing Visits

Effective immediately, the Early Learning Division will suspend many in-person, routine child care licensing visits. With increased COVID-19 cases across Oregon due to the Delta variant, it’s important to minimize contact with program facilities. Some visits will still be completed in-person if the Office of Child Care (OCC) determines an in-person visit is needed to protect the health and safety of children. Your licensing specialist will still be able to assist you virtually to ensure the health and safety of children in your care.

As a reminder, licensing rules still require the state to have access to your program if needed. During business hours, OCC staff are legally permitted to enter the facility. If you are due for a license renewal, your licensing specialist will schedule a time to conduct the visit virtually.

If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email us at ProviderContact@state.or.us.

Mask Requirements

Statewide Indoor Mask Requirement – Effective August 13, 2021

Governor Brown issued a mandate for indoor face coverings that applies to all Oregonians ages 5 and up regardless of vaccination status. For children in 0 to 5 preschool programs, particularly classrooms with 3- to 5-year-olds, children who are not in kindergarten will not have to wear a face covering.

In accordance with CDC recommendations, ELD strongly recommends that younger children do so if the child is able to be successful with a face covering. If a child is attending grades kindergarten and up, they are required to wear a mask. Note: The federal law requiring face coverings on public transportation, including school buses, applies to children ages two and up.

Statewide Outdoor Mask Requirement – Effective August 27, 2021

In regards to the Governor Brown’s outdoor mask requirement, child care programs will continue to follow existing Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance and will not be required to wear masks outdoors. When possible, programs should make every effort to maintain physical distancing between children when outside.

School and School-Based Vaccine Requirement

On August 19, 2021 Governor Brown issued a requirement for all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021.

This requirement applies to early learning and child care programs located in K-12 school settings. It does not apply to programs outside of schools. Child care, preschool, and recorded programs operating in schools – meaning public, private, parochial, charter or alternative educational programs offering grades kindergarten through 12 or any part thereof – are covered by the rule.

The OHA published initial Frequently Asked Questions about the rule and medical and religious exception forms for OAR 333-019-1030.

Building Codes Division: Requirement for Residential Fire Sprinklers in Child Care

As of April 2021, new child care or adult foster care facilities in a residential home must have an automatic residential fire sprinkler system – or take other safety measures approved by a local building official.

The requirement applies only to new construction or the new use of an existing home. If a home has not been approved for use as a child care or adult foster care facility, the home must comply with this new requirement. If the home is approved – or had been previously approved – for use as a child care or adult foster care facility, the home does not have to comply with this new requirement.

Commercial child care centers, not operating in a residence, are covered by the commercial code and include more stringent fire safety requirements.

The state’s Building Codes Division created a one page handout for more details about this requirement. The Early Learning Division does not have oversight of this rule and questions should be directed to the Building Codes Division at BCD.Info@oregon.gov.

November 29
A child care provider smiles and laughs with a young girl holding blocks

December Provider Information Sessions 

Join the Early Learning Division (ELD) on Wednesday or Thursday to:  

  • Check-in about COVID-19 and Grants, 
  • Learn more about ELD and how we work, and
  • Meet the ELD Executive Leadership Team. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available)
Click here to register, and to join on Dec. 1. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All types)
Click here to register, and to join on Dec. 2. 

Logo: Preschool Promise

INTEREST SURVEY: WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

In the 2022-2023 program year (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023), the Early Learning Division (ELD) will expand the Preschool Promise (PSP) program. PSP currently serves approximately 3,795 children across Oregon, and the state is planning to serve up to 2,500 more.

To help determine the level of expansion, Oregon early learning and child care providers are invited to take the “Preschool Promise Provider Interest Survey.” This survey will ask questions about your program’s capacity and interest in Preschool Promise. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Thank you, your input makes a difference by supporting access to high-quality preschool opportunities for Oregon’s families. Please note: This survey is not an offer or an application for funding.

Click here for more information.

DEADLINE: Monday, January 10, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. (PST).
Questions? Please contact ode.pspsurvey@ode.state.or.us.

Outdoor Mask Requirements Lifted, New “Test to Stay” Protocol 

On November 23, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced changes to Oregon’s COVID-19 prevention measures. With less COVID-19 outbreaks and progress across the state, state health officials lifted the outdoor mask requirements for large public gatherings (effective immediately). ODE and OHA also announced a new protocol. The Test to Stay protocol “allows students to attend school in person as well as extracurricular activities (with certain restrictions), as long as they test negative.” For more information, read the news release: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORED/bulletins/2fd93cf

Photo of Warm Springs Tribe children with their hands piled on top each other in a circle. They are showing off beaded bracelets they've made.

ELD Blog: Oregon First to Create Tribal Early Learning Hub 

In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2055, creating the first Tribal Early Learning Hub within the current statewide early learning hub system. Valerie Switzler, chair of the Early Learning Division’s Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC), is currently working with appointed TAC members to establish the Tribal Early Learning Hub.  

“I’m so excited by this work,” said Switzler, longtime educator and member of the Warm Springs Tribe. “The new hub will help us build community that will honor our histories, languages, and cultures. It will help us bring our tribal families back to the center of early learning and care.” 

Click here to read the blog story.    

Graphic that says Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month 

In celebration and in honor of Native American Heritage Month, the Early Learning Division (ELD) gathered the resources listed below. The ELD also hosted “Native American Heritage Month Panel: Our Personal and Professional Experiences,” an event for ELD staff to engage in authentic conversations. Alyssa Chatterjee, Early Learning System Director, encouraged ELD staff to take action and support Indigenous communities in our daily work at the Division.  

“It’s going to take all of us to actively reflect and think about how this work shows up every day for us,” said Chatterjee. “As we heard today on this panel, each individual and each Tribal Nation across the country holds unique experiences and brings forth various contributions to the Early Learning Division and to Oregon more broadly. I’m really looking forward to continuing to grow our understanding, our education, and how we can improve our services for the state of Oregon.” 

Together, we can build inclusive and welcoming early learning environments that honor the experiences and cultures of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) children and families. 

A child care provider is painting with two young children

Lead Prevention and Testing  

The harmful impact of lead exposure is well known and documented. Lead is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women because of the impact on growth and brain development. Lead in water is most harmful to formula-fed infants. The most important step you can take is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs. Click below to download a fact sheet that covers the Oregon Administrative Rule for lead testing, requirements for testing and correcting, and helpful resources. For regular updates, visit oregonearlylearning.com/lead‐poisoning‐prevention/. 

November 4
Baby girl gets help from mother at a slide on playground in summer

Important Update: COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grants 

We are experiencing delays in sending out grant agreements for the COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grants. These grants require a different process than previous Emergency Child Care grants.  

We recognize child care providers are depending on these funds to serve Oregon’s children and families. We anticipate most of the approved applicants will receive their grant agreements in the next few weeks.  

We appreciate your patience and understanding.  

For information and ongoing updates, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/child-care-stabilization-grants.

Gloved hands of a doctor putting a bandage on the arm of a female after giving coronavirus vaccine in the clinic. Close-up of a healthcare worker placing a bandage on a patient's arm after covid-19 vaccination.

Children Ages 5 and Older Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccines 

On November 3, Governor Kate Brown announced pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine are approved for use in Oregon for children ages 5 through 11. 

“This is great news for Oregon children, parents, and families. Vaccination is the best tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” said Governor Brown. “With today’s review by leading doctors, pediatricians, and health experts, Oregon parents and children can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds.” 

Initially, the supply for pediatric doses will be limited. Please be patient with our health care providers and pharmacies. 

If you have questions, check out Oregon Health Authority’s blog or reach out to your health care provider. 

A female presenting person receives a vaccine shot from a healthcare provider

Vaccine Boosters and Third Doses Available 

All three vaccines are available as a booster dose for early care and education (ECE) employees. If you are an ECE employee and received the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, you are now eligible for a booster dose. The CDC recommends everyone who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine get a booster or second dose of J&J at least two months after the first dose. A third dose of Moderna is recommended for immunocompromised people at least 28 days after the second dose. Click here for more eligibility information and resources.  

Is a COVID Booster Reccomended for me

Save the Date: December Provider Information Sessions 

Join ELD for upcoming provider sessions in December. These are virtual events. Registration and agenda coming soon.  

Wednesday, December 1 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Thursday, December 2 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
Spanish language. (All types) 

Temporary Permanent Rule Change 

The Early Learning Division (ELD) updated some of the rules for Certified Family (CF), Certified Center (CC), and Registered Family (RF) child care providers. These rules, which were temporary during the COVID-19 pandemic, are now permanent under Oregon Administrative Rules. 

Click below to review the updated rule changes. If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email the Office of Child Care at ProviderContact@state.or.us. 

  • Certified Family Child Care Permanent Rule Change (10272021)
  • Certified Child Care Centers Permanent Rule Change (10272021)

State of Oregon Significantly Increases Child Care Assistance for Working Families

The Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program helps eligible, working families pay for child care, including registration and enrollment fees. ERDC is a subsidy program, which means some families, depending on their income, may be required to pay a copay. 

Effective Oct. 1, 2021, families who renew or apply for the ERDC program will see their child care costs significantly decrease, making child care more accessible across the state.  

“We know that access to quality, affordable child care that meets families’ needs continues to be out of reach for many families across the state,” said Alyssa Chatterjee, Early Learning System Director of the Early Learning Division.  “Reducing the copays for eligible families will not only allow more families to find care, but also provide additional stability for our child care providers who accept subsidies.” 

For more details, read the latest joint press release by the Oregon Department of Human Services and Early Learning Division. 

Empowering Oregon’s Youngest Readers for Success: A Virtual Literacy Summit 

On October 21, SMART Reading celebrated the organization’s 30th anniversary by hosting a “Virtual Literacy Summit.” This Summit was an opportunity to engage in conversations with state education leaders, experts in literacy instruction and social-emotional development, and community-based organizations. Alyssa Chatterjee, Oregon’s Early Learning System Director, participated in the Summit as a panelist.  

“Ultimately, we need to be able to stabilize families and get them access to the resources they need to be successful,” said Chatterjee. “How can we really look at those wrap-around supports? How can we look at those other sectors (e.g., human services, housing, health), and the role that they play in supporting these families. And making sure that these programs have connections to those resources. Or have additional funding to make sure we are meeting the children who have disabilities or who are experiencing delays so they can be successful, and get the support they need as they are heading into those early grades going forward.” 

Click here to watch a recording of the Summit. 

SMART Reading is a “children’s literacy nonprofit that serves kids in Oregon’s highest need schools with two ingredients critical for literacy and learning success: one-on-one reading time and access to books.”

Image of a little boy laying on the floor writing in a notebook

REMINDERS: 

Apply now for the following grants:  

COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant
Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021.

October 20
A child care provider plays with a cat and two children on a playground.

October Provider Information Sessions

Join the Early Learning Division (ELD) in October to learn more:

  • ELD Check-in on COVID-19 Resources and Current Policies
  • Review Child Care Stabilization Grant Application Process and Resources
  • Learn about Oregon Department of Human Services’ Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) Eligibility, Co-Pay Structure, and Policy Updates

Wednesday, October 27 | 6 – 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available – please make your language request by October 25, 2021 via registration form)
REGISTER HERE

Thursday, October 28 | 6 – 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All provider types)
REGISTER HERE

This is a virtual event. Registration is required. There is a capacity limit for these calls and registration may not guarantee access via Zoom, especially for the October 27 session. If capacity is full, you may need to participate using ELD’s live stream on Facebook. Questions can be shared on the comments section.

SAVE THE DATE: The next provider information sessions will be December 1 and 2, 2021.

Oregon Teacher of the Year Logo

Nominations Open to Honor Education Support Professionals 

Nominations for the 2022 Oregon Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year are open now through January 3, 2022This honor is open to professionals in publicly funded prekindergarten programs (such as Oregon Head Start or Preschool Promise) or programs in public K-12 schools. The educator must meet the definition of an ESP in Oregon.  

Education support professionals work together with teachers and administrators in Oregon public schools to perform a variety of jobs promoting quality education, fostering positive learning environments, offering nutritious meals, providing reliable transportation, maintaining safe and clean schools for all students, and much more. 

“We know ESP’s are essential to the daily rhythms of our schools, and their contributions are deserving of great recognition and gratitude,” said Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill.

A child care provider holds two babies on her lap.

Call for Participation: Baby Promise Rulemaking Advisory Committee 

Apply to join the Baby Promise Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC), a group of community members who will help ELD staff shape and implement rule language for new Baby Promise programming. Baby Promise is a publicly funded program offering free, high-quality early care and education for infants and toddlers from low-income families in Oregon. 

Participants will be reimbursed for their time dedicated to this RAC and will positively impact organizations across Oregon. Applications are due Friday, November 5, 2021. 

An African American couple puts their baby down for a nap.

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month 

Spread the word and help reduce the risk of SIDS in Oregon. Safe to Sleep® created a toolkit to raise awareness about SIDS. Click here to download the toolkit and encourage safe infant sleep in our communities.  

ELD also has number of Safe Sleep resources online, including this handout on what a safe sleep environment looks like and this one offering tips to communicate with families.   

A woman carries a little girl down a park path

Tribal Advisory Committee Members Announced 

The Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) responds to the needs of American Indian/Alaskan Native children and their families, and helps establish the Tribal Early Learning Hub. Click here to learn more and view a list of TAC members.

Image of a little boy laying on the floor writing in a notebook

REMINDERS: 

Apply now for the following grants:  

COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant
Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021.

COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grant
Oregon received approximately $224 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be paid directly to eligible providers struggling during the pandemic. You must complete a brief application online and meet eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant. The application period for this grant is open until December 31, 2021.

October 7

In-Person Licensing Visits to Resume in November 

The Early Learning Division (ELD) will be resuming routine, in-person licensing visits starting 
November 1, 2021. The agency suspended most in-person visits in September due to rising COVID-19 cases linked to the Delta variant. This period allowed state employees time to receive vaccines, per Governor Kate Brown’s vaccine requirement. If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email the Office of Child Care at ProviderContact@state.or.us.

A female presenting person receives a vaccine shot from a healthcare provider

Some Child Care Providers are Eligible for the Vaccine Booster 

Governor Brown recently announced the state’s plan for delivering booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this year as part of the vaccine rollout, early care and education (ECE) employees were grouped in “Phase 1b” by the Oregon Health Authority. If you are an ECE employee and received the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago, you are now eligible for a vaccine booster. 

Providers can learn more about vaccine boosters on thOregon Health Authority website:
https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-booster-covid-19-vaccine 

Photo of woos blocks that spell out Join Us

Save the Date: October Provider Information Sessions 

Join ELD for upcoming provider sessions in October. These are virtual events. Registration and agenda coming soon.  

Wednesday, October 27 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Thursday, October 28 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
Spanish language. (All types) 

Photos Clockwise: Oregon Rep. Mark Meek today; Meek on the Head Start float for the Roseville, Calif parade; Meek at 4 years old with his brother and cousin

October is National Head Start Awareness Month 

Launched in 1965, the Head Start model was designed to support families facing difficult circumstances and reduce obstacles to learning in the early years. Today, Head Start continues to provide health, nutrition, and school readiness to families.  

ELD Blog: “A Parade Down Memory Lane: Oregon State Representative Shares Head Start Story” 

In honor of National Head Start Awareness Month, we’re taking a trip down memory lane with Oregon Rep. Mark Meek, who recalls his time as a Head Start student. 

“If I hadn’t had that background and early exposure, I would have struggled much more,” said Meek. “This experience was life changing,” said Meek. “Over the years, as I reflect on the wonderful learning experiences I had, Head Start was the foundation for all my other learning opportunities.” 

Click here to read the blog story.   

Hunt Institute Panel Discussion: “Creating a Shared Vision: Aligning State Early Childhood Systems and Head Start” 

Alyssa Chatterjee, Oregon’s Early Learning Systems Director, recently participated in a panel discussion hosted by Hunt Institute. Chatterjee joined other national, state, and Head Start leaders to discuss ways to connect child care systems, increase investments, and strengthen supports for children and families. A recording of the webinar will be posted on Hunt Institute’s YouTube channel. Watch for updates!  

REMINDERS: 

Apply now for the following grants:  

COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant
Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021.

COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grant
Oregon received approximately $224 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be paid directly to eligible providers struggling during the pandemic. You must complete a brief application online and meet eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant. The application period for this grant is open until December 31, 2021.

September 23
Baby girl gets help from mother at a slide on playground in summer

Applications Open: COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grants

Stabilization grant applications are now open for child care providers who faced financial hardship related to COVID-19. Oregon received approximately $224 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be paid directly to eligible providers struggling during the pandemic.

You must complete a brief application online and meet eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant. The application period for this grant is open until December 31, 2021. Child care providers whose applications are approved will receive an award based on the child care type.

“We hope these funds will provide some much needed relief to offset increased expenses, but we know this doesn’t go far enough. Congress must continue to provide the resources needed to sustain our child care system so providers can continue offering quality care to Oregon families,” said Oregon Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee.

Photo of woos blocks that spell out Join Us

You’re invited: September Provider Information Sessions

Join the Early Learning Division (ELD) for our September provider information sessions on September 29 and 30. Submit questions via the registration form—your input will help ELD make this a valuable experience for all participants.

Wednesday, September 29 | 6 – 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Russian and Spanish interpretation available)
Registration form: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lSBuN0OwSEqXi-bDsTNCmA

There is a capacity limit for these calls and registration may not guarantee access via Zoom, especially for the September 29 session. If capacity is full, you may need to participate using ELD’s live stream on Facebook. Questions can be shared on the comments section.

Thursday, September 30 | 6 – 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All types)
Registration form: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5hPWDJ67SYq-aO3IrRvVFw

Following the sessions, recordings will be posted here.

A woman carries a little girl down a park path

Tribal Advisory Committee Nominations

The Early Learning Division is seeking nominees for the Tribal Advisory Committee.

Become a member and help strengthen early care and education services for Tribal communities in Oregon. The application deadline is September 30, 2021.

The Committee responds to the needs of American Indian/Alaskan Native children and their families, and helps establish the Tribal Early Learning Hub.

To apply and for more information, visit oregonearlylearning.com/TAC.

A photo of a notebook laying on a brightly colored background that someone has written National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 to October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15

ELD joins Oregon families in honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. Celebrate with your child care community by exploring the cultures and stories and learning about the history and contributions. In what ways can you grow your understanding and awareness this month and throughout the year? How can you support and celebrate with fellow staff members, children, and families?

Consider the below resources and professional development opportunities:

Image of a little boy laying on the floor writing in a notebook

Reminders:

IMPORTANT RECALL NOTICE: After 8 Infant Deaths, the Boppy Company recalls more than 3 million Original Newborn Loungers from the Boppy Company, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers, and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers. Click here for the full recall notice from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

APPLY NOW for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021. Click here for more information and to apply.

September 7
A mask adult female is staking wooden blocks with two preschool aged children. All are wearing masks.

Updated “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations” 

On September 7, Early Learning Division (ELD) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) published an updated version of “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations” with the latest health and safety practices for early care and education (ECE) programs.  

The changes are effective immediately. The update includes statewide protocols that were put in place to address increasing COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. Changes include both the statewide indoor and outdoor mask mandates, along with the school-based vaccine requirement for all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021. This requirement applies to early learning and child care programs located in K-12 school settings.    

Click below to download the updated version (Russian, Vietnamese, and Chinese translations coming soon). 

close up image of a person wearing a mask

Free Supply Bundle for Oregon Child Care Providers 

Due to the recent change in requirements, ELD is again offering Oregon child care providers an opportunity to order a free supply bundle, which includes adult and child face coverings.

To order supplies, complete the form on the ELD website and have your license/provider number ready. If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email the Office of Child Care at ProviderContact@state.or.us. 

Save the Date: September Provider Information Sessions 

Oregon child care providers – you’re invited! Join the Early Learning Division for the first of three provider information sessions. This is a virtual event. Registration and agenda coming soon.

September 29, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Russian and Spanish interpretation available) 

September 30, 2021 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
Spanish language. (All types)

Kids laugh and blow bubbles

Introducing ELMO: The Early Learning Map for Oregon 

ELMO (Early Learning Map for Oregon) is an interactive planning tool now available on the ELD website. Use this tool to explore indicators related to: Child and family characteristics; Early care and education program types, quality, capacity, and availability; Early learning workforce characteristics; School readiness and school success indicators; Family participation and availability of other resources; and Community risk and resiliency factors. Consider using data available in ELMO in your local planning and needs assessment processes. 

Visit oregonearlylearning.com/PDGAssessment#ELMO to navigate ELMO and learn more about Oregon communities. Questions? Contact: EarlyLearningMap@state.or.us. ELMO was created in partnership with Portland State University’s Center for the Improvement of Child and Family Services (PSU) and Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC). 

A woman and baby smile at the camera

COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant: Applications Open  

On August 30, the Early Learning Division announced a grant funding opportunity through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.  

Child care providers who stopped providing services between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and reopened after June 30, 2021, or are interested in reopening, are invited to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Reopening Grant. The application period for this grant is open until November 30, 2021. 

Care and Connection Log and Oregon Department of Education Logo

Handle with Care: A New Tool for Early Educators 

Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently added a new tool on their “Care and Connections” webpage. Created by two innovative educators in Missouri, Handle with Care is a template for educators to add their contact information and send to parents and guardians.  

The note reads: “If your family is experiencing difficulties at home, I would like to provide additional support at school…If your child is coming to school after a difficult night, morning or weekend please text me ‘Handle with Care.’ Nothing else will be said or asked. This will let me know that your child may need extra time, patience or help during the day.” 

Click here to download the template in English.  

The template is currently being translated and will be available in several other languages. For updates and additional resources, visit ODE’s “Care and Connections” webpage 

August 27

Suspending Most In-Person Licensing Visits

Effective immediately, the Early Learning Division will suspend many in-person, routine child care licensing visits. With increased COVID-19 cases across Oregon due to the Delta variant, it’s important to minimize contact with program facilities. Some visits will still be completed in-person if the Office of Child Care (OCC) determines an in-person visit is needed to protect the health and safety of children. Your licensing specialist will still be able to assist you virtually to ensure the health and safety of children in your care.

As a reminder, licensing rules still require the state to have access to your program if needed. During business hours, OCC staff are legally permitted to enter the facility. If you are due for a license renewal, your licensing specialist will schedule a time to conduct the visit virtually.

If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email us at ProviderContact@state.or.us.

Mask Requirements

Statewide Indoor Mask Requirement – Effective August 13, 2021

Governor Brown issued a mandate for indoor face coverings that applies to all Oregonians ages 5 and up regardless of vaccination status. For children in 0 to 5 preschool programs, particularly classrooms with 3- to 5-year-olds, children who are not in kindergarten will not have to wear a face covering.

In accordance with CDC recommendations, ELD strongly recommends that younger children do so if the child is able to be successful with a face covering. If a child is attending grades kindergarten and up, they are required to wear a mask. Note: The federal law requiring face coverings on public transportation, including school buses, applies to children ages two and up.

Statewide Outdoor Mask Requirement – Effective August 27, 2021

In regards to the Governor Brown’s outdoor mask requirement, child care programs will continue to follow existing Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance and will not be required to wear masks outdoors. When possible, programs should make every effort to maintain physical distancing between children when outside.

School and School-Based Vaccine Requirement

On August 19, 2021 Governor Brown issued a requirement for all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021.

This requirement applies to early learning and child care programs located in K-12 school settings. It does not apply to programs outside of schools. Child care, preschool, and recorded programs operating in schools – meaning public, private, parochial, charter or alternative educational programs offering grades kindergarten through 12 or any part thereof – are covered by the rule.

The OHA published initial Frequently Asked Questions about the rule and medical and religious exception forms for OAR 333-019-1030.

Building Codes Division: Requirement for Residential Fire Sprinklers in Child Care

As of April 2021, new child care or adult foster care facilities in a residential home must have an automatic residential fire sprinkler system – or take other safety measures approved by a local building official.

The requirement applies only to new construction or the new use of an existing home. If a home has not been approved for use as a child care or adult foster care facility, the home must comply with this new requirement. If the home is approved – or had been previously approved – for use as a child care or adult foster care facility, the home does not have to comply with this new requirement.

Commercial child care centers, not operating in a residence, are covered by the commercial code and include more stringent fire safety requirements.

The state’s Building Codes Division created a one page handout for more details about this requirement. The Early Learning Division does not have oversight of this rule and questions should be directed to the Building Codes Division at BCD.Info@oregon.gov.

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