The Oregon Child Care Research Partnership brings together state child care agencies, child care resource and referral, child care practitioners, and university-based researchers to define, create, and disseminate research on child care dynamics to decision-makers. The partnership engages parents as research and policy advisors.
The Office of Child Care (OCC) within the Early Learning Division, Oregon Department of Education coordinates the child care system in Oregon. As the agency that administers the federal Child Care and Development Funds, OCC administers contracts that provide the major support for the system and measures system performance. The Early Learning Council is the major state child care policy-making organization. Through the Research Partnership, the Early learning Council has solid information on how well the child care system is serving children and families.
The Self-Sufficiency Program within the Department of Human Services (DHS) manages the child care subsidy program and works with partners to improve child care options for the low-income families served by the subsidy program. DHS is the lead agency for the biennial market price study and is central in studies of child care subsidy program dynamics.
The Inclusive Child Care Project of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities works with partners to support inclusion of children with special needs in child care settings. They have a special interest in estimating child care usage and perceptions of parents of children with disabilities.
Central Coordination of Child Care Resource and Referral collects and manages child care supply data collected by its member agencies. Central Coordination merges R&R, OCC regulatory data, and DHS provider data to develop understanding of the size and characteristics of the child care market. Central Coordination provides the data for the biennial market rate study and assists in the interpretation of that data.
A team of agencies has developed the research methods and information dissemination strategies the Partnership uses to explain child care dynamics to decision-makers. The Partnership analyzes data from a wide range of sources to provide decision-makers information on child care supply, demand, price, and other key aspects of child care system functioning. The Oregon Child Care Research Partnership hosts the annual Child Care Researchers’ Roundtable that brings researchers from universities, state agencies, and other organizations together with policy-makers and practitioners for a day of sharing of Oregon child care research.
The Family Policy Program at Oregon State University (OSU) provides coordination to the Research Partnership and does the biennial analysis that results in Profiles of Child Care and Education in Oregon and, produces the biennial market price study, provides benchmark estimates, and works with partners on other child care research.
Research partners are involved in a number of studies in addition to those around child care system dynamics. OSU is leading research efforts to understand the dynamics of the child care subsidy program and design performance measures for the child care system and investments in the child care workforce. PSU produced a body of research on the quality of child care from a parent perspective and other work and family issues.
The Partnership is part of the national Child Care Policy Research Consortium of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, Health and Human Services. The Consortium brings together researchers, state agency staff, and child care practitioners to build and disseminate policy-relevant child care research to inform communities, states, and the federal government.