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State agency offers emergency child care grants

State of Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon's Early Learning Division late last week released details of an Emergency Child Care grant program to assist open child care providers during the COVID-19 crisis.

The grant program uses resources allocated to Oregon through the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act and other Child Care and Development Block Grant funds.

The limited, one-time grant opened online Friday, May 1 at 8 a.m. The application will be available in English and Spanish. Amounts for the non-competitive grants will vary by provider type and may range from roughly $900 to $18,000. Applications are due by May 11.

“Child care providers are critical to supporting families and other businesses during this crisis,” said Early Learning System Director Miriam Calderon. “We need to support them while they continue to offer an essential service and provide a safe place for children.”

Grant funds may only be used for allowable costs such as paying for a lease/mortgage, utilities, insurance, food and supplies, staff compensation and benefits, and other reasonable operating costs. Award recipients will be notified beginning May 20, 2020. More funding opportunities will be available in the future.

Emergency child care providers are currently required to operate under conditions outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order 20-19 and an updated temporary order memo issued by ELD, which include:

  • Prioritizing child care for individuals in the essential workforce.
  • Limiting the number of children to “stable” groups of 10 in a home or classroom (Emergency Child Care providers may serve new children and accept referrals up to the limit of 10).
  • Adhering to health and safety guidelines developed in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority.

To date, the Office of Child Care has approved more than 2,000 Emergency Child Care applications with capacity to serve 32,000 children of essential workers. Demand for care remains low at this time with approximately 8,000 slots currently vacant. As Oregonians return to work, the ELD anticipates demand for child care will fluctuate.

Families in need of Emergency Child Care can call 211 or text the keyword “children” or “niños” to 898211.

Frequently Asked Questions to address family, provider, and grant applicant questions and concerns are available and updated regularly on the ELD’s COVID-19 webpage. For questions regarding COVID-19 and these changes, providers can call 1-800-342-6712 or their local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency. Applicants can also submit questions by email to

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