March 2, 2023 | Child Care Update

IN THIS ISSUE: Reminder: March Provider Information Session, March is Preschool Education Awareness Month, Report Highlights Top Concerns of Early Educators, Presentations On The Upcoming Department Of Early Learning And Care, and ELD on Instagram! 

Reminder: March Provider Information Session

Don’t forget the next events in our series of Provider Information Sessions:  

Wednesday, March 15 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Interpretation available)

Thursday, March 16 | 6 to 7 p.m. 
All provider types. (Conducted in Spanish)

The agenda and links to register will be available by March 4 on the ELD website. That page also contains links to previous information sessions. 

March is Preschool Education Awareness Month

National Preschool Teachers Appreciation Day is March 17! We want to thank Oregon’s early childhood educators for helping to shape the young minds of children in our communities. With thoughtful curriculum practices, your work makes a lasting difference for children and families in Oregon.  

Other observances to note: 

  • Month of March: Disability Awareness Month and Women’s History Month 
  • March 10: National Preschoolers Day 
  • March 14: National Children’s Craft Day 
  • Upcoming: The first week of April is the NAEYC’s 2023 Week of the Young Child®  

ELD on Instagram! 

Have you heard? The Early Learning Division (ELD) has launched an Instagram account! The ELD Instagram will share information with community members who are interested in learning more about the ELD and partner programs. Instagram posts will be especially helpful for families with children ages 0 to 5.   

Please encourage the families you serve to follow us: @oregonearlylearning 

If you would like your program to be highlighted on our Instagram or other social media pages, please submit your photos and release forms to this online form.  

Report Highlights Top Concerns of Early Educators

Early Learning Division partnered with University of California-Berkeley on a study exploring the work environments of center-based and home-based early educators. The study is the first of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 1,000 Oregon early educators shared their lived experiences with work conditions that affect practices and well-being. Here are some key takeaways: 

Supported staff want to stay: To recruit and maintain high-quality staff, programs must offer supportive working conditions for their early educators.  

Training and support needs: Many Oregon early educators reported a lack of training in several areas and a lack of options for sustained, long-term training or opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. 

Language and cultural diversity: Multilingual educators in Oregon feel they have less power in their program setting and that their input is not valued. 

Adult well-being suffers: Early educators reported struggling to afford housing, health care, food, and other basics for themselves and their families. They also reported unhealthy or unsafe conditions, such as not being able to take breaks. 

Family child care providers are facing challenges: Few family child care providers can employ assistants to help them in their work. Taking on this responsibility has negative effects on them financially and emotionally.  

You can find both the executive summary and the full report on the UC-Berkeley website. 

Oregon Spark: Apply to be a member of the redesign team  

The Research Institute at Western Oregon University (WOU) invites families and early learning and care professionals to help redesign the statewide Quality Recognition Improvement System—also known as Spark. WOU and Community Wealth Partners have created a listening, learning, and redesign process led by people who have children or currently work with young children. 

Members of this team will listen and gather information from families and early learning and care professionals in their communities through surveys, virtual or in-person conversations, and interviews. They will then review feedback and develop recommendations.  

Members of this team: 

  • Earn $50 per hour 
  • Work about 50 hours from late March through July 2023, including one weekly online meeting 
  • Receive help with technology, child care, and training 

We encourage people who speak Spanish, English, and/or are bilingual in English and another language to apply. 

The deadline to apply is Monday, March 20. To submit an application, email the below information to Walter Howell at (English) or Idalia Fernandez at (Spanish): 

  1. Name, phone number, email address  
  2. Town/city where you live   
  3. Languages you speak (including ASL) 
  4. Brief answers to these questions in a few sentences:
    • Why do you want to be part of this listening team? 
    • What is most important to you in child care and early education? 

Find more information on the Spark website. Please feel free to contact Spark if you have questions. 

Presentations On The Upcoming Department Of Early Learning And Care

On February 27, February 28, and March 1, ELD staff presented on the new Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) at the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education. Click below to watch recordings and learn more about DELC. Closed captioning is available for the recorded meetings.   

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