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The Pathway

Our pathway focuses on three major areas – Health, Early Care & Learning and Family Support.


The Oklahoma School Readiness Pathway is a compilation of benchmarks, goals, outcomes and indicators that illustrate how Health, Early Care & Learning and Family Support influence a child’s readiness for school. Beginning with birth through school entry, this framework allows us to monitor indicators and outcomes to inform action through policy changes, effective investments and quality improvements. We strive for an early childhood system that consistently provides services and resources while ensuring equity, economic security and sustainable funding across the state.

As such, OPSR has identified benchmarks for school success:


Babies Must Be Born On Time & Healthy

Toddlers Must Be On A Positive Developmental Trajectory

Three-Year-Olds Must Be Safe, Secure and Healthy

Four-Year-Olds Must Be On A Path To School Readiness

Five-Year-Olds Are Ready For School

Children & Families Have Access to Health Services


Babies are born on time and healthy.


Children have access to healthcare.


Children are physically & emotionally healthy.


Children are on a positive developmental trajectory.

Children Engaged in High Quality Early Care & Learning


Children have access to high quality, developmentally appropriate programs with professionals.


Children attend early learning programs & schools consistently.


Children learn in safe environments with positive climates that support social-emotional development.

All Parents Have Access to Education & Support Services


Children have safe, stable & nurturing relationships with their caregivers.


Families have the knowledge, skills & social supports for their children's optimal development.


Children live in economically secure families.


Communities are safe, toxic-free & economically viable in support of children & their families.

Our Goal: Children and families have access to health services.

Why Health? Research shows that healthy children are better able to engage in experiences crucial to the learning process.

Connecting children and their parents to health services is a critical step toward school readiness. In fact, health and development begins at birth, which is why a child’s earliest years are so important. Children who are born healthy and on time have mothers who received prenatal care, including adequate nutrition and monitoring for health risks. In order to stay on track developmentally, a child and their family must continue to have access to health services during that child’s earliest years. As such, this Pathway identifies desired outcomes and indicators of physical and emotional development as children meet the benchmarks of school readiness. 



Our Goal: Children are engaged in high quality early care and learning.

Why Early Care & Learning? Children in high-quality early care and learning are more likely to succeed in school and throughout their lifetime.

Engaging children in high-quality early care and learning makes them more likely to succeed in school and throughout their lifetime. What makes something “high-quality”? High quality programs are ones in which strong, exceptional teachers use effective, developmentally-appropriate curriculum to form a solid learning foundation. In addition, high-quality early care and learning requires supportive learning environments with an adequate number of teachers and leaders who tailor learning experiences to a child’s individual cultural needs. As such, the Pathway identifies desired outcomes and indicators of early care and learning opportunities as children meet the benchmarks of school readiness.


Our Goal: Families have access to education and support services.

Why Family Support? Educated, skilled and supported family members and caregivers are better equipped to expose children to educational opportunities.

Without support, vulnerable families struggle to fulfill their child’s health and developmental needs, putting their path to school readiness in jeopardy. For example, families living in high poverty or crime-heavy areas may be less likely to utilize community resources that could enrich their child’s learning. On the other hand, families who receive support are more engaged in their child’s development. As such, the Pathway identifies desired outcomes and indicators of family support as children meet the benchmarks of school readiness.