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Archive: Child Care Updates

Child Care Updates Archive

These are the archived resource updates for child care providers.

2022 CHILD CARE UPDATES

DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND REPORT NOW AVAILABLE  

The Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) Mission, Vision, and Values Engagement report and executive summary were published last week on the ELD website. We are so grateful for the time, energy, and input Feedback Survey and Community Conversation participants shared with us in summer 2022. 

Click below to read about key findings, recommendations, and next steps. The report is available in English and the summary is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Chinese. We will continue to share any updates on the DELC Mission, Vision, and Values as the language is finalized. 

https://oregonearlylearning.com/HB3073#MVV

PRESCHOOL PROMISE REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) UPDATE

The Early Learning Division (ELD) received 209 Preschool Promise (PSP) applications, and 134 were selected for an award based on eligibility, quality score, and community need. For more information on evaluation criteria, see Section 4 of the RFA. All applicants have received a notification of their application status. ELD continues to work with the procurement team to distribute grant agreements to programs as quickly as possible. 

This expansion of the PSP program will provide free, high-quality early learning opportunities to more than 2,000 additional preschool-aged children at 178 sites located in all 16 Early Learning Hub regions. Awarded applicants include a Federally Recognized Oregon Tribe, Oregon Pre-Kindergarten (OPK) programs, registered and certified family child care homes, certified centers, school districts, and community-based nonprofit organizations.  

We will continue to provide additional information and data. For more information on the Preschool Promise program, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise. 

FAMILY VOICES REPORT HIGHLIGHTS MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES

In a partnership between Portland State University, the Early Learning Division, OSLC Developments Inc., and AB Cultural Drivers, the Family Voices report looks at the experiences of families in three important communities and the issues they are facing related to early learning and care.  Participating families were those who: 

  • Have a child who was suspended or expelled from an early learning program 
  • Have infants and toddlers and who (a) identify as African American/Black; (b) are Spanish speaking and live in rural and suburban Oregon; (c) identify as Native American; or (d) are English speaking and live in rural Oregon 
  • Have a child aged 0 to 5 years, and who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community  

The report details clear, actionable recommendations from the families themselves about how the early learning system can be improved to make their lives better. The data collected will help shape program investments and policy changes in Oregon’s early learning system. 

Find the executive summary on the ELD website in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, and Chinese. 

HB 3073 PROGRESS REPORT AVAILABLE SOON ON ELD WEBSITE

In September, the Early Learning Division submitted its most recent report to the Oregon Legislature about progress toward the implementation of Department of Early Learning and Care. The report details the status of current major projects, from hiring additional staff to information technology changes. Importantly, the document contains additional information about the transition of the Employment Related Day Care program from ODHS to DELC. 

The report will be available on the ELD website no later than the end of the day Sept. 30. 

Here is where it will be posted: https://oregonearlylearning.com/HB3073#1644950051229-eae0ce24-e0b2  

OREGON EARLY CHILDHOOD INCLUSION NEWSLETTER: SIGN UP TODAY!

The Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion (OECI) team launched a newsletter to share information from the state, updates from community partners, and resources to advance early childhood inclusion. Sign up today and share with your early learning community.  

Learn more about Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion.  

WORLD TEACHER DAY IS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5

Thank you to our early educators for nurturing, encouraging, and inspiring our youngest Oregonians!

The theme for World Teachers’ Day 2022 is “The transformation of education begins with teachers.” Reading Rockets has list of books on how AMAZING our teachers are and the impact they have on our communities. 

ELD CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH 

September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, a special time when we recognize and honor the cultures, stories, history, and contributions of Hispanic communities. Here are some resources to help you celebrate, explore and increase your understanding this month and throughout the year.  

Next week, ELD’s Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee will visit a full immersion Spanish Preschool Promise program in Oregon. Follow ELD on Facebook for updates on her visit 

NCPMI Logo

NATIONAL CENTER FOR PYRAMID MODEL INNOVATIONS (NCPMI): SEPTEMBER WEBINARS  

Check out this month’s webinars as part of NCPMI’s Pyramid Model Webinar Series. These are recorded for viewing on your own schedule! 

Inclusion Benefits Everyone (Children, Families, Providers, and Directors)
A 3-part Within the Framework Series
September 16, September 23, and September 30 | 11 a.m. (PT) 

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Using the Tiered Coaching Model for Practitioners
September 21 | Noon (PT) 

Visit https://challengingbehavior.org/training/webinars/upcoming-webinars/ for the complete webinar schedule and to register.  

CHILD CARE MARKET PRICE SURVEY COMING SOON 

Oregon conducts a Market Price Survey (MPS) every two years to collect and capture the prices and supply of child care across the state. The 2022 survey will be conducted between October 1 and December 31 by your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) in partnership with The Research Institute at Western Oregon UniversityOregon State University, and the Early Learning Division.   

As part of the MPS, you will be contacted to verify the rates you charge for your child care services and other information including your current child care capacity. Information is used for regional and state policymaking to ensure families have equal access to child care. In addition, the data collected during the MPS 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. Rate information is not shared with parents and families and is combined with other facilities’ data for state decision-making purposes. 

Watch for more information from your CCR&R in early October! 

For more information, read the 2020 report: https://health.oregonstate.edu/sites/health.oregonstate.edu/files/early-learners/pdf/research/2020_oregon_child_care_market_price_study_-_main_report.pdf 

Piggy Bank Photo

DEPARTMENT OF EARLY LEARNING AND CARE AGENCY BUDGET REQUEST 

Every two years, state agencies are required to submit an Agency Request Budget (ARB) outlining their recommended investments for the Governor’s and Legislature’s consideration. The 2023-25 ARB is the first budget developed for the Department of Early Learning and Care (the agency the Early Learning Division will become July 1, 2023). On September 9, the 2023-25 ARB executive summary and full report were published on the ELD website 

The DELC ARB focuses on three priorities: 1) centering families; 2) supporting the early learning workforce; and 3) sustainable operations. 

Visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/delc_abr for more information.  

Three school-aged kids play in a classroom setting together

FOUNDATIONS FOR LEARNING – NEW REQUIRED TRAINING 

On September 30, 2022, a new required training called “Foundations For Learning” will be available to early care and education (ECE) providers. This is a free, two-hour training on child development that will be available on the “Learning with OCCD” website in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese. This training will also be available in a self-study (paper version) on the OCCD website. 

All individuals currently employed in child care settings as of September 30, 2022 will need to complete the “Foundations for Learning” training before December 31, 2022. When individuals complete this training, they will: 

  • Fulfill this new training requirement 
  • Gain two hours toward the required hours in child development 

For more information and to find the training after Sept. 30, visit OCCD’s training page.  

APPLICATIONS OPEN:
CENTRAL BACKGROUND REGISTRY (CBR)
RULEMAKING ADVISORY COMMITTEE (RAC)
 

In June 2022, the Early Learning Council (ELC) adopted temporary rules in response to HB 4005 and SB 1547. These bills and the statutesexpanded background check requirements for those working and/or living in recorded preschool, recorded school-age, and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) programs. All staff, volunteers, household members, and those who may have unsupervised contact with children must be enrolled in the CBR.   

The CBR RAC is a group of community members who will provide feedback on the proposed rule language and share input on the fiscal and equity effects of CBR enrollment requirements for adults working in these programs.   

If interested in participating, please complete the application and submit it by October 7, 2022. RAC meetings will be in late October and early November.    

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

REMINDERS 

Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program: Provide Feedback on the Proposed Rules
We want to hear from you!  

  • Complete the feedback form on the draft rules by September 23, 2022 at 5 p.m.   
  • Register to present verbal testimony at the public hearing on September 20 at 5:30 p.m.   

To provide feedback and learn more about these rules and the rulemaking process, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/sepp.   

September Provider Information Sessions
The recording for the session (English language) on Wednesday, September 14 is now available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKLyUSOvRBU&t=1s. The next session (Spanish language) will be 6 to 7 p.m. tonight, September 15: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_KaEItRdKRmK2UbLFvSqcfQ   

In these sessions, ELD shares information about the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC), updates on programs and opportunities, and the vision for the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) website.  

REGISTER TO ATTEND ELD’S SEPTEMBER
PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS 
 

Join us in September to:  

  • Learn about Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC)
  • Share your vision for the DELC website
  • Agency Reminders

Wednesday, September 14 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available)
ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_CKuvc9iGSq2Aj_D98qrjaQ

Thursday, September 15 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish)
ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_KaEItRdKRmK2UbLFvSqcfQ

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 at the same time. ELD staff will monitor the Facebook comment section for questions.  

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

PRESCHOOL PROMISE RFA:
NOTICE OF INTENT TO AWARD

Thank you to all who applied for the Preschool Promise grant! We are deeply grateful for your passion and interest in serving children and families in Oregon. The Preschool Promise Notice of Intent to Award list was published on Tuesday, August 30 on the ELD website: https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise.  

Applicants who are included on this list will receive an email confirming ELD’s intent to award their program a Preschool Promise grant. If your program is not listed in the Notice of Intent to Award, we encourage you to continue working with your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency, or other community partner, to reflect on the application process and how to benefit from RFA opportunities in the future.   

If you have any questions, email DELC.Procurement@ode.oregon.gov. 

SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION PREVENTION PROGRAM:
PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON THE PROPOSED RULES

On September 1, the Early Learning Division released a draft of the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program Rules for public comment. These proposed rules will help the agency set up the new program and guide future design and requirements.  

We want to hear from you! Provide feedback on the draft rules:  

  • Complete the Feedback Form on the draft rules by September 23, 2022 at 5 p.m.  
  • Register to present verbal testimony at the public hearing on September 20 at 5:30 p.m.  

To provide feedback and learn more about these rules and the rulemaking process, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/sepp.  

Questions? Contact Remy Watts, ELD Rules Coordinator: remy.watts@ode.oregon.gov | 971-701-1535. 

CHILD CARE SUBSTITUTES PROVIDER ADVISORY COMMITTEE – APPLICATIONS OPEN

Providers are invited to share their voices and help build a substitutes program for child care in Oregon. Providers of all types can apply now to be considered for the Child Care Substitutes Provider Advisory Committee. Committee members will be asked to share feedback on challenges and priorities for providers in creating a successful substitutes program. 

Virtual committee meetings will be each quarter starting September 2022 through June 2023. Providers selected to participate can earn subsidized substitute hours (four hours per meeting). The Early Learning Division (ELD) is funding the program in partnership with Western Oregon University, the developer of the Child Care Substitutes Program 

The deadline to apply is August 31, 2022. 

Oregon Inclusive Partners Logo

INCLUSIVE PARTNERS UPDATE 

On July 1, 2022, the Inclusive Partners program transitioned from the Oregon Department of Human Services to the Early Learning Division. This was the first of several transitions for early learning and care programs that will be consolidated under the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) starting July 2023. 

If you are not familiar with Inclusive Partners, it is a five-member team that provides inclusive resources, technical assistance, and subsidies for child care providers and families of children with higher needs in Oregon. The program works with child care providers caring for children who need additional accommodations to support inclusive care. The program offers supports for children and youths from birth through age 17. Families, child care providers, and other partners can request assistance at no cost. 

Learn more about Inclusive Partners and its support options by visiting InclusivePartners.org. 

CHILD CARE UPDATE NEWSLETTER – READER SURVEY RESULTS 

Earlier this summer, we invited readers of Child Care Updates to take a survey to help improve the newsletter’s usefulness.  

Overall, most respondents thought the every-other-week frequency was just right. Most said they are receiving enough information on child care rules (87%), COVID-19 safety information (64%), and general agency news (65%). Other topics captured in the survey asked if respondents are receiving enough information on opportunities to engage with ELD (58%) and if they are receiving enough information on the implementation of the new Department of Early Learning and Care (60%).  

Based on the survey results, ELD will look to offer more information about training opportunities and mental health supports. We will also continue to share timely updates about the new Department of Early Learning and Care, along with safety, health, and rules affecting child care.    

Thank you to all who shared feedback and please sign up to subscribe if you don’t already receive the email updates!   

SOME THOUGHTS SHARED BY SURVEY PARTICIPANTS:

“I really appreciate getting the updates delivered to my mailbox. It’s been a great support while navigating my preschool through COVID! Thank you!”

“I’d like to see more mental health topics for providers and more grant info.”

“I like that we can read in our native language. Thanks!” (Spanish speaking respondent) 

PRESCHOOL PROMISE REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) UPDATE  

The Preschool Promise Request for Applications (RFA) closed on Thursday, Aug. 4. We are grateful to all applicants for their interest in Preschool Promise and for their service to children and families in Oregon. We received a total of 212 applications requesting 3,137 slots at 267 sites.   

The review process is in progress and “intent to award” notices will be distributed by the end of August. Evaluation committees will use the evaluation criteria outlined in the RFA to score each application. If you have questions about your application, please email PSPRFA@ode.oregon.gov.

For more information and Frequently Asked Questions, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise.    

SAVE THE DATE: ELD PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS

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

Wednesday, September 14 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Thursday, September 15 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 

More details and a link to register coming soon. 

TWO RECALL NOTICES: FIRST CHOICE GLASS BABY BOTTLES AND 4MOMS MAMAROO AND ROCKAROO INFANT SWINGS AND ROCKERS

The U.S. Product Consumer Safety Commission issued two recalls in recent weeks. One notice is for First Choice Glass Baby Bottles, which contain levels of lead that exceed the federal lead content ban. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health issues. 

The bottles were sold exclusively on Amazon. The product was manufactured for the UK market only and not intended for sale in the U.S.  

The other product recalled is the 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing, versions 1.0 through 4.0 and RockaRoo Baby RockersWhen the swing or rocker is not in use, the restraint straps can dangle below the seat and crawling infants can become entangled in the straps, posing a strangulation hazard. The recall includes models that use a 3-point harness. The 5-point harness model is not included in this recall. 

EARLY LEARNING DIVISION EMPLOYEE IDENTIFICATION REMINDER 

We’d like to remind providers that they can ask any visitors to their facilities who identify themselves as an Early Learning Division employee to show an agency badge and business card before allowing entrance. Providers may also ask for their supervisor’s name and contact information. 

PRESCHOOL PROMISE GRANT APPLICATION
DEADLINE IS THIS THURSDAY, AUG. 4
 

Submit or complete your grant applications for Preschool Promise (PSP) by Thursday, Aug. 4 at 11:59 p.m. Only new applicants or current Preschool Promise providers interested in adding slots need to apply. Questions? Visit the PSP webpage for frequently asked questions and answers https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise or contact PSPRFA@ode.oregon.gov.  

OREGON EARLY CHILDHOOD SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION PREVENTION PROGRAM

In 2022, Oregon Legislature passed HB 5202 and approved funding to establish the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program. Recently, Katrina Miller (ELD’s infant and early childhood mental health specialist) provided a short update at the July Provider Information Sessions. From April to July 2022, a group of community members formed a Rulemaking Advisory Committee and drafted the new rules for this program.  

For more information on the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program, including a background, timeline, and resources, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/sepp. Watch for updates as this program continues to develop.   

What if instead of calling it…

The “Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program”

We called it…

The “making sure ECE providers have the training, coaching, consultation, and other supports they need to be able to support every child” program?

~ KATRINA MILLER
ELD INFANT AND EARLY CHILDHOOD MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST

Microscopic photo of the hMPXV or “MonkeyPox” virus

 WHAT IS HMPXV A.K.A “MONKEYPOX”?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently identified two cases of monkeypox, also known as hMPXV, in children. According to the CDCyoung children, children with eczema and other skin conditions, and children with immunocompromising conditions may be at increased risk of severe disease. 

Here is some background information from the Oregon Health Authority:
The virus originally got its common name “monkeypox” after the first recognized outbreak was in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958. hMPXV is the human version of the monkeypox virus. According to the World Health Organization, the term “monkeypox” has been criticized by scientists as being discriminatory and stigmatizing. 

Is it similar to smallpox? It’s in the same group of viruses, but this isn’t smallpox. hMPXV is much harder to catch, and it is not as severe. There are two strains of this virus, and the main virus that is circulating now causes milder disease. Most people are recovering at home without any special treatment. 

What are the symptoms? Illness typically starts with fever, headache, and muscle aches. This is followed in one to three days by a rash, often on the face, spreading to the limbs. The rash starts with flat patches that then form large, firm bumps, which then fill with fluid or pus. These bumps then scab and fall off, usually within two to four weeks.

Who is most at risk for hMPXV in the current outbreak? The current outbreak in the U.S. has high rates of known cases among gay and bisexual men and transgender and non-binary people who have traveled to countries with hMPXV cases or have had contact with someone else with hMPXV. However, this virus is not limited by gender or sexuality and can spread to anyone, anywhere through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact.

Should I vaccinate my children against it now? No. No vaccine is needed at this point. Vaccines would be used to protect people who have known exposure to someone ill with hMPXV infection. The vaccine works to prevent or decrease disease even after someone was exposed.

For the CDC’s guidance on hMPXV and children, visit https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/clinicians/pediatric.html 

A blonde woman, Dr. Velvet Cooley, counts rocks with a young boy in the playground. Dr. Cooley has researched the mental and physical health benefits to young children learning outdoors.

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER FOR EARLY LEARNERS   

After two years of COVID-19 disruptions, it may be more important than ever to spend this summer exploring the outdoors with young children. 

Chief Operating Officer of the Mid-Columbia Children’s Council Dr. Velvet Cooley shares some tips and insights on why spending time outdoors is proven to have a calming effect and enhance mental health, even for young children. 

Read more on our blog about the Tygh Valley Head Start outdoor program and the differences Dr. Cooley has seen in young learners since the pandemic.   

Computer generated image of the COVID19 Virus

MANY OREGON COUNTIES REMAIN AT “HIGH RISK”
FOR COVID-19 TRANSMISSION
 

A total of 15 Oregon counties are in “high” transmission under the CDC’s COVID-19 community levels. During “high risk” periods in your community, child care programs are encouraged to take increased prevention strategies. When transmission is “high,” we recommend universal indoor masking for all individuals ages 2 and older and other precautions. Learn more on ELD’s “For Providers” page 

The CDC risk levels are updated weekly. You can refer to the CDC map for the latest information. 

Programs are required to report COVID-19 cases to their Local Public Health AuthorityReview ELD’s COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations: https://oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/For-Providers.   

Banner image that says "Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 News Release

CHANGES COMING TO OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY’S CHILD CARE OUTBREAK REPORTING  

Starting Aug. 10, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will stop reporting recent cases, active outbreaks, and resolved outbreaks in workplaces, child care settings, and K-12 schools (tables 3-9) in the COVID-19 Biweekly Outbreak Report. OHA will continue to report active and resolved outbreaks in long-term care facilities, senior living communities, and congregate living settings (tables 1-2). 

These changes do not affect child care case and outbreak reporting to OHA. The agency will continue to work with local public health authorities to provide resources and support during outbreak responses, as appropriate. 

OHA shared in a newsletter it’s making the changes for several reasons. One reason is to align agency resources and staffing with the current stage of the pandemic and other public health needs. The biweekly outbreak reporting process is not fully automated and requires many hours of careful review to ensure accurate reporting. In addition, universal case investigation and contract tracing ended earlier this year, and OHA advised local public health authorities to focus data collection and response on outbreaks in high-risk settings, rather than in all settings. 

PRESCHOOL PROMISE GRANT APPLICATIONS DEADLINE EXTENTED TO THURSDAY, AUGUST 4  

Submit your grant applications for Preschool Promise (PSP) by the EXTENDED DEADLINE of Thursday, AUGUST 4 at 11:59 p.m. Only new applicants or current Preschool Promise providers interested in adding slots need to apply. The Early Learning Division recently published frequently asked questions (FAQs) for applicants on the PSP webpage. These questions cover topics such as eligibility, evaluation, scoring, and more.  

For more information and resources, visit oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise or contact  

PSPRFA@ode.oregon.gov  

A young childcare provider holds a giggling child above her head.

JULY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS  

The slides and recordings for the English and Spanish sessions held July 13 and 14 are available for downloading below. In these sessions, ELD shares the latest on COVID-19, information about the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) Mission, Vision, and Values feedback, and agency and program updates.  


July 13, 2022  English Language Session
Slides in English


July 14, 2022 Spanish Language Session
Slides in Spanish

Computer generated image of the COVID19 Virus

MANY OREGON COUNTIES REMAIN AT “HIGH RISK” FOR COVID-19 TRANSMISSION 

A total of 21 Oregon counties are in “high” transmission under the CDC’s COVID-19 community levels. During “high risk” periods in your community, child care programs are encouraged to take increased prevention strategies. When transmission is “high,” we recommend universal indoor masking for all individuals aged 2 and older and other precautions. Learn more on ELD’s “For Providers” page 

The CDC risk levels are updated weekly. You can refer to the CDC map for the latest information. 

Programs are required to report COVID-19 cases to their Local Public Health AuthorityReview our ELD’s COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations: https://oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/For-Providers.   

A photo of a SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test for Self-Testing

EXPIRATION DATES EXTENDED FOR MANY AT-HOME COVID-19 TESTS 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended the expiration dates for many at-home COVID-19 tests.

Because these tests were quickly developed during the pandemic and authorized for emergency use by the FDA, many have short expiration periods (e.g., six months). 

As more time passes and test manufacturers can show that tests continue to work well beyond the initial expiration period, expiration dates are extended. 

If your at-home COVID-19 tests have expired, visit http://ow.ly/4tby50JQ7nN to check if the expiration date has been extended. 

A young childcare provider holds a giggling child above her head.

REGISTER FOR ELD’S JULY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS 

Join us for a session on July 13 or 14:  

  • Check in on COVID-19 
  • Learn about the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) Mission, Vision, and Values Engagement 
  • Review agency and program updates 

Wednesday, July 13 | 6 – 7 p.m.
All provider types (Interpretation available in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL)
Zoom Link: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_NtyFidbEQEOM8BsNqSAYZA

Thursday, July 14 | 6 – 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All provider types)
Zoom Link: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_qyrfO3IQTX-S83SsOTFdcQ  

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 at the same time. ELD staff will monitor the Facebook comment section for questions. 

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

Three school-aged kids play in a classroom setting together

EARLY LEARNING COUNCIL APPROVES NEW SCHOOL-AGED RULES

On Wednesday, June 29, the Oregon Early Learning Council approved new rules that apply to licensed programs only serving school-age children.  

These rules were intentionally designed for school-age only programs to remove requirements that are duplicative or unnecessary in public school settings, and create an easier path to licensure. The rules were written in clear, plain language and align with national best practices.  

What does this mean for your program?  

If you are licensed, the rule effective date is Jan. 1, 2023. The Early Learning Division (ELD) will use this time to train licensing staff, create technical assistance tools, and make changes to our database. This will also give programs time to review the rules, identify changes, and attend an optional information session. 

For recorded school-age programs, you are not subject to licensing rules and regulations. However, the rule change may see more programs choosing to become licensed. Licensing provides a foundation of health and safety for children in your care and increases access to funding opportunities such as child care subsidies, food cost reimbursement, and grants available to licensed programs. 

You can find the rules below or with the other rules on the ELD’s Child Care Rules page. Providers can email questions to ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov.   

  • Rules for Certified School-Age Child Care Centers

PRESCHOOL PROMISE APPLICATIONS DUE BY THE EXTENDED DEADLINE AUGUST 4 AT 11:59 P.M. 

Applications are open for the publicly funded program serving children who are at least three years of age but not older than five years of age, as determined by the date used to determine kindergarten eligibility. Only new applicants or current Preschool Promise providers interested in adding slots need to apply.  

Learn more about becoming a Preschool Promise provider by visiting oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise or by viewing the “Preschool Promise Webinar” recordings below.  

Preschool Promise Webinar, English: https://youtu.be/iFbG8H7IrbQ   

Preschool Promise Webinar, Spanish: https://youtu.be/P_UjhEQrYI8 

Computer generated image of the COVID19 Virus

COVID-19 RISK LEVELS “HIGH” FOR 24 OREGON COUNTIES 

As of Thursday, June 30, a total of 24 Oregon counties are in “high” transmission under the CDC’s COVID-19 community levels. The counties are: Baker, Clackamas, Clatsop, Crook, Deschutes, Douglas, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Malheur, Morrow, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Washington. 

This signals a need for increased prevention strategies in child care. For these counties, we recommend the following: 

  • Implement universal indoor masking. All individuals (aged 2 and older) should wear a well-fitting face covering indoors regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.  
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Information about vaccinations can be found at https://getvaccinated.oregon.gov.  
  • Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19. 
  • A child or staff member, regardless of vaccination status, should stay at home if they have primary symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, shortness of breath, new cough, or new loss of taste or smell), or go home if symptoms develop while at a child care facility, and get tested.  

Programs are required to report COVID-19 cases to their Local Public Health Authority. 

Review our COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations: https://oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/For-Providers  

JOIN OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY ON JULY 8 FOR “COVID-19 VACCINES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 5” Q&A 

Children 6 months and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Join Oregon Health Authority and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital on Friday, July 8 at noon for a Facebook Live Q&A. This is an opportunity to get your vaccine questions answered by experts Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer and state epidemiologist, and Dr. Eliza Hayes Bakken, assistant professor of pediatrics at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Clinic. Share this event with families and colleagues in your community.  

To attend this event, visit http://fb.me/e/2x0YgOtLo.  

an image of a digital air quality gage

IMPROVING AIR QUALITY IN CHILD CARE

With wildfire season under way in Oregon and COVID-19 risks ever-present, King County and Seattle’s public health agency put together an article with tips for child care and early learning programs to improve indoor air quality.  

The article refers to three basic steps to improve air quality:  

  • Routinely maintaining heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) systems, and ensuring they are performing at the highest ventilation and filtration the system allows 
  • Using portable HEPA air cleaners 
  • Opening windows if possible  

You can find short video examples for child care settings in the article. Providers can also find technical assistance resources on the CDC website and Environmental Protection Agency website.  

PRESCHOOL PROMISE APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW

Looking to offer Preschool Promise for the first time or add more Preschool Promise slots to your program? Applications are now open for the publicly funded program serving children ages 3 to 4 years old from families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Approximately 3,756 children are currently enrolled in Preschool Promise programs in Oregon, and the state is adding more than 2,500 new preschool slots for eligible families in 2022.

Only new applicants or current Preschool Promise providers interested in adding slots need to apply. Learn more about becoming a Preschool Promise provider by visiting oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise or by attending a Preschool Promise webinar on Thursday, June 30. The deadline to apply is EXTENDED to Thursday, AUGUST 4 at 11:59 p.m. 

CHILDREN SIX MONTHS AND OLDER NOW ELIGIBLE FOR COVID-19 VACCINES

Pediatric Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are now approved for use in Oregon for children ages six months and older. 

The two-dose Moderna vaccine series is available to children ages six months to under 6 years old. A three-dose Pfizer vaccination series is available to children ages 6 months to under 5 years old. 

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has confirmed that both vaccines are safe and effective for these age groups, following authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommendation from the CDC 

The Oregon Health Authority is working with vaccine providers statewide to make doses available at health care provider offices, federally qualified health centers and special COVID-19 vaccine clinics. 

It’s recommended you call first and ask if your pediatrician or preferred clinic has the vaccine yet.  

STATE OF OREGON INCREASES CHILD CARE REIMBURSEMENT RATES FOR PROVIDERS 

Child care reimbursement rates have increased for providers caring for children of families who receive support with child care expenses through the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS).  

ODHS pays providers for child care provided to families receiving child care assistance through the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.   

The new child care reimbursement rates were effective June 1, 2022 and are increasing due to the passage of House Bill 4005 of the 2022 Legislative Session. 

The average monthly reimbursement rates for full-time care are increasing by: 

  • 18% for family, friend and neighbor care 
  • Between 6 and 20% for child care centers  
  • Between 11 and 25% for licensed home-based care 

Actual child care reimbursement rates vary depending on provider type, child age and what community the provider is in. A complete list of reimbursement rates can be found on the ODHS website. 

Read more about the rate change in this joint news release 

A young mother and her daughter have a conversation with a preschool teacher

DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES: ATTEND A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION  

You may have already taken a survey about the draft mission, vision and values (MVV) for the new agency, the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). We have an additional opportunity for you to make your voice heard as we set the foundation for DELC.  

Register to attend a Community Conversations, an interactive engagement opportunity designed specifically to hear what you think about the draft MVV statementsRegister now! 

Child Care Providers
Thursday, June 23 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 28 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 29 | 6 to 7 p.m.
(Spanish)
Wednesday, July 6 | 6 to 7 p.m.
(Russian) 

Publicly Funded Program Grantees (Healthy Families Oregon, Relief Nurseries, Oregon Pre-Kindergarten, Preschool Promise, Baby Promise, etc.)
Monday, June 27 | 5 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, June 29 11 a.m. to noon 

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) and Early Learning Hub Partners
Monday, June 27 | 11 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, June 28 | 11 a.m. to noon 

Computer generated image of the COVID19 Virus

COVID-19 RISK LEVELS “HIGH” FOR THREE OREGON COUNTIES  

Oregon’s Curry, Coos and Hood River counties are now categorized in “high” transmission according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated COVID-19 community levelsThis signals a need for increased prevention strategies in child care. For these counties, we recommend the following: 

  • Implement universal indoor masking. All individuals (aged 2 and older) should wear a well-fitting face-covering indoors regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. 
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Information about vaccinations can be found at Get Vaccinated Oregon
  • Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19.
  • A child or staff, regardless of vaccination status, must stay at home if they have primary symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, shortness of breath, new cough, or new loss of taste or smell), or go home if symptoms develop while at child care, and get tested. 

Programs are required to report COVID-19 cases to their local Public Health Authority. 

Find more best practices and guidelines in our COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations. 

CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels help communities and individuals make decisions on what COVID-19 prevention strategies to use based on disease transmission rates in the community. The metrics are updated weekly. You can refer to the CDC map for the latest information. These levels factor in a combination of COVID-19 hospitalization rates, healthcare capacity, and cases.

If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov. 

Photo of two girls reading a book together

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
TAKE THE DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES FEEDBACK SURVEY
 

The Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD) wants your input in establishing the new agency, Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). Complete the survey and help create a mission, vision, and values that reflect, represent, and support Oregon communities.  

Click below to take the survey. Survey deadline: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 5 p.m.

A young mother and her daughter have a conversation with a preschool teacher

DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES: ATTEND A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION  

You may have already taken a survey about the draft mission, vision and values (MVV) for the new agency, the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). We have an additional opportunity for you to make your voice heard as we set the foundation for DELC.  

Register to attend a Community Conversations, an interactive engagement opportunity designed specifically to hear what you think about the draft MVV statements.

Child Care Providers 
Thursday, June 23 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 28 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 29 | 6 to 7 p.m.
(Spanish)
Wednesday, July 6 | 6 to 7 p.m.
(Russian) 

Publicly Funded Program Grantees
(Healthy Families Oregon, Relief Nurseries, Oregon Pre-Kindergarten, Preschool Promise, Baby Promise, etc.)  

Monday, June 27 | 5 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, June 29 11 a.m. to noon 

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) and Early Learning Hub Partners 
Monday, June 27 | 11 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, June 28 | 11 a.m. to noon 

The LGBTQAI+ Flag with Happy Pride written over it

CELBRATING PRIDE MONTH!  

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ movement and people in your community! In June and throughout the year, take action to support the inclusivity and equality of Oregonians from the LGBTQ+ community. Zero to Three asked LGBTQ+ providers and families what makes them feel welcome. Here is what one parent shared:  

“It starts with a culture of inclusivity and acceptance. One of the things we love most about our daughter’s preschool is their genuine love and acceptance of our family that is felt from the program director down through the teachers. They show us this by sending home two plants on Mother’s Day, having lessons about different types of families, asking us what we prefer to be called, and just always showing us we are welcome, seen, and valued.” 

– Hannah, LGBTQ+ Parent 

Click below for more resources on how to support children, families, and staff. 

A red, black, and green banner that says Junteenth!

HAPPY JUNETEENTH! 

Although Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2021, communities have been celebrating and remembering what happened on June 19, 1865 for many years. Juneteenth (also termed Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day) honors when the remaining 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Confederate states were legally declared free two years after Emancipation.  

Celebrate by attending Juneteenth events, virtual and in person, that are taking place across the state and nation. Recognize and honor this holiday with your early learning and care community. Explore the below resources and share with your network:  

A word cloud of the work "father" in multiple languages in the shape of a heart

We are celebrating fathers and father figures who make a

difference in our lives. ELD wishes you an early Happy Father’s Day!  

Logo: Preschool Promise

PRESCHOOL PROMISE REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS 

The Early Learning Division (ELD) is working to finalize details for the release of a Preschool Promise Request for Applications (RFA) in the next few weeks. The RFA will be available to existing Preschool Promise grantees hoping to expand their programs and to new applicants who are looking to offer Preschool Promise in their programs. Watch for announcements on the ELD website, and get the latest updates on ELD’s Facebook or Twitter.

Photo of a group of fire extinguishers lined up.

PERMANENT FIRE SAFETY RULES ADOPTED FOR FAMILY CHILD CARE  

During the past year, the Early Learning Division (ELD) worked with providers, early learning advocates, and other government organizations to strengthen fire safety rules in family care settings. The goal was to create cost-effective alternatives to requiring automatic sprinklers statewide.  

The Early Learning Council voted to adopt the permanent rules on May 25, 2022. In the coming months, ELD will provide technical assistance and coaching to help providers come into compliance with these rules.  

Some of the key rule changes for all Registered Family and Certified Family child care programs include: 

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of the home and where children nap.
  • Create a plan to describe how exit paths will be illuminated during night care.
  • Mount or store fire extinguishers in a visible location and designate their location on an evacuation map. Fire extinguishers may be stored in a closet or cabinet, but there must be a sign indicating the extinguisher is inside. Fire extinguishers must be inspected monthly, and the inspection must be documented.  
  • Display a floor plan near the entrance, or in some other area of the home where it may be clearly viewed, with the following: exits, primary and secondary evacuation routes, and fire extinguishers. 
  • Fire drills must be practiced monthly at varying times of day. The Office of Child Care may request to observe an evacuation drill during an announced visit to allow providers to prepare children and families for the drill.
  • Keep a written record of each emergency evacuation drill with details stated in the rule.  

The final rule language is posted on ELD’s website. 

CHILD CARE NURSE HOTLINE ENDS JUNE 30, 2022  

The Nurse Hotline service will end after June 30, 2022. The no-cost hotline was established by the Early Learning Division and Oregon Health & Science University Child Care in 2021 to assist providers with COVID-19. After June 30, please consider contacting your Local Public Health Authority or medical provider with COVID-19 health related questions. For other child care questions, email us at ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov.

HOW CAN OREGON’S NEW AGENCY SERVE YOU?
TAKE THE DEPARTMENT OF EARLY LEARNING AND CARE (DELC):
MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES SURVEY
 

The Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD) wants your input in establishing the new agency, Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). By participating in the survey, your feedback will inform DELC and help create a mission, vision, and values that reflect, represent, and support Oregon communities. Your feedback in this short, 10-minute survey makes a difference for Oregon’s children, families, early learning programs, and communities.

Survey deadline: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 5 p.m.

After completing the survey, please provide your contact information to receive a summary of feedback gathered, to learn about next steps for the agency, and to provide additional comment. We will share the final version of DELC’s mission, vision, and values through email and on the website. 

SAVE THE DATE: ELD PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS:
JULY 13 AND 14

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

Wednesday, July 13 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available)

Thursday, July 14 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish)

More details and a link to register coming soon.

ELD’S ALYSSA CHATTERJEE FEATURED ON
“THE EARLY LINK PODCAST”
 

Oregon Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee talks about the creation of the new Department of Early Learning and Care, and what that means for the future of early childhood on the Children’s Institute’s “The Early Link Podcast.”  

Chatterjee also shared some of her personal experience working at a preschool and the evolution of the Early Learning Division over the years. You can listen to the podcast here. 

Photo of a group of fire extinguishers lined up.

FIRE SAFETY FOR CERTIFIED FAMILY AND REGISTERED FAMILY

Providers are invited to share feedback on the Fire Safety Family Care rule until May 25, 2022 at 10 a.mThe Early Learning Division (ELD) has worked with providers, early learning advocates, and other government organizations to strengthen fire safety rules in family care settings during the past year. Specifically, the goal was to create permanent rules about cost-effective alternatives to automatic sprinklers statewide, a rule introduced in April 2021 by Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. 

Review the rules on our website. 

Image of crib bumpers

CRIB BUMPERS PROHIBITED IN CHILD CARE    

The Oregon State Legislature recently amended a statute to prohibit the use of crib bumper pads for children up to age 3. This change also prohibits a facility from having crib bumper pads on the premises, unless a medical professional has determined that using a crib bumper pad is medically necessary for a particular child who uses a crib in the licensed facility. 

The Office of Child Care will be revising the rules for Certified Centers, Certified Family and Registered Family child care facilities to align with this change in statute.  

AIDE II RULE CHANGE PROPOSED FOR CERTIFIED CHILD CARE CENTERS 

After receiving feedback from providers, the Early Learning Division (ELD) will be moving to allow Aide II positions to have increased supervision in Certified Child Care Centers as a permanent rule change. ELD will recommend the Early Learning Council adopt the rule at its June 29, 2022 meeting.   

 ELD anticipates this change will assist providers with retaining staff and allow for greater flexibility within programs. 

OAR 300-0110(3) states, “An Aide II may support teachers in caring for children but may not be left alone with a group of children, except when:  (a) Supervising a group of children for no more than 60 minutes at a time, not to exceed more than 120 minutes of Aide II supervision per day, provided staff-to-child ratios are maintained, and there is another staff who is teacher, head teacher, or director qualified present at the facility. An Aide II may supervise an Aide I for no more than 60 minutes at a time.” 

If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email  

ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov. 

baby formula on a blue background

NEW RESOURCE FOR FAMILIES TO FIND FORMULA DURING THE INFANT FORMULA SHORTAGE 

If you are struggling to find infant formula, this new fact sheet created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes resources for locating safe formula.  

You should not water down formula, try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants. Do not discard formula unless it is expired or is part of the recall. Check your formula’s lot code to see if it was affected by the recall. 

image: children's hands holding a flat wood cutout art of a human head with a heart where the brain would normally be

MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH  

Oregon’s early learning and care professionals play a critical role in supporting the mental health and well-being of children, families, and staff in their child care setting. In addition to sharing resources and creating a safe, welcoming child care setting and community, you can also support others by sharing your own experiences.  

In a recent Education Week article, David Shapiro, program manager at the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Work, & Environment shared how it’s important to have “people be willing to share their stories, and I think this starts with leaders. [They can tell staff], ‘This pandemic has been challenging for my own mental health—here’s how it impacted me, and I’ve used my mental health benefits [to get help]’. The more we can build the story of mental health, the more we can spread awareness, the more we can reduce stigma.” 

Click here to read the article and click here to learn about “StigmaFree,” a campaign by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  

Your mental health matters. Visit https://mhanational.org/teachers-protecting-your-mental-health for ways to help yourself and others in the field. 

Click below for additional resources and professional development opportunities.  

Photo of two girls reading a book together

COMING SOON: DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES FEEDBACK SURVEY 

The Early Learning Division (ELD) needs your help with establishing the new agency, Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). Watch for announcements about this opportunity to inform DELC and help create a mission, vision, and values that reflects, represents, and supports Oregon communities. 

Photo of blocks spelling out reminder

REMINDERS:  

Health, Safety, and Nutrition Requirement  

Certified Family and Certified Center staff are required to complete at least one hour of Health, Safety, and Nutrition (HSN) training before their facility’s license renewal. 

Registered Family providers and substitutes need to complete the annual HSN training before the end of each year of their license. 

Providers can look for training on the online calendar. 

DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR STATEWIDE SURVEY  
Center- and familybased owners, directors, teachers, assistants, and aides (whether currently employed or not) —share your experiences by completing this survey by May 31, 2022. If you are eligible, you will receive an email with a link to the survey. Look for an email from “The Preschool Development Grant” that you would have received around April 18. Questions? Didn’t get an email and think you should have? Contact Denise Ford. Email: denisef@oslc.org Call or text: 916-205-6851. 

Photo: someone does chest compressions on a CPR dumby.

IN-PERSON CPR TRAINING REQUIRED AFTER JUNE 30, 2022 

The temporary Oregon Administrative Rule allowing online CPR training will expire on June 30, 2022. Providers who took an online CPR class between March 24, 2020 and June 30, 2022, will receive training credit in the Oregon Registry Online. When it is time for renewal of CPR/First Aid certification, providers must complete CPR training with in-person instruction. All CPR classes completed on or after July 1, 2022, must have the in-person training component. 

If you’re looking for classes, contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral office, or check the Oregon Registry Online Training Calendar at https://calendar.oregonregistryonline.org. If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email occ.customerservice@ode.oregon.gov. 

A person searches a computer registry

PUBLIC COMMENT OPEN FOR TEMPORARY RULES FOR RECORDED AND LICENSE-EXEMPT EMPLOYMENT RELATED DAY CARE PROVIDERS

Public comment is now open on the Early Learning Division’s (ELD) website for a temporary rule to allow recorded programs, which are currently unlicensed facilities, to be enrolled in the Central Background Registry. License-exempt ERDC providers will also be required to enroll in the Central Background Registry.  

This rulemaking gives ELD the authority to include both recorded programs and license exempt subsidy recipients into the pool of “subject individuals.” These rules will be proposed for temporary adoption at thMay 25, 2022 Early Learning Council meeting. 

For more details on how to comment or participate, go to https://oregonearlylearning.com/may-2022-admin-rule-updates 

Photo of two girls reading a book together

HAVE YOU HEARD? ELD WILL SOON BECOME DELC 

The Early Learning Division, along with a few Oregon Department of Human Services programs such as Employment Related Day Care, will be changing to the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) in about a year. What is the advantage of joining early childhood education systems into one agency? There are several benefits: 

  • Maximize early learning funding and expansion opportunities 
  • Increase the number of culturally responsive child care and early learning settings 
  • Improve access to high-quality child care and early learning for all Oregonians 
  • Deliver more equitable services for families, children, and providers 

In a nutshell, the creation of DELC allows us to expand and strengthen early learning systems to better serve Oregon’s children and families. 

Learn more by visiting the DELC website.

SHARE YOUR GRATITUDE ON PROVIDER APPRECIATION DAY: MAY 6, 2022

This week, we’re celebrating you, providers, and all your contributions! Provider Appreciation Day® is May 6, 2022 – celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day every year to recognize child care providers, teachers, and educators of young children everywhere. 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a statewide proclamation to recognize National Provider Appreciation Day, encouraging Oregonians to thank child care providers for their dedication and support of the social, emotional, and physical care of our youngest children. 

As stated in the proclamation, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created tremendous hardship for child care providers and the families of Oregon who depend on them,” she said. “Providers have continued to meet the needs of families, while risking their health and financial stability to remain open.”    

Oregonians can share stories and offer gratitude on social media with the tag #ThankYouChildCare or #ThankATeacher. 

A graphic that says "Asian Pacific Heritage Month

ELD CELEBRATES ASIAN AMERICAN AND
PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH
 

This month and throughout the year, we honor and celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) identity, culture, and history. NPR recently published an article about the background of AAPI Heritage Month, “The story behind Asian Pacific American Heritage, and why it’s celebrated in May.”

“Our history is also filled with incredible stories of resilience, of persistence, of determination, to fight for our basic rights. This is a celebration of our history, of our culture … and all the different ways in which our community has really demonstrated that we’re not only here to stay, we are a part of this fabric — a part of this country.”
– Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate

Click here to read more.  

In addition, check out these resources and professional development opportunities: 

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

REMINDERS:  

  • OREGON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE PROVIDERS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN STATEWIDE SURVEY 
    Center- and family based owners, directors, teachers, assistants, and aides (whether currently employed or not) share your experiences by completing this survey by May 16, 2022. If you are eligible, you will receive an email with a link to the survey. Look for an email from “The Preschool Development Grant” that you would have received around April 18. Questions? Didn’t get an email and think you should have? Contact Denise Ford. Email: denisef@oslc.org Call or text: 916-205-6851.
  • MAY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS
    The recording for the session (English language) on Tuesday, May 3 is available here. The next session (Spanish language) will be 6 to 7 p.m. tonight, May 5. Click here for the Zoom invite. In these sessions, ELD shares a recap 2022 Legislative Session, discusses the ELD Programs Team and Preschool Promise, and provides a check-in on COVID-19. 

UPDATE ON COVID-19 GUIDANCE
FOR SCHOOL-BASED CHILD CARE PROGRAMS

Note: If your program does NOT operate in or at a school facility, you can disregard this notice.

In the Early Learning Division’s April update to the COVID-19 Child Care Provider Requirements and Recommendations, changes stated that staff and volunteers of school-based programs would need to be “up to date” on vaccinations, rather than “fully” vaccinated as required via Oregon Health Authority OAR 333-019-1030.

Staff and volunteers of school-based programs are not required to be boosted (“up to date”) as stated in the guidance document.

Staff and volunteers ARE required to be fully vaccinated. “Fully vaccinated” means having received both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since the individual’s final dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The language in the guidance document should read:

“School-based program child care vaccination requirement:

School-based programs, as described above, must ensure that all staff and volunteers age 16 and older who enter the program are fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Staff and volunteers may not teach, work, learn, assist, observe, or volunteer at a program unless they are fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccinations or have provided documentation of a medical or religious exception.”

We appreciate programs’ understanding, and apologize for any confusion. Please contact your licensing specialist with any questions.

Special Update: COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Providers Now Available The Early Learning Division (ELD) released updated guidance for COVID-19 and child care settings to mirror the statewide requirements that were adjusted this spring. The April 2022 version of “Child Care COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations” is now available on ELD’s “For Providers” webpage. Some of the key guidance changes include the following: Updated exclusion requirements and recommendations for child care Mask recommendations that encourage programs to support individual choice to wear a mask Updated recommendations for prevention strategies Who to notify if there’s a case of COVID-19 in a facility Many of these changes have already been in effect. A number of resource documents are also available such a “Respect my mask” sign for families, an updated exclusion chart, and masking handout. You can find these resources, along with Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine, on the ELD’s “For Providers” webpage.

COVID-19 PROVIDER RESOURCES AVAILABLE  

The Early Learning Division (ELD) partnered with the Oregon Health Authority to develop resources on masking and exclusion for providers. Some of the items available include a  “Respect my mask” sign for families in various languages, an updated exclusion chart, and masking handout.  

You can find these resources, along with Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine, on the ELD’s “For Providers” webpage.

Some of the key guidance changes include the following: 

  • Updated exclusion requirements and recommendations for child care 
  • Mask recommendations that encourage programs to support individual choice to wear a mask 
  • Updated recommendations for prevention strategies 
  • Who to notify if there’s a case of COVID-19 in a facility 

Many of these changes have already been in effect. A number of resource documents are also available such a  “Respect my mask” sign for families, an updated exclusion chart, and masking handout.  

You can find these resources, along with Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine, on the ELD’s “For Providers” webpage.

Photo of a child care worker holding a baby and smiling down at a toddler.

SAVE THE DATE: ELD PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS: MAY 3 AND 5 

Mark your calendar for the May Provider Information Sessions  

Tuesday, May 3, 6 – 7 p.m. (All Provider Types)
Thursday, May 5, 6- 7 p.m.  (Spanish Language)

The agenda will cover the following: 

  • Recap 2022 Legislative Session  
  • Learn about the ELD Programs Team and Preschool Promise  
  • Check in on COVID-19 

An invitation with meeting links is coming soon.   

A child care provider colors with two small children.

OREGON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE PROVIDERS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN STATEWIDE SURVEY 

The Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD) would like to hear from early childhood education and care providers and learn about their experiences during the last year (since March 2021). The ELD is asking providers for feedback on how to best to offer support. Center- and family based owners, directors, teachers, assistants, and aides (whether currently employed or not), are encouraged to share their experiences. 

If you are eligible, you will receive an email with a link to the survey. Look for an email from “The Preschool Development Grant” during the week of April 18. Check your spam folders. 

Survey deadline: Monday, May 16, 2022. 

Questions? Didn’t get an email and think you should have?
Contact Denise Ford with OSLC Developments Inc.
Email: denisef@oslc.org Call or text: 916-205-6851 

 

Children at Jardin Infantil in Hermiston participate in an enrichment activity.

FEDERAL GRANTS HELP STABILIZE CHILD CARE PROGRAMS IN OREGON DURING THE PANDEMIC 

When COVID-19 struck in 2020, families and child care providers were left to navigate the uncertainty of the virus. Some parents decided to keep their children out of care, while providers struggled to hire and retain staff and keep pace with expenses.  

Thanks to federal funding, the Early Learning Division (ELD) was able to support 3,286 programs with COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grants. To receive these funds, a child care program had to be open and providing care and apply before the end of 2021.  

Last week, we introduced three child care providers who used these dollars to remain open, while making program improvements or supporting their staff. Meet the providers we featured on our website, who operate programs in EugeneWashington County, and Hermiston. 

Karsyn Lovendahl stands in the indoor playroom at her home-based child care in Eugene. Lovendahl was able to use stabilization grant funding to expand the space to care for children.

Sabi Valesco at her Aloha location of Amazing Minds Child Development Center and Preschools.

 

APRIL IS AUTISM ACCEPTANCE MONTH 

Learn how you can celebrate differences, prevent barriers, and foster acceptance for the Autism community by supporting Autism Acceptance Month.  

Oregon’s Early Intervention (EI) /Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program supports the developmental and educational needs of children ages birth to five and their families. Local EI/ECSE programs can provide families a free screening and/or evaluation for children ages birth to five. Click here for more information.  

Use the below resources to celebrate Autism Acceptance in your community:  

Blue Child Abuse Awareness Ribbons hang from a tree outside the Oregon State Capitol Building in April 2022.

NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH 

By learning about child abuse prevention strategies and connecting families to services and supports, you can help families be healthy and stable, and keep their children safe.  

Last week, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) shared the following in a news release to mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month:

“Everyone can play a part in strengthening and supporting families,” said Rebecca Jones Gaston, ODHS Child Welfare Director. “While the Child Welfare Division plays a specific role, I want to honor the work that is being done in the larger system of child and family well-being and encourage all Oregonians to be active in preventing child abuse.” 

Click here to read the full news release, which includes a variety of resources for families. ODHS also recognized the work of Relief Nurseries. The Oregon Relief Nursery program serves families in 19 counties across the state and partners with families to establish self-identified goals and build resilience. Visit the Oregon Relief Nurseries website for more information. 

 Another state program, Healthy Families Oregon, offers support and education to families who are expecting or parenting newborns. Trained staff support and empower parents to build nurturing parent-child relationships, learn about child development, and access community resources. Visit oregonearlylearning.com/healthy-families-oregon for more information.

Additional resources and professional development opportunities:  

REMINDERS 

Save the date: 

Provider Appreciation Day is May 6, 2022
Visit https://providerappreciation.org/ for more information.   

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1 to 7 and Teacher Appreciation Day is May 3, 2022
Visit https://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/1407-teacher-appreciation-week-2022-resources for more information. 

A teacher and a young child smile at the camera, both are masked.

COVID-19 PROVIDER RESOURCES AVAILABLE  

The Early Learning Division (ELD) partnered with the Oregon Health Authority to develop resources on masking and exclusion for providers. Some of the items available include a  “Respect my mask” sign for families in various languages, an updated exclusion chart, and masking handout.  

You can find these resources, along with Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine, on the ELD’s “For Providers” webpage.

NAEYC’S WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD®: APRIL 2 TO 8, 2022 

Let’s celebrate Oregon’s young children and their families! The Week of the Young Child® is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Check out NAEYC’s resources and ideas for a fun-filled week.  

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a statewide proclamation to recognize the 51st Week of the Young Child®, encouraging Oregonians to support children and the adults who love, care for, and educate them.  

As stated in the proclamation by Brown, “The essential, yet chronically undercompensated child care sector has sacrificed and struggled to serve families since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and public policies and public investments that support children in high-quality, culturally responsive early learning and child care are vital to all Oregonians.”  

Watch for something special on Governor Kate Brown’s Twitter account this Thursday, April 7.  

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

SPRING 2022 AWARD INCREASE FOR COVID-19 CHILD CARE STABILIZATION GRANT ANNOUNCED 

After reviewing all the COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grant applications submitted in 2021, it was determined there were remaining funds to distribute. The funds will be distributed to all child cares with an active Stabilization grant. Child care providers who may be eligible for these funds were notified by email in March 2022. The Early Learning Division (ELD) is not opening a new application. 

ELD is currently in the process of sending out the updated awards to eligible child cares for signatures. You must sign your grant within 30 days from the date you received it or it will expire. On average, awards will increase by about 25% and the grant end date will be extended by three months. If you do not wish to accept additional funding, simply reject it using the Decline to Sign feature under the Other Actions menu in DocuSign.  

If you have questions, contact us at ECCgrants@ode.oregon.gov or 971-707-2029. 

NEW REPORT REVEALS COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY IN ADVANCING EQUITY AND INCLUSION FOR CHILDREN UNDER FIVE EXPERIENCING DISABILITIES 

Prioritizing partnerships to focus on equity and inclusion for children under five is critical to helping our earliest learners experiencing disabilities. That’s the key finding revealed in the Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion Indicators Initiative Annual Report released today by Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Early Learning Division, and early learning system leaders and advocates around the state.   

The report, released during National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, outlines the vision, mission, and progress towards creating equal opportunity to access high-quality early care and education for children experiencing disabilities. It also highlights the need for continued investments to ensure families, providers, general and special education staff have the support they need to provide stable and continuous care for young children in community and early care and education environments. Read all the details in ODE’s news release. 

REMINDERS

Call for Participation: IECMHC Rulemaking Advisory Committee
Join the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC). A RAC is a group of community members who will help the Early Learning Division shape and implement rule language for the IECMHC system, including the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program. Apply today and help build an anti-racist, equity-focused IECMHC system. Applications are due Friday, April 8, 2022.  Click here for more information on how to apply. 

Save the dates:

Photo credit: Oregon State Governor’s Office
Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee looks on as Governor Kate Brown signs House Bill 4005 into law.

OREGON LEGISLATURE APPROVES
SIGNIFICANT CHILD CARE INVESTMENTS  
 

The 2022 Legislative Session came to close this month and there were many wins for early learning and child care. Notable legislation includes the following: 

Passed HB 4005: Early Care and Education Governance 

This legislation builds on HB 3073 (2021), which established the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). HB 4005 delays the establishment of DELC to July 1, 2023. It also transfers the license-exempt child care background check process for subsidized care from the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) to the Office of Child Care in the ELD. Among several other provisions, HB 4005 increased Employment Related Day Care reimbursement rates for child care providers and allocated $26.6 million to fund those new rates for the remainder of this biennium.  

Released Funds for Program Expansion  

The legislature released $38 million, which was unscheduled until the Division could show community capacity for expansion of Preschool Promise, Oregon Prenatal to Kindergarten and Healthy Families Oregon.  

Released Funds for Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention 

The legislature released $5.2 million that was unscheduled until the Division could gather community input to fully develop the program and ensure there are adequate staff to provide program supports across Oregon for providers. 

Passed SB 1547: Recorded Programs Oversight 

Requires the staff and volunteers of recorded programs to enroll in the Central Background Registry, in accordance with recommendations from a 2020 Secretary of State audit on child care background checks. 

Passed HB 5202: Omnibus Budget

This bill included several pieces: 

  • Approved $6.8 million for  66 positions to continue the development of the Department of Early Learning and Care. 

Added investments for child care supply building and wage enhancements:  

  • $39.3 million for child care supply building grants to community based organizations (NeighborhoodImpact, Euvalcree, United We Heal and Seeding Justice) for startup costs, program expansion, training and professional learning.  
  • $21 million for Portland State University’s Oregon Center for Career Development in Child Care to award two annual $500 recruitment and retention payments to child care staff working in Oregon.  
  • Relief Nurseries received a $2 million investment from the legislature for increased wages.  
  • Health Families Oregon received a $2 million investment from the legislature for increased wages. 

SCHOOL-AGE RULEMAKING ADVISORY COMMITTEE:
DEADLINE EXTENDED
 

The deadline to submit an application to join the School-Age Rulemaking Advisory Committee has been extended to Friday, March 18, 2022. If you are connected to school-age child care programs or interested in providing this type of care, please consider applying to join this committee. This type of care is also known as out-of-school-time (OST) care and before- and afterschool care programs. Click here for more information and to apply.  

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION:
IECMHC RULEMAKING ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Early Learning Division is seeking diverse voices to represent groups within Oregon’s Early Learning system. Please consider applying to join the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC). A RAC is a group of community members who will help the Early Learning Division shape and implement rule language for the IECMHC system, including the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program. Members will advise on requirements for ECE programs around suspension and expulsion. Apply today and help build an anti-racist, equity-focused IECMHC system. 
 
Participants will be reimbursed for their time dedicated to this RAC and will positively impact Oregon’s children, families, early learning programs, and communities.  

Applications are due Friday, April 8, 2022.  

OSU RECEIVES $14.4 MILLION FOR STATEWIDE CENTER TO SUPPORT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS  

Oregon State University will use a new $14.4 million grant from Oregon’s Early Learning Division to establish a statewide center focused on strengthening the early childhood education workforce in Oregon. 

The Early Learning Systems Initiative center will be housed within OSU’s Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families. Read all the details in OSU’s news release 

Abstract image of various heads overlapping

MARCH IS DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AWARENESS MONTH

This March and throughout the year, consider your role in communities and how you can advocate for the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (ID/DD).

What is your role as an educator and caregiver? What services and resources are you sharing with families in your community? How are you incorporating “disability” in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion? How can Oregon’s early learning system support and empower families of children with disabilities?

The Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion Initiative and Pyramid Model Implementation grants are supporting communities to partner in new and innovative ways. For more information about the early learning system efforts to advance inclusion in early care and education, click here.

Other early learning system supports include: 

Photo of blocks spelling out reminder

REMINDERS 

Coming soon – ELD will host another provider information session in May. More details will be shared soon.   


Save the date: Week of the Young Child is April 2 to 8

NAEYC’s 2022 Week of the Young Child® celebration is April 2 to 8. Visit NAEYC.org/woyc for ideas and resources to help you plan.

Mask Requirement Lifting March 11,
Quarantine Guidance Changes
 

Earlier this week, Governor Brown announced Oregon will lift mask requirements for indoor public spaces and schools, including child care, on March 11, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. This decision is based on current COVID-19 case forecasting, which projects hospitalizations falling below 400 or fewer Oregonians per day by March 12. This will return Oregon to a level of hospitalization experienced prior to the Omicron variant. Additionally, because of high vaccination rates and previous infection due to Omicron, Oregon now has significant population immunity.  

Beginning March 12, 2022, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will pause the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Staff and children who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are improving and  they have been fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, staff and children that had tested positive, if 2 years and older, should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for an additional 5 days after their isolation is completed.  

The OHA and Early Learning Division (ELD) recommend that early education and child care programs notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms or test, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements. 

The ELD will be updating its COVID-19 guidance document to include changes to mask requirements and isolation and quarantine guidelines. Please continue to stay connected via the Child Care Updates newsletter and social media for when a new version of this document is available.  

Providers with questions can contact their licensing specialist, email ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov or reference the FAQ below.

Q: What are the quarantine and isolation guidelines for child care settings? – Updated September 26, 2022

Due to declining COVID-19 case rates and high levels of immunity, Oregon Health Authority has removed the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Individuals who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are resolving and fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, that individual should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for 5 days after their isolation started. Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they develop symptoms or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements.

Q: Does a child care program need to close if there’s a positive COVID-19 case? If so, for how long?

ELD does not require closure of programs. However, a program may need to close if there are too many staff excluded for isolation maintain operations and staffing ratios.

Q: What are child care providers required to communicate to families if there is a positive COVID-19 case? – Updated September 26, 2022

Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or positive.

Q: Can a parent ask if a child care staff member is vaccinated?

The Early Learning Division does not have authority to determine if parents are allowed to ask vaccination status. A provider or staff member may choose to answer or not.

Q: Are masks still required indoors? – Updated September 26, 2022

The statewide indoor mask requirement ended on March 11, 2022. A child care program can choose whether to require masks.

The Early Learning Division and the Oregon Health Authority in alignment with the Center for Disease Control, strongly recommend that masks be worn by all individuals age 2 and older indoors when:

  • There are high  levels of COVID-19 transmission in communities
  • There are medium  levels of COVID-19 transmission and individuals are:
    • Unvaccinated
    • Immunocompromised
    • At high risk of COVID-19 hospitalization
    • 65 and older or with underlying health conditions
    • Living with people who have underlying health conditions.

Some programs may choose to continue universal masking at lower COVID-19 community levels because it promotes an inclusive and supportive environment for those children and staff who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.

Q: Can a parent ask their child care program to support distance learning?

This is a business decision that should be made by individual programs.

Q: Are testing kits available to child care programs? – Updated September 26, 2022

If you need a COVID-19 test, find resources here and here.

Q: Can a provider accept an at home COVID-19 test?

Yes

Q: Can you explain what is a “well-fitting mask” for children?

It’s any mask that fits snuggly and the child will wear reliably.

Q: Where can I find additional resources?

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources (general): https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-resources

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources: Supporting Families Prenatally to Age 5:
https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/DATAREPORTS/Pages/COVID-19-Resources.aspx

Q: Is daily symptom screening still recommended?

Daily screening is no longer required. However, staff and family should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19.

Q: Are child care providers still required to notify Local Public Health if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their facility? – Updated September 26, 2022

Providers are required to notify the Local Public Health Authority immediately of unusually high levels of absenteeism (on any given day) due to respiratory illnesses (symptoms may include new cough, fever, shortness of breath, congestion/runny nose, new loss of taste or smell).

  • In home-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are three or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • In center-based, recorded, and school-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are 10 or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • Programs do not need to report elevated absenteeism when there is a non-disease related reason (i.e., day before or after a holiday or long weekend, child care children are participating in an out of school activity, etc.).
A child care provider stacks over-sized Lego blocks with a young child

PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSION RECORDINGS AVAILABLE

The Early Learning Division held provider information sessions on March 1 and March 2. In these sessions, ELD discussed the rulemaking process, feedback opportunities, and COVID-19 updates.  

  • Click here to view the March 1 (All Provider Types) English session.  
  • Click here to view the March 2 (All Provider Types) Spanish session.  
Individuals all feeding babies a bottle

INFANT FORMULA RECALL:
SIMILAC, ALIMENTUM AND ELECARE PRODUCTS  
 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating certain brands of powdered infant formula. If you use powdered infant formula, be aware certain Similac, Alimentum and EleCare products have been recalled and should not be used. Here’s how you can tell if you have any of those products: 

The FDA recommends consumers look at the lot code, a multidigit number on the bottom of a container of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formula and do not use if: 

  • the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37; and  
  • the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2; and  
  • the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later. 

In addition to products described above, Abbott Nutrition has recalled Similac PM 60/40 with a lot code of 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case). 

Click here for more information on infections reported, symptoms, and locations.  

CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 

Women’s contributions to America are largely missing from the traditional American history narrative. In honor of Women’s History Month, the Early Learning Division gathered the resources listed below to highlight stories from women who have contributed through their work, creativity, and resolve.

Picture Books 

12 Picture Books to Read for Women’s History Month | Anti-Defamation League

REMINDERS 

  • Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) Survey
    The deadline for the SEQUAL survey is Sunday, March 6, 2022. Look for an email from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) and titled “SEQUAL Survey: Oregon Early Educators Share Your Voice.” This research was made possible by the Early Learning Division. 
  • Fire Safety Child Care Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC)
    The Early Learning Division recently passed temporary fire safety rules to serve as an alternative to the Department of Consumer Business Services sprinkler requirement. ELD is interested in engaging family child care programs and parents/caregivers with children in family child care programs to join this committee. Applications are due Friday, March 11, 2022Click here for more information and to apply.  
  • School-Age Child Care Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC)
    If you are connected to school-age child care programs or interested in providing this type of care, please consider applying to join this committee. This type of care is also known as out-of-school-time (OST) care and before- and afterschool care programs. Applications are due Friday, March 11, 2022. Click here for more information and to apply.

Statewide Mask Requirement to End March 11*

-UPDATED FEBRUARY 28, 2022-

With falling hospitalization rates, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced it is lifting the statewide indoor mask requirement on March 11, 2022*. This change will apply to child care and the Early Learning Division (ELD) will update its “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations” guidance.  

Child care programs can still choose to continue masking. The ELD, in partnership with the OHA, still highly recommends that child care programs continue to have all individuals ages two and older wear masks. If an entire classroom or group does not wear masks, quarantine and isolation currently remains at 10 days. Masking helps to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread and allows for a shorter return after illness or exposure in child care settings with low rates of vaccination overall.  

Some things a program can consider:  

  • Encourage eligible staff and children ages 5 and up to get vaccinated and boosted if they have not done so. Learn more at Get Vaccinated Oregon.  
  • It’s recommended people at risk for severe COVID-19 continue masking and include people who are unvaccinated; immunocompromised; at high risk of COVID-19 hospitalization; 65 and older or with underlying health conditions; and those living with people who have underlying health conditions. 
  • Those who are up to date on their vaccinations do not need to quarantine when exposed to COVID-19. Vaccination ensures continued access to in-person care.  

Effective February 25, 2022, CDC does not require wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs**. However, masks are currently still required in Head Start, Early Head Start, and Oregon Pre-kindergarten programs until lifted by the federal government. 

While there have been many changes to child care guidance over the past two years, this represents a turning point in the pandemic for Oregon. Thanks to masks and booster shots, Oregon has had some of the lowest case rates (3rd lowest) and lowest death rates (7th lowest) in the country. At the state level, ELD and OHA will continue to monitor the path of the pandemic in Oregon and adjust our guidance to prioritize safety in child care settings for both children and providers.   

“We know that the pandemic has been particularly challenging for those providing child care, and for the families who have been impacted by program closures,” said Alyssa Chatterjee, Oregon Early Learning System Director. “I am hopeful this is the first change of many that will start to resemble a return to ‘normal.’ However, we also must remember that COVID-19 is still present in Oregon – masking and vaccines continue to be the strongest tools to fight the virus. I want to thank you for your continued dedication to the children and families you work with every day.”  

* The original version of this article stated the indoor mask requirement ended on March 19, 2022. The text has been updated to reflect Governor Brown’s announcement this morning (February 28) that moved the date up to March 11, 2022.
** On February 24, this article stated that masks were still required for everyone two years and older on public transportation, which included school buses, until lifted by the federal government and could not be waived by state or local authorities. This mandate was lifted on February 25.

Q: What are the quarantine and isolation guidelines for child care settings? – Updated September 26, 2022

Due to declining COVID-19 case rates and high levels of immunity, Oregon Health Authority has removed the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Individuals who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are resolving and fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, that individual should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for 5 days after their isolation started. Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they develop symptoms or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements.

Q: Does a child care program need to close if there’s a positive COVID-19 case? If so, for how long?

ELD does not require closure of programs. However, a program may need to close if there are too many staff excluded for isolation maintain operations and staffing ratios.

Q: What are child care providers required to communicate to families if there is a positive COVID-19 case? – Updated September 26, 2022

Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or positive.

Q: Can a parent ask if a child care staff member is vaccinated?

The Early Learning Division does not have authority to determine if parents are allowed to ask vaccination status. A provider or staff member may choose to answer or not.

Q: Are masks still required indoors? – Updated September 26, 2022

The statewide indoor mask requirement ended on March 11, 2022. A child care program can choose whether to require masks.

The Early Learning Division and the Oregon Health Authority in alignment with the Center for Disease Control, strongly recommend that masks be worn by all individuals age 2 and older indoors when:

  • There are high  levels of COVID-19 transmission in communities
  • There are medium  levels of COVID-19 transmission and individuals are:
    • Unvaccinated
    • Immunocompromised
    • At high risk of COVID-19 hospitalization
    • 65 and older or with underlying health conditions
    • Living with people who have underlying health conditions.

Some programs may choose to continue universal masking at lower COVID-19 community levels because it promotes an inclusive and supportive environment for those children and staff who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.

Q: Can a parent ask their child care program to support distance learning?

This is a business decision that should be made by individual programs.

Q: Are testing kits available to child care programs? – Updated September 26, 2022

If you need a COVID-19 test, find resources here and here.

Q: Can a provider accept an at home COVID-19 test?

Yes

Q: Can you explain what is a “well-fitting mask” for children?

It’s any mask that fits snuggly and the child will wear reliably.

Q: Where can I find additional resources?

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources (general): https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-resources

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources: Supporting Families Prenatally to Age 5:
https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/DATAREPORTS/Pages/COVID-19-Resources.aspx

Q: Is daily symptom screening still recommended?

Daily screening is no longer required. However, staff and family should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19.

Q: Are child care providers still required to notify Local Public Health if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their facility? – Updated September 26, 2022

Providers are required to notify the Local Public Health Authority immediately of unusually high levels of absenteeism (on any given day) due to respiratory illnesses (symptoms may include new cough, fever, shortness of breath, congestion/runny nose, new loss of taste or smell).

  • In home-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are three or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • In center-based, recorded, and school-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are 10 or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • Programs do not need to report elevated absenteeism when there is a non-disease related reason (i.e., day before or after a holiday or long weekend, child care children are participating in an out of school activity, etc.).
A child care provider stacks over-sized Lego blocks with a young child

ELD PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS: MARCH 1 AND 2 

Join us for the March Provider Information Sessions: 

  • Learn about the Early Learning Division’s rulemaking process  
  • Review and provide feedback on draft rules  
  • Check in on COVID-19

Note: These meetings are planned for an extra half hour to provide adequate time for the topics.   

Tuesday, March 1 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.
All provider types. Interpretation available. Note: Attendees using interpretation services in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL should join this session via Zoom, not Facebook.
Zoom Registration 

Wednesday, March 2 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.
All provider types. Presented in Spanish.
Zoom Registration

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 at the same time. ELD staff will monitor the Facebook comment section for questions.

Photo of a group of fire extinguishers lined up.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Fire Safety Child Care Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC)

We are interested in engaging family child care programs and parents/caregivers with children in family child care programs to join this committee. The Early Learning Division recently passed temporary fire safety rules to serve as an alternative to the Department of Consumer Business Services sprinkler requirement.

A RAC is a group of community members who help agency staff shape and implement rule language for child care programs. This committee will provide input for permanent fire safety rules that will apply to all Registered Family (RF) and Certified Family (CF) programs.

Participants will be reimbursed for their time dedicated to this RAC and will positively impact child care across Oregon. Applications are due Friday, March 11, 2022. 

Five school-age children eat ice cream outside on a sunny day.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

School-Age Child Care Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC)

If you are connected to school-age child care programs or interested in providing this type of care, please consider applying to join this committee. This type of care is also known as out-of-school-time (OST) care and before- and afterschool care programs. A RAC is a group of community members who help agency staff shape and implement rule language for school-age child care programs.

Participants will be reimbursed for their time dedicated to this RAC and will positively impact child care across Oregon. Applications are due Friday, March 11, 2022.  

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

STABILIZATION GRANT DATA CORRECTION  

During the February 1, 2022 Provider Information Session, we shared data to show the percentages of providers by type receiving Stabilization grants. It came to our attention there was an error in how that data was gathered. We regret any confusion this may have caused and have posted the correct percentages to the Early Learning Division website. Click below for more information.  

  • Correction to data reported on Stabilization grant saturation rate

FREE TRAINING SESSIONS

Supporting Kindergarten Transitions

Two upcoming FREE, virtual training sessions are being offered by the ABI Community to provide information and resources to help support children ages three to seven with an Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in the transition to kindergarten. This session is hosted by NW Disability Support in partnership with Multnomah Early Childhood Program. Sessions will be offered in English with Spanish interpretation available. If you need interpretation, please register and request interpretation.  

Portfolios: How to Truly Partner with your School Team for Success with Dr. Cindy Ryan
March 10, 2022 | Click here for more information and to register.
Visual Supports and Communication that Supports Success in Inclusive Settings
April 14, 2022 | Click here for more information and to register.  

About ABI Community:
ABI Community empowers and supports families and individuals whose lives have been touched by developmental disability. ABI works to increase education, promote public understanding and acceptance, advocate for full inclusion, and defend the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. ABI & Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) are programs of NW Disability Support, a 501c3 non-profit organization. 

REMINDERS: 

  • CPSC Sues Leachco Over Suffocation Hazard from Defective Infant Loungers, Seeks Notice and Refund to Consumers from Company
    Following reports of two infant deaths, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to immediately stop using the Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie and Podster Playtime (the “Podsters”) infant loungers manufactured by Leachco, Inc. of Ada, Oklahoma. The Commission has found that the public health and safety requires this notice to warn the public quickly of the hazard. Click here for more information.  
  • February is Black History Month
    Celebrate Black History Month with children, families, and colleagues in your early learning community. Click on the February 1 publication of Child Care Updates for a full list of resources and professional development opportunities. 
  • Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) Survey
    The deadline for the SEQUAL survey (conducted by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley) has been extended to March 6, 2022. Look for an email from CSCCE and titled “SEQUAL Survey: Oregon Early Educators Share Your Voice.” This research was made possible by the Early Learning Division. 
A teacher and a young child smile at the camera, both are masked.

Upcoming change to statewide mask requirement  

This week, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced future changes to statewide indoor face covering rules (OAR 333-019-1025). 

By the end of March, hospitalizations are projected to fall below pre-Omicron levels (fewer than 400 COVID-19 hospitalizations). Oregon has fared better than almost every state in the nation throughout the pandemic with some of the lowest cases (3rd lowest) and death rates (8th lowest) in the country, because Oregonians made smart choices, like wearing masks and getting booster shots. 

If the predicted pathway continues, then no later than March 31, 2022 OHA will lift the mask requirements from the statewide indoor mask rule. If hospitalizations fall to safer levels more quickly, before March 31, state health officials will consider lifting the statewide mask rule sooner for indoor public spaces. 

What does this mean for child care? 

Until changes to the statewide indoor face covering rule takes effect (on or before March 31, 2022), adults and children kindergarten age and older are still required to wear masks indoors, and masks are recommended for age two and older. Details are contained in the “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations” document posted on the Early Learning Division (ELD) “For Providers” webpage.  

Masks are required on public transportation, which includes school buses until lifted by the federal government and cannot be waived by state or local authorities. 

As announced last week, the updated guidance for quarantine and isolation periods from 10 days to five days in licensed child care settings only applies if an entire classroom or group wears masks. The ELD, in partnership with the OHA, highly recommends all individuals ages two and older wear masks. If an entire classroom or group does not wear masks, quarantine and isolation remains at 10 days. Masking helps to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread and allows for a shorter return after illness or exposure in child care settings with low rates of vaccination overall. 

What can child care providers do to prepare? 

The March 31 date gives programs time to prepare for the transition and gives providers time to get boosted, and for families to get their eligible children vaccinated. Some things a program can consider: 

  • Encourage eligible staff and children ages 5 and up to get vaccinated
    and boosted now if they have not done so.
     
  • Vaccination remains the best protection against serious illness from
    COVID-19 and reduces spread of the disease.
     
  • Vaccination prevents quarantine when exposed to COVID-19
    and ensures continued access to in-person care.
     
  • Get Vaccinated Oregon. 

Frequently Asked Questions about isolation and quarantine in child care are posted on the ELD’s “For Providers” webpage and the “For Families” webpage. Click here to download the updated “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Recommendations and Requirements” guidance document. Providers with questions can contact their licensing specialist or email ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov. 

Q: What are the quarantine and isolation guidelines for child care settings? – Updated September 26, 2022

Due to declining COVID-19 case rates and high levels of immunity, Oregon Health Authority has removed the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Individuals who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are resolving and fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, that individual should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for 5 days after their isolation started. Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they develop symptoms or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements.

Q: Does a child care program need to close if there’s a positive COVID-19 case? If so, for how long?

ELD does not require closure of programs. However, a program may need to close if there are too many staff excluded for isolation maintain operations and staffing ratios.

Q: What are child care providers required to communicate to families if there is a positive COVID-19 case? – Updated September 26, 2022

Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or positive.

Q: Can a parent ask if a child care staff member is vaccinated?

The Early Learning Division does not have authority to determine if parents are allowed to ask vaccination status. A provider or staff member may choose to answer or not.

Q: Are masks still required indoors? – Updated September 26, 2022

The statewide indoor mask requirement ended on March 11, 2022. A child care program can choose whether to require masks.

The Early Learning Division and the Oregon Health Authority in alignment with the Center for Disease Control, strongly recommend that masks be worn by all individuals age 2 and older indoors when:

  • There are high  levels of COVID-19 transmission in communities
  • There are medium  levels of COVID-19 transmission and individuals are:
    • Unvaccinated
    • Immunocompromised
    • At high risk of COVID-19 hospitalization
    • 65 and older or with underlying health conditions
    • Living with people who have underlying health conditions.

Some programs may choose to continue universal masking at lower COVID-19 community levels because it promotes an inclusive and supportive environment for those children and staff who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.

Q: Can a parent ask their child care program to support distance learning?

This is a business decision that should be made by individual programs.

Q: Are testing kits available to child care programs? – Updated September 26, 2022

If you need a COVID-19 test, find resources here and here.

Q: Can a provider accept an at home COVID-19 test?

Yes

Q: Can you explain what is a “well-fitting mask” for children?

It’s any mask that fits snuggly and the child will wear reliably.

Q: Where can I find additional resources?

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources (general): https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-resources

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources: Supporting Families Prenatally to Age 5:
https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/DATAREPORTS/Pages/COVID-19-Resources.aspx

Q: Is daily symptom screening still recommended?

Daily screening is no longer required. However, staff and family should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19.

Q: Are child care providers still required to notify Local Public Health if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their facility? – Updated September 26, 2022

Providers are required to notify the Local Public Health Authority immediately of unusually high levels of absenteeism (on any given day) due to respiratory illnesses (symptoms may include new cough, fever, shortness of breath, congestion/runny nose, new loss of taste or smell).

  • In home-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are three or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • In center-based, recorded, and school-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are 10 or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • Programs do not need to report elevated absenteeism when there is a non-disease related reason (i.e., day before or after a holiday or long weekend, child care children are participating in an out of school activity, etc.).

Save the Date: March Provider Information Sessions 

Join the Early Learning Division (ELD) in March for an update on COVID-19 and rulemaking. Note: These meetings are planned for an extra half hour to provide adequate time for the topics.   

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 | 6 to 7:30 p.m
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 | 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Spanish language. (All types) 

Registration details coming soon.

Kids play in a pillow fort with a cardboard sign tapped to it the says "Quarantine"

Updates to Quarantine and Isolation Periods for Child Care  

The Early Learning Division (ELD), in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), is adjusting guidance for quarantine and isolation periods from 10 days to five days in licensed child care settings only if an entire classroom or group wears masks. The change was made after the Centers for Disease Control announced new guidance for child care on January 28, 2022.

ELD and OHA highly recommends all individuals ages two and older wear masks. All individuals who are kindergarten-age and older are required to wear masks. If an entire classroom or group does not wear masks, quarantine and isolation remains at 10 days.  

“We know the 10-day period has been difficult for families to manage and has affected business operations for providers,” said Oregon Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee. “This adjustment should give greater flexibility to help respond to COVID-19 cases in care, while still keeping a focus on safety.” 

Other key child care guidance points include the following:  

  • Individuals who are up-to-date with vaccination/booster or have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not need to quarantine. They should monitor for symptoms.   
  • In programs where there is not universal masking, and if significant hardship from a program closure would result from staff quarantining or isolating for 10 days, programs should consult with their Local Public Health Authority about crisis staffing strategies.
  • Child care programs may not completely eliminate quarantine with negative tests and universal masks at this time. Increasing access to tests for staff and children remains a goal of OHA. 

UPDATED FEBRUARY 3, 2022 for language clarity

Frequently Asked Questions about isolation and quarantine in child care: 

Q: What are the quarantine and isolation guidelines for child care settings? – Updated September 26, 2022

Due to declining COVID-19 case rates and high levels of immunity, Oregon Health Authority has removed the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Individuals who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are resolving and fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, that individual should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for 5 days after their isolation started. Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they develop symptoms or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements.

Q: Does a child care program need to close if there’s a positive COVID-19 case? If so, for how long?

ELD does not require closure of programs. However, a program may need to close if there are too many staff excluded for isolation maintain operations and staffing ratios.

Q: What are child care providers required to communicate to families if there is a positive COVID-19 case? – Updated September 26, 2022

Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or positive.

Q: Can a parent ask if a child care staff member is vaccinated?

The Early Learning Division does not have authority to determine if parents are allowed to ask vaccination status. A provider or staff member may choose to answer or not.

Q: Are masks still required indoors? – Updated September 26, 2022

The statewide indoor mask requirement ended on March 11, 2022. A child care program can choose whether to require masks.

The Early Learning Division and the Oregon Health Authority in alignment with the Center for Disease Control, strongly recommend that masks be worn by all individuals age 2 and older indoors when:

  • There are high  levels of COVID-19 transmission in communities
  • There are medium  levels of COVID-19 transmission and individuals are:
    • Unvaccinated
    • Immunocompromised
    • At high risk of COVID-19 hospitalization
    • 65 and older or with underlying health conditions
    • Living with people who have underlying health conditions.

Some programs may choose to continue universal masking at lower COVID-19 community levels because it promotes an inclusive and supportive environment for those children and staff who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.

Q: Can a parent ask their child care program to support distance learning?

This is a business decision that should be made by individual programs.

Q: Are testing kits available to child care programs? – Updated September 26, 2022

If you need a COVID-19 test, find resources here and here.

Q: Can a provider accept an at home COVID-19 test?

Yes

Q: Can you explain what is a “well-fitting mask” for children?

It’s any mask that fits snuggly and the child will wear reliably.

Q: Where can I find additional resources?

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources (general): https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-resources

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources: Supporting Families Prenatally to Age 5:
https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/DATAREPORTS/Pages/COVID-19-Resources.aspx

Q: Is daily symptom screening still recommended?

Daily screening is no longer required. However, staff and family should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19.

Q: Are child care providers still required to notify Local Public Health if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their facility? – Updated September 26, 2022

Providers are required to notify the Local Public Health Authority immediately of unusually high levels of absenteeism (on any given day) due to respiratory illnesses (symptoms may include new cough, fever, shortness of breath, congestion/runny nose, new loss of taste or smell).

  • In home-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are three or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • In center-based, recorded, and school-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are 10 or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • Programs do not need to report elevated absenteeism when there is a non-disease related reason (i.e., day before or after a holiday or long weekend, child care children are participating in an out of school activity, etc.).

These can also be found on the For Providers” webpage. Providers with questions can also contact their licensing specialist or email ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov. Learn the symptoms of COVID-19 on the CDC website.

Photo of a group of fire extinguishers lined up.

TEMPORARY RULES ON FIRE SAFETY IN FAMILY CHILD CARE SETTINGS  

Last week, the Early Learning Council adopted temporary rules to strengthen fire safety in family child care settings, which include Registered Family (RF) and Certified Family (CF). In April 2021, the Department of Consumer & Business Services (DCBS) Building Codes Structures Board passed rules requiring new RF and CF child care facilities to have an automatic residential fire sprinkler system installed, with potential alternate methods offered locally. The Early Learning Division’s (ELD) temporary rules provide changes that are significantly cheaper than installing residential sprinklers in new programs.  

Maintaining life safety in child care is of critical importance. Over the coming months, the ELD will provide technical assistance and coaching to providers to help come into compliance with the temporary rules.  

Some of the rule changes include the following for all RF and CF programs: 

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of the home and where children nap. 
  • As an option, install straps to mount fire extinguishers in a visible location and a light to illuminate an exit path for night care. Fire extinguishers should be inspected monthly and documented.  
  • Display a floor plan near the entrance, or in some other area of the home where they may be clearly viewed by parent(s) of children in care identifying the locations of the following: (A) Exits, (B) Primary evacuation routes, (C) Secondary evacuation routes, and (D) Fire extinguishers. 
  • Fire drills shall be practiced monthly at varying times of day, including in the evening and during overnight hours for programs that care for children during those hours. 
  • Maintain a written record of each emergency evacuation drill with documentation details stated in the rule.  

The temporary rules will be in effect until May 26, 2022, at which time permanent rules will need to be adopted. The ELD will seek input from partners, including providers, before permanent rules are developed. Review the complete temporary rules below:

Providers with questions should contact their licensing specialist or email ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov.  

A woman plays with building blocks with a young girl

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: KPI PROGRAM RULEMAKING ADVISORY COMMITTEE 

If you are connected to the KPI program, please consider applying to join the Kindergarten Readiness Partnership & Innovation (KPI) Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC).  

A RAC is a group of community members who will help the Early Learning Division shape and implement rule language for KPI programming. The Early Learning Kindergarten Readiness Partnership & Innovation program invests in promising models for connecting early learning and K-3 education across the state, and promotes community and school partnerships that result in measurable increases in children’s readiness for kindergarten.  

Participants will be reimbursed for their time dedicated to this RAC and will positively impact partnerships across Oregon. Applications are due Friday, February 4, 2022.  

Click here for more information on how to apply. 

FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Celebrate Black History Month with children, families, and colleagues in your early learning community.

Black history is American history. Support year-long efforts to teach, honor, and celebrate the accomplishments, innovation, experiences, and perspectives of Black people.

This week is Black Lives Matter Week of Action. The goal of this movement is “to challenge structural and systemic racism while centering the lives of black students inside and outside of the classroom.” Read this article by Learning for Justice to find out more and get involved.

In addition, check out the below resources and professional development opportunities:

Photo of blocks spelling out reminder

REMINDERS: 

  • Spanish Language Provider Information Session: February 3
    Join the Early Learning Division (ELD) on February 3 for the latest news and updates on COVID-19, Child Care Stabilization Grant Awards, and early learning programs. Click here to register for the February 3 event (Spanish language). 
  • Take the Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) Survey 
    An important study called SEQUAL (conducted by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley) launched on January 19, 2022. Watch for an email from CSCCE and titled “SEQUAL Survey: Oregon Early Educators Share Your Voice.” Please complete the survey by February 25, 2022. This research was made possible by the Early Learning Division. 

New FAQs for Quarantine and Isolation 

In partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, the Early Learning Division has posted new Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 spread and the Omicron variant. Any child or staff member in a child care setting who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should be excluded from the program for 10 days. The day they started having symptoms (or if asymptomatic, the day the positive test was taken) is considered day zero. Day one is the first full day after symptom onset or the day the positive test was collected.  

Other questions cover child care requirements for communicating with families when there’s a positive case and the indoor face covering requirement.   

Reminder: You can access free at-home COVID-19 tests through the federal government’s website with a limit of four at-home tests per residential address. 

Q: What are the quarantine and isolation guidelines for child care settings? – Updated September 26, 2022

Due to declining COVID-19 case rates and high levels of immunity, Oregon Health Authority has removed the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Individuals who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are resolving and fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, that individual should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for 5 days after their isolation started. Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they develop symptoms or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements.

Q: Does a child care program need to close if there’s a positive COVID-19 case? If so, for how long?

ELD does not require closure of programs. However, a program may need to close if there are too many staff excluded for isolation maintain operations and staffing ratios.

Q: What are child care providers required to communicate to families if there is a positive COVID-19 case? – Updated September 26, 2022

Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or positive.

Q: Can a parent ask if a child care staff member is vaccinated?

The Early Learning Division does not have authority to determine if parents are allowed to ask vaccination status. A provider or staff member may choose to answer or not.

Q: Are masks still required indoors? – Updated September 26, 2022

The statewide indoor mask requirement ended on March 11, 2022. A child care program can choose whether to require masks.

The Early Learning Division and the Oregon Health Authority in alignment with the Center for Disease Control, strongly recommend that masks be worn by all individuals age 2 and older indoors when:

  • There are high  levels of COVID-19 transmission in communities
  • There are medium  levels of COVID-19 transmission and individuals are:
    • Unvaccinated
    • Immunocompromised
    • At high risk of COVID-19 hospitalization
    • 65 and older or with underlying health conditions
    • Living with people who have underlying health conditions.

Some programs may choose to continue universal masking at lower COVID-19 community levels because it promotes an inclusive and supportive environment for those children and staff who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.

Q: Can a parent ask their child care program to support distance learning?

This is a business decision that should be made by individual programs.

Q: Are testing kits available to child care programs? – Updated September 26, 2022

If you need a COVID-19 test, find resources here and here.

Q: Can a provider accept an at home COVID-19 test?

Yes

Q: Can you explain what is a “well-fitting mask” for children?

It’s any mask that fits snuggly and the child will wear reliably.

Q: Where can I find additional resources?

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources (general): https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-resources

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources: Supporting Families Prenatally to Age 5:
https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/DATAREPORTS/Pages/COVID-19-Resources.aspx

Q: Is daily symptom screening still recommended?

Daily screening is no longer required. However, staff and family should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19.

Q: Are child care providers still required to notify Local Public Health if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their facility? – Updated September 26, 2022

Providers are required to notify the Local Public Health Authority immediately of unusually high levels of absenteeism (on any given day) due to respiratory illnesses (symptoms may include new cough, fever, shortness of breath, congestion/runny nose, new loss of taste or smell).

  • In home-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are three or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • In center-based, recorded, and school-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are 10 or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
  • Programs do not need to report elevated absenteeism when there is a non-disease related reason (i.e., day before or after a holiday or long weekend, child care children are participating in an out of school activity, etc.).

SUPPLY ORDER FORM CLOSED

As of January 19, 2022 the Early Learning Division (ELD) is no longer accepting COVID-19 supply orders and the form is closed. Any orders completed after January 18, 2022 will be cancelled. These supply packages included items such as masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, etc. Recent demands for vaccine supplies and tests have required a shift in focus for the state distribution center.  

If you have recently completed an order, the ELD will contact you with a status update. If you have questions regarding a recent order, please contact ECCGrants@ode.oregon.gov or 971-707-2029.  

Reminder: If you received a Child Care Stabilization grant or Reopening grant, funds can be used to cover COVID-19 related expenses such as tests or masks.  

UPCOMING PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS

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

  • Check in on COVID-19 with Oregon Health Authority
  • Update on Child Care Stabilization Grant Awards
  • Agency and Program Updates

Tuesday, February 1 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available)
REGISTERhttps://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_9SH_e2BpTH2AssqYX4Ik0w

Thursday, February 3 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All types)
REGISTERhttps://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_z2NUr3gDTpSbLNmAoC2HQA

NOMINATE A TEACHER FOR OREGON TEACHER OF THE YEAR 

The deadline to nominate an outstanding Oregon teacher for Regional Teacher of the Year is January 31, 2022. Click here to submit a nomination today. Regional winners will receive a $500 award in May 2022 and move a step closer to being named 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year.  

Candidates for Oregon Teacher of the Year are exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled licensed public school educators in grades pre-K through 12. For more information on the program, visit oregonteacheroftheyear.org/about/.  

REMINDERS:  

Applications open for Alternative Rate Methodology Advisory Committee
The deadline to apply to be a member on the Alternative Rate Methodology Advisory Committee is January 21, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. Apply and help develop and shape the principles and framework. Click here apply and for more information on the Committee and Child Care Cost of Quality Study.  

Complete a Survey from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE)
Oregon is participating in a study called the Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) conducted by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley. Watch for an email from CSCCE with a link to a SEQUAL survey. This research was made possible by the Early Learning Division. 

Kids play in a pillow fort with a cardboard sign tapped to it the says "Quarantine"

ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE GUIDANCE UPDATE

With record COVID-19 case numbers and spread of the Omicron variant across Oregon, we know there are many questions about child care and potential updates to the child care guidance. Unlike for K-12 settings, the CDC has not yet updated its guidance for child care. However, the CDC and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) continues to direct all individuals who cannot safely wear a mask indoors and who will be eating in shared spaces should continue to isolate and quarantine for 10 days, as outlined in the September 2021 version of Early Learning Division’s (ELD) “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations.”

Encouraging children two years and older, who are able to safely wear a mask while indoors, will further reduce risk of COVID-19 and promote health equity. Programs should consider adaptations and additions to infection prevention strategies to best serve children with disabilities.

If the CDC provides updated guidance for child care, the ELD, in partnership with the OHA, will share an update with providers.

The CDC also recommends that individuals remain up to date with their vaccines, which includes additional doses for those who are immunocompromised or booster doses at regular time points. Those who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination include:

  • Individuals 18 or older who have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • Children 5–17 years who have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

Providers with questions can reach out to their licensing specialist or email us at ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov.

REMINDER: Child Care Nurse Hotline 
Child care programs can access the toll-free Child Care Nurse Hotline, 1-833-647-8222, for assistance with COVID-19 questions and concerns. The hotline is available to providers and staff seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information:

SAVE THE DATE: FEBRUARY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS 

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

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

Thursday, February 3 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All types) 

ODHS-Logo

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES CHILD CARE PROVIDER RATES ARE INCREASING EFFECTIVE STARTING JANUARY 1, 2022 

Payment rates are increasing for child care providers who are caring for children from families receiving Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) assistance with child care costs. Click here to view the new rates. Child care rates are based on a statewide Market Price Study to ensure families have equal access to quality child care. This change will not change family copayment amounts. 

HEY! I AM FIRST HEADING LINE FEEL FREE TO CHANGE ME

If you have questions regarding child care payments, please call the Direct Pay Unit at 1-800-699-9074. For more information, visit oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/CHILD-CARE/Pages/index.aspx. 

EMPLOYMENT RELATED DAY CARE (ERDC) PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY: INCOME LIMIT INCREASE 

The initial income limit for the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program is increasing from 185% to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Effective January 1, 2022, this new ERDC income limit aligns with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and expands access to child care assistance for Oregon families. Click here to view the income limits. Share this update with families in your early learning community.  

For more information and to apply, visit: https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/assistance/child-care/Pages/index.aspx
or contact your local office: https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/Offices/Pages/Self-Sufficiency.aspx. 

UPCOMING SURVEY FROM THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF CHILD CARE EMPLOYMENT (CSCCE) 

Oregon will be participating in a study called the Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) conducted by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley. As part of the study, eligible licensed child care providers in Oregon will be asked to complete a SEQUAL survey. Complete the survey and share your thoughts on how your work environment can support your efforts to provide the best early learning experiences for children in your program.  

Watch for an email from CSCCE with a link to the survey in the next few weeks. This research was made possible by the Early Learning Division. 

Dad and baby look at a laptop

CHILD CARE COST OF QUALITY WEBINAR AND ALTERNATIVE RATE METHODOLOGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE 

On January 6, lead researchers Simon Workman and Jeanna Capito reviewed the results of the Child Care Cost of Quality study. Click here to watch a recording of the webinar and download the presentation slides. This webinar also covered how ELD will use these results to transition child care provider rates for the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program to an approved alternate rate-setting structure, one that sets ERDC payment rates based on the true costs of delivering high-quality early care and education.  

ELD is currently seeking members for the Alternative Rate Methodology Advisory Committee. Apply today and help develop and shape the principles and framework. For more information and to apply, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/administration/state-plans/#1640630473764-cf0564d9-32f6   

September 27

DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND REPORT NOW AVAILABLE  

The Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) Mission, Vision, and Values Engagement report and executive summary were published last week on the ELD website. We are so grateful for the time, energy, and input Feedback Survey and Community Conversation participants shared with us in summer 2022. 

Click below to read about key findings, recommendations, and next steps. The report is available in English and the summary is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Chinese. We will continue to share any updates on the DELC Mission, Vision, and Values as the language is finalized. 

https://oregonearlylearning.com/HB3073#MVV

PRESCHOOL PROMISE REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) UPDATE

The Early Learning Division (ELD) received 209 Preschool Promise (PSP) applications, and 134 were selected for an award based on eligibility, quality score, and community need. For more information on evaluation criteria, see Section 4 of the RFA. All applicants have received a notification of their application status. ELD continues to work with the procurement team to distribute grant agreements to programs as quickly as possible. 

This expansion of the PSP program will provide free, high-quality early learning opportunities to more than 2,000 additional preschool-aged children at 178 sites located in all 16 Early Learning Hub regions. Awarded applicants include a Federally Recognized Oregon Tribe, Oregon Pre-Kindergarten (OPK) programs, registered and certified family child care homes, certified centers, school districts, and community-based nonprofit organizations.  

We will continue to provide additional information and data. For more information on the Preschool Promise program, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise. 

FAMILY VOICES REPORT HIGHLIGHTS MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES

In a partnership between Portland State University, the Early Learning Division, OSLC Developments Inc., and AB Cultural Drivers, the Family Voices report looks at the experiences of families in three important communities and the issues they are facing related to early learning and care.  Participating families were those who: 

  • Have a child who was suspended or expelled from an early learning program 
  • Have infants and toddlers and who (a) identify as African American/Black; (b) are Spanish speaking and live in rural and suburban Oregon; (c) identify as Native American; or (d) are English speaking and live in rural Oregon 
  • Have a child aged 0 to 5 years, and who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community  

The report details clear, actionable recommendations from the families themselves about how the early learning system can be improved to make their lives better. The data collected will help shape program investments and policy changes in Oregon’s early learning system. 

Find the executive summary on the ELD website in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, and Chinese. 

HB 3073 PROGRESS REPORT AVAILABLE SOON ON ELD WEBSITE

In September, the Early Learning Division submitted its most recent report to the Oregon Legislature about progress toward the implementation of Department of Early Learning and Care. The report details the status of current major projects, from hiring additional staff to information technology changes. Importantly, the document contains additional information about the transition of the Employment Related Day Care program from ODHS to DELC. 

The report will be available on the ELD website no later than the end of the day Sept. 30. 

Here is where it will be posted: https://oregonearlylearning.com/HB3073#1644950051229-eae0ce24-e0b2  

OREGON EARLY CHILDHOOD INCLUSION NEWSLETTER: SIGN UP TODAY!

The Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion (OECI) team launched a newsletter to share information from the state, updates from community partners, and resources to advance early childhood inclusion. Sign up today and share with your early learning community.  

Learn more about Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion.  

WORLD TEACHER DAY IS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5

Thank you to our early educators for nurturing, encouraging, and inspiring our youngest Oregonians!

The theme for World Teachers’ Day 2022 is “The transformation of education begins with teachers.” Reading Rockets has list of books on how AMAZING our teachers are and the impact they have on our communities. 

September 15

ELD CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH 

September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, a special time when we recognize and honor the cultures, stories, history, and contributions of Hispanic communities. Here are some resources to help you celebrate, explore and increase your understanding this month and throughout the year.  

Next week, ELD’s Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee will visit a full immersion Spanish Preschool Promise program in Oregon. Follow ELD on Facebook for updates on her visit 

NCPMI Logo

NATIONAL CENTER FOR PYRAMID MODEL INNOVATIONS (NCPMI): SEPTEMBER WEBINARS  

Check out this month’s webinars as part of NCPMI’s Pyramid Model Webinar Series. These are recorded for viewing on your own schedule! 

Inclusion Benefits Everyone (Children, Families, Providers, and Directors)
A 3-part Within the Framework Series
September 16, September 23, and September 30 | 11 a.m. (PT) 

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Using the Tiered Coaching Model for Practitioners
September 21 | Noon (PT) 

Visit https://challengingbehavior.org/training/webinars/upcoming-webinars/ for the complete webinar schedule and to register.  

CHILD CARE MARKET PRICE SURVEY COMING SOON 

Oregon conducts a Market Price Survey (MPS) every two years to collect and capture the prices and supply of child care across the state. The 2022 survey will be conducted between October 1 and December 31 by your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) in partnership with The Research Institute at Western Oregon UniversityOregon State University, and the Early Learning Division.   

As part of the MPS, you will be contacted to verify the rates you charge for your child care services and other information including your current child care capacity. Information is used for regional and state policymaking to ensure families have equal access to child care. In addition, the data collected during the MPS 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. Rate information is not shared with parents and families and is combined with other facilities’ data for state decision-making purposes. 

Watch for more information from your CCR&R in early October! 

For more information, read the 2020 report: https://health.oregonstate.edu/sites/health.oregonstate.edu/files/early-learners/pdf/research/2020_oregon_child_care_market_price_study_-_main_report.pdf 

Piggy Bank Photo

DEPARTMENT OF EARLY LEARNING AND CARE AGENCY BUDGET REQUEST 

Every two years, state agencies are required to submit an Agency Request Budget (ARB) outlining their recommended investments for the Governor’s and Legislature’s consideration. The 2023-25 ARB is the first budget developed for the Department of Early Learning and Care (the agency the Early Learning Division will become July 1, 2023). On September 9, the 2023-25 ARB executive summary and full report were published on the ELD website 

The DELC ARB focuses on three priorities: 1) centering families; 2) supporting the early learning workforce; and 3) sustainable operations. 

Visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/delc_abr for more information.  

Three school-aged kids play in a classroom setting together

FOUNDATIONS FOR LEARNING – NEW REQUIRED TRAINING 

On September 30, 2022, a new required training called “Foundations For Learning” will be available to early care and education (ECE) providers. This is a free, two-hour training on child development that will be available on the “Learning with OCCD” website in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese. This training will also be available in a self-study (paper version) on the OCCD website. 

All individuals currently employed in child care settings as of September 30, 2022 will need to complete the “Foundations for Learning” training before December 31, 2022. When individuals complete this training, they will: 

  • Fulfill this new training requirement 
  • Gain two hours toward the required hours in child development 

For more information and to find the training after Sept. 30, visit OCCD’s training page.  

APPLICATIONS OPEN:
CENTRAL BACKGROUND REGISTRY (CBR)
RULEMAKING ADVISORY COMMITTEE (RAC)
 

In June 2022, the Early Learning Council (ELC) adopted temporary rules in response to HB 4005 and SB 1547. These bills and the statutesexpanded background check requirements for those working and/or living in recorded preschool, recorded school-age, and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) programs. All staff, volunteers, household members, and those who may have unsupervised contact with children must be enrolled in the CBR.   

The CBR RAC is a group of community members who will provide feedback on the proposed rule language and share input on the fiscal and equity effects of CBR enrollment requirements for adults working in these programs.   

If interested in participating, please complete the application and submit it by October 7, 2022. RAC meetings will be in late October and early November.    

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

REMINDERS 

Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program: Provide Feedback on the Proposed Rules
We want to hear from you!  

  • Complete the feedback form on the draft rules by September 23, 2022 at 5 p.m.   
  • Register to present verbal testimony at the public hearing on September 20 at 5:30 p.m.   

To provide feedback and learn more about these rules and the rulemaking process, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/sepp.   

September Provider Information Sessions
The recording for the session (English language) on Wednesday, September 14 is now available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKLyUSOvRBU&t=1s. The next session (Spanish language) will be 6 to 7 p.m. tonight, September 15: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_KaEItRdKRmK2UbLFvSqcfQ   

In these sessions, ELD shares information about the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC), updates on programs and opportunities, and the vision for the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) website.  

September 1

REGISTER TO ATTEND ELD’S SEPTEMBER
PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS 
 

Join us in September to:  

  • Learn about Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC)
  • Share your vision for the DELC website
  • Agency Reminders

Wednesday, September 14 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available)
ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_CKuvc9iGSq2Aj_D98qrjaQ

Thursday, September 15 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish)
ZOOM: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_KaEItRdKRmK2UbLFvSqcfQ

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 at the same time. ELD staff will monitor the Facebook comment section for questions.  

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

PRESCHOOL PROMISE RFA:
NOTICE OF INTENT TO AWARD

Thank you to all who applied for the Preschool Promise grant! We are deeply grateful for your passion and interest in serving children and families in Oregon. The Preschool Promise Notice of Intent to Award list was published on Tuesday, August 30 on the ELD website: https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise.  

Applicants who are included on this list will receive an email confirming ELD’s intent to award their program a Preschool Promise grant. If your program is not listed in the Notice of Intent to Award, we encourage you to continue working with your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency, or other community partner, to reflect on the application process and how to benefit from RFA opportunities in the future.   

If you have any questions, email DELC.Procurement@ode.oregon.gov. 

SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION PREVENTION PROGRAM:
PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON THE PROPOSED RULES

On September 1, the Early Learning Division released a draft of the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program Rules for public comment. These proposed rules will help the agency set up the new program and guide future design and requirements.  

We want to hear from you! Provide feedback on the draft rules:  

  • Complete the Feedback Form on the draft rules by September 23, 2022 at 5 p.m.  
  • Register to present verbal testimony at the public hearing on September 20 at 5:30 p.m.  

To provide feedback and learn more about these rules and the rulemaking process, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/sepp.  

Questions? Contact Remy Watts, ELD Rules Coordinator: remy.watts@ode.oregon.gov | 971-701-1535. 

August 17

CHILD CARE SUBSTITUTES PROVIDER ADVISORY COMMITTEE – APPLICATIONS OPEN

Providers are invited to share their voices and help build a substitutes program for child care in Oregon. Providers of all types can apply now to be considered for the Child Care Substitutes Provider Advisory Committee. Committee members will be asked to share feedback on challenges and priorities for providers in creating a successful substitutes program. 

Virtual committee meetings will be each quarter starting September 2022 through June 2023. Providers selected to participate can earn subsidized substitute hours (four hours per meeting). The Early Learning Division (ELD) is funding the program in partnership with Western Oregon University, the developer of the Child Care Substitutes Program 

The deadline to apply is August 31, 2022. 

Oregon Inclusive Partners Logo

INCLUSIVE PARTNERS UPDATE 

On July 1, 2022, the Inclusive Partners program transitioned from the Oregon Department of Human Services to the Early Learning Division. This was the first of several transitions for early learning and care programs that will be consolidated under the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) starting July 2023. 

If you are not familiar with Inclusive Partners, it is a five-member team that provides inclusive resources, technical assistance, and subsidies for child care providers and families of children with higher needs in Oregon. The program works with child care providers caring for children who need additional accommodations to support inclusive care. The program offers supports for children and youths from birth through age 17. Families, child care providers, and other partners can request assistance at no cost. 

Learn more about Inclusive Partners and its support options by visiting InclusivePartners.org. 

CHILD CARE UPDATE NEWSLETTER – READER SURVEY RESULTS 

Earlier this summer, we invited readers of Child Care Updates to take a survey to help improve the newsletter’s usefulness.  

Overall, most respondents thought the every-other-week frequency was just right. Most said they are receiving enough information on child care rules (87%), COVID-19 safety information (64%), and general agency news (65%). Other topics captured in the survey asked if respondents are receiving enough information on opportunities to engage with ELD (58%) and if they are receiving enough information on the implementation of the new Department of Early Learning and Care (60%).  

Based on the survey results, ELD will look to offer more information about training opportunities and mental health supports. We will also continue to share timely updates about the new Department of Early Learning and Care, along with safety, health, and rules affecting child care.    

Thank you to all who shared feedback and please sign up to subscribe if you don’t already receive the email updates!   

SOME THOUGHTS SHARED BY SURVEY PARTICIPANTS:

“I really appreciate getting the updates delivered to my mailbox. It’s been a great support while navigating my preschool through COVID! Thank you!”

“I’d like to see more mental health topics for providers and more grant info.”

“I like that we can read in our native language. Thanks!” (Spanish speaking respondent) 

PRESCHOOL PROMISE REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) UPDATE  

The Preschool Promise Request for Applications (RFA) closed on Thursday, Aug. 4. We are grateful to all applicants for their interest in Preschool Promise and for their service to children and families in Oregon. We received a total of 212 applications requesting 3,137 slots at 267 sites.   

The review process is in progress and “intent to award” notices will be distributed by the end of August. Evaluation committees will use the evaluation criteria outlined in the RFA to score each application. If you have questions about your application, please email PSPRFA@ode.oregon.gov.

For more information and Frequently Asked Questions, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise.    

SAVE THE DATE: ELD PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS

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

Wednesday, September 14 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available) 

Thursday, September 15 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish) 

More details and a link to register coming soon. 

TWO RECALL NOTICES: FIRST CHOICE GLASS BABY BOTTLES AND 4MOMS MAMAROO AND ROCKAROO INFANT SWINGS AND ROCKERS

The U.S. Product Consumer Safety Commission issued two recalls in recent weeks. One notice is for First Choice Glass Baby Bottles, which contain levels of lead that exceed the federal lead content ban. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health issues. 

The bottles were sold exclusively on Amazon. The product was manufactured for the UK market only and not intended for sale in the U.S.  

The other product recalled is the 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing, versions 1.0 through 4.0 and RockaRoo Baby RockersWhen the swing or rocker is not in use, the restraint straps can dangle below the seat and crawling infants can become entangled in the straps, posing a strangulation hazard. The recall includes models that use a 3-point harness. The 5-point harness model is not included in this recall. 

EARLY LEARNING DIVISION EMPLOYEE IDENTIFICATION REMINDER 

We’d like to remind providers that they can ask any visitors to their facilities who identify themselves as an Early Learning Division employee to show an agency badge and business card before allowing entrance. Providers may also ask for their supervisor’s name and contact information. 

August 2

PRESCHOOL PROMISE GRANT APPLICATION
DEADLINE IS THIS THURSDAY, AUG. 4
 

Submit or complete your grant applications for Preschool Promise (PSP) by Thursday, Aug. 4 at 11:59 p.m. Only new applicants or current Preschool Promise providers interested in adding slots need to apply. Questions? Visit the PSP webpage for frequently asked questions and answers https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise or contact PSPRFA@ode.oregon.gov.  

OREGON EARLY CHILDHOOD SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION PREVENTION PROGRAM

In 2022, Oregon Legislature passed HB 5202 and approved funding to establish the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program. Recently, Katrina Miller (ELD’s infant and early childhood mental health specialist) provided a short update at the July Provider Information Sessions. From April to July 2022, a group of community members formed a Rulemaking Advisory Committee and drafted the new rules for this program.  

For more information on the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program, including a background, timeline, and resources, visit https://oregonearlylearning.com/sepp. Watch for updates as this program continues to develop.   

What if instead of calling it…

The “Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program”

We called it…

The “making sure ECE providers have the training, coaching, consultation, and other supports they need to be able to support every child” program?

~ KATRINA MILLER
ELD INFANT AND EARLY CHILDHOOD MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST

Microscopic photo of the hMPXV or “MonkeyPox” virus

 WHAT IS HMPXV A.K.A “MONKEYPOX”?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently identified two cases of monkeypox, also known as hMPXV, in children. According to the CDCyoung children, children with eczema and other skin conditions, and children with immunocompromising conditions may be at increased risk of severe disease. 

Here is some background information from the Oregon Health Authority:
The virus originally got its common name “monkeypox” after the first recognized outbreak was in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958. hMPXV is the human version of the monkeypox virus. According to the World Health Organization, the term “monkeypox” has been criticized by scientists as being discriminatory and stigmatizing. 

Is it similar to smallpox? It’s in the same group of viruses, but this isn’t smallpox. hMPXV is much harder to catch, and it is not as severe. There are two strains of this virus, and the main virus that is circulating now causes milder disease. Most people are recovering at home without any special treatment. 

What are the symptoms? Illness typically starts with fever, headache, and muscle aches. This is followed in one to three days by a rash, often on the face, spreading to the limbs. The rash starts with flat patches that then form large, firm bumps, which then fill with fluid or pus. These bumps then scab and fall off, usually within two to four weeks.

Who is most at risk for hMPXV in the current outbreak? The current outbreak in the U.S. has high rates of known cases among gay and bisexual men and transgender and non-binary people who have traveled to countries with hMPXV cases or have had contact with someone else with hMPXV. However, this virus is not limited by gender or sexuality and can spread to anyone, anywhere through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact.

Should I vaccinate my children against it now? No. No vaccine is needed at this point. Vaccines would be used to protect people who have known exposure to someone ill with hMPXV infection. The vaccine works to prevent or decrease disease even after someone was exposed.

For the CDC’s guidance on hMPXV and children, visit https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/clinicians/pediatric.html 

A blonde woman, Dr. Velvet Cooley, counts rocks with a young boy in the playground. Dr. Cooley has researched the mental and physical health benefits to young children learning outdoors.

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER FOR EARLY LEARNERS   

After two years of COVID-19 disruptions, it may be more important than ever to spend this summer exploring the outdoors with young children. 

Chief Operating Officer of the Mid-Columbia Children’s Council Dr. Velvet Cooley shares some tips and insights on why spending time outdoors is proven to have a calming effect and enhance mental health, even for young children. 

Read more on our blog about the Tygh Valley Head Start outdoor program and the differences Dr. Cooley has seen in young learners since the pandemic.   

Computer generated image of the COVID19 Virus

MANY OREGON COUNTIES REMAIN AT “HIGH RISK”
FOR COVID-19 TRANSMISSION
 

A total of 15 Oregon counties are in “high” transmission under the CDC’s COVID-19 community levels. During “high risk” periods in your community, child care programs are encouraged to take increased prevention strategies. When transmission is “high,” we recommend universal indoor masking for all individuals ages 2 and older and other precautions. Learn more on ELD’s “For Providers” page 

The CDC risk levels are updated weekly. You can refer to the CDC map for the latest information. 

Programs are required to report COVID-19 cases to their Local Public Health AuthorityReview ELD’s COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations: https://oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/For-Providers.   

Banner image that says "Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 News Release

CHANGES COMING TO OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY’S CHILD CARE OUTBREAK REPORTING  

Starting Aug. 10, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will stop reporting recent cases, active outbreaks, and resolved outbreaks in workplaces, child care settings, and K-12 schools (tables 3-9) in the COVID-19 Biweekly Outbreak Report. OHA will continue to report active and resolved outbreaks in long-term care facilities, senior living communities, and congregate living settings (tables 1-2). 

These changes do not affect child care case and outbreak reporting to OHA. The agency will continue to work with local public health authorities to provide resources and support during outbreak responses, as appropriate. 

OHA shared in a newsletter it’s making the changes for several reasons. One reason is to align agency resources and staffing with the current stage of the pandemic and other public health needs. The biweekly outbreak reporting process is not fully automated and requires many hours of careful review to ensure accurate reporting. In addition, universal case investigation and contract tracing ended earlier this year, and OHA advised local public health authorities to focus data collection and response on outbreaks in high-risk settings, rather than in all settings. 

July 19

PRESCHOOL PROMISE GRANT APPLICATIONS DEADLINE EXTENTED TO THURSDAY, AUGUST 4  

Submit your grant applications for Preschool Promise (PSP) by the EXTENDED DEADLINE of Thursday, AUGUST 4 at 11:59 p.m. Only new applicants or current Preschool Promise providers interested in adding slots need to apply. The Early Learning Division recently published frequently asked questions (FAQs) for applicants on the PSP webpage. These questions cover topics such as eligibility, evaluation, scoring, and more.  

For more information and resources, visit oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise or contact  

PSPRFA@ode.oregon.gov  

A young childcare provider holds a giggling child above her head.

JULY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS  

The slides and recordings for the English and Spanish sessions held July 13 and 14 are available for downloading below. In these sessions, ELD shares the latest on COVID-19, information about the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) Mission, Vision, and Values feedback, and agency and program updates.  


July 13, 2022  English Language Session
Slides in English


July 14, 2022 Spanish Language Session
Slides in Spanish

Computer generated image of the COVID19 Virus

MANY OREGON COUNTIES REMAIN AT “HIGH RISK” FOR COVID-19 TRANSMISSION 

A total of 21 Oregon counties are in “high” transmission under the CDC’s COVID-19 community levels. During “high risk” periods in your community, child care programs are encouraged to take increased prevention strategies. When transmission is “high,” we recommend universal indoor masking for all individuals aged 2 and older and other precautions. Learn more on ELD’s “For Providers” page 

The CDC risk levels are updated weekly. You can refer to the CDC map for the latest information. 

Programs are required to report COVID-19 cases to their Local Public Health AuthorityReview our ELD’s COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations: https://oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/For-Providers.   

A photo of a SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test for Self-Testing

EXPIRATION DATES EXTENDED FOR MANY AT-HOME COVID-19 TESTS 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended the expiration dates for many at-home COVID-19 tests.

Because these tests were quickly developed during the pandemic and authorized for emergency use by the FDA, many have short expiration periods (e.g., six months). 

As more time passes and test manufacturers can show that tests continue to work well beyond the initial expiration period, expiration dates are extended. 

If your at-home COVID-19 tests have expired, visit http://ow.ly/4tby50JQ7nN to check if the expiration date has been extended. 

July 6
A young childcare provider holds a giggling child above her head.

REGISTER FOR ELD’S JULY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS 

Join us for a session on July 13 or 14:  

  • Check in on COVID-19 
  • Learn about the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) Mission, Vision, and Values Engagement 
  • Review agency and program updates 

Wednesday, July 13 | 6 – 7 p.m.
All provider types (Interpretation available in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and ASL)
Zoom Link: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_NtyFidbEQEOM8BsNqSAYZA

Thursday, July 14 | 6 – 7 p.m.
Spanish language. (All provider types)
Zoom Link: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_qyrfO3IQTX-S83SsOTFdcQ  

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 at the same time. ELD staff will monitor the Facebook comment section for questions. 

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

Three school-aged kids play in a classroom setting together

EARLY LEARNING COUNCIL APPROVES NEW SCHOOL-AGED RULES

On Wednesday, June 29, the Oregon Early Learning Council approved new rules that apply to licensed programs only serving school-age children.  

These rules were intentionally designed for school-age only programs to remove requirements that are duplicative or unnecessary in public school settings, and create an easier path to licensure. The rules were written in clear, plain language and align with national best practices.  

What does this mean for your program?  

If you are licensed, the rule effective date is Jan. 1, 2023. The Early Learning Division (ELD) will use this time to train licensing staff, create technical assistance tools, and make changes to our database. This will also give programs time to review the rules, identify changes, and attend an optional information session. 

For recorded school-age programs, you are not subject to licensing rules and regulations. However, the rule change may see more programs choosing to become licensed. Licensing provides a foundation of health and safety for children in your care and increases access to funding opportunities such as child care subsidies, food cost reimbursement, and grants available to licensed programs. 

You can find the rules below or with the other rules on the ELD’s Child Care Rules page. Providers can email questions to ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov.   

  • Rules for Certified School-Age Child Care Centers

PRESCHOOL PROMISE APPLICATIONS DUE BY THE EXTENDED DEADLINE AUGUST 4 AT 11:59 P.M. 

Applications are open for the publicly funded program serving children who are at least three years of age but not older than five years of age, as determined by the date used to determine kindergarten eligibility. Only new applicants or current Preschool Promise providers interested in adding slots need to apply.  

Learn more about becoming a Preschool Promise provider by visiting oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise or by viewing the “Preschool Promise Webinar” recordings below.  

Preschool Promise Webinar, English: https://youtu.be/iFbG8H7IrbQ   

Preschool Promise Webinar, Spanish: https://youtu.be/P_UjhEQrYI8 

Computer generated image of the COVID19 Virus

COVID-19 RISK LEVELS “HIGH” FOR 24 OREGON COUNTIES 

As of Thursday, June 30, a total of 24 Oregon counties are in “high” transmission under the CDC’s COVID-19 community levels. The counties are: Baker, Clackamas, Clatsop, Crook, Deschutes, Douglas, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Malheur, Morrow, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Washington. 

This signals a need for increased prevention strategies in child care. For these counties, we recommend the following: 

  • Implement universal indoor masking. All individuals (aged 2 and older) should wear a well-fitting face covering indoors regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.  
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Information about vaccinations can be found at https://getvaccinated.oregon.gov.  
  • Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19. 
  • A child or staff member, regardless of vaccination status, should stay at home if they have primary symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, shortness of breath, new cough, or new loss of taste or smell), or go home if symptoms develop while at a child care facility, and get tested.  

Programs are required to report COVID-19 cases to their Local Public Health Authority. 

Review our COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations: https://oregonearlylearning.com/COVID-19-Resources/For-Providers  

JOIN OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY ON JULY 8 FOR “COVID-19 VACCINES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 5” Q&A 

Children 6 months and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Join Oregon Health Authority and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital on Friday, July 8 at noon for a Facebook Live Q&A. This is an opportunity to get your vaccine questions answered by experts Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer and state epidemiologist, and Dr. Eliza Hayes Bakken, assistant professor of pediatrics at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Clinic. Share this event with families and colleagues in your community.  

To attend this event, visit http://fb.me/e/2x0YgOtLo.  

an image of a digital air quality gage

IMPROVING AIR QUALITY IN CHILD CARE

With wildfire season under way in Oregon and COVID-19 risks ever-present, King County and Seattle’s public health agency put together an article with tips for child care and early learning programs to improve indoor air quality.  

The article refers to three basic steps to improve air quality:  

  • Routinely maintaining heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) systems, and ensuring they are performing at the highest ventilation and filtration the system allows 
  • Using portable HEPA air cleaners 
  • Opening windows if possible  

You can find short video examples for child care settings in the article. Providers can also find technical assistance resources on the CDC website and Environmental Protection Agency website.  

June 22

PRESCHOOL PROMISE APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW

Looking to offer Preschool Promise for the first time or add more Preschool Promise slots to your program? Applications are now open for the publicly funded program serving children ages 3 to 4 years old from families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Approximately 3,756 children are currently enrolled in Preschool Promise programs in Oregon, and the state is adding more than 2,500 new preschool slots for eligible families in 2022.

Only new applicants or current Preschool Promise providers interested in adding slots need to apply. Learn more about becoming a Preschool Promise provider by visiting oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise or by attending a Preschool Promise webinar on Thursday, June 30. The deadline to apply is EXTENDED to Thursday, AUGUST 4 at 11:59 p.m. 

CHILDREN SIX MONTHS AND OLDER NOW ELIGIBLE FOR COVID-19 VACCINES

Pediatric Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are now approved for use in Oregon for children ages six months and older. 

The two-dose Moderna vaccine series is available to children ages six months to under 6 years old. A three-dose Pfizer vaccination series is available to children ages 6 months to under 5 years old. 

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has confirmed that both vaccines are safe and effective for these age groups, following authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommendation from the CDC 

The Oregon Health Authority is working with vaccine providers statewide to make doses available at health care provider offices, federally qualified health centers and special COVID-19 vaccine clinics. 

It’s recommended you call first and ask if your pediatrician or preferred clinic has the vaccine yet.  

STATE OF OREGON INCREASES CHILD CARE REIMBURSEMENT RATES FOR PROVIDERS 

Child care reimbursement rates have increased for providers caring for children of families who receive support with child care expenses through the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS).  

ODHS pays providers for child care provided to families receiving child care assistance through the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.   

The new child care reimbursement rates were effective June 1, 2022 and are increasing due to the passage of House Bill 4005 of the 2022 Legislative Session. 

The average monthly reimbursement rates for full-time care are increasing by: 

  • 18% for family, friend and neighbor care 
  • Between 6 and 20% for child care centers  
  • Between 11 and 25% for licensed home-based care 

Actual child care reimbursement rates vary depending on provider type, child age and what community the provider is in. A complete list of reimbursement rates can be found on the ODHS website. 

Read more about the rate change in this joint news release 

A young mother and her daughter have a conversation with a preschool teacher

DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES: ATTEND A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION  

You may have already taken a survey about the draft mission, vision and values (MVV) for the new agency, the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). We have an additional opportunity for you to make your voice heard as we set the foundation for DELC.  

Register to attend a Community Conversations, an interactive engagement opportunity designed specifically to hear what you think about the draft MVV statementsRegister now! 

Child Care Providers
Thursday, June 23 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 28 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 29 | 6 to 7 p.m.
(Spanish)
Wednesday, July 6 | 6 to 7 p.m.
(Russian) 

Publicly Funded Program Grantees (Healthy Families Oregon, Relief Nurseries, Oregon Pre-Kindergarten, Preschool Promise, Baby Promise, etc.)
Monday, June 27 | 5 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, June 29 11 a.m. to noon 

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) and Early Learning Hub Partners
Monday, June 27 | 11 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, June 28 | 11 a.m. to noon 

June 16
Computer generated image of the COVID19 Virus

COVID-19 RISK LEVELS “HIGH” FOR THREE OREGON COUNTIES  

Oregon’s Curry, Coos and Hood River counties are now categorized in “high” transmission according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated COVID-19 community levelsThis signals a need for increased prevention strategies in child care. For these counties, we recommend the following: 

  • Implement universal indoor masking. All individuals (aged 2 and older) should wear a well-fitting face-covering indoors regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. 
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Information about vaccinations can be found at Get Vaccinated Oregon
  • Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19.
  • A child or staff, regardless of vaccination status, must stay at home if they have primary symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, shortness of breath, new cough, or new loss of taste or smell), or go home if symptoms develop while at child care, and get tested. 

Programs are required to report COVID-19 cases to their local Public Health Authority. 

Find more best practices and guidelines in our COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations. 

CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels help communities and individuals make decisions on what COVID-19 prevention strategies to use based on disease transmission rates in the community. The metrics are updated weekly. You can refer to the CDC map for the latest information. These levels factor in a combination of COVID-19 hospitalization rates, healthcare capacity, and cases.

If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov. 

Photo of two girls reading a book together

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
TAKE THE DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES FEEDBACK SURVEY
 

The Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD) wants your input in establishing the new agency, Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). Complete the survey and help create a mission, vision, and values that reflect, represent, and support Oregon communities.  

Click below to take the survey. Survey deadline: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 5 p.m.

A young mother and her daughter have a conversation with a preschool teacher

DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES: ATTEND A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION  

You may have already taken a survey about the draft mission, vision and values (MVV) for the new agency, the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). We have an additional opportunity for you to make your voice heard as we set the foundation for DELC.  

Register to attend a Community Conversations, an interactive engagement opportunity designed specifically to hear what you think about the draft MVV statements.

Child Care Providers 
Thursday, June 23 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 28 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 29 | 6 to 7 p.m.
(Spanish)
Wednesday, July 6 | 6 to 7 p.m.
(Russian) 

Publicly Funded Program Grantees
(Healthy Families Oregon, Relief Nurseries, Oregon Pre-Kindergarten, Preschool Promise, Baby Promise, etc.)  

Monday, June 27 | 5 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, June 29 11 a.m. to noon 

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) and Early Learning Hub Partners 
Monday, June 27 | 11 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, June 28 | 11 a.m. to noon 

The LGBTQAI+ Flag with Happy Pride written over it

CELBRATING PRIDE MONTH!  

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ movement and people in your community! In June and throughout the year, take action to support the inclusivity and equality of Oregonians from the LGBTQ+ community. Zero to Three asked LGBTQ+ providers and families what makes them feel welcome. Here is what one parent shared:  

“It starts with a culture of inclusivity and acceptance. One of the things we love most about our daughter’s preschool is their genuine love and acceptance of our family that is felt from the program director down through the teachers. They show us this by sending home two plants on Mother’s Day, having lessons about different types of families, asking us what we prefer to be called, and just always showing us we are welcome, seen, and valued.” 

– Hannah, LGBTQ+ Parent 

Click below for more resources on how to support children, families, and staff. 

A red, black, and green banner that says Junteenth!

HAPPY JUNETEENTH! 

Although Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2021, communities have been celebrating and remembering what happened on June 19, 1865 for many years. Juneteenth (also termed Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day) honors when the remaining 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Confederate states were legally declared free two years after Emancipation.  

Celebrate by attending Juneteenth events, virtual and in person, that are taking place across the state and nation. Recognize and honor this holiday with your early learning and care community. Explore the below resources and share with your network:  

A word cloud of the work "father" in multiple languages in the shape of a heart

We are celebrating fathers and father figures who make a

difference in our lives. ELD wishes you an early Happy Father’s Day!  

June 2
Logo: Preschool Promise

PRESCHOOL PROMISE REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS 

The Early Learning Division (ELD) is working to finalize details for the release of a Preschool Promise Request for Applications (RFA) in the next few weeks. The RFA will be available to existing Preschool Promise grantees hoping to expand their programs and to new applicants who are looking to offer Preschool Promise in their programs. Watch for announcements on the ELD website, and get the latest updates on ELD’s Facebook or Twitter.

Photo of a group of fire extinguishers lined up.

PERMANENT FIRE SAFETY RULES ADOPTED FOR FAMILY CHILD CARE  

During the past year, the Early Learning Division (ELD) worked with providers, early learning advocates, and other government organizations to strengthen fire safety rules in family care settings. The goal was to create cost-effective alternatives to requiring automatic sprinklers statewide.  

The Early Learning Council voted to adopt the permanent rules on May 25, 2022. In the coming months, ELD will provide technical assistance and coaching to help providers come into compliance with these rules.  

Some of the key rule changes for all Registered Family and Certified Family child care programs include: 

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of the home and where children nap.
  • Create a plan to describe how exit paths will be illuminated during night care.
  • Mount or store fire extinguishers in a visible location and designate their location on an evacuation map. Fire extinguishers may be stored in a closet or cabinet, but there must be a sign indicating the extinguisher is inside. Fire extinguishers must be inspected monthly, and the inspection must be documented.  
  • Display a floor plan near the entrance, or in some other area of the home where it may be clearly viewed, with the following: exits, primary and secondary evacuation routes, and fire extinguishers. 
  • Fire drills must be practiced monthly at varying times of day. The Office of Child Care may request to observe an evacuation drill during an announced visit to allow providers to prepare children and families for the drill.
  • Keep a written record of each emergency evacuation drill with details stated in the rule.  

The final rule language is posted on ELD’s website. 

CHILD CARE NURSE HOTLINE ENDS JUNE 30, 2022  

The Nurse Hotline service will end after June 30, 2022. The no-cost hotline was established by the Early Learning Division and Oregon Health & Science University Child Care in 2021 to assist providers with COVID-19. After June 30, please consider contacting your Local Public Health Authority or medical provider with COVID-19 health related questions. For other child care questions, email us at ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov.

HOW CAN OREGON’S NEW AGENCY SERVE YOU?
TAKE THE DEPARTMENT OF EARLY LEARNING AND CARE (DELC):
MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES SURVEY
 

The Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD) wants your input in establishing the new agency, Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). By participating in the survey, your feedback will inform DELC and help create a mission, vision, and values that reflect, represent, and support Oregon communities. Your feedback in this short, 10-minute survey makes a difference for Oregon’s children, families, early learning programs, and communities.

Survey deadline: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 5 p.m.

After completing the survey, please provide your contact information to receive a summary of feedback gathered, to learn about next steps for the agency, and to provide additional comment. We will share the final version of DELC’s mission, vision, and values through email and on the website. 

SAVE THE DATE: ELD PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS:
JULY 13 AND 14

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

Wednesday, July 13 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Interpretation available)

Thursday, July 14 | 6 to 7 p.m.
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish)

More details and a link to register coming soon.

ELD’S ALYSSA CHATTERJEE FEATURED ON
“THE EARLY LINK PODCAST”
 

Oregon Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee talks about the creation of the new Department of Early Learning and Care, and what that means for the future of early childhood on the Children’s Institute’s “The Early Link Podcast.”  

Chatterjee also shared some of her personal experience working at a preschool and the evolution of the Early Learning Division over the years. You can listen to the podcast here. 

May 17
Photo of a group of fire extinguishers lined up.

FIRE SAFETY FOR CERTIFIED FAMILY AND REGISTERED FAMILY

Providers are invited to share feedback on the Fire Safety Family Care rule until May 25, 2022 at 10 a.mThe Early Learning Division (ELD) has worked with providers, early learning advocates, and other government organizations to strengthen fire safety rules in family care settings during the past year. Specifically, the goal was to create permanent rules about cost-effective alternatives to automatic sprinklers statewide, a rule introduced in April 2021 by Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. 

Review the rules on our website. 

Image of crib bumpers

CRIB BUMPERS PROHIBITED IN CHILD CARE    

The Oregon State Legislature recently amended a statute to prohibit the use of crib bumper pads for children up to age 3. This change also prohibits a facility from having crib bumper pads on the premises, unless a medical professional has determined that using a crib bumper pad is medically necessary for a particular child who uses a crib in the licensed facility. 

The Office of Child Care will be revising the rules for Certified Centers, Certified Family and Registered Family child care facilities to align with this change in statute.  

AIDE II RULE CHANGE PROPOSED FOR CERTIFIED CHILD CARE CENTERS 

After receiving feedback from providers, the Early Learning Division (ELD) will be moving to allow Aide II positions to have increased supervision in Certified Child Care Centers as a permanent rule change. ELD will recommend the Early Learning Council adopt the rule at its June 29, 2022 meeting.   

 ELD anticipates this change will assist providers with retaining staff and allow for greater flexibility within programs. 

OAR 300-0110(3) states, “An Aide II may support teachers in caring for children but may not be left alone with a group of children, except when:  (a) Supervising a group of children for no more than 60 minutes at a time, not to exceed more than 120 minutes of Aide II supervision per day, provided staff-to-child ratios are maintained, and there is another staff who is teacher, head teacher, or director qualified present at the facility. An Aide II may supervise an Aide I for no more than 60 minutes at a time.” 

If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email  

ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov. 

baby formula on a blue background

NEW RESOURCE FOR FAMILIES TO FIND FORMULA DURING THE INFANT FORMULA SHORTAGE 

If you are struggling to find infant formula, this new fact sheet created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes resources for locating safe formula.  

You should not water down formula, try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants. Do not discard formula unless it is expired or is part of the recall. Check your formula’s lot code to see if it was affected by the recall. 

image: children's hands holding a flat wood cutout art of a human head with a heart where the brain would normally be

MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH  

Oregon’s early learning and care professionals play a critical role in supporting the mental health and well-being of children, families, and staff in their child care setting. In addition to sharing resources and creating a safe, welcoming child care setting and community, you can also support others by sharing your own experiences.  

In a recent Education Week article, David Shapiro, program manager at the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Work, & Environment shared how it’s important to have “people be willing to share their stories, and I think this starts with leaders. [They can tell staff], ‘This pandemic has been challenging for my own mental health—here’s how it impacted me, and I’ve used my mental health benefits [to get help]’. The more we can build the story of mental health, the more we can spread awareness, the more we can reduce stigma.” 

Click here to read the article and click here to learn about “StigmaFree,” a campaign by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  

Your mental health matters. Visit https://mhanational.org/teachers-protecting-your-mental-health for ways to help yourself and others in the field. 

Click below for additional resources and professional development opportunities.  

Photo of two girls reading a book together

COMING SOON: DELC MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES FEEDBACK SURVEY 

The Early Learning Division (ELD) needs your help with establishing the new agency, Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC). Watch for announcements about this opportunity to inform DELC and help create a mission, vision, and values that reflects, represents, and supports Oregon communities. 

Photo of blocks spelling out reminder

REMINDERS:  

Health, Safety, and Nutrition Requirement  

Certified Family and Certified Center staff are required to complete at least one hour of Health, Safety, and Nutrition (HSN) training before their facility’s license renewal. 

Registered Family providers and substitutes need to complete the annual HSN training before the end of each year of their license. 

Providers can look for training on the online calendar. 

DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR STATEWIDE SURVEY  
Center- and familybased owners, directors, teachers, assistants, and aides (whether currently employed or not) —share your experiences by completing this survey by May 31, 2022. If you are eligible, you will receive an email with a link to the survey. Look for an email from “The Preschool Development Grant” that you would have received around April 18. Questions? Didn’t get an email and think you should have? Contact Denise Ford. Email: denisef@oslc.org Call or text: 916-205-6851. 

May 5
Photo: someone does chest compressions on a CPR dumby.

IN-PERSON CPR TRAINING REQUIRED AFTER JUNE 30, 2022 

The temporary Oregon Administrative Rule allowing online CPR training will expire on June 30, 2022. Providers who took an online CPR class between March 24, 2020 and June 30, 2022, will receive training credit in the Oregon Registry Online. When it is time for renewal of CPR/First Aid certification, providers must complete CPR training with in-person instruction. All CPR classes completed on or after July 1, 2022, must have the in-person training component. 

If you’re looking for classes, contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral office, or check the Oregon Registry Online Training Calendar at https://calendar.oregonregistryonline.org. If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email occ.customerservice@ode.oregon.gov. 

A person searches a computer registry

PUBLIC COMMENT OPEN FOR TEMPORARY RULES FOR RECORDED AND LICENSE-EXEMPT EMPLOYMENT RELATED DAY CARE PROVIDERS

Public comment is now open on the Early Learning Division’s (ELD) website for a temporary rule to allow recorded programs, which are currently unlicensed facilities, to be enrolled in the Central Background Registry. License-exempt ERDC providers will also be required to enroll in the Central Background Registry.  

This rulemaking gives ELD the authority to include both recorded programs and license exempt subsidy recipients into the pool of “subject individuals.” These rules will be proposed for temporary adoption at thMay 25, 2022 Early Learning Council meeting. 

For more details on how to comment or participate, go to https://oregonearlylearning.com/may-2022-admin-rule-updates 

Photo of two girls reading a book together

HAVE YOU HEARD? ELD WILL SOON BECOME DELC 

The Early Learning Division, along with a few Oregon Department of Human Services programs such as Employment Related Day Care, will be changing to the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) in about a year. What is the advantage of joining early childhood education systems into one agency? There are several benefits: 

  • Maximize early learning funding and expansion opportunities 
  • Increase the number of culturally responsive child care and early learning settings 
  • Improve access to high-quality child care and early learning for all Oregonians 
  • Deliver more equitable services for families, children, and providers 

In a nutshell, the creation of DELC allows us to expand and strengthen early learning systems to better serve Oregon’s children and families. 

Learn more by visiting the DELC website.

SHARE YOUR GRATITUDE ON PROVIDER APPRECIATION DAY: MAY 6, 2022

This week, we’re celebrating you, providers, and all your contributions! Provider Appreciation Day® is May 6, 2022 – celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day every year to recognize child care providers, teachers, and educators of young children everywhere. 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a statewide proclamation to recognize National Provider Appreciation Day, encouraging Oregonians to thank child care providers for their dedication and support of the social, emotional, and physical care of our youngest children. 

As stated in the proclamation, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created tremendous hardship for child care providers and the families of Oregon who depend on them,” she said. “Providers have continued to meet the needs of families, while risking their health and financial stability to remain open.”    

Oregonians can share stories and offer gratitude on social media with the tag #ThankYouChildCare or #ThankATeacher. 

A graphic that says "Asian Pacific Heritage Month

ELD CELEBRATES ASIAN AMERICAN AND
PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH
 

This month and throughout the year, we honor and celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) identity, culture, and history. NPR recently published an article about the background of AAPI Heritage Month, “The story behind Asian Pacific American Heritage, and why it’s celebrated in May.”

“Our history is also filled with incredible stories of resilience, of persistence, of determination, to fight for our basic rights. This is a celebration of our history, of our culture … and all the different ways in which our community has really demonstrated that we’re not only here to stay, we are a part of this fabric — a part of this country.”
– Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate

Click here to read more.  

In addition, check out these resources and professional development opportunities: 

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

REMINDERS:  

  • OREGON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE PROVIDERS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN STATEWIDE SURVEY 
    Center- and family based owners, directors, teachers, assistants, and aides (whether currently employed or not) share your experiences by completing this survey by May 16, 2022. If you are eligible, you will receive an email with a link to the survey. Look for an email from “The Preschool Development Grant” that you would have received around April 18. Questions? Didn’t get an email and think you should have? Contact Denise Ford. Email: denisef@oslc.org Call or text: 916-205-6851.
  • MAY PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSIONS
    The recording for the session (English language) on Tuesday, May 3 is available here. The next session (Spanish language) will be 6 to 7 p.m. tonight, May 5. Click here for the Zoom invite. In these sessions, ELD shares a recap 2022 Legislative Session, discusses the ELD Programs Team and Preschool Promise, and provides a check-in on COVID-19. 
April 13