2024 Children’s Agenda Recap

Celebrating Big Wins for Oregon's Children

8 priorities passed (out of 10)

~$293.6M funded

75 meetings with legislators

25 testimonies

45 Attendees for Children’s Advocacy Day

15 Counties Represented at Children’s Advocacy Day

45 ACTions by ACT members!

As the 2024 Legislative Session concludes, we celebrate the significant progress made to improve the well-being of Oregon’s children. With the support of our 138 partner organizations statewide, we advocated for crucial unfinished business, passing 8 out of 10 of our priorities. And we won big!

This year, the Oregon Legislature had 35 days to consider hundreds of bills. Through our collective efforts, we successfully achieved ~$293.6M in investments across 3 key domains—economic well-being, education, and family and community. We ensured the Oregon Legislature addressed children’s basic needs by funding $41M in rent assistance and housing stability programs, and $171M for Employment Related Day Care. Additionally, we secured $81.6M in upstreams solutions like statewide home-visiting programs, special education, early literacy, summer learning, and more.

We are thankful to our partners and ACT members who contributed to this year’s legislative wins! There is more to come, as we look to address ongoing systemic issues impacting our children and families—like youth mental health, food security, child care, and literacy. We will continue to strive toward an Oregon where all children thrive, now and in the future.

2024 Children's Agenda Recap

Economic Well-Being

Bill Number:

Investments Needed To Prevent Eviction and Homelessness (SB 1530)

What this Means:

The Emergency Housing Stability and Production Package passed this session, making a total of $376M directed at the immediate needs of Oregonians struggling with homelessness, having trouble paying rent, or needing a place to live while recovering from a substance use disorder. Specifically, the bill includes $34M for rent assistance with 30% set aside for culturally responsive organizations, $7M to the Urban League of Portland for homelessness prevention services, $5M to individual development accounts (IDAs), and $1M for outreach services to residents of expiring affordable housing units.

Bill Number:

Adequately Fund Employment Related Day Care
($171M)

What this Means:

Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) is a lifeline for families—it keeps parents working and ensures kids get the early education they deserve. However, due to increased demand and underfunding, the Department of Early Learning and Care enacted a waitlist for the program on November 4th, 2023. A waitlist for ERDC has grown to 1,900+ families and counting. To address this shortfall, the Legislature allocated a total of $171M for ERDC–$99M directly to ERDC and $72 to the Emergency Board to allocate funds for caseload needs in the program.

Bill Number:

Expanding Child Care Capacity for Home-Based, Small Centers, and Rural Areas (HB 4158)

What this Means:

This session, the Legislature missed the opportunity to allocate funding to small centers and in-home providers. Dedicated funding is needed for these providers to access the Child Care Infrastructure Fund, helping them start or expand their businesses. We must invest in small centers and in-home providers who are most likely to operate in rural areas, provide the kinds of care that are in short supply, and are most in need of additional capacity.

Education Recap

Bill Number:

Establishing the Oregon Youth Advisory Council
(SB 1552)

What this Means:

Our youth in Oregon learn best when they feel safe, seen, heard, and valued. To elevate youth voices, the Legislature established the Youth Advisory Group, creating a process for youth leaders to convert their wisdom and diverse experiences into policymaking. This will ensure young leaders are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of policies that impact their lives.

Bill Number:

Funding Summer Learning Grants
(HB 4082)

What this Means:

Summer learning fosters success for all Oregon’s students by improving readiness to learn, promoting academic achievement, and providing safe, healthy, and enriching ways to grow as individuals during the summer months. This year, the Legislature invested $30M for the summer and established a summer and afterschool workgroup to continue the dialogue on future mid- and long-term summer programs.

Bill Number:

Restore Funding for Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education ($22M)

What this Means:

Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) are special education services for children aged 0 to 5 with disabilities and delays. To continue existing service levels for children in this program, the Legislature allocated over $22M for EI/ECSE. This funding ensures Special Education services can continue supporting school readiness, reduce later costs, and support families to foster life-long success for young children with disabilities.

Bill Number:

Fulfill Funding for Early Literacy
($19.43M)

What this Means:

Research shows almost any child can learn to read, but only 29% of Oregon 4th graders meet grade-level reading benchmarks. The Legislature fulfilled promises made in the Early Literacy Success Initiative (HB 3198) passed last year by allocating over $9.43M for the Birth Through Five Literacy Plan and $9.99M to Tribal and Community Literacy Grants. This funding will increase the capacity of early learning programs and culturally and linguistically responsive literacy programs.

Family & Community Recap

Bill Number:

Support for Nurse-Family Medicaid Match
($3.15M)

What this Means:

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is an evidence-based, community health program that improves the health and lives of first-time parents and their children affected by social and economic inequality. NFP programs in Oregon bill Medicaid for some of their services, but Medicaid requires a local match in funding. The Legislature committed over $3.15M to provide the non-federal matching to expand NFP programs and serve more families across the state.

Bill Number:

Stabilization Funding for Relief Nurseries
($2.7M)

What this Means:

The Legislature allocated $2.7M for Relief Nurseries. This early learning program has a demonstrated 95% success rate at preventing costly foster care through a comprehensive model of parent education, family home visits, and therapeutic classrooms for children birth through age five.

Bill Number:

Increase Funding for Healthy Families Oregon
($2.7M)

What this Means:

This year, the legislature missed the opportunity to invest in Healthy Families Oregon (HFO), a visiting programs that reduce incidences of child abuse and neglect by as much as 50%. HFO has long been underfunded as a state-funded program. Pay parity is still needed for staff, as well as additional staff capacity to invest in the development and safety of Oregon’s children.