GOVERNOR KATE BROWN ANNOUNCEMENT: FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT FOR K-12 SCHOOLS
On Thursday, July 29, Governor Kate Brown directed the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to create a rule to require masks indoors for K-12 schools statewide for the 2021-22 school year. Click here to download the press release.
This direction by the Governor responds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s July 27 guidance for fully vaccinated people. Based on the latest science of the spread of the Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
At this time, the rule is in draft form. We anticipate that the rule will not apply to all Oregon child care providers. We expect any program operating in a school building would be subject to this draft rule. This includes public, private, parochial, charter or alternative schools. The rule would require all individuals age two years or older, including students, staff, contractors, volunteers, and visitors, to wear masks while indoors. The rule would take effect immediately upon adoption, and affect summer programs taking place in school buildings. ELD will send an update when the rule is adopted with any necessary clarifying details.
As a reminder, in the “Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations,” the Early Learning Division recommends face coverings be worn by adults who are not vaccinated, and children in grades kindergarten and up while indoors. The governor is also asking all Oregonians to wear masks indoors as stated in her announcement: “In the meantime, as we ask Oregonians statewide to mask up in public indoor spaces, we will continue working hard to vaccinate more people so we can finally beat this virus once and for all. Vaccines remain the most effective and best way to protect ourselves and our families.”
If you have questions, please contact your licensing specialist or email us at ProviderContact@state.or.us.
STABILIZATION GRANTS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Congress set aside funds through the American Rescue Plan Act to support child care providers following the pandemic. Oregon received approximately $250 million in child care stabilization funds. The funds were given to states with specific requirements around applications and distributing the funds.
Oregon child care providers can expect to apply for additional funding in mid-September from the Child Care Stabilization Fund. Grant applications will be posted on the Early Learning Division website. All applicants who meet the requirements will receive funding.
To learn more, download the FAQs below.
NEW REPORT: “THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON OREGON’S EARLY CARE & EDUCATION WORKFORCE AND PROGRAMS”
New research shows the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Oregon’s child care and early care and education programs’ ability to remain open and serve families. ELD contracted Portland State University and OSLC Developments, Inc. to conduct the study, which involved a statewide survey of 3,035 early educators during March of 2021. This survey was open to all early educators across the state of Oregon, including directors, owners, lead teachers, assistant teachers, and aides. The findings highlight inequities, including low wages and layoffs, particularly for early educators of color.
Thank you to all who participated in the survey!
Click here to read a press release and download a report of the survey findings.