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Senate Republicans Take Innovative Approach to Expand Statewide Access to Affordable Child Care

SALEM, Ore. – Today, Deputy Leader Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City) carried Senate Bill 1040 B on the Senate floor, a first-in-the-nation concept taking immediate action to address Oregon’s child care crisis felt in every corner of the state. The bill directs the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) to establish a pilot program for child micro centers. It passed unanimously and is headed to the House for consideration.

The entire state is a child care desert for infants and toddlers, meaning we have less than one child care space for every three children. Additionally, 60% of young children have all their available parents working. This shortage is particularly acute in many rural counties, according to a report produced by Oregon State University.

The Council for a Strong America (CSA) estimates Oregon’s infant-toddler child care crisis costs Oregon $1.4 billion annually in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue.

“In discussions with child care providers across the state, it became clear that we need to test innovative solutions that support quality care for children, financial viability for small providers, workforce retention, and economic vitality. Micro centers are designed to offer increased flexibility for providers to develop collaborative, community driven solutions. This bill helps solve the child care crisis today – not tomorrow,” said Deputy Leader Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City), who introduced and chief sponsored the bill.

A “micro center” is defined as a child care program located inside a residential or nonresidential facility that on a regular basis serves 3 to 30 children for more than four hours a day. It creates more pathways for shared service models and increases the ability for employers, child care providers, and local partners to retrofit unutilized spaces to provide quality and affordable care.

The Joint Committee on Ways and Means approved $225,000 General Fund to the DELC administer the pilot program in the 2023-25 biennium.


Oregon Senate Republican Office | Ashley.Kuenzi@oregonlegislature.gov

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