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Oregon expands child care benefits to support families and providers during spread of COVID-19

 

News Release

March 17, 2020
Jennifer Grentz, Self-Sufficiency Programs, 503-884-9071
Melanie Mesaros, Early Learning Division, 503-856-6040

Oregon expands child care benefits to support families and providers during spread of COVID-19

Salem, OR — To support Oregon’s working families dealing with the spread of COVID-19, Governor Brown directed the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Early Learning Division to make changes to child care benefits. The temporary changes, which are effective immediately, will help more low-income, working families access child care and help providers stay in business during the state of emergency.

“At a time when Oregon’s families are weathering numerous difficulties in their daily lives due to the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on our economy, we need to do everything we can to make sure child care providers can keep their doors open so parents can continue to work,” said Governor Kate brown.

The changes are:

  • Eliminating co-pays for eligible families.
  • Providing access to more families by increasing the income limit from 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($4,040 per month for a family of four) to 250 percent of the federal poverty level or 85 percent of the state median income, whichever is higher for the family size ($5,899 per month for a family of four).
  • Ensuring more certainty for providers. Child care providers are able to continue to receive payments from DHS, even if children are unable to attend or if they have to temporary shut down during the state of emergency.

“It is important that we come together and help one another through this difficult time,” said Fariborz Pakseresht, Oregon DHS Director. “Child care providers play an important role in supporting families, and we want to make sure families can still access this important service.”

“These measures are helping families access safe care for their children and will help stabilize child care businesses during an unprecedented time,” said Early Learning System Director Miriam Calderon.

Providers and parents/caretakers may contact the DHS Direct Pay Unit with questions Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-699-9074.

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