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Ore. Seeks To Boost Early Learning With 'Hubs'

Oregon’s effort to overhaul early learning is beginning to hit the local level. A new report was delivered to legislators on Tuesday.

Over the last three years, Oregon lawmakers overhauled the state’s approach to early childhood programs. They created an Early Learning Council and got rid of other supervising commissions. This was all to prepare kids better for kindergarten and to ensure they’re healthier and living in more stable families.

Officials want diverse programs to work together — including childcare, healthcare, preschool, and social services.

Much of the on-the-ground work is expected to fall to a new set of regional “early learning hubs.”

The state has approved a contract with Early Learning Hub Inc., based in Salem. It’s aiming to substantially improve academic readiness and family stability for nearly 20,000 children in Marion County on the Oregon Health Plan.

Five other hubs may be approved soon, covering Portland, Eugene, Yamhill County, as well as south-central and southeastern parts of Oregon.