OPSR facilitates collaborative planning and decision-making to increase coordination between state programs; maximize the use of public and private funding; and pursue policies that improve learning opportunities and environments for young children. The folllowing FY20 highlights demonstrate OSPR's successful steps foward to achieve these goals.
On Jan. 30 & 31, 2020, the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness offered Conscious Discipline training to almost 200 participants in Midwest City, Okla. Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive, evidence-based, self-regulation program that integrates social-emotional learning, classroom management and discipline so that teachers and students can see conflict in a different way.
This training was funded by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services & Education. It featured Mara Spencer who has over 20 years of experience in early childhood. Each attendee received copies of the books “Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms,” “Creating a School Family: Bully-Proofing Classrooms Through Emotional Intelligence” and “I Love You Rituals.”
Under the coordination of OPSR, Oklahoma joined 31 other states to implement the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. Our vision for the use of this model is that all Oklahoma early childhood practitioners, in partnership with families, have the knowledge, skills, disposition and supports necessary to nurture infants and young children’s social-emotional well-being within their family, culture and community.
On Nov. 2, 2019, OPSR connected with over 800 early childhood professionals at the first OKFutures Moving Forward Professional Development Conference. This event took place in eight locations across Oklahoma to provide better access to top-notch training on trauma-informed care, brain development, the importance of play and more.
This conference was made possible by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (also known as OKFutures) as well as the support of several tribal nations including: Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Cherokee Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, the Comanche Nation, the Osage Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
As part of OKFutures, OPSR sought to understand the cost of quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) in our state. By working with the RAND Corporation, OPSR gained insight into the estimated per-child cost of ECCE for Oklahoma's infants, toddlers and preschoolers as well as a cost model that considers fundamental early childhood care and education cost drivers.
OPSR made listening and learning from families a priority in FY20 by gathering stories via Project HOPE. In total, OPSR collected 155 stories about families' experiences during pregnancy, birth, and the first year of their child’s life. This important work has continued into FY21, as OPSR collaborates with six new organizations, including the Latino Community Development Agency, Northern Oklahoma Youth Services, the Community Development Support Association, the Community Service Council, Lilyfield and Kids' Space Child Advocacy Center.
OPSR’s five-year OKFutures Strategic Plan was accepted by the Administration for Children and Families in Oct. 2019. This plan targets the following outcomes: 1) All children meet optimum health and developmental milestones upon entry to school; 2) All families are able to provide safe, positive, and nurturing environments for children; 3) All children and their families live in healthy and supportive communities; and 4) Oklahomans benefit from the efficient use of tax dollars and a healthy, productive workforce.
In addition, the plan has five goals to address urgent priorities, especially for vulnerable children and families as well as includes four “pillars” for long term success: Human Capital, Physical Capital, Intellectual Capital and Financial Capital.