Reynolds, Grayber, & Burdick joint Virtual Town Hall, 5-16-21, 5:30pm

Reynolds, Grayber, & Burdick joint Virtual Town Hall, 5-16-21, 5:30pm

Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 5:30 pm will be a joint virtual (zoom) town hall with Reps. Lisa Reynolds (D, HD-36), Dacia Grayber (D, HD-35), and Sen. Ginny Burdick (D, SD-18)Pre-registration is required, you can do so by clicking here.

Rep. Reynolds is a pediatrician and says there is a childcare crisis in Oregon.  She’s working to fix that; here is what she says in her latest newsletter:

We have a childcare crisis in Oregon. Almost every county in the state qualifies as a childcare desert, meaning there are 3 children for every regulated childcare slot. “Slots” include certified childcare centers as well as home-based childcare. Families struggle to find a place for their child(ren) and there is no structure in place for families to know where there may be openings. AND, childcare continues to be too expensive for too many Oregon families.

…Childcare is both too expensive (for some) and it doesn’t pay its workers enough. I compare it to kindergarten. Most families would not be able to afford the $11,000 that schools receive from the state per kindergarten student. But that’s what it takes to educate 5-6 year olds, including paying the teacher a living wage. Childcare is similar. The providers should earn family wages, and to do this, childcare must be more expensive, increasing the importance of sliding scale subsidies by the government.

Here’s how she wants to fix this problem by increasing subsidies for child care, which will increase the taxes you have to pay in order to provide these extra subsides.

Solutions: In 2019, the Oregon legislature established the Joint Task Force on Access to Quality and Affordable Childcare. The task force was made up of members of the legislature, government agency staff, advocates, and childcare providers. The co-chair of the task force, Representative Karin Power, is now chair for the House Committee on Early Childhood, on which I serve as vice-chair. Many of the committee recommendations became bills heard and passed out of our committee, and include the following:

  • Assess and report on what is currently available statewide and develop a plan to coordinate services HB 3201, HB 3334. This is a prerequisite for universal preschool statewide.
  • Expand eligibility for subsidies to more children: expand parameters on income, immigration status, disabilities, and reasons parents need childcare (and for a minimum of 12 months (HB 3073A)).
  • Connect reimbursement rates paid to childcare providers with the true cost of care and eliminate delays in payment. HB 3073A will study and determine the true cost of care by July 2022 and providers will be paid at the beginning of the month.
  • Ensure parent copays are not a barrier to receiving childcare assistance. HB 3073A tops out family co-pays for childcare at 7% of family income.
  • Reduce barriers for childcare businesses – landlords must allow tenants to host an in-home certified daycare (HB 2484) and communities cannot restrict use of property for childcare facilities (HB 3109). {Never-mind the fact that insurance companies wont allow the property owner to insure their single-family rental for doing business as a childcare facility}
  • Consolidate governance and funding for childcare subsidy into one agency: HB 3073A formed a new agency – Department of Early Learning and Care – which is responsible for all childcare issues. Previously, three agencies were involved with childcare matters.

Early Childhood Committee also: outlawed crib bumpers (HB 3379), expanded the businesses that have to provide paid family leave (HB 2474), enhanced childcare for foster parents (HB 2719), changed the system of measuring and publicizing the quality of a particular childcare provider or center (HB 2059), and strengthened an employee’s right to request accommodations in their work schedule (SB 716A).

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 05/16/2021
5:30 pm

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