We need society to see and value the work of caregiving.

From parenting, to child care, to caring for our communities’ elders, care work is essential to the economic and social well-being of our entire state. Decades of underinvestment in our care workforce has left Oregon in a state of crisis as parents struggle to find affordable, reliable, and high-quality child care. A lack of adequate access to paid sick time, family or medical leave has also caused workers to leave or lose jobs in order to care for loved ones.

State lawmakers must work with us in 2023 to advance racial, gender, and economic justice for parents and caregivers.

We must prioritize building a child care system that works for providers, families, and our kids.

Every Oregon family deserves access to high quality, affordable, and culturally relevant child care, and every child care provider should be paid a wage that reflects the essential work they do.

Expand Child Care Access & Affordability

  • Fully fund Department of Learning and Care (DELC) Policy Option Package 102 to reduce barriers and improve access to child care assistance (ERDC)
  • Fund trusted Community-Based Organizations to provide navigation services to families who should be eligible for child care assistance (HB 3027)
  • Fund DELC Policy Option Package 104 to increase slots for Baby Promise
  • Fund DELC Policy Option Package 101 to increase access to existing early learning programs

Increase Child Care Workforce Development & Support

  • Remove unnecessary barriers to professional credentials for child care workers (HB 2991)
  • Create an incentive and assistance program for child care workforce modeled after the medical providers program (HB 3029)

Create Child Care Infrastructure

  • Create an Early Learning & Care Facilities Fund and continue co-location with affordable housing investments (HB 3005)
  • Protect child care providers operating in rental homes (SB 599)
  • Examine and address how zoning regulations, building codes, and permitting practices inhibit or support expansion of early learning and care facilities (HB 2727)

Additional bills we are supporting:

  • Stable Homes for Oregon Families (Senate Bill 611): Address the housing emergency that is impacting communities in every corner of the state by strengthening eviction laws to avoid preventable homelessness and suffering, stabilizing our families and economy by ensuring rents do not rise more than a reasonable amount annually, and ensuring more accurate data about Oregon’s housing providers through a landlord registration program.
  • Reproductive & Gender Justice for All (Speaker’s Work Group, bill number TBD): Ensure access to the full range of reproductive, sexual, and gender affirming health care by closing gaps in insurance coverage and protections for sexual, reproductive, and life-saving gender affirming healthcare, and protecting patients, providers, and helpers from criminalization for providing or receiving care that is legal in Oregon.
  • Indigenous Language Justice (Senate Bill 612 + Senate Bill 613): Ensure that Indigenous language speakers from present-day Guatemala and Mexico have the right to understand and be understood by investing in Indigenous language interpretation to pay interpreters living wages, and ensure that Indigenous language speakers don’t have to pay for their own interpretation.
  • In Defense of Humanity (Senate Bill 413): Ensure all Oregonians actually have their constitutional right to a fair trial with adequate legal representation met. Oregon has been experiencing a Constitutional and ethical crisis for decades as our public defense system has been routinely underfunded and major reforms to root out racism inherent in our system have not been realized.
  • Oregon Kids Credit (House Bill 2811): Create a refundable tax credit of $1,200 per eligible child per year to help Oregon families struggling with the rising costs of raising kids. Applies to families with incomes of under $45,000.
  • Thrive Act (House Bills 2651, 2652, and 2977): The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the existing mental health crisis for caregivers, parents, and care providers. These bills will continue to support the development of the mental and behavioral health workforce, especially BIPOC, low income, and culturally responsive service providers.
  • Age Discrimination Protections (House Bill 2800): Will strengthen age discrimination laws in our state. While Oregon law prohibits age discrimination, the courts have taken an extremely narrow view compared to other kinds of workplace discrimination claims.
  • Food for All Oregonians (Senate Bill 610): Make food assistance available to all Oregonians who are currently excluded due to immigration status, and ensure everyone is aware of this support.
  • Opportunity to Serve (Senate Bill 786): Raise the compensation for members of the Oregon State Assembly to the median Oregon wage so that individuals who are not independently wealthy, and who are most impacted by policy-making, will be able to serve their communities.

Care Policy Implementation

Follow-through on implementing laws is as important as passing them!

Paid Family and Medical Leave: Oregon’s paid family and medical leave insurance program is launching this year. Paycheck deductions begin on January 1st and program benefits begin in September. Family Forward:

  • Participates in ongoing rules committees, ensuring implementation decisions align with equity values of the law
  • Works to ensure communities across the state are aware of the new program and understand how to access it

Child Care Capacity Building Grant Fund: Created by the legislature in 2022, the Fund provides grants to community-based organizations that can work directly with child care providers to start new child care facilities or to expand existing facilities to serve more children. Family Forward:

  • Works to ensure that the fund successfully increases child care supply in the low-income, culturally specific communities most in need
  • Works to ensure that providers and potential providers across the state are aware of the new program and understand how to access it

Grants are open on February 6, 2023. To learn more about these grants or apply, visit childcarefororegon.org/grants

To learn more, or to get involved with our movement, sign up to volunteer or meet with an organizer at familyforwardaction.org/volunteer