Oregon Lawmakers Pass HB5202, Approve $8.2 million in Child Care Provider Support to NeighborImpact

Central Oregon—The legislative package passed on Friday includes $8.2 million to NeighborImpact in support of child care providers throughout Central Oregon and the state.
The nonprofit’s existing Child Care Resources program offers training, technical assistance and business support to child care providers, preschools and early educators in Central Oregon. These funds will enable the program to expand its services aimed at increasing supply of available child care, including providing funding to existing child care providers for renovations and supplies to expand capacity in their current facilities; recruiting and training new child care providers that want to open a child care business; and offering grants to cover operating expenses, supplies, permitting fees and other materials that support opening or expansion.
Efforts supported by these funds will create up to 1400-1700 new child care slots in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
Additionally, a portion of the funding will support NeighborImpact’s partnership with SBDC in development of training and materials for other Community Based Organizations statewide so they can replicate new provider recruitment and training programs in regions across the state.
Aspiring in-home and center based child care providers will have the opportunity to receive training through a partnership with COCC’s Small Business Development Center. Participants who complete the program will receive grants to support their business startup, as well as a subscription to Wonderschool software program. The trainings will be eligible for college credit at no cost.
“The Small Business Development Center is delighted to be able to continue our collaboration with NeighborImpact to support child care providers and child care access across Central Oregon,” said Ken Betschart, director of the SBDC at Central Oregon Community College. “We’re looking forward to refining the initial pilot project we launched together and adapting the content to local needs, which includes offering college credit from COCC to eligible participants. This legislative funding will allow our two organizations to reach more child care facilities and better equip them to serve area families with much-needed resources.”
The application process and qualification criteria for providers interested in participating in the program will be developed by a group of community partners.
“It will be a collaboration of early educators and child care advocates in our community,” said NeighborImpact’s Child Care Resources Director, Karen Prow. “This funding comes at a critical time, as we work to stabilize and grow our supply of quality early care and education opportunities in Central Oregon.”
For more information about NeighborImpact’s Child Care Resources program, visit https://www.neighborimpact.org/get-help/childcare-provider-resources/.