Budget Cuts to Employment Related Day Care (ERDC)

Because of budget cuts, families who qualify for the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) subsidy will now be added to a waitlist.

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

We are calling on Oregon legislators to invest in child care so that all families who need this subsidy can access it.


Help us advocate for more investments to help families who can’t afford child care. Share your family’s child care story, or take our pledge and help us fight to expand access to affordable child care to more Oregon families. 

Our leaders need to hear from you.

By taking action, we can send a powerful message to our elected leaders that we need child care options that work for every family, regardless of income or zip code. 


The waitlist is only the latest development in Oregon’s child care crisis, following decades of underinvestment. More and more working parents are struggling to find affordable, reliable, and high-quality child care. And at the same time, child care providers – who have their own families to support – are doing this critical work for very low pay.

For families unable to afford child care, Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) is a critical program that helps families make ends meet. Without assistance, child care costs can easily exceed 50% of these families’ income. And although more and more families are seeking support, Oregon legislators recently passed a budget that deeply underfunded child care—meaning ERDC will have fewer spots available to thousands of working families who may qualify for the program.


Due to underfunding by the legislature and increased demand, Oregon’s Department of Early Learning and Care announced that ERDC enrollment will close on November 3. Most families that apply after the deadline will be added to a waitlist (*see below for exemptions). Waitlisted families may anticipate up to an 18-month waiting period. Some families with specific needs will still be able to access ERDC.

If you are getting ERDC benefits now, the closure will not affect you. You will continue to receive support.

How to apply for ERDC

We encourage families to continue to apply for ERDC while the waitlist is in effect.

  • Visit One.Oregon.gov – or – visit a local office 
  • Call 1-800-699-9075
  • Text the keyword “children” to 898211

More about ERDC

ERDC is an essential subsidy program that helps thousands of parents in Oregon who are working, in school or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) afford child care. 

Learn more about the program and apply here.

Does my family qualify for ERDC?

  • You may qualify if you are employed or you are employed and going to school, and your household earns under 250% FPL for a family of four. That equals a monthly salary of about $5,899 in salary or wages.
  • After being approved for ERDC, you may continue to get this financial assistance if you are searching for work after a job loss, if you need to take medical leave, or for military transitions. Learn more here.
  • Many types of providers take ERDC subsidies. Some people use ERDC to pay a family member, friend or neighbor to provide child care for them. If you receive ERDC, you can identify someone in your life who will be providing care to your child and they can register as a provider with the ERDC program. Then the child care financial aid you receive will go to them, so they can help support you and your child’s learning during this time.

* Some families with specific needs will have access to ERDC while the waitlist is in effect. These families include:

  • Families recently or currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – or – Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors (TA-DVS)
  • Families referred by the Child Welfare division of the Oregon Department of Human Services
  • Families reapplying for ERDC within two months of benefits ending

Families interested in ERDC may also qualify for other support programs. To learn about other early learning and child care programs, visit Oregon.gov/delc/erdc. Or dial 211 to learn more about child care resources available in your local area.

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