Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Department of Early Learning and Care

Find Childcare

Safe, affordable child care and education programs are available in Oregon for newborns through school-aged kids. Ready to explore your options? You can find more information through Find Child Care Oregon or 211Info.

How to Get Started Finding Child Care

You can either go to the Find Child Care Oregon website, where you can do your own search of a provider database. Or, to have a you can call or text with 211Info, who can do a free search for you and also provide resources about housing support, utility assistance, and food stamps. Call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 or text the keyword “children” or “ninos” to 898211. Either way, you’ll have access to the same Find Child Care Oregon database of providers.

Choosing a Child Care Type for Your Family

There are several different kinds of child care and education providers in Oregon. Learn about the types below to find the option for your family.

Licensed Child Care

There are three categories of licensed child care. They mostly share the same traits of meeting the highest health and safety standards, including comprehensive background checks and monitoring from the state. The main difference between these three types of licensed childcare are where the service is provided and how many children can be in their care.

Registered family child care: Providers offer care in their home for up to 10 children at once.

Certified family child care: Providers offer care in their home for up to 16 children at once.

Certified center child care: Providers offer care at a center, not in a home. The maximum number of children allowed is determined by floor space and number of staff.

All three licensed child care types:

  • Meet higher health, safety and program standards (on-site inspections)
  • Comply with comprehensive background checks with the Child Care Licensing Division
  • Be regularly monitored
  • Participate in ongoing training in child development, health, and safety
  • Keep attendance records
  • Have planned educational activities
  • Have guidance and discipline policies
  • Follow a daily routine/schedule
  • Have employees be certified in food preparation
  • Have employees be trained in first aid and CPR
  • Have employees be trained in child abuse and neglect
  • Are eligible to apply for a quality-level rating
Learn More about Licensed Child Care
young girl playing hopscotch  
young girl smiling  

License-exempt Child Care

Child care programs that are exempt from licensure tend to be small, in-home providers or short-day programs for school-aged children. The extensive rules that govern licensed providers do not apply to license-exempt programs, nor are the programs rated for quality. Some families choose license-exempt child care because they like the family environment of home-based care, which might offer more flexible hours for evenings or weekends and care for siblings together.

There are two kinds of license-exempt childcare:

Recorded programs: These are either in-person preschool programs operating four or fewer hours per day or school-age programs for students eligible for kindergarten through 13 years old. Although these programs are registered with the state, they are not beholden to the same stringent rules as licensed providers, and they self-attest that employees have passed background checks, without the state independently verifying this.

Regulated subsidy programs: These are programs that care for children of eligible low-income families that receive help paying for pay for child care while they are working through the Employment-Related Day Care program (ERDC). These programs are not required to be licensed. A Regulated Subsidy Provider (sometimes called a “license-exempt child care provider”) is required to be listed with the Department of Early Learning and Care and to follow federal regulations for training and to allow a visit by the Child Care Licensing Division. Unlike recorded programs, regulated subsidy programs must: meet health and safety standards, comply with comprehensive background checks, participate in ongoing training, and are subject to on-site inspections.