(Salem, Ore.) – Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-19, aligning the effective date of her emergency child care directives with other social distancing orders. The order maintains the closure of licensed child care facilities unless approved to provide Emergency Child Care, and it remains in effect until lifted by the Governor. Only child care providers who are approved by the Early Learning Division (ELD) to operate Emergency Child Care (ECC) are permitted to be open.
The Governor’s framework for reopening Oregon is guided by data and the recommendations of health experts to determine when this order can safely be lifted. Timelines for reopening will vary county by county based on the spread of COVID-19 and the readiness of counties to address new cases. As part of reopening Oregon, the ELD will work with the Governor’s Office and child care providers to expand access to safe, quality child care as Oregon reopens.
“We are grateful for the providers who have remained open to serve children and families in Oregon during this pandemic,” said Early Learning System Director Miriam Calderon. “We recognize these are difficult conditions to be operating in. The ELD will continue to support providers through this crisis.”
Emergency child care providers are required to operate under conditions outlined in the governor’s original order and an updated temporary order memo issued by ELD, which include:
- Prioritizing child care for individuals in the essential workforce.
- Limiting the number of children to “stable” groups of 10 in a home or classroom (Emergency Child Care providers may serve new children and accept referrals up to the limit of 10).
- Adhering to health and safety guidelines developed in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority.
To date, the Office of Child Care has approved more than 2,000 Emergency Child Care applications with capacity to serve 32,000 children of essential workers. Demand for care remains low at this time with 9,300 slots currently vacant. As Oregonians return to work, the ELD anticipates demand for child care will fluctuate.
Families in need of Emergency Child Care can call 211 or text the keyword “children” or “niños” to 898211.
Frequently Asked Questions to address family and provider questions and concerns are available and updated regularly on the ELD’s COVID-19 webpage. For questions regarding COVID-19 and these changes, providers can call 1-800-342-6712 or their local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency. Providers can also submit questions by emailing ProviderContact@state.or.us.