The Oklahoma Clearinghouse for Early Childhood Success Awards first Outdoor Play Grants
The Oklahoma Clearinghouse for Early Childhood Success (The Clearinghouse), a program of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR), is excited to announce the recipients of its inaugural Outdoor Learning Environment Grants. The awardees are: Jewel's Place Enrichment Childcare, Homespun Early Learning Center, LaShonda Reynolds' Family Child Care Home, and Jennifer Sands' Family Child Care Home.
"Research shows that play, and in particular outdoor play, is crucial for healthy brain development in young children. Through play, children learn problem-solving, conflict-resolution strategies, and other crucial life skills for success. We are so excited to assist our four grant recipients from the Tulsa metro area in really transforming their outdoor spaces into high-quality play areas," said Clearinghouse Project Manager Mary Griffin.
Through these awards, the Clearinghouse will be funding the construction of new outdoor play environments for these child care providers from the Tulsa community. These awards are made possible by a $1.75 million grant from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
"I am so thankful to the Clearinghouse and Oklahoma Department of Human Services for their support of my child care home," stated LaShonda Reynolds. "This support really makes a difference in the care and services I can provide to my kids. I can't wait to see the smiles on their faces when they have this new play space!"
In addition to these first four awards, the Clearinghouse will be making similar awards to an additional 16 different child care centers and homes from seven different geographic regions around the state (eight awards to licensed child care centers, and eight awards to licensed child care homes). Through the open application process, the Clearinghouse received over 190 submissions for this grant opportunity. Once the finalists for each region are determined, the staff from the Clearinghouse will conduct site visits to help aid in the selection of the grant recipients. All awards and construction of these new outdoor learning environments will conclude before the end of the 2024 calendar year.