QUALITY, AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE
Child care is the work that makes all other work possible. When parents and caregivers cannot find affordable child care, we are less likely to be able to secure stable employment — let alone keep up with child care expenses when we do. Lack of access to quality, affordable child care is among the many reasons that households led by single moms are nearly four times as likely to experience food insecurity than the general population.
We are grateful for the leadership of Child Care for Oregon Coalition, Early Childhood Coalition, Our Children Oregon - Children’s Agenda, Family Forward Oregon, Children’s Institute, Asian Pacific American Network or Oregon (APANO), Imagine Black, Urban League of Portland, Oregon AFSCME, Unite Oregon, and many other groups for leading these advocacy efforts.
Among our shared wins this session is real progress to improve the quality and affordability of child care in Oregon:
✅Childcare Providers in Rental Homes (SB 599)
Senate Bill 599 protects child care providers who operate out of their rental homes by ensuring landlords may not prohibit a tenant who has met the proper reporting requirements from operating home-based child care.
✅Employment Related Day Care (Dept. of Early Learning & Care POP 202)
Though not funded at the levels we had hoped for, the Department of Early Learning & Care budget continues to invest in employment-related daycare, which helps low-income families pay for child care. Leading advocates continue to work with the Governor, department leadership and legislators to prevent a waitlist for child care subsidy.
Childcare Workforce Recruitment & Retention
- ✅House Bill 2991 addresses unnecessary barriers in Oregon’s child care professional credentialing system and lack of linguistically-diverse access by providing recommendations to both administrative rules and statutes to create clear and equitable workforce pathways.
- ✅House Bill 2504 reduces additional barriers that impede international early childhood professionals from entering the early learning workforce in Oregon.
✅Child Care Infrastructure
- Though it did not receive the funding levels we had hoped for, House Bill 3005 establishes a Child Care Infrastructure Fund to provide financial support for early child care infrastructure activities, with 25% of the allocation going to culturally specific organizations.
House Bill 2727 examines strategies for expanding early learning and care facilities by reviewing zoning, building codes, and permitting impact on child care.
There is still work ahead to build on these important victories and continue moving toward our affordable child care agenda:
❌Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) POP 114
Though programs that support co-location of child care and affordable housing remain, funding to expand these initiatives was not included in the final state budget.
- ❌Provider Recruitment and Retention (HB 3029)
Though it did not pass, House Bill 3029 would have created an incentive and assistance program to improve recruitment and retention of child care providers in Oregon. Investments would be devoted to education, professional development and licensing costs — as well as housing support as costs continue to rise.
The Oregon Food Bank Network provides vital support for more than a million people facing food insecurity each year. Yet we know we can’t end hunger for good through food alone — we have to address the policies and systems that drive poverty in our communities. Sign up to stay informed on state and federal policies that will help eliminate hunger at its roots!