Child Care

Overview of how Employment-Related Day Care (ERDC) works

ERDC helps eligible low-income parents pay for child care so they can work. If the parent is eligible for assistance, DHS will pay a portion of their child care bill directly to the family's chosen provider through the Direct Pay Unit (DPU) in Salem. Providers must complete a child care provider listing to find out if they can become listed with DHS, and must meet DHS requirements, including passing a background check.

Child care assistance may also be available for families who are not yet working through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Interested parents can call their local DHS office to see if they are eligible.

If you are interested in becoming a DHS child care provider

To be able to receive child care payments from the Department of Human Services, providers must:

Beginning January 2017, background checks will include the following components:

  • A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint check using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System; 
  • A search of the state criminal and sex offender registry or repository in the state where the individual resides, and each state where the individual resided during the preceding 5 years; 
  • A search of state-based child abuse and neglect registries and databases in the State where the individual resides, and each State where the individual resided during the preceding 5 years; 
  • A search of the National Crime Information Center; 
  • A search of the National Sex Offender Registry established under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16901 et seq.).​

The amount DHS will pay is based on the family's income, type of child care and how many hours of care are needed.

Most parents are also required to pay a portion of the cost, called the copay, directly to the provider. The copay amount is determined according to a sliding fee scale, based on family income and household size. Parents must pay their copay or make other arrangements with the provider in order to remain eligible for assistance.

License exempt child care provider requirements

Important information for license exempt child care providers:

  • Federal law requires a yearly inspection and additional training of all license exempt child care providers listed with the Department of Human Services (DHS), who provide care for a child receiving child care assistance. New providers will receive pre-service and a yearly review visit from Oregon’s Early Learning Division Office of Child Care. Ongoing providers currently listed with DHS will receive annual visits starting in the fall.
  • Get more information about these changes.
  • License exempt means you are not required to be licensed by the State of Oregon to provide child care. See information about who needs to be licensed.
    Are you a relative of the child? If you are a relative and the only child you provide care for is related to you (grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt or uncle or a sibling living outside the home) you will not receive the inspection visit.

New lead testing requirements for providers

Effective April 2018, all homes or facilities where care is provided must complete testing for lead exposure in water. Lead testing is required for all plumbing fixtures used for drinking, cooking, or preparing food or infant formula. This requirement protects children from exposure to lead in water. The harmful impact of lead exposure on child development, especially for the youngest children, is well-known and well-documented.

Providers must complete lead testing before submitting a Child Care Provider Listing Form. The listing form will be considered incomplete if the lead testing result is not attached.

If the lead testing results show a high level of lead, an Office of Child Care (OCC) staff member will contact the provider with more instructions. Providers will need to pass the lead testing or submit a corrective action plan to be approved as a DHS child care provider. Providers who are only using bottled water for drinking, cooking, and preparing infant formula at the location where care is provided can complete the Declaration for Bottled Water Use form to be exempt from lead testing. This form must be submitted to the Direct Pay Unit and attached to the Child Care Provider Listing Form.​

If you have questions regarding lead testing, contact the Office of Child Care (OCC) Lead Hotline at 503-947-5908 or visit the Lead Poisoning Prevention​ website.

Once you have completed the testing, send a copy of the result to the Direct Pay Unit (DPU) at:
P.O. Box 14850
Salem, OR 97301
Or fax the results to 503-378-5957

OCC can reimburse providers for lead testing. In order to be reimbursed, providers must complete and submit the Lead Testing Reimbursement Form (English) (Spanish) and W-9 (English) (Spanish​). The reimbursement form and W-9 should be sent to OCC at:

TRI/Central Coordination of CCR&R
Western Oregon University
345 Monmouth Ave N
Monmouth, OR 97361

For questions regarding reimbursement, please call 1-800-342-6712.

Important Links:

Child care provider trainings

For information about orientation, health and safety training and additional training resources see the provider training page.

Incentive payments for alternative hour care​

For a limited time, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will be offering monthly incentive payments to providers who care for children receiving Employment-Related Day Care (ERDC). A monthly incentive payment is offered to providers caring for children outside of normal working hours. Incentive payments can be requested for care starting in January 2019 through September 2019.

Qualifying hours for alternative hour care:

  • Care provided before 6:00 am,
  • Care provided after 7:00 pm and/or, 
  • Care provided on weekends.

Information and eligibility points:

  • Providers must have provided care weekdays after 7p.m., weekdays before 6 a.m., or on weekends.
  • A child must have been in care for the alternative hours to qualify toward the alternative hours of care for the child care incentive payment.
  • Provider incentive payments are for children receiving ERDC only. Children receiving child care assistance through the TANF/JOBS program are not eligible for these incentive payments.
  • Providers must receive a Child Care Billing (CCB) form for each family they are requesting an incentive payment for.
  • Incentive payments are for all child care provider types (licensed and license exempt providers).
  • Providers must keep attendance logs with check-in and check-out times for a minimum of 12 months (this is a current requirement for all DHS child care providers).
  • Random provider incentive payment reviews may be conducted. If a provider’s payment is reviewed, they may receive a request for copies of their attendance logs.
  • Incentive payments are for alternative hour care provided January 2019 to September 2019.
  • Requests for incentive payments must be received by DPU no later than October 15, 2019.

Incentive payment amounts are:

Monthly incentive amo​unt​​​ per child

Total hours of alternative care provided per child​


​20-39 hours per month, or


40 or more ho​​urs per month​

Alternative Hour Child Care Incentive Payments

Billing Example

Cara provides child care in May for 2 children, Johnny and Sara. 

She provides care for Johnny based on the parents' work schedule of 54 hours for the month. He is in her care for two hours after school from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (38 hours) and four hours each Saturday (16 hours). 

She provides care for Sara for 206 hours for the month. She is in her care from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (190 hours) and four hours each Saturday (16 hours).

  • Johnny has 16 alternative hours for the month with his weekend care on Saturdays. These 16 hours do not qualify for an Alternative Hour Child Care Incentive Payment as it is not at least 20 hours per month.

  • Sara meets alternative hours for her weekend care on Saturdays of 16 hours a month and 19 hours of care done before 6:00 a.m. These 35 hours qualify the care provided for Sara for an Alternative Hour Child Care Incentive Payment for the month of May for $250.00 as it is at least 20 hours per month. 

To request an incentive payment:

  • Fill out the Incentive Request Form​ each month for children in your care that meet the requirements listed above;
  • Submit the request form to the Direct Pay Unit (DPU) at the address below. The form must be fully completed and signed to be processed; and
  • Keep attendance logs with check-in and check-out times for at least 12 months. This is already a requirement for all DHS-listed providers. DHS may request these attendance logs as part of random payment reviews.

Send the attached incentive payment request form to:

Mail to: Direct Pay Unit, P.O. Box 14850, Salem, OR 97309-0850
Fax to: (503) 378-5957, or
Email to:

This email address is for incentive payment requests only. No billing forms will be accepted through this email address. Billing forms submitted to this email address will not be processed.

For questions regarding the incentive payment process, please call DPU at 1-800-699-9074.

Tools and resources for providers

Abuse reportingReport Child Abuse and Neglect
List of reporting phone numbers to report child abuse and neglect.
Abuse reportingMandatory reporters
What is mandatory reporting and who must report?
Child Care Resource & Referral AgenciesChild Care Resource and Referral Agencies
A link to listing of local CCR&Rs by county. CCR&Rs help providers by giving technical assistance and provider training.
Forms and GuidesChild Care Provider Guide
Our handbook for providers who serve ERDC clients, with loads of information on how to get started, the payment process, and more. Also available in:
Forms and GuidesChild Care Provider Listing Form
This form must be completed and submitted by providers that want to be paid by DHS to provide child care for DHS clients. Please note the effective date for DHS payment cannot be earlier than the date you complete the listing process and are approved by DHS. Also available in Spanish.


Forms and GuidesProvider Report Form DHS 7496

This form can be used to report required provider changes. you may also report changes by calling DPU at 1-800-699-9074 or by email at

Forms and GuidesDHS/OHA Administrative Hearings Request Form MSC 0443

​This form can be used to request a DHS/OHA Administrative Hearing.​

Forms and GuidesIncentive Request Form

​This form is used to request incentive payments for alternative hour care provided during evenings (7pm-6am) and weekends. It can be submitted via mail, fax, or by e-mailing

PartnersOregon Child Care Research Partnership (OCCRP)
The Oregon Child Care Research Partnership, housed within the Family Policy Program at Oregon State University, conducts research related to child care policy at the local and state levels. OCCRP conducts the Market Rate study upon which DHS child care subsidy rates are based.
PartnersNational Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center (NCCIC)
The NCCIC, a service of the Child Care Bureau, is a national clearinghouse and technical assistance (TA) center that provides comprehensive child care information resources and TA services to Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Administrators and other key stakeholders.
PartnersOregon Association for the Education of Young Children (OAEYC)
Oregon AEYC is an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and serves over 1300 early childhood professionals in the state of Oregon. OAEYC works to support excellent early education, promote public support and policies, build the profession, and improve teaching and learning.
Partners211 Info
211 Info partners with DHS to help people navigate and connect with the local resources. They help parents find the child care provider they need to meet their family’s needs.
Rates & reimbursementsChild care rates
The maximum amounts we can pay providers who help DHS clients with child care.
Rates & reimbursementsEnhanced, special and high needs rates
About special provider rates are and how to qualify for and become an enhanced, special or high needs provider.
Rates & reimbursementsFood service education and reimbursement
About food handling, nutrition education, and getting USDA reimbursements.
Rates & reimbursementsSpark Provider Incentive Payment
​About provider incentive payments for Spark providers.
Rates & reimbursementsReimbursement for lead testing

​2018-19 Lead Testing Reimbursement​ process and form.

State LicensingOffice of Child Care (OCC) of the Department of Education
OCC is the regulatory agency that licenses child care facilities and conducts background checks on licensed providers. Their website is also a great resource, with a wealth of information and resources for parents, providers, and those interested in child care issues.
TrainingChild Care Provider Training
For information about orientation, health and safety training and additional training resources.
Union RepresentationThe American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
AFSCME Council 75 represents family child care providers who are licensed with the Office of Child Care, a member of the Department of Education. 800-521-5954
Union RepresentationThe Service Employees International Union Local 503 (SEIU)
SEIU Local 503 represents family child care providers who are exempt from licensing. Providers that are exempt from licensing are also referred to as Family, Friends, and Neighbor providers (FFN). 877-451-0002