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Updates For Programs and Partners

What’s New: Child Care Updates

A resource for early learning programs and partners to track important updates.

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ELD on Instagram!

The Early Learning Division (ELD) is excited to share that we will be launching an Instagram account! The ELD Instagram will share information with community members who are interested in learning more about the ELD and partner programs. Each resource will be especially helpful for families with children ages 0 to 5. The ELD Instagram will be live on February 1.  

Please encourage the families you serve to follow us: @oregonearlylearningdepartment

Three adults sit laughing with coffee and various notebooks and tablets out on the table.

Coaching Competencies Guidance

Have you ever wondered what types of training Oregon’s early learning coaches receive? The new Coaching Competencies Guidance ensures that coaches receive training that empowers them to be an even greater support for early educators in public programs such as Preschool Promise and Oregon Pre-Kindergarten.  

You can read more about the project on the ELD blog. 

Nominations open for Oregon Teacher of the Year

Nominate a pre-K teacher in your program! The Oregon Teacher of the Year is a honor open to licensed public school educators in grades pre-K through 12. Regional winners will be announced in September 2023 and will be awarded $1,000 each. The Oregon Teacher of the Year will win $10,000 and be celebrated in October. 

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Black History Month is coming up this February. Explore resources from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and consider incorporating them into your program’s curriculum this month and throughout the year. Share with colleagues how you teach, honor, and celebrate the accomplishments, innovations, perspectives, and experiences of Black people.

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Reminders

  • January Provider Information Sessions: Slides and recordings now available Thank you to everyone who attended our January sessions! The slides and recordings for the English and Spanish sessions held January 11 and 12 are now available. In these sessions, ELD shares the latest updates on the division’s transition to the Department of Early Learning and Care, the legislative session, and capacity-building grants.
  • Become an ERDC-listed provider: As mentioned in the previous Child Care Update, the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program invites providers to become listed on the ODHS website and start accepting ERDC-eligible families. Why participate in this program? There are several great reasons listed on the ERDC website. Visit State of Oregon: Child Care – Information for Child Care Providers to learn more.
  • Oregon’s 2023  Legislative session is now underway: Visit the Oregon State Legislature (OLIS) website for legislative recordings and updates on bills that relate to early learning and care.  
Abstract, geometric shapes in various colors

More families now eligible for
Employment Related Day Care program

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and ELD have expanded eligibility for affordable child care through the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program. The expansion took effect Jan. 1, and you can learn more about it on the ELD website. 

The primary changes to the program mean that students—in high school, a GED program, or college—no longer need to work to qualify for the child care assistance. Plus, all students will receive additional child care hours each week for study time. Additionally, many families will qualify for more child care hours due to a change in the way part-time and full-time coverage is calculated. 

We invite providers to share this information with families they already serve. Additionally, if a provider would like to be listed with ODHS as a program that accepts ERDC families, there is more information on the ODHS website about how to become listed. 

A little girl in a snow coat, hat and scarf is giggling as snow falls around her.

Register to attend ELD’s January
Provider Information Sessions
 

Join us in January to learn about the below topics:  

  • Capacity Building Grants from Seeding Justice 
  • 2023 Legislative Session 
  • DELC Timeline and Overview   
  • Agency and Program Updates 

Wednesday, January 11 | 6 – 7 p.m. 

All provider types. (Interpretation available)

ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_r38gnV1eTn2RkLHsJ6HICg

Thursday, January 12 | 6 – 7 p.m. 

All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 

ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_arz7isyuSRiqTXbMS1FD7A

This is a virtual event. Registration is required to attend via Zoom. You may submit questions in advance on the registration form. You may also participate on ELD’s Facebook page live stream. 

Note: Attendees using interpretation services (Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL) should join the session via Zoom. 

A finger with a string tied around it as a reminder.

Reminders

A little girl holds a hand-drawn sign that reads "thank you!" the sign is on notebook paper and obscures the girls face.

National Thank You Day

Wednesday, January 11, is National Thank You Day! This is a perfect time to show gratitude to family, volunteers, and staff who help to create a quality learning program for children in your care. Gratitude can be as simple as telling someone “thank you” for their work and efforts or for simply being who they are!  

We at the Early Learning Division thank all who support, create, and improve Oregon’s child care and early learning system. Whether you are a teacher, program staff, partner program, or organizational leader, we know you’re doing important and good work that matters to families and children in our communities. 

Community Rule Revision Workgroup:
Application Deadline is December 23
 

The Office of Child Care (OCC) within ELD is revising the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for Certified Child Care Centers. As part of this revision, OCC is hosting a Community Rule Revision Workgroup. You are invited to apply to participate in this workgroup and provide input and suggestions for these rules. Participants will be reimbursed for time dedicated to this workgroup.  

Please share this opportunity with your early learning community. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. December 23, 2022. More information, including workgroup focus and meeting schedule.

A group of teachers and kids play with a rainbow parachute

Certified School-Age Child Care Centers:
Watch Part 1 of the Webinar Video Series
 

This webinar video series was created as an introduction to the rules for Certified School-Age Child Care Centers. The videos provide an overview of the rules, explain key features and how rules are organized, and highlight changes in rules or new rules.  

Part 1 of the school-age rules webinar video series is now available. Watch videos 1 through 6 by clicking the button below. The videos cover a variety of topics from center capacity to emergency preparedness to positions and qualifications. Part 2, videos 7 to 13, will be available in January 2023. After watching, please share your feedback on the series by completing this form.  

A little girl in a snow coat, hat and scarf is giggling as snow falls around her.

SAVE THE DATE:
JANUARY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS 
 

Mark your calendar for the next events in our series of provider information sessions 

Wednesday, January 11 | 6 – 7 p.m. 

All provider types. (Interpretation available)

ZOOM REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON.

Thursday, January 12 | 6 – 7 p.m. 

All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 

ZOOM REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON.
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Reminders

  • Complete the Foundations for Learning training before end of year This free, federally required training on child development is available on the “Learning with OCCD” website in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and traditional Chinese. The deadline to complete this course is December 31, 2022. For more information, visit Portland State University’s Oregon Center for Career Development website.
  • Share the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Family Survey We invite all Oregon parents and caregivers of children ages birth to 5 years to participate in this 15-minute survey, available in Chinese, English, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The deadline is January 31, 2023. Participants will receive a $20 gift card to thank them for completing the survey (One gift card per household). If you have questions or would like to request fliers or survey links, please email denisef@oslc.org or call (916) 205-6851.
  • Finance trainings available to early care and education (ECE) providers First Children’s Finance (FCF) partnered with ELD to offer training opportunities in December and January for ECE providers to support financial management and grant reporting. The third session (Spanish language) is on January 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. More information and to register.   
An illustrated graphic image of mid-century modern style ornaments and sparkles in ELD's green, teal, and magenta. The largest, center ornament says "Happy Holidays" on it and the Oregon Department of Education Early Learning Division Logo is in the lower left corner.

Applications Open: Community Rules Revision Workgroup  

The Office of Child Care (OCC) is revising the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for Certified Child Care Centers. As part of this revision, OCC is hosting a Community Rule Revision Workgroup. Applications are now open to participate in this workgroup and provide input and suggestions for these rules. Participants will be reimbursed for time dedicated to this workgroup. 

Please consider applying and share this opportunity with your early learning community. The deadline to apply is December 23, 2022 at 5 p.m. For more information, including workgroup focus and meeting schedule, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/childcare-rules/CRRWorkgroup  

OHA to providers: You do not need to require
a negative RSV test for children in care
 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and health care providers are reporting an increase in families requesting RSV testing for their children, and that some child care providers may be requiring a negative RSV test to return to care. This presents a challenge for our health care system. RSV testing is not typically available outside of hospitals, and these requests place additional strain on hospitals and clinics already struggling to meet the demand for symptomatic patients in need of care.  

 While child care providers are required to follow exclusion requirements for symptoms of communicable illness, OHA does not recommended that families seek RSV testing for children unless testing is recommended by a health care professional. Child care providers do not need to require a negative RSV test in order for children to return to care.  

RSV is a common respiratory virus, and usually only causes mild cold symptoms. However, it is important to seek medical care when it is needed. Symptoms of more serious illness include difficulty breathing, dehydration, discoloration in tongue, lips, or skin, and decreased activity or alertness. You can find more information on how to protect yourself, children and families on the OHA website.  

Remember, OHA does recommend getting a COVID-19 test if there are symptoms like new cough, fever, shortness of breath, or new loss of taste or smell. Check out our COVID-19 Exclusion Guidelines, and find more information on how to get a COVID-19 test or vaccine. Plus, you can find information about flu prevention including how to get a flu vaccine. 

It’s National Safe Toys and Gifts Month 

Why is safe toys and gifts month important?  

It alerts us to choking hazards. Choking is a major risk for children when playing with toys — specifically when children are under three years old. Completely inspect the level of choking risk for each toy. 

It encourages child supervision. Toy manufacturers have come a long way in making their products safe for children to enjoy. However, the best way to manage and reduce risk is to have an adult watching. 

We are more aware. Being aware and looking for the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) label on toys means that the toy has met the national safety standards. 

Visit https://nationaltoday.com/safe-toys-and-gifts-month/ to learn more about toy safety and view lists of age-appropriate toys based on age.

School-aged kids stand in line in a school hallway

School-Age Center Rules Information Session
Recordings Available Online
 

Thank you to all who attended the virtual information sessions on November 29 and November 30. Please share your session experience by completing this feedback form. 

During these sessions, attendees were able to 

  • Hear from Regional Manager Kristina Christian and Senior Licensing Specialist Cheryle Myers 
  • Learn about the rules for licensed programs that only care for school-age children 
  • Explore any questions about these rules 

If you weren’t able to attend, watch the session recordings: 

Share the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Family Survey 

The latest statewide Family Household Survey was launched on December 1, 2022. We invite all Oregon parents and caregivers of children ages birth to 5 years to participate in this 15-minute survey. The deadline to complete the survey is January 31, 2023.  

This survey explores families’ experiences with and needs for early learning and care services. The Family Survey is part of the Early Learning Division’s Strengths and Needs Assessment research funded by the Preschool Development Grant. This survey was developed in partnership with our research partners at Portland State University’s Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services (PSU CCF) and OSLC Developments Inc. (ODI).  

  • Surveys are available in six languages: Chinese, English, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. 
  • Parents/caregivers who participate will receive a $20 gift card to thank them for completing the survey (One gift card per household). 
  • If you have questions or would like to request fliers or survey links, please contact Denise Ford with ODI at denisef@oslc.org or (916) 205-6851. 
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Finance trainings available to early care
and education (ECE) providers
 

First Children’s Finance (FCF) is partnering with ELD to offer training opportunities for ECE providers to support financial management and grant reporting. This month and next, FCF will host sessions specifically about separating your family child care finances from your personal finances. During this two-hour training, family providers will learn basic tools to separate personal and business finances. Attendees will also learn to use computer and file systems to organize financial documents and discover how to develop a business budget.  

Session 1 
6 to 8 p.m., December 15

Session 2 
6 to 8 p.m. December 19

Session 3 (Spanish)
6 to 8 p.m.  January 11

Other training topics that may be available in the early part of 2023 are: understanding budget and cash flow, starting and running a successful child care business, quality staffing, and policies and practices.  Registration links will be shared when topics are finalized. 

Another resource that is available to providers is free consultation time. Providers can reach out to Kari Stattelman karis@firstchildrensfinance.org for more information or to schedule a consultation. Consultation is available in Spanish. 

A group of teachers and kids play with a rainbow parachute

Certified School-Age Child Care Centers: Reminder to register 

Register to attend a virtual information session next week.
There are two options: 9 to 10:30 a.m. November 29 or 6 to 7:30 p.m. November 30.
 

During this session, you will: 

  • Hear from Regional Manager Kristina Christian and Senior Licensing Specialist Cheryle Myers 
  • Learn about the rules for licensed programs that only care for school-age children 
  • Explore any questions from programs about these rules 

To register or learn more, visit the Rules Resource section of our website. To submit questions in advance, please email Cheryle.K.Myers@ode.oregon.gov.   

A young, female presenting teacher lays with hula hoops that 4 children climb and crawl through.,

November Provider Information Sessions: Slides and recordings now available 

Thank you to everyone who attended our November Provider Information Sessions! The slides and recordings for the English and Spanish sessions held November 16 and 17 are available for viewing on our website or YouTube Playlist. In these sessions, ELD shares the latest updates on the agency, ERDC expanded eligibility, and COVID-19.

Complete the Foundations for Learning training
before end of year
 

The required training called “Foundations for Learning” is available to early care and education (ECE) providers. This free, two-hour training on child development is available on the “Learning with OCCD” website in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese. The deadline to complete this course is December 31, 2022. Listed below are frequently asked questions on this training. For more information, visit Portland State University’s Oregon Center for Career Development website

Q: How was notice of this training shared with providers? How can I share with staff in my program?

Here is a link you can forward to staff: https://occd.educadium.com/ The Early Learning Division Office of Child Care sent letters and emails to all programs on July 29, 2022, and we’ve shared several reminders since then. Licensing specialists will connect with programs as the deadline approaches.   

Q: I’m experiencing technical difficulties with the training? What should I do?

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact the Help Desk: occdtrainer@pdx.edu or 1-877-725-8535.  

Q: Are recorded programs required to complete this training?

No, recorded programs are not required to complete the course. However, we invite recorded programs to explore this free training if you would like to learn more about child development.  

Q: Will the certificate for this training automatically get sent to ORO or do we need to send?

The certificate will automatically be sent to ORO. During this busy time, it could take up to three days before you see it in your MyORO account.

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We want to hear from you:
Take the Child Care Market Price Survey
 

Oregon conducts a Market Price Survey (MPS) every two years to collect and capture the prices and supply of child care across the state. Contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) for more information and to take the survey. The survey deadline is December 31, 2022. This survey was developed in partnership with CCR&Rs, The Research Institute at Western Oregon University, Oregon State University, and the Early Learning Division.    

As part of the MPS, you will be contacted by your CCR&R to verify the rates you charge for your child care services and other information, including your current child care capacity. This information will be used for regional and state policy-making to ensure families have equal access to child care. MPS data also influences the Oregon Department of Human Services’ maximum subsidy rates for the Employment Related Day Care program and is the basis for tracking child care deserts over time. Please note: rate information is not shared with parents and families and is combined with other facilities’ data for state decision-making purposes.  

For more information, please contact your local CCR&R or read the 2020 report.

A child covers his cough with his elbow

Be on the lookout for Respiratory
Syncytial Virus (RSV) symptoms
 

Oregon is experiencing increasing RSV infections across the state. 

RSV is a common virus that causes cold-like symptoms. RSV can cause severe illness for some infants, young children, and older adults. Those at greatest risk include:  

  • Premature infants 
  • Infants, especially those 6 months and younger 
  • Children younger than 2 years old with chronic lung disease or congenital (present from birth) heart disease 
  • Children with weakened immune systems 
  • Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including those who have difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus secretions 

With flu and COVID-19 cases also expected to rise this winter, we encourage everyone to take steps to prevent and reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, including RSV. 

If parents or families have questions about their child’s care, they should call their health care provider (or 211 if they need help finding one). To learn more about RSV in Oregon, visit the Oregon Health Authority blog. 

Updated COVID-19 guidance now available 

As Oregon continues to focus on COVID-19 prevention, ELD and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), has updated Oregon’s Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations, effective Nov. 9, 2022. This guidance document can be found on the COVID-19 Resources webpage.  

Some key updates to COVID-19 guidance include:

  • Removal of requirement to quarantine if exposed and not symptomatic. Providers are still required to exclude any child or staff who has COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.  
  • Removal of requirement to notify Local Public Health Authority (LPHA) for every COVID-19 case. Instead, providers will be required to report elevated levels of absenteeism due to respiratory illness.
  • Added recommendation: When returning to care after isolation, individuals 2 years and older
    should wear a mask for an additional five days. Individuals who cannot or do not wear a mask should continue to be excluded for an additional five days, for a total of 10 days.
  • Updated vaccine and booster recommendations 

For questions about COVID-19, please contact your LPHA or email OHA at
COVID.19@dhsoha.state.or.us. Additionally, you can contact the Office of Child Care at 1-800-556-6616 or email ProviderContact@state.or.us.

A young, female presenting teacher lays with hula hoops that 4 children climb and crawl through.,

REMINDER: Register to attend ELD’s
November Provider Information Sessions
 

Join us in November to learn about the below topics:  

  • ERDC Expanded Eligibility  
  • Check in with OHA on COVID-19  
  • Get the latest info on the Agency and Programs 

Wednesday, November 16 | 6 to 7 p.m.  
All provider types. (Interpretation available)
ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_CiOJJOmdQEiopeQKTRt-tg

Thursday, November 17 | 6 to 7 p.m.  
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 
ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_z8LtF2DmTL6yro6xfEbbLw

This is a virtual event. Registration is required to attend via Zoom. You may submit questions in advance on the registration form. You may also participate on ELD’s Facebook page live stream. 

Note: Attendees using interpretation services (Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL) should join the session via Zoom.   

Honoring current and former members
of the military on Veterans Day 
 

This Friday, on Veterans Day, we would like to acknowledge and thank current and former members of the United States armed services. Many early care and education professionals have served in the military or have a spouse or family member who is a U.S. veteran. To all of you, thank you for your service to our nation.  

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will honor all veterans of the U.S. armed forces during its Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 10 this year in view of the Capitol. The event will feature remarks by federal, state, and local dignitaries and ceremonial elements including color guard, national anthem, wreath presentation and the playing of “Taps.” The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. on November 10 (day before Veterans Day). 

A group of teachers and kids play with a rainbow parachute

Certified School-Age Centers:
You’re Invited to a Virtual Event  
 

Attend a virtual information session to learn about the new rules for certified school-age centers, effective January 1, 2023. During this session, you will: 

  • Hear from Regional Manager Kristina Christian and Senior Licensing Specialist Cheryle Myers 
  • Learn about the rules for licensed programs that only care for school-age children 
  • Explore any questions from programs about these rules 

Click below to register. There are two options:

This is a virtual event. Registration is required to attend via Zoom. To register or learn more, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/rules-resources/. To submit questions in advance, please email Cheryle.K.Myers@ode.oregon.gov.   

A young, female presenting teacher lays with hula hoops that 4 children climb and crawl through.,

Register to attend ELD’s
November Provider Information Sessions
 

Join us in November to:

  • Learn about ERDC Expanded Eligibility  
  • Check in with OHA on COVID-19  
  • Get the latest info on the Agency and Programs 

Wednesday, November 16 | 6 – 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_CiOJJOmdQEiopeQKTRt-tg 

Thursday, November 17 | 6 – 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 

https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_z8LtF2DmTL6yro6xfEbbLw 

This is a virtual event. Registration is required to attend via Zoom. You may submit questions in advance on the registration form. You may also participate on ELD’s Facebook page live stream. 

Note: Attendees using interpretation services (Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL) should join the session via Zoom.   

A young, black mother holds their child and reviews a safe sleep handout with a sleep coach.

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 national awareness about SIDS and encourage safe infant sleep in our communities.  

Here is a two-page overview in various languages of what a safe sleep environment looks like:
English  Spanish  Russian  Vietnamese  Chinese 

Finally, the Safe Sleep for Oregon’s Infants training can be found on the ELD’s Self-Study Training page.

An indigenous artists carving on display as part of the art exhibit.

November is National Native American Heritage Month 

This month, and throughout the year, we celebrate rich and diverse continuing cultures, traditions, histories, and contributions of Native people, especially Oregon’s caregivers. Explore how you might honor and recognize Native and Indigenous people this month – and all year long.  

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Foundations for Learning Training  

The new required training called “Foundations for Learning” is available to early care and education (ECE) providers. This is a free, two-hour training on child development that is available on the “Learning with OCCD” website in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese. The deadline to complete this course is December 31, 2022. Listed below are frequently asked questions on this training. 

Q: How was notice of this training shared with providers? How can I share with staff in my program? 

Here is a link you can forward to staff: https://occd.educadium.com/ The Early Learning Division Office of Child Care sent letters and emails to all programs on July 29, 2022. Also, licensing specialists will follow up with programs as the deadline approaches.  

Q: I’m experiencing technical difficulties with the training? What should I do?  

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact the Help Desk: occdtrainer@pdx.edu or 1-877-725-8535. They can help troubleshoot problems or suggest a different browser. 

Q: Are recorded programs required to complete this training?  

No, recorded programs are not required to complete the course. However, we invite recorded programs to explore this free training if you would like to learn more about child development. 

Q: Will the certificate for this training automatically get sent to ORO or do we need to do send? 

The certificate will automatically be sent to ORO. During this busy time, it could take up to 3 days before you see it in your MyORO account. https://my.oregonregistryonline.org/  

For more information, visit https://occd.educadium.com/  

A black school lunch worker smiles and serves food to young children in line at the cafateria

National School Lunch Week: October 10 to 14 

National School Lunch Week is this week. Oregon Department of Education and Oregon School Boards Association are encouraging awareness of the importance of child nutrition programs.  

Visit https://www.oregon.gov/…/Oregon-School-Lunch-Week.aspx for more information and resources. 

A young child plays with a plastic, blue telephone and hold the receiver up to his smiling teacher's ear.

October is Head Start Awareness Month 

Launched in 1965, Head Start programs promote children’s development through services that support early learning, health, and family well-being. Let’s celebrate Oregon Pre-Kindergarten (OPK) and Early Head Start programs!  

National Head Start Association has resources for celebrating the month, including social media images and themes for each week: https://nhsa.org/head-start-awareness-month/ Consider also following Oregon Head Start Association for updates and resources.   

Special thanks to the OPK and Early Head Start staff. We appreciate the difference you make for Oregon’s children and families!   

Save the Date: ELD Provider Information Sessions 

Mark your calendar for the next events in our series of provider information sessions: 

Wednesday, November 16 | 6 to 7 p.m.  
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Thursday, November 17 | 6 to 7 p.m.  
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish)  

More details and a link to register coming soon.  

Watch previous information sessions on the ELD’s Provider Information Sessions page.

Preschool Director 李玲, back, started working as a preschool teacher at Goodtime in 2012, two years after immigrating to the United States. As director, she works as both an administrator and unofficial substitute teacher. Photo by Mark Graves/The Oregonian

Oregon’s largest Mandarin preschool: Chinese immigrants preserve culture through early education 

By Rose Wong | The Oregonian/OregonLive 

“First founded as a free-standing preschool, Goodtime Chinese School has expanded to include pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and after-school services. Located in two large beige buildings across a street from each other, the school has 25 teachers and 200 students, 60 of them in preschool. Instruction time is split in equal parts English and Mandarin, the most prevalent Chinese language in the world, spoken by over a billion people.” >>> Read the full story 

Graphic image with the words "Central Background Registry Update" and a bunch of anonymous avatar circles connected by lines

Central Background Registry Guidelines 

We know that the delay in Central Background Registry (CBR) enrollment is affecting your ability to hire staff and is difficult for families. We apologize for that. We want to provide information about the work we are doing to get through the backlog as well as highlight some common issues that can slow down the process.

ELD is authorizing all overtime and working through background checks as quickly as possible. We currently process about 140 applications per day. However, we’ve received more than 2,000 applications since the start of September, far exceeding pre-pandemic enrollment applications.  

Our intake team includes three people. We are also training OCC managers and staff—35 additional people—to process applications to assign them to the background team. Unfortunately, bringing on temporary new staff is not an option, nor is reverting to the emergency check process that was available during the pandemic. 

We’ve investigated the reasons behind many of the delays we have been contacted about and determined that many can be minimized by following the suggestions below. Still, we apologize for these delays and are committed to working on improvements for the future. 

Tips for understanding the CBR process when there are delays: 

  • CBR enrollments won’t expire if you submit your application up to 14 days before expiration date. 
  • Applications must be filled out completely and signed. 
  • Email and mailing address must be current and accurate. 
  • When you get your instructions for fingerprinting, make your appointment as quickly as possible. 
  • Use the FieldPrint code supplied by OCC. 
  • If you get requests for information from OCC, respond as quickly as possible. 
  • Follow all specific instructions. 

Please note: Due to considerations of confidentiality, OCC is unable to give detailed information regarding an applicant’s CBR processing to employers and program directors. 

If experiencing a delay in CBR processing, applicants should contact Office of Child Care Customer Service at 1-800-556-6616 or email occ.customerservice@ode.oregon.gov. 

January 26
Instagram Logo

ELD on Instagram!

The Early Learning Division (ELD) is excited to share that we will be launching an Instagram account! The ELD Instagram will share information with community members who are interested in learning more about the ELD and partner programs. Each resource will be especially helpful for families with children ages 0 to 5. The ELD Instagram will be live on February 1.  

Please encourage the families you serve to follow us: @oregonearlylearningdepartment

Three adults sit laughing with coffee and various notebooks and tablets out on the table.

Coaching Competencies Guidance

Have you ever wondered what types of training Oregon’s early learning coaches receive? The new Coaching Competencies Guidance ensures that coaches receive training that empowers them to be an even greater support for early educators in public programs such as Preschool Promise and Oregon Pre-Kindergarten.  

You can read more about the project on the ELD blog. 

Nominations open for Oregon Teacher of the Year

Nominate a pre-K teacher in your program! The Oregon Teacher of the Year is a honor open to licensed public school educators in grades pre-K through 12. Regional winners will be announced in September 2023 and will be awarded $1,000 each. The Oregon Teacher of the Year will win $10,000 and be celebrated in October. 

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Black History Month is coming up this February. Explore resources from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and consider incorporating them into your program’s curriculum this month and throughout the year. Share with colleagues how you teach, honor, and celebrate the accomplishments, innovations, perspectives, and experiences of Black people.

Photo of blocks spelling out reminder

Reminders

  • January Provider Information Sessions: Slides and recordings now available Thank you to everyone who attended our January sessions! The slides and recordings for the English and Spanish sessions held January 11 and 12 are now available. In these sessions, ELD shares the latest updates on the division’s transition to the Department of Early Learning and Care, the legislative session, and capacity-building grants.
  • Become an ERDC-listed provider: As mentioned in the previous Child Care Update, the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program invites providers to become listed on the ODHS website and start accepting ERDC-eligible families. Why participate in this program? There are several great reasons listed on the ERDC website. Visit State of Oregon: Child Care – Information for Child Care Providers to learn more.
  • Oregon’s 2023  Legislative session is now underway: Visit the Oregon State Legislature (OLIS) website for legislative recordings and updates on bills that relate to early learning and care.  
January 10
Abstract, geometric shapes in various colors

More families now eligible for
Employment Related Day Care program

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and ELD have expanded eligibility for affordable child care through the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program. The expansion took effect Jan. 1, and you can learn more about it on the ELD website. 

The primary changes to the program mean that students—in high school, a GED program, or college—no longer need to work to qualify for the child care assistance. Plus, all students will receive additional child care hours each week for study time. Additionally, many families will qualify for more child care hours due to a change in the way part-time and full-time coverage is calculated. 

We invite providers to share this information with families they already serve. Additionally, if a provider would like to be listed with ODHS as a program that accepts ERDC families, there is more information on the ODHS website about how to become listed. 

A little girl in a snow coat, hat and scarf is giggling as snow falls around her.

Register to attend ELD’s January
Provider Information Sessions
 

Join us in January to learn about the below topics:  

  • Capacity Building Grants from Seeding Justice 
  • 2023 Legislative Session 
  • DELC Timeline and Overview   
  • Agency and Program Updates 

Wednesday, January 11 | 6 – 7 p.m. 

All provider types. (Interpretation available)

ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_r38gnV1eTn2RkLHsJ6HICg

Thursday, January 12 | 6 – 7 p.m. 

All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 

ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_arz7isyuSRiqTXbMS1FD7A

This is a virtual event. Registration is required to attend via Zoom. You may submit questions in advance on the registration form. You may also participate on ELD’s Facebook page live stream. 

Note: Attendees using interpretation services (Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL) should join the session via Zoom. 

A finger with a string tied around it as a reminder.

Reminders

A little girl holds a hand-drawn sign that reads "thank you!" the sign is on notebook paper and obscures the girls face.

National Thank You Day

Wednesday, January 11, is National Thank You Day! This is a perfect time to show gratitude to family, volunteers, and staff who help to create a quality learning program for children in your care. Gratitude can be as simple as telling someone “thank you” for their work and efforts or for simply being who they are!  

We at the Early Learning Division thank all who support, create, and improve Oregon’s child care and early learning system. Whether you are a teacher, program staff, partner program, or organizational leader, we know you’re doing important and good work that matters to families and children in our communities. 

December 22

Community Rule Revision Workgroup:
Application Deadline is December 23
 

The Office of Child Care (OCC) within ELD is revising the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for Certified Child Care Centers. As part of this revision, OCC is hosting a Community Rule Revision Workgroup. You are invited to apply to participate in this workgroup and provide input and suggestions for these rules. Participants will be reimbursed for time dedicated to this workgroup.  

Please share this opportunity with your early learning community. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. December 23, 2022. More information, including workgroup focus and meeting schedule.

A group of teachers and kids play with a rainbow parachute

Certified School-Age Child Care Centers:
Watch Part 1 of the Webinar Video Series
 

This webinar video series was created as an introduction to the rules for Certified School-Age Child Care Centers. The videos provide an overview of the rules, explain key features and how rules are organized, and highlight changes in rules or new rules.  

Part 1 of the school-age rules webinar video series is now available. Watch videos 1 through 6 by clicking the button below. The videos cover a variety of topics from center capacity to emergency preparedness to positions and qualifications. Part 2, videos 7 to 13, will be available in January 2023. After watching, please share your feedback on the series by completing this form.  

A little girl in a snow coat, hat and scarf is giggling as snow falls around her.

SAVE THE DATE:
JANUARY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS 
 

Mark your calendar for the next events in our series of provider information sessions 

Wednesday, January 11 | 6 – 7 p.m. 

All provider types. (Interpretation available)

ZOOM REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON.

Thursday, January 12 | 6 – 7 p.m. 

All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 

ZOOM REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON.
Photo of blocks spelling out reminder

Reminders

  • Complete the Foundations for Learning training before end of year This free, federally required training on child development is available on the “Learning with OCCD” website in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and traditional Chinese. The deadline to complete this course is December 31, 2022. For more information, visit Portland State University’s Oregon Center for Career Development website.
  • Share the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Family Survey We invite all Oregon parents and caregivers of children ages birth to 5 years to participate in this 15-minute survey, available in Chinese, English, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The deadline is January 31, 2023. Participants will receive a $20 gift card to thank them for completing the survey (One gift card per household). If you have questions or would like to request fliers or survey links, please email denisef@oslc.org or call (916) 205-6851.
  • Finance trainings available to early care and education (ECE) providers First Children’s Finance (FCF) partnered with ELD to offer training opportunities in December and January for ECE providers to support financial management and grant reporting. The third session (Spanish language) is on January 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. More information and to register.   
An illustrated graphic image of mid-century modern style ornaments and sparkles in ELD's green, teal, and magenta. The largest, center ornament says "Happy Holidays" on it and the Oregon Department of Education Early Learning Division Logo is in the lower left corner.
December 7

Applications Open: Community Rules Revision Workgroup  

The Office of Child Care (OCC) is revising the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for Certified Child Care Centers. As part of this revision, OCC is hosting a Community Rule Revision Workgroup. Applications are now open to participate in this workgroup and provide input and suggestions for these rules. Participants will be reimbursed for time dedicated to this workgroup. 

Please consider applying and share this opportunity with your early learning community. The deadline to apply is December 23, 2022 at 5 p.m. For more information, including workgroup focus and meeting schedule, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/childcare-rules/CRRWorkgroup  

OHA to providers: You do not need to require
a negative RSV test for children in care
 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and health care providers are reporting an increase in families requesting RSV testing for their children, and that some child care providers may be requiring a negative RSV test to return to care. This presents a challenge for our health care system. RSV testing is not typically available outside of hospitals, and these requests place additional strain on hospitals and clinics already struggling to meet the demand for symptomatic patients in need of care.  

 While child care providers are required to follow exclusion requirements for symptoms of communicable illness, OHA does not recommended that families seek RSV testing for children unless testing is recommended by a health care professional. Child care providers do not need to require a negative RSV test in order for children to return to care.  

RSV is a common respiratory virus, and usually only causes mild cold symptoms. However, it is important to seek medical care when it is needed. Symptoms of more serious illness include difficulty breathing, dehydration, discoloration in tongue, lips, or skin, and decreased activity or alertness. You can find more information on how to protect yourself, children and families on the OHA website.  

Remember, OHA does recommend getting a COVID-19 test if there are symptoms like new cough, fever, shortness of breath, or new loss of taste or smell. Check out our COVID-19 Exclusion Guidelines, and find more information on how to get a COVID-19 test or vaccine. Plus, you can find information about flu prevention including how to get a flu vaccine. 

It’s National Safe Toys and Gifts Month 

Why is safe toys and gifts month important?  

It alerts us to choking hazards. Choking is a major risk for children when playing with toys — specifically when children are under three years old. Completely inspect the level of choking risk for each toy. 

It encourages child supervision. Toy manufacturers have come a long way in making their products safe for children to enjoy. However, the best way to manage and reduce risk is to have an adult watching. 

We are more aware. Being aware and looking for the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) label on toys means that the toy has met the national safety standards. 

Visit https://nationaltoday.com/safe-toys-and-gifts-month/ to learn more about toy safety and view lists of age-appropriate toys based on age.

School-aged kids stand in line in a school hallway

School-Age Center Rules Information Session
Recordings Available Online
 

Thank you to all who attended the virtual information sessions on November 29 and November 30. Please share your session experience by completing this feedback form. 

During these sessions, attendees were able to 

  • Hear from Regional Manager Kristina Christian and Senior Licensing Specialist Cheryle Myers 
  • Learn about the rules for licensed programs that only care for school-age children 
  • Explore any questions about these rules 

If you weren’t able to attend, watch the session recordings: 

Share the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Family Survey 

The latest statewide Family Household Survey was launched on December 1, 2022. We invite all Oregon parents and caregivers of children ages birth to 5 years to participate in this 15-minute survey. The deadline to complete the survey is January 31, 2023.  

This survey explores families’ experiences with and needs for early learning and care services. The Family Survey is part of the Early Learning Division’s Strengths and Needs Assessment research funded by the Preschool Development Grant. This survey was developed in partnership with our research partners at Portland State University’s Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services (PSU CCF) and OSLC Developments Inc. (ODI).  

  • Surveys are available in six languages: Chinese, English, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. 
  • Parents/caregivers who participate will receive a $20 gift card to thank them for completing the survey (One gift card per household). 
  • If you have questions or would like to request fliers or survey links, please contact Denise Ford with ODI at denisef@oslc.org or (916) 205-6851. 
Piggy Bank Photo

Finance trainings available to early care
and education (ECE) providers
 

First Children’s Finance (FCF) is partnering with ELD to offer training opportunities for ECE providers to support financial management and grant reporting. This month and next, FCF will host sessions specifically about separating your family child care finances from your personal finances. During this two-hour training, family providers will learn basic tools to separate personal and business finances. Attendees will also learn to use computer and file systems to organize financial documents and discover how to develop a business budget.  

Session 1 
6 to 8 p.m., December 15

Session 2 
6 to 8 p.m. December 19

Session 3 (Spanish)
6 to 8 p.m.  January 11

Other training topics that may be available in the early part of 2023 are: understanding budget and cash flow, starting and running a successful child care business, quality staffing, and policies and practices.  Registration links will be shared when topics are finalized. 

Another resource that is available to providers is free consultation time. Providers can reach out to Kari Stattelman karis@firstchildrensfinance.org for more information or to schedule a consultation. Consultation is available in Spanish. 

November 22
A group of teachers and kids play with a rainbow parachute

Certified School-Age Child Care Centers: Reminder to register 

Register to attend a virtual information session next week.
There are two options: 9 to 10:30 a.m. November 29 or 6 to 7:30 p.m. November 30.
 

During this session, you will: 

  • Hear from Regional Manager Kristina Christian and Senior Licensing Specialist Cheryle Myers 
  • Learn about the rules for licensed programs that only care for school-age children 
  • Explore any questions from programs about these rules 

To register or learn more, visit the Rules Resource section of our website. To submit questions in advance, please email Cheryle.K.Myers@ode.oregon.gov.   

A young, female presenting teacher lays with hula hoops that 4 children climb and crawl through.,

November Provider Information Sessions: Slides and recordings now available 

Thank you to everyone who attended our November Provider Information Sessions! The slides and recordings for the English and Spanish sessions held November 16 and 17 are available for viewing on our website or YouTube Playlist. In these sessions, ELD shares the latest updates on the agency, ERDC expanded eligibility, and COVID-19.

Complete the Foundations for Learning training
before end of year
 

The required training called “Foundations for Learning” is available to early care and education (ECE) providers. This free, two-hour training on child development is available on the “Learning with OCCD” website in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese. The deadline to complete this course is December 31, 2022. Listed below are frequently asked questions on this training. For more information, visit Portland State University’s Oregon Center for Career Development website

Q: How was notice of this training shared with providers? How can I share with staff in my program?

Here is a link you can forward to staff: https://occd.educadium.com/ The Early Learning Division Office of Child Care sent letters and emails to all programs on July 29, 2022, and we’ve shared several reminders since then. Licensing specialists will connect with programs as the deadline approaches.   

Q: I’m experiencing technical difficulties with the training? What should I do?

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact the Help Desk: occdtrainer@pdx.edu or 1-877-725-8535.  

Q: Are recorded programs required to complete this training?

No, recorded programs are not required to complete the course. However, we invite recorded programs to explore this free training if you would like to learn more about child development.  

Q: Will the certificate for this training automatically get sent to ORO or do we need to send?

The certificate will automatically be sent to ORO. During this busy time, it could take up to three days before you see it in your MyORO account.

Piggy Bank Photo

We want to hear from you:
Take the Child Care Market Price Survey
 

Oregon conducts a Market Price Survey (MPS) every two years to collect and capture the prices and supply of child care across the state. Contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) for more information and to take the survey. The survey deadline is December 31, 2022. This survey was developed in partnership with CCR&Rs, The Research Institute at Western Oregon University, Oregon State University, and the Early Learning Division.    

As part of the MPS, you will be contacted by your CCR&R to verify the rates you charge for your child care services and other information, including your current child care capacity. This information will be used for regional and state policy-making to ensure families have equal access to child care. MPS data also influences the Oregon Department of Human Services’ maximum subsidy rates for the Employment Related Day Care program and is the basis for tracking child care deserts over time. Please note: rate information is not shared with parents and families and is combined with other facilities’ data for state decision-making purposes.  

For more information, please contact your local CCR&R or read the 2020 report.

A child covers his cough with his elbow

Be on the lookout for Respiratory
Syncytial Virus (RSV) symptoms
 

Oregon is experiencing increasing RSV infections across the state. 

RSV is a common virus that causes cold-like symptoms. RSV can cause severe illness for some infants, young children, and older adults. Those at greatest risk include:  

  • Premature infants 
  • Infants, especially those 6 months and younger 
  • Children younger than 2 years old with chronic lung disease or congenital (present from birth) heart disease 
  • Children with weakened immune systems 
  • Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including those who have difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus secretions 

With flu and COVID-19 cases also expected to rise this winter, we encourage everyone to take steps to prevent and reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, including RSV. 

If parents or families have questions about their child’s care, they should call their health care provider (or 211 if they need help finding one). To learn more about RSV in Oregon, visit the Oregon Health Authority blog. 

November 9

Updated COVID-19 guidance now available 

As Oregon continues to focus on COVID-19 prevention, ELD and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), has updated Oregon’s Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations, effective Nov. 9, 2022. This guidance document can be found on the COVID-19 Resources webpage.  

Some key updates to COVID-19 guidance include:

  • Removal of requirement to quarantine if exposed and not symptomatic. Providers are still required to exclude any child or staff who has COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.  
  • Removal of requirement to notify Local Public Health Authority (LPHA) for every COVID-19 case. Instead, providers will be required to report elevated levels of absenteeism due to respiratory illness.
  • Added recommendation: When returning to care after isolation, individuals 2 years and older
    should wear a mask for an additional five days. Individuals who cannot or do not wear a mask should continue to be excluded for an additional five days, for a total of 10 days.
  • Updated vaccine and booster recommendations 

For questions about COVID-19, please contact your LPHA or email OHA at
COVID.19@dhsoha.state.or.us. Additionally, you can contact the Office of Child Care at 1-800-556-6616 or email ProviderContact@state.or.us.

A young, female presenting teacher lays with hula hoops that 4 children climb and crawl through.,

REMINDER: Register to attend ELD’s
November Provider Information Sessions
 

Join us in November to learn about the below topics:  

  • ERDC Expanded Eligibility  
  • Check in with OHA on COVID-19  
  • Get the latest info on the Agency and Programs 

Wednesday, November 16 | 6 to 7 p.m.  
All provider types. (Interpretation available)
ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_CiOJJOmdQEiopeQKTRt-tg

Thursday, November 17 | 6 to 7 p.m.  
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 
ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_z8LtF2DmTL6yro6xfEbbLw

This is a virtual event. Registration is required to attend via Zoom. You may submit questions in advance on the registration form. You may also participate on ELD’s Facebook page live stream. 

Note: Attendees using interpretation services (Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL) should join the session via Zoom.   

Honoring current and former members
of the military on Veterans Day 
 

This Friday, on Veterans Day, we would like to acknowledge and thank current and former members of the United States armed services. Many early care and education professionals have served in the military or have a spouse or family member who is a U.S. veteran. To all of you, thank you for your service to our nation.  

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will honor all veterans of the U.S. armed forces during its Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 10 this year in view of the Capitol. The event will feature remarks by federal, state, and local dignitaries and ceremonial elements including color guard, national anthem, wreath presentation and the playing of “Taps.” The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. on November 10 (day before Veterans Day). 

A group of teachers and kids play with a rainbow parachute

Certified School-Age Centers:
You’re Invited to a Virtual Event  
 

Attend a virtual information session to learn about the new rules for certified school-age centers, effective January 1, 2023. During this session, you will: 

  • Hear from Regional Manager Kristina Christian and Senior Licensing Specialist Cheryle Myers 
  • Learn about the rules for licensed programs that only care for school-age children 
  • Explore any questions from programs about these rules 

Click below to register. There are two options:

This is a virtual event. Registration is required to attend via Zoom. To register or learn more, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/rules-resources/. To submit questions in advance, please email Cheryle.K.Myers@ode.oregon.gov.   

October 27
A young, female presenting teacher lays with hula hoops that 4 children climb and crawl through.,

Register to attend ELD’s
November Provider Information Sessions
 

Join us in November to:

  • Learn about ERDC Expanded Eligibility  
  • Check in with OHA on COVID-19  
  • Get the latest info on the Agency and Programs 

Wednesday, November 16 | 6 – 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_CiOJJOmdQEiopeQKTRt-tg 

Thursday, November 17 | 6 – 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 

https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_z8LtF2DmTL6yro6xfEbbLw 

This is a virtual event. Registration is required to attend via Zoom. You may submit questions in advance on the registration form. You may also participate on ELD’s Facebook page live stream. 

Note: Attendees using interpretation services (Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL) should join the session via Zoom.   

A young, black mother holds their child and reviews a safe sleep handout with a sleep coach.

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 national awareness about SIDS and encourage safe infant sleep in our communities.  

Here is a two-page overview in various languages of what a safe sleep environment looks like:
English  Spanish  Russian  Vietnamese  Chinese 

Finally, the Safe Sleep for Oregon’s Infants training can be found on the ELD’s Self-Study Training page.

An indigenous artists carving on display as part of the art exhibit.

November is National Native American Heritage Month 

This month, and throughout the year, we celebrate rich and diverse continuing cultures, traditions, histories, and contributions of Native people, especially Oregon’s caregivers. Explore how you might honor and recognize Native and Indigenous people this month – and all year long.  

October 13
A graphic of a laptop computer with a paused YouTube video on a teal background

Foundations for Learning Training  

The new required training called “Foundations for Learning” is available to early care and education (ECE) providers. This is a free, two-hour training on child development that is available on the “Learning with OCCD” website in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese. The deadline to complete this course is December 31, 2022. Listed below are frequently asked questions on this training. 

Q: How was notice of this training shared with providers? How can I share with staff in my program? 

Here is a link you can forward to staff: https://occd.educadium.com/ The Early Learning Division Office of Child Care sent letters and emails to all programs on July 29, 2022. Also, licensing specialists will follow up with programs as the deadline approaches.  

Q: I’m experiencing technical difficulties with the training? What should I do?  

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact the Help Desk: occdtrainer@pdx.edu or 1-877-725-8535. They can help troubleshoot problems or suggest a different browser. 

Q: Are recorded programs required to complete this training?  

No, recorded programs are not required to complete the course. However, we invite recorded programs to explore this free training if you would like to learn more about child development. 

Q: Will the certificate for this training automatically get sent to ORO or do we need to do send? 

The certificate will automatically be sent to ORO. During this busy time, it could take up to 3 days before you see it in your MyORO account. https://my.oregonregistryonline.org/  

For more information, visit https://occd.educadium.com/  

A black school lunch worker smiles and serves food to young children in line at the cafateria

National School Lunch Week: October 10 to 14 

National School Lunch Week is this week. Oregon Department of Education and Oregon School Boards Association are encouraging awareness of the importance of child nutrition programs.  

Visit https://www.oregon.gov/…/Oregon-School-Lunch-Week.aspx for more information and resources. 

A young child plays with a plastic, blue telephone and hold the receiver up to his smiling teacher's ear.

October is Head Start Awareness Month 

Launched in 1965, Head Start programs promote children’s development through services that support early learning, health, and family well-being. Let’s celebrate Oregon Pre-Kindergarten (OPK) and Early Head Start programs!  

National Head Start Association has resources for celebrating the month, including social media images and themes for each week: https://nhsa.org/head-start-awareness-month/ Consider also following Oregon Head Start Association for updates and resources.   

Special thanks to the OPK and Early Head Start staff. We appreciate the difference you make for Oregon’s children and families!   

Save the Date: ELD Provider Information Sessions 

Mark your calendar for the next events in our series of provider information sessions: 

Wednesday, November 16 | 6 to 7 p.m.  
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Thursday, November 17 | 6 to 7 p.m.  
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish)  

More details and a link to register coming soon.  

Watch previous information sessions on the ELD’s Provider Information Sessions page.

Preschool Director 李玲, back, started working as a preschool teacher at Goodtime in 2012, two years after immigrating to the United States. As director, she works as both an administrator and unofficial substitute teacher. Photo by Mark Graves/The Oregonian

Oregon’s largest Mandarin preschool: Chinese immigrants preserve culture through early education 

By Rose Wong | The Oregonian/OregonLive 

“First founded as a free-standing preschool, Goodtime Chinese School has expanded to include pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and after-school services. Located in two large beige buildings across a street from each other, the school has 25 teachers and 200 students, 60 of them in preschool. Instruction time is split in equal parts English and Mandarin, the most prevalent Chinese language in the world, spoken by over a billion people.” >>> Read the full story 

Graphic image with the words "Central Background Registry Update" and a bunch of anonymous avatar circles connected by lines

Central Background Registry Guidelines 

We know that the delay in Central Background Registry (CBR) enrollment is affecting your ability to hire staff and is difficult for families. We apologize for that. We want to provide information about the work we are doing to get through the backlog as well as highlight some common issues that can slow down the process.

ELD is authorizing all overtime and working through background checks as quickly as possible. We currently process about 140 applications per day. However, we’ve received more than 2,000 applications since the start of September, far exceeding pre-pandemic enrollment applications.  

Our intake team includes three people. We are also training OCC managers and staff—35 additional people—to process applications to assign them to the background team. Unfortunately, bringing on temporary new staff is not an option, nor is reverting to the emergency check process that was available during the pandemic. 

We’ve investigated the reasons behind many of the delays we have been contacted about and determined that many can be minimized by following the suggestions below. Still, we apologize for these delays and are committed to working on improvements for the future. 

Tips for understanding the CBR process when there are delays: 

  • CBR enrollments won’t expire if you submit your application up to 14 days before expiration date. 
  • Applications must be filled out completely and signed. 
  • Email and mailing address must be current and accurate. 
  • When you get your instructions for fingerprinting, make your appointment as quickly as possible. 
  • Use the FieldPrint code supplied by OCC. 
  • If you get requests for information from OCC, respond as quickly as possible. 
  • Follow all specific instructions. 

Please note: Due to considerations of confidentiality, OCC is unable to give detailed information regarding an applicant’s CBR processing to employers and program directors. 

If experiencing a delay in CBR processing, applicants should contact Office of Child Care Customer Service at 1-800-556-6616 or email occ.customerservice@ode.oregon.gov.