Child care and early childhood education is foundational to Oregon’s economy.

No economic recovery will be possible if families do not have access to safe, affordable care for their children when they return to work. With this in mind, we are deeply concerned about extended closures child care providers are facing in the wake of COVID-19, which will put a substantial number of Oregon providers out of business permanently, worsening the child care access and affordability crisis we already face.

The economic impact of these closures will most adversely affect Multnomah County’s culturally-specific early learning programs, programs owned by women and people of color, and Black, Indigenous, and families of color who are still required to work; all of whom already face systemic racial and financial inequities. We simply cannot let this happen.

Our coalition partners have organized to respond to the immediate needs child care providers are experiencing during this crisis. More information is available at ORProviderRelief.org.

Oregon’s Early Learning Division is also providing $8 million of emergency grants for childcare providers. These grants are open for a limited time from Friday, May 1, at 8:00 am and close on Monday, May 11, at 5 pm.

Visit the Early Learning Divison website for more information, but here are a few things to know: if you are doing emergency care, you are eligible; if you qualify for these funds, you will receive some kind of benefit; some of the funds you are eligible for will arrive before the end of May if you apply before the May 11th deadline.

If you need assistance, contact the Early Learning Division at ECCgrants@state.or.us or at 971-707-2029.