OPSR’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Renewal Grant project addresses the most pressing needs of Oklahoma’s Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) workforce, children, families, and communities. The primary goal of Oklahoma’s PDG B-5 project is to support a coordinated, collaborative, and equitable ECCE system that builds the capacity of families, communities, and public and private organizations to provide children birth to age 5 with seamless access to supports they need to thrive.
PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENT GRANT
Overview and History
In 2019, the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR) applied for and was awarded an initial Preschool Development Planning Grant – Birth through Five (PDG B-5) of over $3 million from the Office of Child Care within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This initial grant was utilized to establish a state-wide Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) services across the state.
Following the completion of the initial PDG B-5 planning grant, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, in close collaboration with OPSR, applied for PDG B-5 Renewal Grant in 2022. The PDG B-5 Renewal Grant application builds upon the state's progress from its initial PDG B-5 funding and addresses the most pressing needs of the early childcare and education delivery system as identified by the completed Needs Assessment.
In December of 2022, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services was notified it would be awarded a $12 million PDG B-5 Renewal Grant each year for three years (a total of $36 million) through December 2025 by the Administration for Children and Families with OPSR serving as the lead implementation agency.
The PDG B-5 Renewal Grant will work to improve early childhood education by supporting critical programs and services for Oklahoma children and families. The grant will focus on increasing equitable and seamless access to child care, enhancing family engagement, growing the child care workforce, and expanding direct services for young children that will help to ensure all Oklahoma children enter school ready to thrive and succeed.
Needs AssessmentThis piece of OKFutures focused on assessing the availability, quality and alignment of existing health, early care and learning, and family education and support programs. This evaluation helped determine the number and type of families who currently participate in Oklahoma's early childhood system as well as analyze data and identify strategies to reach our target population of Oklahoma's most vulnerable and underserved families. Moreover, this assessment linked policies, practices and funding that impede equitable access to resources. STATUS Oklahoma's Statewide B-5 Needs Assessment (Needs Assessment) was conducted in 2019 in partnership with Urban Institute. The Needs Assessment provided a comprehensive look at strengths and needs in Oklahoma's B-5 system and its communities, though the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are not captured in the report. PLANNED ACTIVITIES • Needs Assessment Update • Workforce Study • Expulsion/Suspension Study
Strategic PlanThe purpose of the Strategic Plan Update will be to review and gather input on the current strategic plan to determine what remains relevant and needs continued focus, what parts need to be revised, what needs to be added, and how each of these pieces will compliment and align with other existing state strategic plans. Strategic Plan Workgroup Monthly meetings will be led by OKDHS/OPSR and will include: • Program Staff • OCCY Parent Partnership Board • Community Representatives • Tribal Partners OPSR Partnership Board Quarterly OPSR Board meetings will provide an avenue for state partners to: • review incoming data • provide strategic direction • coordinate partner outreach
Parent and Family EngagementBuilding and implementing a family engagement plan that ensures families are informed about and connected to services is a foundational element to successful B-5 systems change. OCCY Parent Partnership Board The OCCY Parent Partnership Board will serve a critical role gathering information and facilitating outreach for successful implementation of family engagement strategies. Coordinated Messaging PDG will support coordinated messaging to build families' knowledge of the mixed delivery system, embed supports to reach families, and pilot activities to enhance coordination and efficiency within the system to benefit families.
WorkforceTo support the B-5 workforce and disseminate best practices, PDG funding will expand professional development opportunities and supports. Efforts to Improve the Training and Expertise of Oklahoma's B-5 ECCE Workforce Activity Four will include four primary activities: • Pyramid Model Implementation with OECP and Licensed Child Care • Transition Summit • Developmental Monitoring Resources and Support for Early Care and Learning Providers • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
Support Program Quality ImprovementOklahoma's approach to PDG is capacity building at the state and local level that will lead to a high-quality, sustainable B-5 system. Part C Data Specialization Funding will allow SoonerStart to conduct new data analysis, with an intentional focus to ensure that the children who will benefit from SoonerStart are identified and receive services. Special emphasis will be placed on underserved populations and exploring why children leave the program early. Early Learning Inventory Oklahoma's Early Learning Inventory (ELI) Expansion Project will collect data on kindergarten readiness and inform local and state policies regarding early childhood education.
SubgrantsSubgrants to enhance quality and expand access to existing and new programs through local and statewide systems and supports. PLANNED SUBGRANT ACTIVITIES • 10 Regional Family Support Specialists for CCR&R networks • Local-level partnership pilots • MIECHV Innovative Pilot for Local Referral Coordination • Coordinated Application, Eligibility and Enrollment Pilot • Reach Out and Read project with Head Start • Child Care Provider benefits • Telemedicine, Telehealth • Child Care Desert Grants • Exceptional Needs Grants • Transition Summit • Developmental Monitoring Resources • Program Performance Evaluation Plan