The Early Learning Council shall lead a joint effort with other state and local early childhood partners to establish the policies necessary for a voluntary statewide early learning system.
The voluntary statewide early learning system shall be designed to achieve:
The appropriate outcomes identified by the Early Learning Council with input from early childhood partners; and
Any other early childhood benchmark or outcome that demonstrates progress toward meeting a target and that is identified by the Early Learning Council with input from early childhood partners.
The voluntary statewide early learning system shall include the following components:
A process to identify as early as possible children and families who would benefit from early learning services, including the required use of standardized screening and referral procedures used throughout the voluntary statewide early learning system;
A plan to support the identified needs of the child and family that coordinates case management personnel and the delivery of services to the child and family; and
Services to support children who are zero through six years of age and their families who give their express written consent, including:
In establishing the definition of affordable, quality child care under subsection (3)(c)(D) of this section, the Early Learning Council shall consult with child care providers and early childhood educators. The definition established by the council shall support parental choice of child care provider and shall consider differences in settings and services, including but not limited to child care for school-aged children, part-time care, odd-hour and respite care and factors of cultural appropriateness and competence.
No later than July 1, 2016, for the purpose of ensuring that affordable, quality home-based child care is available through a subsidy program administered by the Department of Human Services, the Early Learning Division, in consultation with the department, shall develop and implement a system of quality supports for exempt family child care providers as defined in ORS 329A.430 (Rights of family child care providers to join labor organizations). The system may use evidence-based practices or best practices that are consistent with state policies for child well-being and development and that are subject to collective bargaining. The system must include professional development opportunities for exempt family child care providers that are available for attendance in person and through the Internet.
The Early Learning Council shall:
Consolidate administrative functions relating to the voluntary statewide early learning system, to the extent practicable, including but not limited to training and technical assistance, planning and budgeting.
Adopt policies to establish training and technical assistance programs to ensure that personnel have skills in appropriate areas, including screening, family assessment, competency-based home visiting skills, cultural and gender differences and other areas as needed.
Identify research-based age-appropriate and culturally and gender appropriate screening and assessment tools that would be used as appropriate in programs and services of the voluntary statewide early learning system.
Develop a plan for the implementation of a common data system for voluntary early childhood programs.
Coordinate existing and new early childhood programs to provide a range of community-based supports.
Establish a common set of quality assurance standards to guide local implementation of all elements of the voluntary statewide early learning system, including voluntary universal screening and assessment, home visiting, staffing, evaluation and community-based services.
Ensure that all plans for voluntary early childhood services are coordinated and consistent with federal and state law, including but not limited to plans for Oregon prekindergarten programs, federal Head Start programs, early childhood special education services, early intervention services and public health services.
Identify how the voluntary statewide early learning system for children who are zero through six years of age will link with systems of support for older children and their families.
During January of each odd-numbered year, report to the Governor and the Legislative Assembly on the voluntary statewide early learning system.
The State Board of Education, the Employment Department, the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority when adopting rules to administer voluntary early childhood programs under their individual authority shall adopt rules:
That are consistent with the requirements of the voluntary statewide early learning system created under this section; and
With the direction of the Early Learning Council.
Information gathered in conjunction with the voluntary comprehensive screening and assessment of children and their families may be used only for the following purposes:
Providing services to children and families who give their express written consent;
Providing statistical data that are not personally identifiable;
Accomplishing other purposes for which the family has given express written consent; and
Meeting the requirements of mandatory state and federal disclosure laws. [Formerly 417.748; 2003 c.293 §2; 2005 c.271 §2; 2009 c.595 §359; 2012 c.37 §§44b,91; 2013 c.728 §§3,4; 2015 c.698 §3]