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Oregon Legislature Creates Early Childhood Task Force

The Oregon legislature has created a new Early Childhood Task Force and named its members — and they include Alliance for Early Success ally Swati Adarkar, President and CEO of the Children’s Institute. 

The legislative task force is charged with evaluating Oregon’s current child care system and proposing solutions that will ensure all families have access to stable, quality child care that meets their needs by 2025. The Joint Task Force on Access to Quality Affordable Child Care, formed following last year’s passage of HB 2346, includes state lawmakers, early care and education providers, early childhood and family advocates, business leaders, and parents.

  • Senator Tim Knopp
  • Senator Kathleen Taylor
  • Representative Cedric Hayden
  • Representative Karin Power
  • Swati Adarkar, President & CEO, Children’s Institute
  • Miriam Calderon, Early Learning System Director, Early Learning Division
  • Brenda Comini, Early Learning Hub Director, Better Together Central Oregon
  • Josie Emmrich, Owner & Lead Teacher, Loving Beginnings Preschool and Child Care
  • Regan Gray, Child Care Policy Advisor, Family Forward
  • Dan Haun, Self-Sufficiency Program Director, Oregon Dept. of Human Services
  • Ron Herndon, Director, Albina Head Start
  • Natalie Jackson, Child Care Director, SEIU503
  • Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director, APANO
  • Yolanda Morales, Parent, Eastern Oregon Child Care Resource & Referral
  • Marie Simonds, Program Manager, Wild Rivers Coast Alliance
  • Elanna Yalow, Chief Academic Officer, KinderCare

The child care task force was approved last year in response to Oregon’s growing child care crisis; the entire state has been designated a child care desert for kids ages 0–2 and the median price of full-time care for an infant is more than a year of public college tuition.

HB 2346 also directs Oregon’s Early Learning Division to examine the child care system. The ELD recently released the first of three reports, The State of Early Care & Education and Child Care Assistance in Oregon.

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