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COVID-19

Effects on Oklahoma's Early Childhood System

Oklahoma Response 

The timeline below offers an up-to-date look at the steps Oklahoma has taken to support children and families amid COVID-19. 

Timeline

May 2020

May 29: OKDHS offers 60 days of subsidized child care to Oklahomans who are job searching due to the loss of employment during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to learn more.

APRIL 2020

April 24: OKDHS waives copayments for all families who receive subsidies for April and May 2020.

April 14: OKDHS temporarily increases the daily subsidy rate by $5 per eligible child for the months of April and May.

April 7: USDE approves Oklahoma waivers granting schools spending flexibility with current federal funds.

April 6: Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) to issue emergency relief payments to foster families in early April.

April 2: Oklahoma State Department of Education releases a new resource to engage families and support distance learning during school closures.

April 1: Oklahoma State Department of Human Services approved to issue emergency allotments to SNAP customers. Read details here.

April 1: Oklahoma State Department of Health Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program implements an online application for new and existing clients in order to minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

MARCH 2020

March 27: Oklahoma State Department of Education partners with the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority to provide teachers resources to assist with distance learning.

March 26: Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP/C1) work to loosen provisions on Nursing Case Management to use Medicaid with telephone visits. Pending final approval.

March 25: Oklahoma State Department of Education approves distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic school year.

March 25: Oklahoma shares a first phase of supports for child care providers. Read more here.

March 23: Oklahoma Head Start Collaboration gives update on Head Start and Early Head Start openings and closings. Find a list here.

March 20: OKDHS offers one-time adjustment to eligible providers for children in full-time care.

March 20: Oklahoma State Department of Education requests a waiver of assessment and accountability with the United States Department of Education, and the waiver is accepted.

March 20: Oklahoma Policy Institute publishes broad child care recommendations. See https://okpolicy.org/child-care-plays-pivotal-role-during-health-crisis.

March 19: Oklahoma State Department of Health issues new COVID-19 guidance for child care facilities. Read the guidelines here.

March 16: All Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) in-person home visiting ceases. Parents as Teachers begins virtual and telephone visits as well as offers daily COVID-19 specific resources and increases Zoom meetings. Both SafeCare and Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP/C1) switch to telephone-only visits.

March 16: Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) approves the closure of all Oklahoma schools beginning March 17 through April 6.

 

Parent Support

If you're a parent in need of support during this uncertain time, many of our partners have resources to help. We've linked some below, so that you have easy access.

 

Early Childhood Resources

Child Care

Did you know that more than 67 percent of American children under six have all available parents participating in the workforce? The COVID-19 crisis has reinforced how important child care is to families and our economy.

We're thankful for child care providers who play an important role in our children’s lives during this pandemic and every day after.

Your Story

Parents, providers and other early childhood advocates in Oklahoma highlight why supporting child care is essential to our future. #ChildCareIsEssential

Spotlight

Organizations, advocates and even the media are recognizing how essential child care is to our nation's livelihood.

ChildCare.gov

This website's new page connects COVID-19 essential workers and parents to open child care. It includes information about: the opening status of child care; access to emergency child care (for essential workers); child care financial assistance; and help finding child care.

Share this link with parents or use it yourself to find open child care.

 

For more updates from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, visit their dedicated page.

For frequent updates on COVID-19 resources from across the nation, visit The Journal.