Southern Oregon is a “Childcare Desert”

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Southern Oregon is a “childcare desert,” says Rene Brandon, director of the Southern Oregon Early Learning Service Hub.


One of the Highest Dropout Rates in the Country

With one of the highest school dropout rates in the country, Southern Oregon fails to provide 33% of children with access to care facilities.

SOELS is tackling the scarcity by organizing information sessions for those aspiring to start their own childcare business. The 90-minute sessions will answer questions, explore funding opportunities, and provide connections and support to community partners by sharing resources.

The information sessions are free of charge and can be attended in person or virtually. Scan the QR code or email for more information about dates and times. (See below)

Childcare Southern Oregon


Spanish Speaking Children Prioritized

SEOLS serves Josephine and Jackson counties and has identified children whose home language is Spanish as the priority population needing childcare services. Families need programs offering Spanish or bilingual curriculums. Other needs identified are:

  • 15% of the families need transport
  • 41% need extended care services
  • 68% need care facilities close to home

SEOLS has also identified a clean and well-maintained environment and quality teacher interactions as preferences for childcare centers.

Of the USAs 50 states, Oregon is ranked 46 in providing learning services for 3-to-5-year-olds. It is ranked 48th in successful high school graduates. These factors cause language and education gaps. SEOLS points out that if children do not experience a “reading-rich” background, they can be two grades behind by the third grade. Without the support of learning partners, high dropout rates and a cycle that repeats itself are inevitable, says SEOLS.


What SEOLS Does for Southern Oregon

SOELS serves 17,330 children from birth to age six in the Josephine and Jackson counties whose families experience difficulties with addiction, finances, housing and mental health issues.

The Southern Oregon Early Learning Services Hub is committed to changing the high school dropout rate and the lack of aftercare services, acknowledging that the state’s dropout rate is one of the highest in the country.

Recognizing the need for education starting at birth, SEOLS is building systems so that children grow up in a healthy and stable family environment and are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten.

The organization functions as a system-builder, bringing together leaders from the private sector, education, social services, health care and parents in partnership to build effective programs that promote family stability and school preparedness. SEOLS invests money in the Southern Oregon region, enabling expertise and resources to be shared so that children can feel part of the communities in which they live.



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