Governor Kulongoski Works to Improves Access to Affordable Childcare for Working Families

In the Past legislative Session the Governor took several major steps to increase access to affordable childcare to working families throughout Oregon. Governor Ted Kulongoski signed several bills into law designed to help employers and parents work together and improve childcare throughout Oregon. In addition the Governor announced the release an important study showing how big a part of Oregon’s economy childcare really is. With 30% of Oregon families spending one tenth or more of their entire income on childcare, the Governors actions are more important than ever.

The Governor’s first step was recently signing three bills into law to making Affordable Child more accessible to working families. House Bills 2950 and 2951 extended and expanded the Oregon Dependant Care Tax Credit. Employers who provide childcare assistance to their employees are permitted to offset the 50% of there state taxes. Assistance with childcare not only makes it easier for working families it also improves employee recruitment and performance.

The Governor also signed into law House Bill 2999 which expanded the number of children allowed to enroll in child care homes from 12 to 16. While the number doesn’t seem that large, it will dramatically help families in rural areas. Those areas tend to be unnerved by child care homes. All certified child care homes must still meet the adult-to-child ratio set by the state and local ordinance and the square footage by child rules.

Along with these bills the Governor took another major step towards improving access to affordable childcare to working families. Governor Ted Kulongoski recently announced the release of "The Economic Impact of Oregon’s Childcare Industry," a report produced by the Oregon Child Care Division in collaboration with the Oregon Commission for Child Care, Children First for Oregon and Oregon State University. The report, which is available online at, analyzes the impact of child care on Oregon’s economy and documents the vital role that the child care industry plays in Oregon

"Child care is not just a social issue – it is an economic issue as well, and Oregon’s businesses, families and economy all benefit when Oregon workers have access to affordable, quality childcare," said Governor Kulongoski. "This report shows that childcare assistance creates a better workplace for employees and a better bottom line for employers."

Not only is Childcare itself an important industry in Oregon, generating over $639 million in gross annual revenues, childcare is the corner stone the rest of Oregon’s economy. According to the study Childcare in Oregon keeps 90,297 parents on the job, enabling them to earn $2.6 billion annually. It also enables the production of exports each year that support $5.75 billion in sales, 52,000 Oregon jobs and $1.99 billion in income. In addition Oregon’s Childcare system prepares future generations for school and workplace success.
"The impact study is very clear. Child care, as an industry, is vital to Oregon’s economy and therefore everyone has a stake in it," said Tina Kotek, the Policy Director at Children First for Oregon. "Stronger investments in affordable, quality child care make good sense, for businesses as well as for working families."

Posted on November 29, 2005
Front Page News, Oregon's Helping Hand