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OKFutures

Maximizing Parent Choice

Overview

One of OKFutures' priorities is to increase parent awareness about the resources and supports available in Oklahoma's early childhood system. Specifically, OPSR will work with a communications firm on messaging that is relatable to and connects with all Oklahoma families. Additionally, in order to maximize parent choice, this grant will build community capacity by expanding existing parent education resources.

Advocacy & Communication Solutions

For 15 years, ACS has helped their clients advocate, communicate, innovate and move forward.

 

Learn more about ACS here.

Making an Impact

OPSR is working with Advocacy & Communication Solutions (ACS) to develop a communication and outreach strategy that targets rural families and ultimately increases these families’ knowledge about the importance of early childhood and resources that are available to them.

After completing a statewide messaging analysis, which is available in the document section below, ACS and OPSR conducted a two-day strategy session. During this meeting, OPSR worked through several of ACS' communication frameworks including network mapping and determing a structure for a champion strategy.

ACS then conducted an online survey (see more information below) and additional strategic sessions with OPSR while engaging with the Family & Community Engagement Team and relying on them for additional guidance and feedback.

Surveying Families

In order to develop a communication and outreach strategy, OPSR worked with ACS to survey low-income families living in rural counties who have young children.

Survey Goals

The purpose of this survey was to understand the following: 

  • Where families receive information about early childhood and who they trust.
  • Family perspectives about the importance of early childhood, what high quality early childhood education looks like, and what they value.
  • Message themes that resonate with families.

Survey Results

Advocacy and Communication Solutions used targeted partners to reach Oklahoma families and confirm impressions about persuasive messengers and messages. With 107 respondents, over two-thirds of respondents had a child between 0-4 years. In addition, approximately 78 percent of respondents were female. Key findings from this survey included identifying pediatricians/health care providers as the most trusted messenger by 84 respondents as well as the types of messages that respondents care about like how their child develops social and emotional skills. 

In the future, OPSR would like to perform a more in-depth survey with a larger amount of respondents, but the information we've gained is still valuable to help us reach families with young children.

Find complete survey results here.

OPSR partnered with the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority to give parents a variety of early care and education opportunities for their children. The Public Library Family Engagement Project helps young children develop language and pre-reading skills. In addition, this project provides an early introducation to the library system and encourage access of Oklahoma libraries' technology and other valuable resources.

Did you know that early brain development research has shown that talking, singing and reading can have a postive impact on speech and language development?

 

 

As part of OKFutures, OPSR worked with the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) to create an Oklahoma Early Childhood Transition Toolkit. This guide supports schools as they build positive, effective bridges into early elementary grades and ensure a continuum of learning across home, childcare, preschool and school.

To learn more about OSDE's support of early childhood education, click here.

Ready to Learn

Click here to access the Oklahoma Early Childhood Transition Toolkit.

Overall, the information in this toolkit offers guidance to districts, schools and sites around the state as they carefully consider how to support students and ensure they're ready to learn upon initial school entry. More specifically, the toolkit encompasses five key ways schools can support early learners and their families with positive transitions into early elementary grades, including:

  1. Leading Successful School Transitions
  2. Building Family, School and Community Partnerships
  3. Enacting Effective Transition Processes
  4. Implementing Effective Curricula, Instruction and Assessments
  5. Respecting and Affirming Diversity

Documents

Find everything you need to know about the work we're doing to maximize parent choice.