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Department of Early Learning and Care

Employment Related Day Care program (ERDC)

The Employment Related Day Care program (ERDC) helps families who are working, in school, or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) pay for child care, including registration fees. We also work with partners across the state to help families find and keep good child care.

ERDC is a subsidy program. This means many families still pay part of the child care cost. This is called a copayment (copay).

ERDC has recently changed to work better for families. In the last few months, thousands of families have joined the program. After November 3, 2023, ERDC will close enrollment and introduce a waitlist because of the increased demand and limited funding.

Here's what families need to know:

  • If you are getting ERDC now, the closure will not affect you. You will continue to receive benefits.    
  • If you think you might qualify for ERDC, apply by 11:59 p.m. on November 3, 2023.
  • After November 3, 2023, most families will be placed on the ERDC waitlist.
    • Families will not move off the waitlist until the ERDC caseload drops significantly or the program gets more funding. Families can expect to stay on the waitlist for 18 months, but it may be longer.
  • Some families will be able to get ERDC while enrollment is closed, including:
  • Families recently or currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors (TA-DVS)
  • Families referred by child welfare
  • Families reapplying for ERDC within two months of benefits ending
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How to Apply

You can apply for ERDC by 11:59pm on November 3, 2023 or be screened for the waitlist starting November 4, 2023. You can apply online, by phone, or in person at a local office. When you apply for ERDC, you can also apply for other benefits like SNAP food benefits and Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid).
Apply Now

If you need help to apply or to join the waitlist, call 211 or text the keyword "children" to 898211.

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There are resources to support you while the ERDC program is closed with a waitlist.

ERDC Waitlist One Pager

English | Spanish | Russian | Chinese Vietnamese

ERDC Family Resource Guide

English | Spanish | Russian | Chinese |  Vietnamese

211 and Early Learning Hubs can assist you in learning more about child care resources available in your area.

Contact 211 by:

  • Dialing 211 or 1-866-698-6155
  • Texting the keyword "children" to 898211
  • Emailing– response within 24 hours

Find contact information for your local Early Learning Hub using DELC's Early Learning Hub finder.

Open DELC's Early Learning Hub Finder

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Families interested in ERDC may qualify for an affordable child care program.
The Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) offers several affordable, high-quality early learning and care programs. Income-eligible families with children under 5 years old may be able to get support paying for child care through:

Preschool Promise (PSP)

PSP is a high-quality preschool program available to Oregon families with limited incomes. The program serves children ages 3 to 5 in a variety of educational settings. The Early Learning Hub in your community can help you determine if Preschool Promise might be an option for your family. See the income limit table by family size.

Preschool Kids in Line


Oregon Prenatal to Kindergarten (OPK)

Oregon Prenatal to Kindergarten (OPK)also called Head Start, provides high-quality early care and education to families with limited incomes. OPK offers preschool, infant and toddler care, and family support services in every county. Children in foster care, children experiencing homelessness, and children from families receiving public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are eligible regardless of income. To find a program near you click here. See the income limit table by family size.

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Who is Eligible

This program is for families that:

  • Live in Oregon.
  • Are working or in school or receiving TANF.
    • In a two-parent family, both parents must be working or in school. (This does not apply to parents receiving TANF)
    • There are some exceptions for two parent households where one parent can’t provide child care because of a medical or mental health condition, or if supervised contact is required by the State.
  • Need child care to keep working, attending school, or participating in family well-being activities. 
  • Have a child who is:
    • A U.S. citizen or qualifying non-citizen,
    • Under 13 years old and needs child care, or
    • 13 to 17 years old and needs care because of special circumstances.
  • Meet income limits (see below on this page).

Note: The child care provider you use needs to be approved to receive ERDC payments.  This is not the same as being a licensed child care provider.

Families may also be able to get cash benefits through the TANF program. Call your local ODHS officeto see if you are eligible.

Learn more about ERDC and TANF:  English  |  Spanish  |  Russian  |  Chinese   Vietnamese

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Income Limits

The income limits when you first apply are lower than the ongoing and exit income limits. This means you can start making more money and still keep your ERDC benefits.

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When you first apply

These are the initial income limits as of 3/1/2023. You must earn under these amounts to start getting ERDC. These amounts are 200% of federal poverty level. 

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Ongoing and exit limits

These are the ongoing and exit income limits as of 3/1/2023. You must earn under these amounts to keep getting ERDC. These amounts are 250% of federal poverty level or 85% of state median income, whichever is higher. 

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How It Works & Resources

​​When you are approved for ERDC, the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) helps you pay for child care. 

  • You choose your child care provider. Make sure they are approved to receive ERDC payments before they start taking care of your child.
  • DELC pays part of your child care bill directly to your provider.
  • You pay a copay each month directly to your provider. The copay amount depends on your family size and income.
  • If your provider charges more than the maximum amount DELC will cover, you pay the additional cost.

Child care assistance covers:

  • The time you are at work or school
  • Your meal time while working
  • Travel time between child care and work or school
  • Sleep hours if you work a night shift
  • Study hours while in school
  • Family well being activities ​

​Getting child care benefits will not be counted during an immigrants' public charge test.​

Oregon Legal Aid​ can give you advice before you apply for any benefits. You can also reach their Public Benefits Hotline at 800-520-5292.​

ERDC Brochure

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Hmong   |   Korean   |   Russian   |   Somali   |   Tagalog   |   Ukranian   |   Vietnamese

Things to know About ERDC

English   |   Spanish   |   Simplified Chinese  |   Russian   |   Somali   |   Vietnamese

Resources for Early Learning

These resources help you build a strong foundation and stimulate your child's brain so they are ready to learn.
Vroom Brain Building   |   Vroom en Español   |   Resources from the Early Learning Division 

​Family Support and Connections is an optional program that provides parenting support for families with low-income.​

Learn about Family Support and Connections

ERDC child care expenditures and burn rate by month.

These studies identify child care prices and the geographic distribution of these prices across the state. They also examine geographic patterns in the prices charged by facilities by age of child served, type of care, and pricing modes (hourly, monthly, etc.).