August 27, 2021 | Child Care Update


Effective immediately, the Early Learning Division will suspend many in-person, routine child care licensing visits. With increased COVID-19 cases across Oregon due to the Delta variant, it’s important to minimize contact with program facilities. Some visits will still be completed in-person if the Office of Child Care (OCC) determines an in-person visit is needed to protect the health and safety of children. Your licensing specialist will still be able to assist you virtually to ensure the health and safety of children in your care.

As a reminder, licensing rules still require the state to have access to your program if needed. During business hours, OCC staff are legally permitted to enter the facility. If you are due for a license renewal, your licensing specialist will schedule a time to conduct the visit virtually.

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


Statewide Indoor Mask Requirement – Effective August 13, 2021

Governor Brown issued a mandate for indoor face coverings that applies to all Oregonians ages 5 and up regardless of vaccination status. For children in 0 to 5 preschool programs, particularly classrooms with 3- to 5-year-olds, children who are not in kindergarten will not have to wear a face covering.

In accordance with CDC recommendations, ELD strongly recommends that younger children do so if the child is able to be successful with a face covering. If a child is attending grades kindergarten and up, they are required to wear a mask. Note: The federal law requiring face coverings on public transportation, including school buses, applies to children ages two and up.

Statewide Outdoor Mask Requirement – Effective August 27, 2021

In regards to the Governor Brown’s outdoor mask requirement, child care programs will continue to follow existing Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance and will not be required to wear masks outdoors. When possible, programs should make every effort to maintain physical distancing between children when outside.


On August 19, 2021 Governor Brown issued a requirement for all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021.

This requirement applies to early learning and child care programs located in K-12 school settings. It does not apply to programs outside of schools. Child care, preschool, and recorded programs operating in schools – meaning public, private, parochial, charter or alternative educational programs offering grades kindergarten through 12 or any part thereof – are covered by the rule.

The OHA published initial Frequently Asked Questions about the rule and medical and religious exception forms for OAR 333-019-1030.


As of April 2021, new child care or adult foster care facilities in a residential home must have an automatic residential fire sprinkler system – or take other safety measures approved by a local building official.

The requirement applies only to new construction or the new use of an existing home. If a home has not been approved for use as a child care or adult foster care facility, the home must comply with this new requirement. If the home is approved – or had been previously approved – for use as a child care or adult foster care facility, the home does not have to comply with this new requirement.

Commercial child care centers, not operating in a residence, are covered by the commercial code and include more stringent fire safety requirements.

The state’s Building Codes Division created a one page handout for more details about this requirement. The Early Learning Division does not have oversight of this rule and questions should be directed to the Building Codes Division at

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