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Department of Early Learning and Care

Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program

The Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program 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. Sign up for email updates

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


ERDC now has a waitlist for most families applying to the program. The waitlist is open due to increased demand and limited funding. Families with specific needs can skip the waitlist and there are resources available to support families while they wait.  


How to Apply for ERDC

•You can apply for ERDC and be screened to skip or join the waitlist online, by phone, or in person at a local office.

Online

Apply Now

You will need to create a ONE Online account.

By Phone

Call 800-699-9075

Hours are Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.


In Person

Find an Office

You can get a paper application form in multiple languages.

    Text the word "children" to 898211, or call 211 if you need help finding your local office or figuring out how to apply to ERDC.

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Who is Eligible for ERDC

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  |  Español/Spanish  |  Русский/Russian  |  繁體中文/Chinese(Traditional)   Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese

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Income Limits for ERDC

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 3/1/2024. 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 ERDC Works

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

Did you know that your family member, friend, or neighbor could get paid to care for your child?

View the family, friend, and neighbor flyer to learn more!

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What families need to know about the ERDC Waitlist

  • ERDC now has a waitlist due to increased demand and limited funding.   
  • If you are getting ERDC now, the waitlist will not affect you.  You will continue to get benefits.
  • While the waitlist is active, when families apply for ERDC, they will be placed on the waitlist unless they meet an exemption. Some families will be able to skip the waitlist, including:

    • Families recently or currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors (TA-DVS)
    • Families referred by the Child Welfare Division of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS)
    • Families reapplying for ERDC within two months of benefits ending
  • 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.
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ERDC Waitlist FAQs

ERDC has recently changed to work better for families. Thousands of families joined the program in July and August 2023. This means more families are benefiting from ERDC, but there is not enough program funding to support ERDC's growth. 

In November 2023, ERDC opened a waitlist because of the increased demand and limited funding. If you are getting ERDC now, the waitlist will not affect you. You will continue to receive benefits as usual. Please remember to recertify on time to keep your benefits. Some families with specific needs can skip the waitlist.

How the Waitlist Works

Can any families skip the waitlist?
  • Some families can skip the waitlist including:
    • ​Families reapplying for ERDC within two months of benefits ending
    • ​Families getting Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)  
    • ​Families getting Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors (TA-DVS)  
    • ​Families who got TANF or TA-DVS within 3 months of applying for ERDC  
    • ​Families referred by the Child Welfare division of the Oregon Department of Human Services
  • ​These exemptions were previously established in Oregon rule. 
I don’t currently receive ERDC, but I am interested in help paying for child care. Can I still apply?

  • Yes, you can still apply for ERDC. When the waitlist is active, you will be screened to see if you can skip the waitlist when you apply. If you are eligible to skip the waitlist, you will go through the ERDC eligibility process. If you are not eligible to skip based on the initial screening, you can continue through the full ERDC eligibility process to double check whether you can skip the waitlist. If you are still not eligible to skip, you will be given a spot on the waitlist.
  • You can apply in the following ways:
How do I apply for ERDC or get a spot on the waitlist?

  • ​​You can apply for ERDC and be screened to skip or join the ERDC waitlist in the following ways:​
  • ​When you apply for ERDC, you can also apply for other benefits like SNAP food benefits and Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid).​​
What are the steps for applying for ERDC?

  • ​​Step 1: Apply – You can apply for ERDC and other benefits like SNAP food benefits and Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) for yourself and other members of your household the following ways:
  • Step 2: Provide Verification – Required verification like pay stubs or proof of income will need to be submitted as part of the application. You can view examples of verification found on this program checklist​. If you are unsure of what to provide, you can submit verification after your interview.
  • S​tep 3: Complete an interview – An interview is required to receive ERDC benefits. You can complete the interview when your application is submitted or you will be contact by phone or mail with an appointment time. ​


What Families Can Expect While on the Waitlist

I was just added to the ERDC waitlist. What should I expect?

  • ​If you are added to the waitlist, you will receive a notice with your waitlist number, your right to appeal the decision, and some resources that may help you find a different program to meet your child care needs.
  • ​You will receive regular communications while you’re on the waitlist.
  • ​When funding is available, families will be selected from the waitlist based on the date they were added. The first families added to the waitlist will be the first invited to apply for ERDC when a spot is available. Once a family is selected from the waitlist, they will receive a notice inviting them to apply for ERDC within 45 days of the date on the notice.
What does my waitlist number mean?

  • Your waitlist number is assigned based on the date and time you were added to the ERDC waitlist. Though it indicates your initial place “in line” for ERDC, a low number does not mean you will be invited to apply to ERDC soon.
  • ​Numbers will not be updated when families are pulled off the waitlist. Even before people are being invited to re-apply for ERDC, some families’ circumstances could change and qualify them to skip the waitlist. Your waitlist number will stay the same no matter how many people are in front of you.​
Am I guaranteed a spot on ERDC if I’m on the waitlist?

  • ​No, families on the waitlist are not guaranteed to receive ERDC. The waitlist is likely to be in place for at least 18 months, depending on the level of investment and the rate families leave the ERDC program.
  • When a family is selected from the waitlist and invited to apply for ERDC, eligibility will be determined based on income level and other family circumstances at the time of reapplication.
Once I am pulled off the waitlist, will I need to reapply?

Yes. When funding is available, families will be selected from the waitlist based on the date they were added. The first families added to the waitlist will be the first invited to apply for ERDC when a spot is available. Once a family is selected from the waitlist, they will receive a notice inviting them to apply for ERDC within 45 days of the date on the notice.​

I’m on the waitlist, but my circumstances have changed, should I reapply?


  • Yes, if your circumstances change, and you believe that you may qualify to skip the ERDC waitlist, please reapply.
  • As a reminder, some families can skip the waitlist including:
    • Families reapplying for ERDC within two months of benefits ending
    • Families getting Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)  
    • Families getting Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors (TA-DVS)  
    • Families who got TANF or TA-DVS within 3 months of applying for ERDC  
    • Families referred by the Child Welfare division of the Oregon Department of Human Services
  • If you fall into one of these categories, please reapply. You can reapply through:

Waitlist Info for Families Already Approved for ERDC

If I already get ERDC, is there anything I need to do to keep my benefits?

  • If you are getting ERDC now, the waitlist will not affect you. You will continue to receive benefits as usual.
  • To keep your ERDC, be sure to renew your benefits on time. You will get a notice when it's time for you to renew. You will skip the waitlist if you reapply for ERDC within two months of your benefits ending.   
  • You can start your renewal 45 days before your eligibility period ends by:


I am approved for ERDC but don’t have a provider yet. How can I find a provider?

  • After you get approved for ERDC, you can reach out to 211 to get connected with providers in your local area.
  • Contact 211Info by dialing 211, texting the keyword “children" or “ninos" to 898211, or emailing children@211info.org.
  • To search online for child care providers in your area, go to findchildcareoregon.org.
  • Additionally, your family member, friend, or neighbor could get paid to care for your child. The process to become an Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) listed child care provider is free. For more information, click here.

Info for Families Interested in ERDC

I need help paying for child care now. How can I learn about other affordable child care programs I may be eligible for?
  • The Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) offers several programs that help families pay for early learning and care. Families who need support paying for child care may benefit from one of DELC's affordable, high-quality child care programs, like Preschool Promise or Oregon Prenatal to Kindergarten (OPK).
  • Early Learning Hubs and 211 can support families in accessing different programs and benefits.
    • Families can reach out to their local Early Learning Hubs to learn more about child care resources available in their area. Find a local Hub through the DELC Hub Finder.    
    • Families can contact 211Info​ for assistance with their child care needs. Families can get support by dialing 211 or texting the keyword “children" to 898211.​

If I am approved for ERDC, will I have to pay anything?
  • ​ ERDC helps families with the cost of child care by making payments to their chosen child care provider. ERDC is a subsidy program, which means many families still pay part of the child care cost. This is called a copayment (copay).
  • As of August 2023, the average copay for a family getting ERDC was just over $10. Copays currently cannot exceed 7% of a family’s monthly income. ​




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ERDC Waitlist Resources

ERDC Waitlist One Pager

English | Español/Spanish | Русский/Russian | 繁體中文/Chinese(Traditional) Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese

ERDC Family Resource Guide

English | Español/Spanish | Русский/Russian | 繁體中文/Chinese(Traditional) |  Tiếng Việt/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 children@211info.org– response within 24 hours
  • Visit 211Info

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 another 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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Resources

Public Charge Notice for Immigrants

​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.​


Resource Materials for families

ERDC Brochure

English   |   Spanish   |   Arabic   |   Burmese   |   Cambodian   |   Simplified Chinese   |   Traditional Chinese   |   Chuukuse
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 


Resource Parenting support

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

Learn about Family Support and Connections

​Child Care Spend Down Reports

ERDC child care expenditures and burn rate by month.


​Child Care Market Rate Study

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.).