Preschool for All will provide tuition-free preschool to all 3- and 4- year olds in Multnomah County, ensuring children have opportunities they need to learn, grow and be successful, and ensuring families have the support they need to earn a living.

Preschool for All will also ensure a living wage for preschool teachers and workers, striving toward pay parity among preschool and kindergarten teachers who perform similar work. Full details on the plan are available here

Preschool for All would be funded through a modest marginal income tax paid by only the highest earners–approximately 90% of Multnomah County taxpayers won’t pay a penny.

Preschool for All means lasting benefits for our whole community, with $7-$16 estimated to return to the community for every $1 spent on preschool and countless prosocial benefits realized over time.

CURRENT REALITYYES ON PRESCHOOL FOR ALL
~15% of children served by public preschool programs (preschool slots publicly funded, such as Head Start and Preschool Promise)100% of children served by publicly-funded preschool programs, building on the success of current programming
Children and people in BIPOC communities are most affected by the lack of affordable, high-quality preschoolPrioritizes children and families with the least access today, and ensures every child in Multnomah County has the option to attend a preschool program that is right for them
Preschool teachers are paid less than half the salary of kindergarten teachers; 

Severe shortage of preschool facilities + qualified teachers
Fair wages for all preschool teachers, recognizing a workforce made up disproportionately of women of color that is historically underpaid for their high-value work, and eliminating barriers to entering the field.
Oregon has the fourth most expensive childcare (preschool) in the country, now combined with unprecedented economic strain from COVID-19High-quality, tuition-free preschool for all 3- and 4-year olds in Multnomah County, for short-term and long-term social and economic health
“Right now it is so hard to find high quality preschool that we can afford. It shouldn’t be this hard.”
Anita, preschool teacher + mom of 3
“I wouldn’t have to worry so much. It would be a dream.”
Anita, preschool teacher + mom of 3
  • Preschool for All offers a mixed delivery model with a range of options to meet family needs: licensed in-home programs and center-based care; full-day, part-day, and extended-day programs; and school-year and year-round options will all be available, as well as multi-generational and culturally specific early learning programs.
  • It is not mandatory: Families can choose the type of program in which they enroll or whether they participate at all.
  • Preschool for All aligns learning and development standards with Oregon Early Learning through Kindergarten Framework; focused on the whole child and family. 
  • Preschool for All ensures community-based oversight and accountability to voters through an advisory board that includes parents and providers.
  • A side-by-side policy comparison shows Preschool for All is the most comprehensive plan among existing universal preschool programs, with the strongest focus on centering and prioritizing Black and Brown communities. Unprecedented community participation and engagement is in the plan’s DNA.
  • Preschool for All prioritizes our community’s children who currently have the least access, children who speak languages other than English, children experiencing poverty, and provides special support for children with developmental delays and disabilities, while building toward a fully universal system.
  • Preschool for All is designed to grow at the fastest sustainable pace to become universal. The timeline for the plan is carefully crafted to avoid unintended consequences that could hurt childcare services or sacrifice our ability to equitably serve our children in a rush to overhaul the system.
  • Preschool for All offers a living wage for providers; teachers on par with kindergarten teachers; assistants minimum $18/hr (in 2020 dollars) so we can retain high-quality teachers and eliminate barriers to the field.
  • Preschool for All invests in workforce development, including coaching, professional development, and equity-focused pathways to higher education and community training for teachers.
  • Preschool for All preserves and increases the diversity of the workforce through credential requirements that allow for training in both higher education and community-based environments.
  • Preschool for All invests in infrastructure through funds that support providers to meet regulatory requirements (licensing, fire code, etc.) and upgrade facilities to improve quality.
  • Making preschool available to every child is one of the best investments we can make in our future. Preschool is estimated to return to the community $7-$16 for every dollar spent. This comes in the form of children better prepared for school, and students achieving higher lifetime earnings and better health outcomes. It also helps communities lower rates of crime and teen pregnancy.
  • Preschool for All empowers parents and families with the support they need to thrive, not just to survive. Traditional safety net programs such as Medicare, unemployment insurance and food assistance programs cover basic needs, and Preschool for All builds on those programs to create new opportunities and pathways to success for everyone in our community.
  • With Preschool for All, parents can choose the option that works for their family, so they can go to work, build a career, pay their bills, and contribute to the economy while also ensuring that their children don’t miss out on critical social and academic skills.
  • Preschool for All eliminates barriers to high quality preschool that disproportionately impact people in BIPOC communities, such as the high cost of preschool in Oregon, which currently has the fourth highest cost of preschool.
  • Studies show high quality preschool sets up children for lifelong success.
  • Universal preschool is one of the best ways to boost high school graduation rates.
  • From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in their life. Children who do not have opportunities for high quality preschool programming can never catch up with their peers who had opportunities for preschool programming.
  • Supported by decades of available data and continued research, we know investments in early childhood education yield tangible and intangible returns on investment for both individuals and communities. 
  • 50% of programs in Oregon are certain they will have to close without the help they need
  • Among providers surveyed in Oregon, 88% of programs are paying more for cleaning supplies
    • 64% are paying for personal protective equipment;
    • 52% are paying more for staff and personnel costs
  • Preschool providers are disproportionately women of color
  • Nationwide, only 18% of programs are confident they will be able to stay open past a year without public assistance.
  • Because it is an income tax, no matter what happens amid economic uncertainty, only people who can easily afford to pay will pay. It’s a mechanism built for the time we’re in. This is not capital gains tax nor a property tax.
  • Families who are not in the top 10 percent of earners won’t pay anything.
  • Together, a super-coalition made up more than 200+ policy experts and grassroots organizers has united behind a plan for all of Multnomah County. Public, private and social sector leaders, and preschool practitioners developed a roadmap to providing universal preschool that is based on national best practices and, critically, on the unique needs of local children and families.