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Oregon Family Magazine

Yes, Child Care is Open and Available!

06/03/2020 12:51PM ● By Kristen Helton
In mid-March Governor Brown issued an Executive Order on social distancing measures for Oregon due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The order required all schools, and many businesses, to close. Additionally, much of the workforce began working from home. Now that Lane County has been approved to enter Phase 1 of the Governor’s Reopening Plan, many businesses are resuming operations. Consequently, there will be an increase in demand for child care.

Although half of all licensed child care programs in Lane County have closed as a result of the pandemic, child care is still available in Oregon! Currently, more than 150 licensed child care programs are operating as Emergency Child Care (ECC) programs. These programs must adhere to specific rules aimed at reducing Covid-19 transmission risks. While ECC programs must give priority to parents who are considered essential workers, programs are open and available to any family that needs care.  

Similar to ECC programs, summer day camps and youth recreation programs can operate, but will be limited to separate, stable groups of ten or fewer children. This means that capacity and child care options across the county will be decreased this summer. However, there are currently many licensed family and center-based child care programs open with space available for your child!

So, how do working parents find child care? The best way to find child care is to contact 211Info for a list of programs that align with your specific needs. By answering some simple questions, you will receive a list of child care programs that have space available. You can then contact the providers to arrange for a tour to ensure the program meets your requirements and quality standards. Parents who need assistance covering the cost of child care may be eligible for an Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) subsidy, through the Department of Human Services.

Quality Care Connections supports child care workers with professional development, quality improvements, and general resources. We are also available to talk with you about finding quality child care, as well as provide you with information on the new health and safety requirements that licensed child care programs are required to implement.

PARENT RESOURCES FOR CHILD CARE

Quality Care Connections

·       Call 541-463-3300

·       Visit www.lanecc.edu

·       Email [email protected]

Early Learning Division

·       Visit www.oregonearlylearning.com

211Info Child Care Referrals

·       Visit www.211info.org

·       Dial 211

·       Text keyword “children” to 898211

·       Email [email protected]

Department of Human Services ERDC

·       Visit www.oreon.gov/DHS

·       Call 541-686-7878

“We are grateful for the providers who have remained open to serve children and families in Oregon during this pandemic. We recognize these are difficult conditions to be operating in. The ELD will continue to support providers through this crisis.”  Miriam Calderon, Early Learning Division Director.

Kristen Helton is a Quality Improvement Specialist with Quality Care Connections, in Eugene, OR.