COVID-19: Oregon expands child care benefits for families and providers

Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday directed two state agencies to make changes to child care benefits to help low-income working families get access and providers stay in business during the COVID-19 crisis.

“At a time when Oregon’s families are weathering numerous difficulties in their daily lives due to the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on our economy, we need to do everything we can to make sure child care providers can keep their doors open so that parents can continue to work,” Brown said in a statement.

Brown directed the Oregon Department of Human Services and and the Early Learning Division to make the following immediate changes:

  • Eliminating co-pays for eligible families.
  • Providing access to more families by increasing the income limit from 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($4,040 per month for a family of four) to 250 percent of the federal poverty level or 85 percent of the state median income, whichever is higher for the family size ($5,899 per month for a family of four).
  • Ensuring more certainty for providers. Child care providers are able to continue to receive payments from DHS, even if children are unable to attend or if they have to temporary shut down during the state of emergency.

“It is important that we come together and help one another through this difficult time,” said Fariborz Pakseresht, Oregon DHS Director. “Child care providers play an important role in supporting families, and we want to make sure families can still access this important service.”

“These measures are helping families access safe care for their children and will help stabilize child care businesses during an unprecedented time,” said Early Learning System Director Miriam Calderon.

Providers and parents/caretakers may contact the DHS Direct Pay Unit with questions Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-699-9074.

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