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COVID-19

EFFECTS ON OKLAHOMA'S EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES

Over the past few months, Oklahoma’s strength has been tested by the coronavirus. Even as the state begins to re-open in phases, early childhood providers and families are still struggling. During this time of uncertainty, the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness is supporting our partners by connecting them with the information they need to best serve our state.

We hope this newsletter is a useful resource and source of encouragement, highlighting both state and national efforts, as we work together to positively impact young children.

Pyramid Model to Help Build Resilience


Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness’ Board recently established a Pyramid Model State Leadership Team. This important action was taken in response to the high number of children in Oklahoma who experience adversity during their early years.
 
The Pyramid Model promotes the skills necessary for young children to understand and manage their emotions. In addition, it addresses disparities in discipline practices; promotes family engagement; and fosters inclusion of children with, and at risk for, developmental delays and disabilities.
 
Under the guidance of the leadership team, the Pyramid Model will help support the emotional development of young children during and throughout recovery of the coronavirus.
 
To learn more, click here.
SenseMaker® to Empower Communities While Facing the Impact of COVID-19
 
OPSR is expanding SenseMaker® to collect stories from Oklahoma families and providers about their experiences during COVID-19.

SenseMaker® is a data-gathering tool that gives decision-makers at all levels information on how Oklahomans are doing. In collaboration with the University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research, OPSR has been using this tool to look at improving equitable access to health care by reducing disparities in infant mortality under Project HOPE.
 
Now OPSR will extend the use of this tool to collect insightful feedback that empowers communities and the providers that serve them as they take on COVID-19 recovery efforts.
 
To learn more about Project HOPE, click here.
Health

Oklahoma’s health professionals have adapted quickly to continue to serve families despite the new barriers thrust upon them. Parents as Teachers, Children First and Safe Care home-based services have all transitioned to virtual visits and/or telephone support.
 
Most recently, in April, the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program implemented an online application for new and existing participants to minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
 
In addition, young children and their families’ mental health has been a top priority of our state. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services released the “Mental Health Guide to COVID-19,” which is full of information for both providers and parents.
 
For additional health updates, visit OSDH’s dedicated coronavirus page.
Early Care & Learning
 
Child care providers have always played an important role in our children’s lives. But the coronavirus has reinforced just how critical child care is to our families, communities and economy.
 
We asked some of our partners in the child care field to tell us about the impact COVID-19 has had on their lives.

If you’d like to tell decision-makers in your community why you think child care is crucial, use #ChildCareIsEssential #Movement4ChildCare on social media.
 
Family Support
 
Without support, vulnerable families struggle to fulfill their child’s health and developmental needs. Even more so during this pandemic these struggles can become exasperated. To assist with families’ hardships, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services most recently waived co-payments for all families who receive subsidies for April and May 2020. Read more, here.

OKDHSLive! is also encouraging online applications and renewals for benefits. Programs and services include: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), Child Care Subsidy, Medical Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Assistance to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD).
Expert Resources
 
In addition to keeping up with what’s going on in our state, we’re also looking to national experts to help us through this difficult time.
Thank You!
 
We couldn’t end this newsletter without saying a huge thank you to OPSR’s Board and Foundation members and our partners and supporters who are also essential workers during this time.

From medical professionals to child care workers, we are grateful to each one of you for all that you are doing to support young children and families even when that means putting yourself or your own families at risk.
 
- The OPSR Team
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Copyright © 2020 Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness. All rights reserved.

421 NW 13th Street, Suite 270
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
P: (405) 429-4219
F: (405) 429-4222

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Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness · 421 NW 13th St Ste 270 · Oklahoma City, OK 73103-6700 · USA

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