2024 Children's Agenda

A LEGISLATIVE POLICY AGENDA FOR OREGON'S FUTURE

A Better Future for Oregon's Children and Families

Oregon’s 861,000 children represent one-fifth of the state’s population, and the entirety of its future. This session, the Oregon Legislature is addressing significant issues, including homelessness and addiction, that are affecting an alarming number of Oregonians. These challenges often stem from childhood experiences. We have a responsibility to reach children and families to promote prevention, safety, and well-being now and in the future. Unfortunately, critical matters from the 2023 Legislative Session remain unresolved, requiring urgent attention to our 10 priorities across 3 key domains:  economic well being, education, and family and community support.

Additionally, Oregon’s commitment to its children falls short. Our state ranks in the bottom half among the nation for economic well-being (30th) and education (44th), highlighting the need for immediate and substantial improvement.

By uniting advocates and prioritizing the policy proposals outlined in the 2024 Children’s Agenda, we hold the power to profoundly and positively impact the lives of children and families across Oregon. Together, we can work towards establishing an experience for youth where every child not only thrives, but has the opportunity to flourish and reach their fullest potential.

2024 Children's Agenda Categories

ECONOMIC WELL-BEING

FAMILY & COMMUNITY

Economic Well-Being Agenda Items

Children need financially secure families with stable housing.

 = Passed/Funded

Click each block to see which of our partners submitted the agenda item, who’s supporting it, and links to learn more.
These links are updated as information is made available, so please check back to see how each concept is progressing.

Protections Against Homelessness and Rent Assistance for Families

SUBMITTED BY:

Oregon-Law-Center-Logo

BUDGET ASK:

  • $45 million in rent assistance through community action agencies and community-based organizations.
  • $6.5 million to the Urban League of Oregon for culturally specific housing stability services.
  • $6 million to the Home Fund at Oregon Worker Relief for housing stability services for immigrant Oregonians.
  • $2 million for outreach services for residents of expiring affordable housing units.

DETAILS:
SB 1530  MORE INFO

 

Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. The well-being of our neighbors and our communities depend on whether this basic need is met. Too many households renting their homes are at risk of eviction and homelessness due to the extreme housing affordability crisis. Despite good work and investments last session, continued investments are needed to prevent homelessness in the coming year.


SUPPORTED BY: 

Baby Blues Connection, Children’s Institute, Clackamas Women’s Services, Community Action Team: Child & Family Development Programs, Community Alliance of Tenants, FACT Oregon, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Latino Network, Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse Family Partnership, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon CASA Network, Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Law Center, Oregon Primary Care Association, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, Transponder, and Trillium Family Services

SUBMITTED BY:

family-forward-logo

BUDGET ASK:
$150-225M to maintain ERDC

 

The ERDC program 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 & Care enacted a waitlist for the program on November 4th. ERDC now faces a serious budget shortfall and an indefinite waiting list—which has grown to 1,600+ families and counting. Without additional funding for ERDC, parents may be forced to cut their working hours or quit their jobs or school to care for their kids.


SUPPORTED BY: 

Baby Blues Connection, Children’s Institute, Clackamas Women’s Services, Community Action Team/Child & Family Development Programs, FACT Oregon, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Latino Network, Metropolitan Family Services, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Alliance of YMCAs, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon CASA Network, Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Primary Care Association, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, TransPonder, and Trillium Family Services

Equitable Access to the Child Care Infrastructure Fund for Small & Rural Providers

SUBMITTED BY:

family-forward-logo

 

BUDGET ASK:
$5M for a Home-Based & Small Center Fund

DETAILS:
HB 4158  MORE INFO  MORE INFO

Oregon’s small centers and in-home providers are the child care providers most likely to operate in rural areas, provide culturally/linguistically appropriate care, care to children with disabilities, and offer odd hour care (nights and weekends).

The Legislature should amend HB 3005, passed in 2023, to create a Home-Based & Small Center Fund within the Child Care Infrastructure Fund to ensure that registered, certified, and small centers have access to these critical child care infrastructure funds.


SUPPORTED BY: 

Children’s Institute, Clackamas Women’s Services, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Latino Network, Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Alliance of YMCAs, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon CASA Network, Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Primary Care Association, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, Trillium Family Services, Washington County Kids

Education Agenda Items

Children need quality learning environments beginning at birth.

= Passed/Funded

Click each block to see which of our partners submitted the agenda item, who’s supporting it, and links to learn more.
These links are updated as information is made available, so please check back to see how each concept is progressing.

Establishing the Oregon Youth Advisory Group

SUBMITTED BY:

BUDGET ASK:
~$400K to support the Oregon Youth Leadership Council

DETAILS:
SB 1552 MORE INFO

Creating the Oregon Youth Advisory Group will support a youth-led advisory body that assists in policymaking based directly on their experiences. Creating the Oregon Youth Advisory Group will support diverse student leaders in the policy process at the state level and work to ensure that students – particularly students who have been historically, and currently underrepresented or underserved – are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the policies and practices that impact their lives.


SUPPORTED BY: 

Clackamas Women’s Services, Community Action Team/Child & Family Development Programs, FACT Oregon, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Alliance of YMCAs, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon Primary Care Association, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, Trillium Family Services, Washington County Kids

Expanding Access to Afterschool and Summer Learning

SUBMITTED BY: 

oregon-ask-logo

BUDGET ASK:
$50M for Summer Learning Grant

DETAILS:
HB 4082 MORE INFO

 
 

A statewide Summer Learning program will foster 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. Studies have demonstrated that Summer Learning reduces learning losses, accelerates learning, and addresses equity issues by narrowing the achievement gaps between socio-economic groups.

SUPPORTED BY: 

Children’s Institute, Clackamas Women’s Services, Community Action Team/Child & Family Development Programs, FACT Oregon, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Latino Network, Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Alliance of YMCAs, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Primary Care Association, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, Trillium Family Services, Washington County Kids

Restore Funding for Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education

SUBMITTED BY: 

childrens-institute-logo

BUDGET ASK:
$22M to restore EI/ECSE service levels

DETAILS:
MORE INFO

Early Intervention / Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) are special education services for children age 0-5 with disabilities and delays. Last year, the Legislature underfunded the EI/ECSE program, anticipating no growth in caseloads. Special Education needs funding to continue existing levels of service for children in this program. Special Education services increase school readiness, reduce later costs, and support families to foster life-long success.

 

SUPPORTED BY: 

Clackamas Women’s Services, Community Action Team/Child & Family Development Programs, FACT Oregon, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Alliance of YMCAs, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Primary Care Association, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, TransPonder, Trillium Family Services

Funding the Early Literacy Success Initiative

SUBMITTED BY: 

our-children-oregon-logo

BUDGET ASK:
•  $9.43 for the Birth Through Five Literacy
•  $10M for the Tribal & Community Grants

DETAILS:
MORE INFO

However, funds to support literacy development—the Birth Through Five Literacy Plan, Tribal Grants, and Community Grants—must be approved. These program will increase capacity for early childhood programs, provide researched-align training and coaching, and expand culturally-specific programs.


SUPPORTED BY: 

Clackamas Women’s Services, Children’s Institute, Community Action Team/Child & Family Development Programs, FACT Oregon, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Latino Network, Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Alliance of YMCAs, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Primary Care Association, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, Trillium Family Services

Family & Community Agenda Items

Children and their families need safety and stability.

 = Passed/Funded

Click each block to see which of our partners submitted the agenda item, who’s supporting it, and links to learn more.
These links are updated as information is made available, so please check back to see how each concept is progressing.

Stabilization Funding for Relief Nurseries

SUBMITTED BY:  

BUDGET ASK:
$2.7M to sustain and
stabilize Relief Nursery operations


DETAILS:

MORE INFO

Relief Nurseries have demonstrated a 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. Additional state funding of $2.7 million for Relief Nurseries is needed to sustain and stabilize services for over 2,300 children across Oregon. The one-of-a-kind Relief Nursery model provides children, birth through age five, and their families with wraparound support to prevent and reduce the amount of time children spend within the foster care system.


SUPPORTED BY: 

Children’s Institute, Clackamas Women’s Services, Community Action Team/Child & Family Development Programs, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon CASA Network, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Primary Care Association, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, TransPonder, Trillium Family Services

Advocacy for State Support for Nurse-Family Medicaid Match

SUBMITTED BY: 

BUDGET ASK:
$3.2M to pay for Medicaid match

DETAILS:
HB 4105  MORE INFO

Nurse-Family Partnership is an evidence-based, community health program with 45 years of research showing significant improvements in 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 the services we provide, but Medicaid requires a local match in funding. The state can match the funding by allocating $3.2 million, expanding NFP programs to serve more families across the state.


SUPPORTED BY: 

Baby Blues Connection, Children’s Institute, Clackamas Women’s Services, Community Action Team/Child & Family Development Programs, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization), Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon CASA Network, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Primary Care Association, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, TransPonder, Trillium Family Services

Increase Funding for Healthy Families Oregon

SUBMITTED BY: 

BUDGET ASK:
$2.7M to stabilize HFO workforce

DETAILS:
MORE INFO

Home visiting programs like Healthy Families Oregon (HFO) reduce incidences of child abuse and neglect by as much as 50%. However, HFO has long been underfunded as a state-funded program. Pay parity is still needed for staff as their salaries are far below other similar early childhood programs. Investing $2.7 million in this integral workforce is investing in the development and safety of Oregon’s children.


SUPPORTED BY: 

Children’s Institute, Clackamas Women’s Services, Community Action Team/Child & Family Development Programs, Family Forward, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, IRCO, Latino Network, Metropolitan Family Service, Nurse-Family Partnership, Oregon Alliance of YMCAs, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, Oregon Association of Student Councils, Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, Oregon CASA Network, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, Oregon Primary Care Association, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Southern Oregon Success, TransPonder, Trillium Family Services, Washington County Kids

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2023 Legislative
Wins

Last year, an investment of $448.4M was committed for children and families in Oregon.

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